A Maryland native who grew up fishing and crabbing and had never fired a shotgun at a wild turkey bagged North Carolina’s No. 2 all-time gobbler taken by a female this past spring.
Kim Guglielmo, a nurse at UNC Hospitals for 20 years, was in a Northampton County blind, overlooking a food plot on May 4 with her boyfriend, David Barfield of Durham, when she shot the bird with a Winchester 20-gauge pump shotgun loaded with No. 5 magnum shells.
The gobbler had four beards between 7 ¾ and 11 ¾ inches long and scored 121.375 points by the National Wild Turkey Federation system. It ranks No. 8 nationally among gobblers taken by female hunters and No. 2 in North Carolina’s record books, trailing only an Edgecombe County bird taken in 2009 by Tammy Daniels. That bird had seven beards and scored 123.4350.
“We’ve been hunting together for three years, and I had one other chance at a gobbler in 2013, but a hen was in the way, and I wouldn’t take the shot,” she said.
Barfield had taken Guglielmo’s daughter, Katie, on a hunt in Duplin County during the week-long youth-only season this past April. The result? A gobbler taken at 15 yards the first time Katie Guglielmo ever fired a shotgun.
“I thought, well, OK, there’s nothing to it,” Kim Guglielmo said later.
On May 4, Barfield and Kim Guglielmo arrived at his Northampton County hunt club around 4 p.m.
“We slipped into the back of an overgrown clover and turnip food plot we used in deer season,” he said. “I put out two hen decoys and called every 20 or 30 minutes, trying to roost one so we could come back the next morning.”
However, a gobbler answered his calls from 100 yards behind them near a creek. Then, to their left, a turkey stepped into the narrow food plot with a larger bird in tow.
“It took about 15 minutes for the bigger gobbler to strut across the field to the decoys,” Guglielmo said.
“She was going crazy,” Barfield said of his girlfriend. “I had to get her calmed down.”
At 7:15 p.m. Guglielmo put the shotgun’s front bead on the turkey’s neck, pulled the trigger and dropped the boss bird at 35 yards.
The 20 ½-pound gobbler sported beards measuring 11 ¾ , 9 ½ , 9 and 7 ¾ inches. Its spurs measured 1 ¼ and 1 5/16 inches.
The experience hooked Guglielmo on chasing longbeards.
“If you’d told me 3 ½ years ago I’d be camo’d up and in a tree trying to shoot a deer or a turkey, I’d have said you were crazy,” she said. “But I’ve enjoyed the whole outdoors experience, being in the woods at dawn, hearing everything wake up.”
Barfield cemented Guglielmo’s passion for hunting turkeys by taking her to Duplin County the next day where she paged a gobbler with an 8-inch beard and 7/8-inch spurs. She’s working on her turkey-calling skills now. Her next goal is to call a gobbler by herself.