Turkey Beard Measurin Stick

by
posted on April 1, 2014
ft_ah2015_fs.jpg (1)

undefinedWith all due respect to the National Wild Turkey Federation and its gobbler scoring system, I think it's time for the organization to rethink its protocol for measuring beard length. On its website, NWTF gives explicit instructions on how to measure a beard, prefacing them with the directive, "all measurements are taken in 1/16-inch increments and converted to decimal form."

Stop right there. 1/16-inch increments? Decimal form? My head is starting to hurt, from both eye strain and trying to divide 5 by 16. Even the Boone and Crockett Club, which keeps score like no other, doesn't go to such laborious extremes. Since 1950, it has measured to the nearest 1/8 inch and kept the results in good ol' fractions for fun, easy math. Decimals have no place in the woods. We run to the woods to escape decimals. Come on, NWTF!

In fact, I think the official NWTF scoring system is downright prejudiced against at least two factions of hunters. First is the lifelong turkey hunter who has been at the game for five or more decades. NWTF demands this person--someone who because of the cruelties imposed by advanced age can barely tell which end of the striker to hold--to see the minuscule tick marks on a measuring tape designating that all-important 1/16-inch increment. The best this poor fellow can do is measure to the closest 1/2, and he ends up losing points. The beard from the new world-record Eastern bird could be lying unrecognized in a shoe box as you read this, simply because the seasoned hunter who collected it couldn't squint tightly enough to discern its true length. That's not fair.

Younger hunters are cheated out of glory, magazine covers and lucrative product endorsements by the system, too. NWTF is even more unkind to this group, because the tweens, teens and 20-somethings of today don't even know what 1/16 of an inch is. Lacking the life lessons bestowed by a solid semester spent in high-school shop class, they've never seen, let alone used, a measuring tape. Until there's an app for that, they don't stand a chance of scoring their birds by NWTF standards. I thought the goal was removing barriers to youth hunter participation.

My solution is a simple one, and I know it works because I've seen it in practice. Enter RBF's PA Mountain Turkey Beard Measurin Stick. This straightforward device makes it fast and easy to accurately determine the length of a beard. Invented by RBF of Beech Creek, Pa., (who happens to fall into the seasoned hunter category) the Measurin Stick takes the arduous chore of dealing with uncooperative steel tapes and numbers completely out of the equation.

Handcrafted in the USA from premium, American hardwood, the Measurin Stick features two notches precisely located at 10 and 11 inches. The entire length of the stick stretches 12 inches. To use the device, gather three or four of your turkey hunting buddies. It's best to pick from those who haven't killed a bird yet. Place the beard on a flat, well-lit surface, and with much fanfare, slowly lay the Measurin Stick beside it. Beard length will be instantly apparent. If the beard falls between the notches, round up. If it's longer than the stick, immediately call your local NWTF representative. Should the beard fail to make the first notch, there's no need to worry about the record book.

"Ain't no notches under 10 inches cuz there ain't no need for 'em when you know how to hunt," barks RBF.

NWTF could vastly simplify its scoring process and remove unfair barriers to participation by using the Measurin Stick. Beards would be classified as "1-notch," "2-notch" or "whole-stick" entries. Forget fractions, decimals and tape measures. Any bird with a beard that hits a mark on the Measurin Stick is a good one, and that's no joke.

Latest

FL Marlin Model 1895 SBL Lead
FL Marlin Model 1895 SBL Lead

New for 2022: Ruger-Made Marlin 1895 SBL

The first Marlin to be produced at Ruger’s factory, the new 1895 SBL, with its classic style and rugged reliability, lives up to the hype.

First Look: Realtree Max-7 Camouflage

Realtree has designed Max-7 to conceal hunters in virtually every scenario and any waterfowl environment.

First Look: Leica Geovid Pro 32 Rangefinding Binocular

Leica launches its iconic Geovid rangefinding binocular in new compact, lightweight size with added functionality.

First Look: Winchester Blind Side 2 Waterfowl Ammunition

Winchester Ammunition has introduced Blind Side 2 waterfowl shotshells. Similar to their predecessors, they utilize hex-shaped shot, but are differentiated by a nickel-plated head and Drylok wad system

First Look: Legacy Pointer Acrius Cerakote Over/Under Series

Legacy Sports Int’l and Pointer Shotguns have collaborated to create the Acrius Cerakote Over/Under series.

Winchester Ammunition Debuts Copper Impact Ammunition

Winchester has launched its Copper Impact rifle and slug ammunition line, now offering even more calibers and heavy-hitting bullet weights for big-game hunting.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.