Clay back turkey

Thread starter #1
Ok, let me start out by saying I do not have pics of my bird. However, on Saturday I killed my best bird to date. It had a 10.5 in beard, 1 3/8 spurs. I decided to get it mounted. When I carried it to the taxidermist he freaked out over the color of it. He called it a "clay back" and said they were rare. It looked like a regular a Eastern to me, but he seemed pretty excited about it. My question is this? What exactly is a clay back turkey? I will post pics when I get it back from the taxidermist.
 

sman

Senior Member
#2
Guessing one with a lot of red wing feathers. I don't know either.

The ones I use to shot in Jasper County used to have clay backs but thats cause they flopped in the mud.
 

brian lee

Senior Member
#3
I killed one one cedar creek last weekend that had red feathers on his back as well. This birds strutt zone was a field that had a big dirt spot in it. Thought it was just dirt but it didn't come off
 

Reminex

Senior Member
#4
That's just how some taxidermist drum up a little extra business. If I take a bird to any of the local taxidermist round here for a simple fan/beard mount, they will go on and on about how great a bird it is and how it would be a sin not to get a full mount done.

Can't tell you how many times a 1" spur and 10" beard and 19# is "the biggest I've seen all year! Man that thing has 1.5 spurs and a 12" beard and it weighs at least 25 pounds!"
So even when they don't have to sell the job its ingrained to do so.

Ive never heard of a clay back, but I would like to see one. There is an erythritic color phase. congrats on the great bird...can't wait to see the pics!
 
#6
There is a color phase called Clay Bank, your taxidermists may not know what he was talking about, but there is such a thing.It's not Clay back, It's called Clay bank.I don't know why, but i have seen 2 in my life.Body feathers can resemble a ruffed grouse in a way.
 

Killdee

Senior Member
#7
Clay bank is a regional name for the erythritic or red color phase.3 other color phase's are Melanistic, black, Smokey, grey, and albino, white.
 
#9
Clay bank is a regional name for the erythritic or red color phase.3 other color phase's are Melanistic, black, Smokey, grey, and albino, white.
Yep this is what I understand, colors resemble the reddish color of a southern grouse. most seem to be more black.
 
#12
Yep, thats the color phase.I seen one that had alot more red than that, pretty bird you have there.
 
#14
That's what mine looked like too. Thanks for posting the pic.
They are beautiful. I had seen this bird once before but had no idea he was the one when I made the shot.

I saw another bird in the same spot this year that had some pretty distinct coloring. He wasn't as dumb though.

Congrats on a rare one indeed. Post pics when you get him back.
 
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