Crisp County Gobbler One For The Books

For three turkey seasons in a row, GON Hunt Advisor Jodi Manders has taken record-class gobblers in the NWTF Ladies catgory.

Brad Gill | April 19, 2020

Jodi Manders, of Cordele, has done it again. For the third turkey season in a row, she’s killed a gobbler that’ll make the top-12 all-time Georgia turkeys killed by female hunters.

“On Friday, April 17, I was debating on going fishing with my husband Randy or going turkey hunting the following Saturday morning,” said Jodi, a GON hunt advisor. “Well, I decided to go hunting.”

It’s a good thing she did, too. She’d been watching a particular Crisp County longbeard for quite some time, and it was on this particular morning that he was going to walk right into Jodi’s game plan.

“I’ve hunted his known roosting area and heard him gobble on the roost a couple of times and even seen him once after he flew down, but he always gave me the slip and wandered off in the opposite direction on another property,” said Jodi. “Early in the season, he was following a hen to the other property. I had several pictures of him in the middle of the day when I wasn’t hunting. I tried catching up with him midday a few times, and he was a no show, or a smart bird, probably the latter.”

Jodi arrived a few minutes after daylight on Saturday morning but already had a game plan together to go after the big bird.

“I already had my hunt planned out as to what direction I was going to go,” said Jodi. “I was beginning to think he had left for good or somebody else had already taken him. I hadn’t had pictures in almost two weeks, and the signs of strutting in the area had ceased.”

Jodi got to an area she wanted to listen, but the woods were quiet.

“I walked a little farther and heard what I thought was a jake trying to gobble or more like clearing his throat,” said Jodi. “Then a couple of minutes later, I heard a loud, strong gobble about 200 yards away, right in the spot I was headed. I thought I had blown my chance because he was already on the ground. I hurried on back there anyway. There was some tall brush and a couple of big pine trees between me and him, so I walked up to that spot.”

Jodi admits this hunt came down to being in the right place at the right time.

“I spotted him standing in a road between the pines about 50 yards away in full strut and gobbling,” she said. “I watched him for a couple of minutes, and he started walking in my direction. I waited behind the brush for him and had to watch and see which side of the brush he was taking. When he committed to the right side, I shouldered my gun and waited for him to step out in the clear, took my shot at 15 yards and put him on the ground.

“It was 7:15, and the whole hunt lasted a total of maybe 15 minutes, but I finally caught up with the bird that had been giving me the slip all season.”

Jodi’s bird had some super-sharp spurs that measured 1 3/8 and 1 1/2 inches, wore an 11 1/2-inch beard and weighed 18-lbs., 4-ozs. Jodi’s turkey has a pending score of 70.

Jodi’s bird had 1 3/8- and 1 1/2-inch spurs.

Jodi said she is submitting all the paperwork to the National Wild Turkey Federation, the gatekeeper organization for all wild turkey records. If the NWTF accepts the score of 70, Jodi’s gobbler will be the No. 9 Georgia typical bird of all time ever taken by a lady.

Jodi currently has the No. 7 typical lady bird with a gobbler she rolled last season. It scored 73.

In 2018, Jodi killed an atypical bird that currently is No. 12 on the atypical list for lady birds.

For details on how to score your wild turkey and the process to get it registered with the NWTF, visit their website.

If you kill a turkey that you’re entering into the NWTF Wild Turkey Records program, please email GON at [email protected].

GON Hunt Advisor Jodi Manders is back in the NWTF record books with this super gobbler she killed in Crisp County on April 18.


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