Turkey rodeo draws 130 hunters
Published 1:46 pm Thursday, March 28, 2013
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
Some 65 teams of two competed for top prize money and pride in the inaugural Lowndes County Turkey Rodeo held at Harrell and Sons Farm in Hayneville this past Saturday.
“I think it’s great. Look at the crowd we’ve got and everything,” Hayneville attorney Randy Bozeman said. He competed in the event along with Lowndes County District Court Judge Adrian D. Johnson.
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While the two didn’t take home a prize, they killed a 19-pound, 9-ounce turkey with a 10-inch beard and 1-inch spur.
Bozeman said he felt the event would promote turkey hunting “because you’ve got folks from all over. I’ve seen people from Butler County, Wilcox County, Montgomery County…” he said.
Jon Dyer of Montgomery, who hosted the event along with Trey Harrell of Hayneville, announced the winners, including third place with a score of 63.735, Taylor Stoudenmire and Todd Bradford, both of Selma; second place with a score of 67.94, Trav Foster and Patten Thompson, both of Fort Deposit; and first place with a score of 82.46, Sandy Harrell of Hayneville and Dewayne Reeves of Ashville, N.C.
Harrell and Reeves killed a 21-pound, .21-ounce turkey with a 1-inch left spur, 1 and 1/16-inch right spur and three beards at 10.25-inch, 5.75-inch and 4 and 7/16-inch.
Foster and Thompson killed a 21-pound, .44-ounce turkey with 1 and 5/16-inch left and right spurs and a 10.25-inch beard. And Stoudenmire and Bradford killed a 19-pound, .61-ounce turkey with a 1 and 1/8 inch left spur 1 and 3/16-inch right spur and 10-inch beard.
The Best Double, two birds killed by a team, went to Foster and Thompson with a score of 125.975.
“This was something my buddies and I got together and started,” Trey Harrell said. “Just a friendly competition. The more the word got out, more people wanted to get in it. So we decided to try to have a little cookout and have a little contest.”
The cookout included a low country boil with corn, potatoes, sausage and shrimp.
Trey Harrell said most turkey hunters would have been out hunting on Saturday anyway, so it was just a “get together.”
He explained that teams of two hunted their own properties, but had to be at the weigh-in by 12 noon.
He said birds were scored using the National Turkey Federation scoring system.
According to team rules, teams paid an $80 entry free for a chance on $1,000 for first place, $600 for second place and $300 for third. The Best Double (both hunters killing a gobbler) paid $400.
“Good turnout for a first year,” Dyer said. “We couldn’t have been more happy about it.”
The event was held on the same grounds where a fire in Oct. 2011 destroyed three quail houses and around 20,000 quail valued at about $70,000.
The good news was that farm equipment in sheds and incubators and hatchers in the other buildings, as well as pheasant and quail were saved, owner Richard Harrell said.
“We’ve rebuilt some, and I think we’ll be back to normal this year,” he said.
Harrell said at the time of the blaze that the Hayneville and Burkville Fire Departments did a good job of containing the fire.