This turkey has seven beards and takes home the crown for the new Virginia State turkey record days after the season opens.
Dustin Plummer, of Goochland County, Virginia, has officially claimed the new state turkey record for his home state with this seven-bearded turkey. His second bird since the season opener. This bird however, for Dustin and his buddy and videographer, Bryan Henley, experienced a hunt of a lifetime.
The morning of April 11th, 2016, Dustin and Bryan made their way into the woods at day break and heard a loud, deep gobble over the hillside. They quickly set up knowing this was the bird they wanted but became slightly discouraged when he flew down in the opposite direction of them. Patience paid off as they passed on a set of jakes that made their way in to their set up.
“We moved up about 80-90 yards [from their original set up] and set up about 20 yards from where he was roosted.” Dustin told me, as they tried to cut the distance to the gobbler that seemed to be hung up.
Once they moved their location, the woods came alive. The gobbler came in with another gobbler to about 70 yards when Bryan began rustling the leaves and lightly calling on their locally made Dirty Girl Custom Calls slate call.
“He got real fired up and came right to us.” Dustin said.
The bird moved in on them to about 30 yards but with his love to film and share his hunts, Dustin and Bryan decided to try to let the bird get closer for some better footage. The gobblers began to putt which, as mentioned in 8 Sounds Turkeys Make and What They Mean, this usually follows with a turkey running away from the situation. Dustin and Bryan, being aware of this, had to act quickly to ensure a successful hunt.
The two birds began moving in the opposite direction and Dustin decided to take the shot. This shot would change Dustin’s life forever. As they made their way to the bird they thought at first it had a double beard. It had seven. This would be Dustin’s first multiple bearded turkey and first state record.
The new Virginia state turkey record weighed 18.625 pounds. The left spur measured 1.25 inches and the right spur measured 1.3125 inches. The longest beard came in at 11 inches but all seven beards combined for a total of 61.75 inches. Scoring the turkey officially at 167.75, making it the new No. 1 Virginia State turkey record and No. 20 nationwide. This beat the previous state turkey record from 1996, held by Emit Deel, whose total score for his turkey was 162.3750.
So far Dustin is the only one to submit a turkey for the Virginia state turkey record book with NWTF in 2016.
Congratulations, Dustin and Bryan on your successful hunt and new Virginia State turkey record. Dustin looks to produce his hunting footage and share it with us here at Wide Open Spaces as well as his YouTube Channel and Facebook group, Property Line Productions.