Georgia’s Top Gobblers From 2018 Season

GON Staff | March 15, 2019

For a turkey hunter, there’s nothing like the excitement of connecting on a tough-to-hunt old gobbler, and it’s even more of a thrill when you get to that bird and realize he’s old enough to have some special attributes. 

Spur length,  beard length and weight are the measures the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) uses to score and rank gobblers. The organization keeps records by state, and each year GON takes a look at exceptional Georgia birds from the previous season that make these exclusive all-time turkey rankings. In addition to overall rankings, which take into account spurs, beard and weight, we also have charts for the Top-10 all-time birds for each individual measurement category.   

Last season only one gobbler cracked any of the Top-10 ranking charts. Judy Catrett killed a late-season bird in Schley County that tallied 72.6250 on NWTF’s scoring formula to rank as the No. 5 Georgia typical gobbler ever recorded by a female hunter. Judy actually knocked her own Marion County gobbler killed during the 2000 season down from No. 5 to 6 in the female rankings. 

Judy Catrett spends most of her turkey hunting time carrying kids hunting, but she got in a late-season hunt last May and took the No. 5 typical gobbler ever by a female hunter in Georgia.

Another exceptional Georgia gobbler from last season was a six-bearded bird from McDuffie County. Gobblers with multiple beards are called atypical and have their own separate categories from typical gobblers with one beard. The McDuffie County gobbler was shot by Chris Palmer. It had more than 40 total inches of beard length and ranks No. 40 all-time on Georgia’s list of best atypical gobblers.

Chris Palmer, of Thomson, killed a six-bearded gobbler in McDuffie County last season. Combined, those six beards measured just over 40 inches and helped Chris’s bird rank No. 40 all-time for Georgia atypical gobblers.

The full story of Chris’s hunt for the McDuffie County gobbler appeared in the June 2018 issue of GON magazine as the Hunter’s Journal feature.

The story of the new No. 12 bow-kill, David Hornback’s red-phased gobbler, appears on page 46 of this issue.

When you kill an exceptional gobbler this season, make sure to contact GON. Email [email protected], or call (800) 438-4663. 

NWTF Scoring Formula

To score a bird for consideration in NWTF’s records, you will need a measuring tape with 1/16th increments, access to a certified scale (for a bird weighing more than 22 pounds) and a witness. All measurements are taken in 1/16-inch increments and then converted to decimal form. 

Measure the total beard length and multiply it by two. Measure each spur and multiply that total by 10. Take those two totals and add them to the bird’s weight, converted to decimal form, to get the gobbler’s score. The measuring and weighing must be witnessed by an NWTF member or another hunter licensed in the state where the bird was taken. More information and the forms necessary for registering a turkey with NWTF can be found online at

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