Pennsylvania Game News - July 2017 - 11
ning those jakes off and chasing the hens
around like crazy for at least 20 minutes,"
Meanwhile, Rodney moved Tyler's
gun from window to window of the blind,
trying to get the boy settled in on one of
the gobblers. Tyler just couldn't get a tom
lined up in the sights because they never
Finally, the hens led the gobblers, still
gobbling like mad, out of sight.
"That was even more frustrating," Tyler
said, "because I wanted to make a clean
kill and I just could not get on a bird to
CHANCE OF A LIFETIME
A few minutes later, the two heard a
gobble directly behind the blind.
Rodney answered with some yelps,
then decided he'd wait at least 10 minutes
before calling again.
The silence was broken by thundering
gobbles that seemed to shake the blind.
Rodney peeked out through a crack in
the material and spotted three gobblers,
just 5 yards away.
Rodney said Tyler's eyes were as big as
saucers as he quietly got situated behind
The toms had spotted the decoys and
were walking away from the blind, toward
Rodney said he spotted good beards on
all three birds and, when they separated
enough to take a shot at one without hitting another, he told Tyler to get his sights
on one and shoot when it stopped.
Seconds later, Tyler fired and his payload of No. 5 shot dropped the middle
gobbler. Its wings pummeled the ground
briefly, then it lay still.
Rodney emptied the shotgun and the
pair hurried over to the bird, rolling it over.
"You killed that turkey with four
BEARDS IN BUNCHES
Game Commission turkey biologist
M a r y J o C a s a l e n a s a y s t u r ke y
beards contain 152 to 677 bristles
(mesofiloplumes) that emerge from a
single follicle on the chest.
Birds with multiple beards have more
than one papilla (vascular protuberance
that supports the beard), and a different
beard emerges from each one.
Gobblers with multiple beards are
rare, and accounted for only 2 percent
of the harvested gobblers in the Game
Commission's recent leg-band study.
The National Wild Turkey Federation
(NWTF) keeps official records of
harvested turkeys. A Texas-harvested
Rio Grande turkey in its listing has the
most beards at 14.
Tyler Mumpower's 13-beard gobbler
is tops among eastern turkeys, but a
Georgia bird with 10 beards had more
in total inches at 80.5.
The Mumpower gobbler eclipses
any Pennsylvania bird in the NWTF's
records in both number and total length
beards, Tyler!" Rodney exclaimed.
At the time, neither hunter realized the
initial count was inaccurate.
After tagging the bird and positioning
it for a photo alongside Tyler and his earto-ear grin, the beard count didn't stop
until it reached 13.
"I was really excited, because all along
Dad wanted me to get a longbeard," Tyler
said. "I was shocked when I discovered
the bird had 13 beards!"
Rodney said he is just as excited about
the gobbler as his son is. He still can't
believe how it all worked out, especially
after Tyler missed a longbeard earlier in
"I look forward to each and every
time Tyler and I can get in a day hunting
together," he said. "It sure will be hard to
top that 13-bearded gobbler, though."