Scoring a turkey

How To Score A Turkey

How to score a turkey might not be the first thing on your mind while listening to the gobble of a distant tom, but it might be something you want to know when you bring that long-beard home. 
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Turkey hunters understand  the sacredness of spring, the sound of a gobbling Tom and the showing-off of strutting rivals make turkey hunting a relished experience. Taking home a bearded bird only highlights the enjoyment of time spent in the great outdoors. If you’ve bagged, tagged and are enjoying the satisfaction of a successful spring turkey hunt, here’s how to score a turkey. How to score a turkey is relatively simple. 


Most big game hunters are familiar with the Pope & Young or Boone & Crockett system of scoring. These organizations record and preserve the records of trophy animals for the purpose of prodigy, conservation and management. In the world of wild turkey hunting the National Wild Turkey Federation has a similar system for scoring your long-beard. Since this system of scoring began in 1982 over 17,000 turkey’s have been registered with the NWTF. Follow these simple steps set forth by the NWTF and learn how to score a turkey. Your bird just might make the book! 


How To Score A Turkey In Four Simple Steps


Step 1. Weigh Turkey 


Weigh your turkey in pounds and ounces. Convert ounces to decimal form. 


(Click here for inches to decimal equivalent chart) 


Step 2. Measure Spurs 


Measure each spur of your turkey in 1/16-inch increments. Spurs must be measured along the outside center, from the point at which the spur protrudes from the scaled leg skin to the tip of the spur. Add both spur measurements. Now multiply the combined length of the spurs by 10. This is the number of points you receive for the turkey’s spurs.


Step 3. Measure Beard 


Measure the beard length in 1/16-inch increments. A beard must be measured from the center point of the protrusion of the skin to the tip. Convert this measurement to decimal form.


Next, multiply the beard length figure by 2; this is the number of points you receive for the beard length. If you have an atypical turkey (multiple beards), measure each beard, convert them to a decimal number, then add those figures together and multiply by two. This is the number of points you receive for your turkey’s beards.


Step 4. Add Measurements 


Add together the weight, the points for spurs and points for beard(s): This is the score you receive for your turkey.


For convenience use the NWTF scoring calculator.


For more information on officially recording your trophy visit  NWTF Wild Turkey Records –


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