Spring sprung early in Alabama this morning as NRA President Jim Porter got a break from the bad weather and dropped a beautiful Eastern gobbler, marking the second of the four turkey subspecies he needs to claim his prestigious grand slam. A fine representative of America’s biggest gamebird, Porter’s prize is a 4-year-old tom weighing in at 18 pounds with 1-1/4-inch spurs and a 9-inch beard.
For those who don’t know, the keen-eyed, sharp-witted Eastern turkey is often considered the most challenging subspecies to hunt and kill. With patience and endurance on his side, President Porter and his guide Albert “Chubby” Parnell waited out the weather and then started covering some serious ground once the birds finally kicked gobbling into high gear. The minute Chubby owl-hooted, he located multiple gobblers.
Four different gobblers flew down from the roost but then moved away from where Porter and Chubby had set up. The duo pursued them to a new spot and within minutes Porter had the dominant Tom in his sights and dropped him with a single shot.
NRA’s Forrest MacCormack was there to snap the photos and as the group pulled into camp, good friend, host and NRA supporter Riley Smith rushed outside to see the bird firsthand. No wonder the Smiths kept telling Porter he should hunt for his Eastern gobbler at Palamar, their 2,500-acre home just south of McIntosh, Ala. Once gobblers started sounding off, it was obvious this place is loaded with birds!
Congratulations, President Porter! Now it’s time to take on Texas in pursuit of subspecies No. 3: the Rio Grande!