Burkley, Mize, McTaggart biggest winners in contest

Published 12:05 am Sunday, May 10, 2015

Michael Burkley scored the biggest bird, 115 points by NWTF standard, in Sports Center’s 2015 Spring Turkey Contest and Giveaway. (Submitted Photo)

Michael Burkley scored the biggest bird, 115 points by NWTF standard, in Sports Center’s 2015 Spring Turkey Contest and Giveaway. (Submitted Photo)

NATCHEZ — Turkey season is either a hit or a miss, and this season in Adams County, it was a hit.

Forty-two turkeys were scored in Sports Center’s 2015 Spring Turkey Contest and Giveaway, and some of the birds could’ve rivaled the best in the state.

“Everybody seemed to enjoy bringing in their birds and having them scored,” said contest director Daniel Cavin. “The first two weeks we didn’t score too many, but then they started coming in. Some days we were scoring five or six birds.”

Michael Burkley ended up taking home the title of biggest bird with a score of 115 points by National Wild Turkey Federation standards, but it was two 12-year-old boys who ultimately stole the show with some of the best turkeys submitted.

“One of the most impressive birds was killed by a kid,” Cavin said. “It was one of the most impressive turkeys I’ve ever put in my hands. In year’s past, you might get one bird from the state of Mississippi of that caliber a year. It had the best spurs I’ve ever put in my hand.”

Jackson Mize was the lucky hunter, and his bird had a whopping 1 13/16 inch spurs. Gage McTaggart, the other 12 year old entrant, landed a turkey with four beards that scored 95 points in NWTF standards.

“Those 12-year-old boys don’t know what they did,” Cavin said.

Nearly all participants received a prize, and Cavin admitted he was a bit nervous when things first got started.

“I didn’t really know how it was going to go,” he said. “Anytime you do a contest you haven’t done in years, it is hard. But, we did well with it. We gave away two shotguns and a youth bow and a ton of other prizes. Nearly everyone that entered a bird came away with a prize.”

As for next season, Cavin said he is hoping to keep the contest going and continue to bring in trophy turkeys.

“In the end it is free and you win something,” he said. “How can you beat that? I think we’ll be back next year.”