Wild turkey tail tale

Gary Brook’s only complaint about his 2010 Kansas spring turkey season is that it passed too quickly.

He filled one turkey permit of his two permits opening day and planned on keeping his other for later in the season. Then he saw a bird on the season’s second day he just had too have. The bird’s tail fan is nearly coal-black, lacking the normal browns and barring on most wild turkeys.

A turkey with a solid black tail was a bird Gary Brooks couldn't resist. It's the first of its kind most hunters have seen.

A turkey with a solid black tail was a bird Gary Brooks couldn't resist. It's the first of its kind most hunters have seen.

Brooks said he’d seen the black-tailed gobbler the previous evening. He was hunting in the Flint Hills south of Wamego.

The mature tom’s body and wing feathers, beard and spurs were otherwise normal.

Below is a photo that shows how most Kansas wild turkeys appear.

This turkey's tail shows normal feather coloration.

This turkey's tail shows normal feather coloration.