Lucky turkey hunters often wonder how their trophy stacks up against other turkeys. The National Wild Turkey Federation has an official wild turkey records program.
According to the NWTF, the purpose of the program is to provide hunters throughout the world with a permanent record keeping system that will preserve information on all legally harvested wild turkeys taken in the spirit of fair chase.
Records are kept for Eastern, Florida, Rio Grande, and Merriam’s subspecies. The Eastern subspecies is found in Tennessee.
Weight, beard length, and spur length are considered to determine a total score for wild turkeys.
The formula for overall score is: weight (lbs. and oz.) plus 10 times spur length (right plus left) plus 2 times the beard length. The beard must be measured, to the nearest 1/16 inch, from the center point of the protrusion from the skin to the end of the longest bristle. Spurs must be measured, to the nearest 1/16 inch, along the outside center, from the point at which the spur protrudes from the scaled leg skin to the tip of the spur. Ounces and fractions of inches need to be converted to decimals.
Persons submitting records must be current members of the NWTF. Hunters may join when the record is submitted.
For rules or an official application form, contact: National Wild Turkey Federation, P.O. Box 530, Edgefield, SC 29824, or check out the NWTF web page at: www.nwtf.org .
Steve McCadams is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing area. He has also contributed many outdoor oriented articles to various national publications.
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