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I’m obsessed with my trail cameras and run them year ‘round, catching everything from rutting bucks to sneaky coyotes and hungry bears. Turkey season keeps me busy in the spring and I buy tags for as many weeks as possible to keep an excuse to be out there! My favorite part of the hunt is calling, and I enjoy calling turkey in the spring, coyotes in the winter, and deer in the rut. I recently started a trapline and have snares set for fox and coyotes.

Making a Spur Necklace

10527803_10152283032362881_6532908404038010951_nThis spring I was fortunate enough to harvest two mature gobblers.  After consuming the meat, displaying the fans and beards, and taking more pictures than necessary, I decided that I should do something with the only “true” trophy on a turkey: the spurs.  Hens can have beards and jakes can have a fan that’s nearly full, but only a mature gobbler will have the pointed spurs on the legs that solidify you’ve bagged an adult male.  I enjoy using nearly everything possible on a kill so as not to waste any material.  Those close to me know I wear an anklet of bear claws, keep the teeth on canines, and even go so far as to pick up fresh road kill for any useful ornament-making trinkets. 

10520100_10152283031147881_1799632164688559557_nWith the help of my mentor, Bill, we fashioned together a spur necklace that I look forward to wearing at even the most formal occasion.  I went to the local hippie hut bead shop and bought beautiful fire agate beads along with some elk antler tube beads.  The color contrast of the dark spurs would make the necklace really “pop”.  The day I shot my birds, I quickly hacked off the 5 inch area on the legbone where the spurs are connected and through them in some Borax to cure for a few weeks. 


10520580_10152289813947881_1031098503_n Once dried completely, I was able to hollow out the bone by poking the marrow through and peeled off the dried skin and extra tendons.  Many references on the internet say you need to pop off the spur cap, clean everything so it’s blindingly white, then glue it back on.  I prefer to keep everything as natural as possible.  I then worked diligently with a Dremel rotary tool to sand down any extra bone and flesh that was not necessary to the piece.  I polished and buffed the bone and spurs with a sandpaper type polisher, then added a clear coat nail polish to give the spurs a deeper color. 

10490250_10152289813937881_488513299_nI had an epiphany while working on my spurs outside one day.  As I held the pieces in my hand and took the grinder to the spurs, the bone pulverized into a powder that slowly floated away on the breeze.  I had a strange sense of serenity, as I accomplished the very privileged feat of harvesting an animal in the wild, utilized as much of the bird as possible, then ground up the last of the bone to be lifted away by the breeze and back into Mother Nature.  The details of those two hunts flooded my memory as I worked on memorializing these birds forever.  This year, I am attempting the “Wisconsin Slam”, which is a made-up phrase to describe the difficult feat of harvesting a bird in each of the 4 seasons that Wisconsin has to offer.  Wisconsin is one of few states that has legal turkey hunting seasons in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, though harvesting a bird in “Summer” and “Winter” prove to be very difficult with just a handful of days between seasons.  I hope to accomplish the “Wisconsin Slam” this year, and if so, plan to add more spurs to this necklace.

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