8-Bearded Turkey In Georgia Breaks Odd Record

A close-up of a bird
Joey Wildes

Similar to most outlaw country singers and hipster coffee shop baristas, male turkeys (known as toms) also have long hairy beards.

An old tom that was shot by a hunter down in Georgia didn’t just have one beard though, he had eight of them. To make the story even more wild, it was also one two turkeys the hunter downed with just a single pull of the trigger.

Talk about getting two birds stoned at once, or whatever.

Shotgun shells are filled with a high number of small pellets that spread out in a swarm, so hunters knocking down the bird they aimed at and accidentally also taking down bird behind the primary target isn’t unheard of. (My dad and cousin have both done it.)

When stacking up the length of the main beard and spurs, and it’s weight, the bird checked in as the 5th biggest gobbler ever taken in Georgia.

After the hunter, Joey Wildes, shot the bird he had to swim across a swamp to retrieve it. But when he did get his hands on the turkey he noticed it didn’t just have one beard. It had eight of them. Which is believed to be a record that I didn’t know existed.

The beards measured 10 2/8-, 7 6/8-, 6 4/8-, 7 4/8-, 4 6/8-, 7 3/8-, 6- and 5 2/8-inches long, respectively.

A person in camouflage holding a large reptile
Joey Wildes
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