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Old April 26th, 2019, 12:30 PM #1
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Beard rot

How common is beard rot on mature gobblers in Md?

About 15 yrs ago I shot a tom in Baltimore County.His beard had a rust color line across it.I researched it and found it was where the beard was going to fall off at that spot because of beard rot.

About 5 years ago, I shot a tom on the Eastern Shore and his beard had a few hairs that reached 10 inches and the rest of the beard was only 4 inches because of beard rot.

Today ,I shot a tom with only a few hairs that measured 9 inches and a really short part of the rest of the beard.
This turkey was killed on the same Baltimore Co farm.

All three were mature toms with decent spurs.
Anybody else having the same kind of luck with shooting toms with messed up beards?
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Old April 26th, 2019, 01:35 PM #2
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https://www.americanhunter.org/artic...beard-rot-off/
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Old April 26th, 2019, 02:52 PM #3
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I butcher 3-6 turkeys each of the last three Novembers, and some of their beards are still sitting in the grass where they were butchered, 1 and 2+ years later, and not of millimeter of them has rotted away. Now, if there is some parasite that attacks them, I don't know about it, but out in the weather they don't just "rot".
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Old April 26th, 2019, 04:33 PM #4
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I have read and been told that their beards sometimes freeze to the roost and they have to rip them free.
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Old April 26th, 2019, 04:58 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outrider58 View Post
I have read and been told that their beards sometimes freeze to the roost and they have to rip them free.
This^ . And add deep snow to that. Long beards will accumulate packed snow in thick beards and it will freeze and break. Even though we didnít have deep snow this year I have see it in past years.
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Old April 26th, 2019, 05:33 PM #6
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You see it more where it gets colder for some reason. I killed a few with poor beards over the years mostly up north. I understand poor diet -forage freezing cold weather can wear birds down. When it was froze hard over into March is when I noticed it the most. I have also had some around home with thin scraggly beards but still of decent length. I cant say how the weather plays in here, it doesn't get that cold where I'm at for that long a period.
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Old April 26th, 2019, 10:45 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doco Overboard View Post
You see it more where it gets colder for some reason. I killed a few with poor beards over the years mostly up north. I understand poor diet -forage freezing cold weather can wear birds down. When it was froze hard over into March is when I noticed it the most. I have also had some around home with thin scraggly beards but still of decent length. I cant say how the weather plays in here, it doesn't get that cold where I'm at for that long a period.
Attachment 258878
I dont know how to post pics,but what I have seen is nothing like these beards at all.The ones I shot ,have a distinct rust color line across the beards.The hairs rot(break off) straight across at that rust colored line.

I can text pics to anyone who is interested.Just PM me
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Old April 27th, 2019, 12:17 PM #8
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These are poor beards, the one in front of the thumb has been broke off-not the best pic.
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Old April 27th, 2019, 03:16 PM #9
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Gotcha

Do you think the poor beards are weather related or genetics?
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Old April 27th, 2019, 05:50 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remrug View Post
Gotcha

Do you think the poor beards are weather related or genetics?
Me? Im going to say weather/forage but I'm just guessing. I think genetics thins the weak ones out quick in colder climates. I found some dead ones before shed horn hunting but the heads were still there so I don't think it was birds of prey.

Theirs a lot of misconceptions on turkey hunting I think because they are so hard to observe. Things like they won't cross a ditch, fly uphill from the roost, will not go in water saturated ground etc. I'm sure different parts of the country flocks have some peculiarities but I've seen them do all the things I mentioned at some time or another.

I used to do a lot of turkey hunting but not so much anymore. One of the biggest things I get a kick out of is blaze orange. I have had them nearly right in my lap deer hunting and wearing blaze while sitting on the ground. Maybe they were just dumb ones or not as wary because they weren't breeding/lack of predation.
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