Georgia Gobbler With Four Spurs

GON Staff | May 1, 2002

A Glenwood turkey hunter received quite a surprise when he walked up to a gobbler he had just shot in Wheeler County this season. The bird had four distinct spurs, two on each leg!

“He has two long spurs like a regular turkey, and underneath them, growing separate, is another spur on each leg,” said John Henry, who killed the rare gobbler March 24, the Sunday of opening weekend.

“The regular spurs are 1-inch and 1 1/4-inch, and the extra ones are pointed and both about a 1/4-inch long. They’re not just little nubs, and they’re bigger than what  a jake would have.”

John was hunting with his 12-year-old son Justin when he shot the bird.

“We had talked about us shooting. We decided if the turkey came out to the left, I would shoot him. If he came out to the right, Justin would shoot him. It just happened that I was the one who got to take the shot,” John said.

John Henry’s rare Wheeler County gobbler had four distinct spurs. According to NWTF records, as of 2002 only two other turkeys have been recorded that had four distinct spurs, one taken in Massachusetts and one in Mississippi.

“Some friends who looked at the gobbler said he looked like an old bird — his feet and legs were really big.”

According to Karen Cavender, the turkey-records coordinator with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), there are only four birds on record that had more than two distinct spurs. Two of those gobblers had a total of three spurs, including a 3-spurred Osceola killed in Florida by Lynn Alliston, of Eatonton, Ga., that had matching 1 4/16-inch regular spurs, plus an additional 1-inch spur.

The two 4-spurred gobblers on record were both Eastern turkeys.

A Massachusetts bird had 1 2/16- and 7/16-inch spurs on the left leg and 1 2/16- and 6/16-inch spurs on the right. A Mississippi gobbler had 1 3/16- and 10/16-inch spurs on the left and 1 6/16- and 8/16-inch spurs on the right.

The NWTF lists the unusual gobblers with additional spurs in a separate category than 2-spurred gobblers.

John Henry, of Glenwood, killed his four-spurred gobbler in Wheeler County.

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.