by Sarah Smith Barnum - Tuesday, May 27, 2014
A hunter out of Wesson, Miss., tagged a rare, four-bearded gobbler. After a three-week pursuit, Hunter Hood's patience finally paid off. According to the Clarion-Ledger, Hood and his hunting buddy had seen images of the tom on trail cameras, but things weren't coming together in the woods. Like many of this season's turkeys, Hood's gobbler was typically silent except for one early-morning gobble.
The morning of the hunt, the four-bearded bird followed his usual pattern and fell into silence. Hood and his friend hunted more vocal birds to no avail. It was getting close to quitting time, almost time for work, so the pair headed back to the car. That is exactly when bird decided to get vocal, and did so just 75-yards away.
After one call, and in less than two minutes, the turkey was in Hood's sights.
Hood told the newspaper that the tom came over a little ridge in the food plot by himself, and as soon as he saw him, he shot him.
Hood said he had no idea just how rare of a bird he had, completely unaware of the four beards until he picked him up. The beards measured in at 10 1/2 inches, two at 6 1/2 and a fourth at 3 inches. The tom sported 1-inch spurs.
According to Pennsylvania's Game Commission, fewer than 10 percent of gobblers have multiple beards, and the most common number of multiples is two, although birds with up to eight beards have been reported.
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