The Butcher's First Bird

GilbertsonimageDennis Gilbertson made his first turkey kill a memorable one. Hunting with his nephew during Wisconsin's fifth season, Gilbertson mashed this 25-pound, double-bearded (10 1/2 and 8 1/2 inches) tom at 40 paces.

Oh ... and the hooks ... sure, 1 3/8 inches, or long enough to hang a block of sharp cheddar.

Gilbertson, who butchers big game for hunters as a side job, spotted the tom across a field during a morning more suited for decoying mallards. Dark clouds and periodic rain kept both hunters from moving, that is, until the longbeard followed a hen into a thicket of pines. A slight hill and dip in the terrain allowed both Dennis and his nephew, Jason, to sneak to the edge of the pines and wait for the gobbler and its date to stroll into range.

"I could see his blazing red head and that big ol' beard swaying...I had to shoot and when I saw him flopping in the field I just had to smile," says Gilbertson.

Thanks to Dennis's nephew, Jason, for penning the piece. That is one heck of a bird.

Dennis has been entered into our "Give Us The Bird" contest with prizes offered by Carry-Lite, Hunter's Specialties, Knight & Hale, Quaker Boy, Primos, Woodhaven Custom Calls and Woods Wise. For complete details and rules, click here.