What does a Wild Turkey Look Like?

Differences Between Gobblers and Hens

flock or turkeysWild turkeys are large birds, with adult toms often weighing more than 20 pounds. Both sexes have long legs and broad wings, and are swift runners and powerful flyers. Both have long necks which, when the birds are alter, extend upward to improve visibility. They also have excellent vision and hearing and both sexes may come to a hunter's call. However, only toms are legal during spring hunting season (either sex may be taken in the fall in some counties) and hunters must learn to distinguish between hens and toms. Generally males are larger, darker and more brilliantly colored than females.

flock of turkeys

 

SEPARATING THE SEXES

TOMS HENS
Beards - Coarse, bristle-like filaments growing from chest Most don't have beards, but it occasionally occurs.
Spurs - On back of leg, a few inches up from feet up to 2" long Rarely have spurs
Larger - Mature toms (18-21 lbs.) usually weigh twice as much as mature hens. Smaller than toms.
Darker than hens - tom's feathers have black borders and are iridescent. Makes the tom very dark and shiny. Lighter than toms - feathers tipped with a band of brown or buff - overall color is gray and muted.
On the head, the wattle and caruncles (loose warty skin) are red, white or blue, brilliant in color and are swollen and very pronounced in the spring. The wattles and caruncles are dull in color and reduced size.
A tom's droppings are shaped  like the letter "J."examples of turkey poop A hen's droppings are often piled, looped or spiraled.

 

 

 

 

Spreads tail and displays Display by the female are rare and lacks the fullness of the male.
Foot prints are usually larger than 3" and the toes are usually spread at a wider angle thanturkey track those of a hen. Foot prints are usually smaller than 3".
The tom will gobble The hen is not known to gobble.