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First-year hunter bags big turkey

Local turkey hunter Logan McKay was just looking for a tom turkey when he went out for his first turkey hunt of his life in April. He had no idea he'd get a shot at one of near record proportions.

Logan McKay poses with his guide Carl Templin and trophy turkey he shot last week near Brainerd. Submitted photo.
Logan McKay poses with his guide Carl Templin and trophy turkey he shot last week near Brainerd. Submitted photo.

Local turkey hunter Logan McKay was just looking for a tom turkey when he went out for his first turkey hunt of his life in April. He had no idea he'd get a shot at one of near record proportions.

Logan, age 10, said he'd been aching to go hunting for turkeys after his first successful year deer hunting last fall. Luckily he got in touch with local guide Carl Templin, who knew the ropes and managed to call a few turkeys in on a hunt near Brainerd last Friday.

"We hunted for about an hour and a half," Logan said. He headed out right after school.

Logan said after a hen showed up, a tom started its way across the field. It took about 20 minutes for the bird to come within range. During that time, Logan's heart was racing.

"I was just happy it was coming to me," Logan said.

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When the bird started to turn away to find the real hen, Templin let out a jake call to challenge the big bird. He soon responded by coming directly towards the hunters.

With one shot, Logan dropped the turkey and soon found out he had a lot of bird to carry. The 24-pound tom had an 11-inch beard.

While a 24-pound bird is quite large, Minnesota's heaviest turkey, according to the National Wild Turkey Federation, weighed in at a few cranberries over 30 pounds. That behemoth was shot by Trevor Meister of LeSueur in 2012.

When asked what Logan planned to do with the trophy bird, he explained it's already been done - slow cooker style.

The family feasted on the turkey and Logan even brought leftovers to school for his lunch. He plans to have the turkey's tail feathers mounted too.

After getting this turkey he said he's excited to get out next year as well. He thinks his beginner's luck will have rubbed off by then.

"I don't think I'm ever going to get a bigger one," Logan said.

If you happen to get a nice turkey this season, the National Wild Turkey Federation has a handy scoring sheet online that allows you to type in the beard length, spur length and weight of your bird to determine if your bird is one for the record books. Visit www.nwtf.org/hunt/records to score your bird or find out more about turkey records around the country.

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MICHAEL JOHNSON may be reached at 855-5863 or michael.johnson@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mj_upnorth .

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