Is it a Big One?

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You go hunting and kill a wild gobbler, but when you lift it up from the ground for that long trek back to the truck, you realize your prize is HEAVY! You’ve also note that the bird’s beard is very long. Is it a record, you may wonder?

The National Wild Turkey Federation has more than 17,000 wild turkeys listed in its record books. The record score system involves a combination of weight, spur lengths and beard length(s)—all added together.

The NWTF website also has an easy-to-search rank data base. In case you were wondering, the No. 1 ranking eastern species wild turkey weighed 21 pounds, had 8 beards, and sported 1.5- and 1.3-inch spurs. The turkey was killed by hunter Travis Roth in May 2010 in Missouri, according to the NWTF records.

Among the states were record turkeys have been bagged are: Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Iowa. The heftiest Eastern subspecies turkey in the record books weighed more than 35 pounds and was killed in Iowa in 2001. The record book has numerous wild turkeys entered with weights exceeding 30 pounds.

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