Gobbler With 16-Inch Beard Would Be County Record

Turkey season is over, but a really long beard is worth talking about anytime!

Mike Bolton | June 8, 2024

Bobby Day with a gobbler he killed in Baldwin County that had a 16-inch beard.

Although Georgia’s turkey season ended more than two weeks ago, it’s still newsworthy when we talk to a guy who killed a gobbler with a 16-inch beard.

Milledgeville’s Bobby Day was just about to put an end to his frustration and give up on his morning turkey hunt.

The hunting club where he hunts in Baldwin County just didn’t have the turkeys like it used to, he thought to himself.

“In the 1990s, we had turkeys everywhere,” he said. “I’ve hunted this lease since I was 15, and I’m about to turn 56. The last 10 years or so, you may hunt all day and you may not hear a bird.”

Finding a turkey, much less killing one, had become an exercise in frustration, he said.

O ye of little faith. Things were about to change in a dramatic way on this hunt during Georgia’s turkey season.

“I heard one bird gobble on the roost, and it was a long way away,” he said of the morning hunt. “It was actually on someone’s property. I decided to move somewhere else on our lease. I thought I would hunt my way back to the camphouse along the swamp that runs through our lease. We’ve planted some food plots in the swamp.

“Along the way, I made one call and a bird gobbled. I thought I might be able to kill this bird because it seemed like it wasn’t that far away. I sat down. A few minutes later, I made a light call. I looked up, and this gobbler was about 100 yards away on a hill strutting. All of a sudden, here he comes just getting it. He got about 25 yards away, and I shot him.”

Overjoyed by his sudden change of luck, the construction worker was about to receive an even bigger surprise.

“When I got to him, I couldn’t believe what I was looking at,” he said. “I’ve killed some birds with 11 1/2- and 12-inch beards, but I had never seen a bird with a beard that long.

“My brother and his wife were at the camp, and I knew they were about to leave. I called and asked if they had left yet. They said no. I told them not to leave and bring that camera.

“When we put the beard on a tape measure, it looked like it was right at 16 inches. Everybody I’ve shown it to just can’t believe it.”

A 16-inch beard on a gobbler gives a new definition for the word “longbeard.”

The bird weighed 22 pounds and had 1 1/4-inch spurs. GON shared with Bobby the NWTF Link that would allow him to register his bird. According to the NWTF site, the longest-recorded beard from Baldwin County came from a bird taken by Tim Moore that measured 15.69 inches.

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