I had the privilege of scoring turkeys for the 1st Turkey Rodeo covered by Bob Redfern at NBC Sports and organized by Dr. Ryan McWhorter and Bart Casltleberry. I cannot begin to describe how much fun and comradere enjoyed by these men
and women from so many different counties in Alabama. The fun of the hunt and the added competition made for a very exciting day!
50 teams of 2 began their hunts on Saturday morning to return to The Great Southern Outdoors hunting lodge by 12:30 p.m. for their turkeys to be weighed and measured by John Frank Dees of the Whitetail Institute and myself in hopes to be the prize winner of up to 1,000 dollars. A fantastic lunch awaited them as they waited for the results. Excitement was in the air and stories were being told on all sides of me. The weather was less than ideal for hunting in that is was quite rainy, or may I say stormy. Drenching rains fell practically all morning.
Unbelievably 13 great looking turkeys were brought back to the lodge along with amazing reenactments of the events of the hunt. Almost every hunter had some kind of wild adventure to share whether it be about their getting stuck and almost missing the deadline for scoring to the heartbreak of missed opportunities and missed turkeys which my husband was a partaker. Scott used his muzzleloader in the rain! How crazy is that? This was not news that I wanted to hear for this is not the first time that he heard the powder of the pan release, but NO IGNITION. It is not good to use a muzzleloader in the rain! Humidity is a muzzleloader’s worst enemy.
It was an exciting and profitable day for 1st place winner, Barry Kirkland of Macon County; 2nd place winner, Bill Patty of elmore County and 3rd place winner, Cole Wise of Crenshaw County. There were 2 teams where both hunters brought in a turkey and therefore, both were winners of the Doubles portion of the competition. Barry Kirkland and Edward Whatley were 1st in the Doubles while Ryan McWhorter and Barry Golden ranked second. The winning turkey scores ranged from 63.90 to 61.49.
I have a great feeling that this awesome event will not stop in Alabama, but will grow to other states taking part as well. I hope for an intrastate competition! This is only the beginning of the Turkey Rodeo!