Hersey woman bags unusual turkey

Tammy Livermore of Hersey shows off her unusual smoky-gray colored turkey.
Tammy Livermore of Hersey shows off her unusual smoky-gray colored turkey.

HERSEY — When Tammy Livermore decided to shoot a turkey, she apparently decided to do more than just hunt an ordinary one.

Area DNR biologist Pete Kailing said smoky-gray colored turkeys are very rare.

"It's is the first one I have seen harvested in the area," he said.

Livermore's husband Trent is the Mecosta County animal control officer. They are Hersey residents. They shot the turkey on private land in Mecosta County. She bagged the turkey on April 19.

Tammy said she has had success in the past turkey hunting. But this time, she landed success shooting a rare-colored bird. It's also the biggest turkey she's ever bagged. The turkey was an estimated 25 pounds. It had a 10 1/2 inch beard with one-inch spurs.

As for seeing and shooting a smoky-gray turkey, "my husband said it's probably the first and the last one we'll ever see," Tammy said. "The feathers are white and the rest of it is kind of gray and black."

Her husband was calling the turkey for her. They were sitting underneath a tree.

"My husband was using a box call," Tammy said. "We heard a gobbler responding. He was quite a ways away. But we could hear him gobbling toward it. We sat very still. He came in just a few feet from Trent and stared at him. We thought for sure he would take off. The decoy was spinning in the wind and he saw the decoy. He went to (the decoy). That's when I was able to shoot him."

She was 15 yards from the bird when she shot it. It was around 6:30 p.m.

"We went out one other time," she said. "The night before, we went out."

They didn't hear anything that first night.

"It's been an unusual first season," Tammy said. "They've been pretty quiet."

Her husband had a second-season license last week.

"Hopefully he's as successful as well," Tammy said prior to the hunt. "We do all sorts of hunting, bobcat, deer, squirrels, small game...we do it all. (Turkeys) get really close and you can hear them gobbling. The part I like about it is you're sitting out there, just in camo. It's exciting. They get so close to you. It's one of my favorite hunts, next to bobcats."