When James Shropshire shot what he says is the largest turkey he has ever bagged, he won $250, a trophy, and what one official with the Union County Healthcare Foundation called “bragging rights” for winning the foundation’s “Biggest Gobbler” competition.
Foundation Vice Chairman William Jeter and Executive Director Catherine Childers presented Shropshire with the trophy and the check for $250 in the lobby of Wallace Thomson Hospital Wednesday morning. Shropshire was one of the participants in the foundation’s Biggest Gobbler competition and won the prizes for a turkey he harvested in the Jonesville area on April 28. He described the bird as having four beards totaling 31.75 inches, 1 1/4 inch spurs, and weighing 20 pounds.
“It’s the biggest one I’ve ever killed,” Shropshire said.
Jeter congratulated Shropshire on his success, pointing out that not only did he win the trophy and cash prize offered by the foundation, but “bonafide bragging rights” for having bagged the “Biggest Gobbler.”
The foundation holds a number of events during the year to raise funds for the Union Hospital District and Jeter described Biggest Gobbler as another opportunity to do so.
“The Union County Healthcare Foundation is doing this to support the hospital district,” Jeter said. “The Biggest Gobbler is another opportunity for the foundation to support the hospital and the district.”
In addition to supporting the hospital district, Jeter said Biggest Gobbler can promote Union County as a destination for hunting and similar outdoor recreational activities.
“This shows we have the natural resources in Union County to support this kind of event,” Jeter said.
After being presented with his prizes, Shropshire talked about hunting and the bird that had won him the competition.
“I’ve been hunting since I was a young chap,” Shropshire said. “Butch Dill taught me everything I know about turkey hunting.
“This was an old bird and to get an old bird like the one I got you’ve got to be patient and watch because an old one don’t say very much, he just comes in,” he said. “We were calling and when you get a young bird they’re gobbling so you know they’re coming. The old ones like that one just come in, not making any noise.”
In collecting his prize, Shropshire offered some advice to his fellow hunters on what they need to do to enjoy the kind of hunting success he did.
“Just be patient.”