A Pennsylvania man flew to the Big Island of Hawaii for one and only one reason… to kill a turkey.
Tony Hudak of Noxen, Pennsylvania set out to kill a turkey in every state in the United States (except for Alaska where there are no turkeys), becoming only the fifth person to do what is known as the Super Slam..
According to the Times Leader, he was successful!
…But Hudak set out on the morning of March 19 hoping to find the final gobbler in his quest.
At 6:30 a.m. a gobbler sounded off from its roost from far away. Hudak began to maneuver into position when another bird gobbled. It was closer and Hudak focused on the second bird instead.
Hudak called, the bird answered and then things happened quickly.
“Apparently he was rushing in because the next time I called he was just 50 yards away over a little hill,” Hudak said. “I got against a koa log and the bird came around a knob in full strut, 30 yards away.”
The gobbler lifted its head and Hudak shot.
And that’s when Hudak began having doubts.
“I was thinking that I just flew 6,000 miles to get here, and all these years of traveling to every state and it comes down to this and I blow it. I whiffed,” Hudak said. “It took me an hour to get my wits back after that ordeal.”
At 8 a.m. another bird gobbled but Hudak couldn’t get it within range, and that’s when Big Island of Hawaii posed another unique challenge.
“Turkeys clam up when it gets foggy,” Hudak said.
The fog rolled in thick from the ocean, forcing Hudak and John Sabati – the ranch manager for where he was hunting, to retreat to a lower elevation. All he could do was cover ground and call with the hope a gobbler was out there somewhere.
Finally, at 3 p.m. Hudak spotted a gobbler in a cow pasture in full strut. The bird walked back-and-forth along a fence, unaware it was being watched.
Hudak would get a second chance.
“Once I saw what he was doing I tried to get on one end of his strut zone and cut him off,” Hudak said. “He came to about 60 yards, walking right to me, then turned around and walked away 100 yards, still strutting.”
Sabati suggested sneaking below the gobbler, so Hudak made a wide loop and came up to the fence. The gobbler was there, and still unaware.
Hudak clucked once with his mouth call and the gobbler turned and walked right into range. Hudak shot and this time he didn’t miss…
You can read the full story here: Tony Hudak achieves US Super Slam