Joey Sears New York 4th-grader Scores Turkey Slam
Article taken from Outdoor Life - April 2003
As a 10-year-old last spring, Joey Sears wasn't old enough to qualify for a hunting license where he lives in central New York. In fact, he was two years shy of the legal age to handle a firearm in that state. But in April he took time off form fourth grade to hunt out of state with his dad, and became one of the youngest hunters ever to complete the North American Grand Slam for wild turkeys.
On five trips to four states in March and April, Joey shot all four North American subspecies of wild turkeys while hunting with his father, Joe, a professional guide and game-call manufacturer.
"I was really pumped; it was awesome," says Joey. "I can remember every one really good - the smells, the light, how nervous I was, everything."
During his first-ever turkey-hunting experience in mid-March, he took an Osceola gobbler with a 10.5-inch beard in Florida near Lake Wales.
The Searses then had to travel West to hunt the Merriam's (Colorado) and Rio Grande (Oklahoma) subspecies. Finally, they went to South Carolina, near the Georgia border, and on the morning of April 24 a big Eastern gobbler answered from the roost, then came in silently. He strutted into Joey's sights at 25 yards. "I was a little bit nervous," Joey remembers. "I knew this one would do it and I was thinking, 'I gotta make this good.'"
He did, completing the North American Grand Slam just 14 days after his 10th birthday.