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Bird numbers are declining across the country in almost every state (or at least portions of every state) so shooting a hen during the breeding season seems counterproductive. THP just had a great episode with Georgia biologists talking about downward turkey population trends, definitely worth an hour of ‘spare time’.

After hunting multiple states, I also theorize that flocks with bearded hens produce toms with longer/thicker beards - so I want those ladies around to keep producing stud toms.

More important, I’ve seen far fewer hens in my area this year - so collectively, no bearded hen for me - I’ll take all the poults they can produce.

Most ‘official reports’ you read state that 5-10% of the hens have a beard, but in my experiences the occurrence is very regional. For example, 8 miles south of my house about 25% of the hens on relatively large chunk of land had a beard. However, I’ve yet to see one hunting in a 5 mile radius around my house though, and that’s with thousands of acres of farmland and powerlines...



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I have only noticed one over the years I could keep track of, had about an 8" beard and loved the same area from April to November. She would attract Toms in the spring but throughout the summer and fall she would be alone, I never noticed any poults with her. I saw her for several years, probably 4 or 5.

The other bearded hens I see in the spring and don't see them again later in the year. Did see one last Thursday while driving to a spot to scout.

Anyone ever see bearded hens with poults? Because of the one I saw when I was younger I assumed that one didn't have the right plumbing, but never saw enough of them to start shooting them in the spring just in case she's gonna have poults
 

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I have a bunch of bearded hens in one area I hunt not unusual to see 3 or 4 in a group and yes I have seen them with poults ! I like the one about bearded hens producing longer/thicker bearded toms lol I haven't seen it but if it stops people from shooting them in the spring I'm all fot it !
 

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I've had opportunities at bearded hens. Chased one around for 1/2 Mile or so with my young son at the time. He wanted to harvest the bird. No luck. I have 3-4 in my local flock that comes in the yard. No reason desire to kill one. The Males are much too pretty to let walk if I have a tag. Plus the calling and work to get one in is the drug. The hens are boring. They get the pass.
 

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I've shot 2. The 1st one was last day of spring season in 1993. It had a leg band from the MiDNR. Found out that it was captured and released in my area from Three Rivers 6 years earlier. 2nd one was in the fall a few years later.
 

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This is first year I’ve ever seen one by my house.And since I retired kin 2009 I do a lot of driving around where I live in March and April and may elmost every morning seeing lots of hens
 

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Ive also seen quite a few.last yr i saw three different ones including 1 with close to 8" beard..
Ive never shot 1 and always said if i did it would be a full body mount...i really dont have room for 1 in the house and the $$ for a full mount sheesh!
 

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Anything over 8” on a hen is considered relatively rare, many are 3-4” and longer ones are usually in the 5-7” range. She’s more likely to be an older bird.




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funny Yank im pretty sure i saw that same bearded hen tonight and man it really could be 8" thin rope.haha
 

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116106.jpeg
crappy pic but longest beard by far for all the bearded hens ive seen.1 yr i saw 4 different bearded hens on 1 property
 
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