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Hunting experience yields record turkey

Michelle Felter
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Mike Glaus
SIKESTON - Michael U. Glaus has been hunting for years. Since a friend introduced him to hunting as a teenager, he has hunted deer, dove, turkey and duck. But his most memorable hunting experience occurred last April, while he was turkey hunting near San Angelo, Texas, with his father, brother and two nephews.

This was the second year that Glaus has gone turkey hunting in Texas. “Around the Scott County area, there aren’t many turkey,” he commented. “It’s tough.”

In past years, Glaus has hunted near Van Buren or on his family’s farm near Bell City. But he further enjoys the atmosphere on the Texas ranch. He said that quite a few birds can be found on the ranch, as well as deer.

Up until this year’s trip, Glaus has always shot typical, one-bearded birds. But during last April’s trip, he shot two Rio Grande turkeys with multiple beards. One had four beards and the other had six, which is quite remarkable.

Glaus recalled the day that he shot the two birds. “When I first called the birds in, it wasn’t working too well,” he said. Eventually, he got the two birds to come into range. He heard them gobbling and they soon came in behind him. “When I called them up, I had them where I could almost shoot both of them with one shot,” he commented. “But, it didn’t quite work out.” Glaus said that he “pancaked” (hunters’ slang for killed) one of the birds, while the other turkey flew up. He thought that the other turkey was going to fly away.

Glaus was quiet and the bird settled down. “If you shoot and miss and then are quiet, they associate it (the shot) with thunder and won’t pay attention,” he said. The turkey walked around for awhile, then Glaus was able to call it back and shoot it as well.

The group of men had walked about six miles and had another mile to return to their cabin. So, Glaus packed up his birds and hunting supplies and started walking back to the cabin, without paying any attention to the birds.

After returning to the cabin and unpacking the birds, Glaus’ nephew realized that both turkeys had multiple beards. “It was amazing,” Glaus said. He stored the turkeys in friends’ cooler for the night, planning to cut their beards and spurs off the next day.

But his plans changed when the foreman of the ranch approached Glaus the next day and asked who the six-bearded turkey belonged to. “He said it would make the record book and needed to be scored,” Glaus said. Until the foreman approached him, Glaus had no idea that the bird would be in the record books.

The bird was taken to a certified tropaeologist, who scored the bird according to the length of spur, circumference of the foot and length of the beards, according to Glaus. In the National Wild Turkey Federation record book, his turkey is rated as Best Overall Non-Typical. Non-typical signifies that the bird had multiple beards.

Another rare quality about the turkey was that all of the beards were long. Usually, multiple-bearded birds have one long beard and the others are all short. His turkey, on the other hand, had six long beards.

Glaus was quite overwhelmed with the entire experience. “I never thought that I would kill a multiple-bearded bird,” he said. “To kill one, let alone two together, is pretty odd.” Killing a bird that went into the record books made the expereience even more exceptional for Glaus.

The turkey is now at a taxidermy in San Angelo and will be returned to Glaus sometime during September. But he isn’t sure where he is going to display the bird yet. He may keep it in his home, but is also contemplating displaying the turkey in a store, such as Bass Pro Shops.

Glaus admits that he would endorse the gun that he used, but insists that he would not do it simply for money or promotions. He simply wants to share his accomplishments with others. “I’d just like to get my story out.”

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