Carolina hunter kills giant, ivory-spurred gobbler

Dustin Lee Joyner killed this gobbler on April 13 in Nash County, N.C.

Turkey weighed close to 30 pounds, had 11-inch beard

Dustin Lee Joyner of Nashville, N.C. killed a giant gobbler while hunting in the Red Oak area of Nash County on April 13. And the bird’s size, which was close to 30 pounds, wasn’t its most impressive feature. At least not to Joyner.

It was the turkey’s spurs that really caught Joyner’s attention. But he was having trouble getting any attention from the gobbler. It was fighting a vocal war with the remnants of a thunderstorm that was rumbling in the distance. And courting some nearby hens.

“The noise was firing this old Tom up. He would gobble after every rumble in the clouds. After about 30 minutes of calling, I was unable to pull him from the hens in the field,” said Joyner.

The big turkey had uniquely-colored spurs, which were 1 3/4-inches in length.

The hunter decided to make his jake decoy a little more visible to the gobbler. As soon as he moved it, the big bird noticed and began paying attention. After that, it was just a matter of the few minutes it took for the turkey to close the distance.

When the bird was 20 yards away, Joyner pulled the trigger on his Stoeger M3500. A clean shot to the head ended the bird’s party.

“My partner Timmy Bowling from Rocky Mount was with me. We both cheered and thanked the Lord for this opportunity,” he said.

Once they got to the turkey, that’s when they realized the unique spurs, which were 1 3/4-inches long, were white.

“I’d never seen ivory-colored spurs like this. I thought that was real interesting,” he said.

The gobbler, which had an 11-inch beard, is a trophy in every category, including its uniquely-colored set of spurs.

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Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1597 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. He can be reached at