WON Landing Page March 2022

6 ways to tell the difference between a gobbler and a hen

Carrie Zylka shares 6 ways to tell the difference between a gobbler and a hen while in the field, in this post originally published at “The Wild World of CarrieZ.” 


When you’re out there, sitting in a blind or calling against a tree and a flock of turkeys come in, how do you know which one to take?


Carrie Z

Photo courtesy of Carrie Zylka


Size: Adult males usually weigh between 15-25 pounds where a female is usually much smaller, topping out around 10 pounds.

Feathers: Like 99% of all bird species, Toms have flashy, iridescent feathers to not only attract a female but to draw predators away. A Jake’s (immature male) center tail feathers will be longer than the rest of the fan where a mature Tom’s tail feathers will be even. Hens have feathers geared towards camouflage to hide them and their eggs when sitting on a nest.

Head: A Tom’s head is usually featherless and can change colors from red, white or blue. A Hen will have a blue head. Both sexes will have the bumpy growths on their heads known as caruncles and both also have a snood – a long fleshy growth that will hang over their bill. A Tom’s snood will be considerably longer than a Hen’s.


Visit “The Wild World of CarrieZ” blog to read more.

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


This site is protected by wp-copyrightpro.com