gray turkey
Facebook: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

Flashback to the Smoke-Phase Turkey Harvested in Tennessee

One lucky hunter in Hardin County, Tennessee, recently harvested a once-in-lifetime gobbler.

With turkey hunting season coming into full swing in many parts of the country, many will start harvesting birds soon.

However, few will have the same luck as 74-year-old Eddie Smith, who bagged a bird that'll likely make many other hunters green with envy.

Could you imagine spotting a bird like this?

Smith's gobbler is a rare gray or "smoke" color variation.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency posted photos of the awesome-looking tom on their Facebook page back in 2018.

The TRWA says this harvest is even more notable because 95 percent of turkeys with this color variation are hens. They also say gray turkeys are a natural variation found in the wild, much like an albino. It isn't a result of cross-breeding with a domestic animal.

"They do occur naturally in the wild as a genetic anomaly from recessive genes or mutations. Wild turkeys come in four color variations other than the standard color which includes a smoke phase, erythristic (red colored), melanistic (all black) and true albino. The smoke gray phase is the most commonly seen color variation in Tennessee," the post reads.

Undoubtedly, Smith got himself a once-in-a-lifetime harvest with this bird. Congratulations to Eddie on taking such an awesome-looking turkey!