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A beard to remember


During the last week of Turkey season in May, four hunters harvested one of the most memorable beards they'd ever encountered.

Gary Pettit and Leon Hayez, along with Gary Butler and his son Blake met up to hunt on private land in Webster County. After a day of hunting, the Butlers saw a successful hunt as they bagged a turkey. When they retrieved the bird, it was discovered that the turkey had an intact beard that was a whopping 10 inches long.

"It was amazing to see," Pettit recalled. "Ever since word got out about the turkey people have been asking to see pictures."

Turkey beards can vary by length, with averages ranging from seven to nine inches. Beards can sometimes be lost due to various factors, including beard rot or getting caught on debris. The fact this turkey had such a well-intact beard was quite the shock for these seasoned hunters.

The Butlers own the Canterbury hunting lodge in Demopolis, AL, and plan to have the whole turkey mounted for display. Undoubtedly, this will be a hunt none of these men soon forget.

Turkey season officially ended on May 7, and the next season will be for archers only, running Sept. 15 to Nov. 10.

Permits can be purchased beginning July 1 through the Missouri Department of Conservation's office in Springfield (2630 N Mayfair), their official website, www.mdc.mo.gov, the MO Hunting App, or participating hunting or fishing stores.


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