Governor gets his turkey

EL DORADO — Gov. Mark Parkinson batted .500 at the Governor's Turkey Hunt, missing a tom Friday and shooting one Saturday morning.

Former governor Mike Hayden guided Parkinson on his first hunting trip. Parkinson's tom weighed more than 21 pounds, had a 10 1/16th-inch beard and one-inch spurs.

"We had a great time. I feel very fortunate it all worked out," Parkinson said. "I shot high (Friday) so I compensated a little (Saturday.) I'd love to get it mounted but it's a little too shot-up. I'll be back next year."

Greg McKenzie, the hunt's official scorer, said 44 of 65 hunters got toms for a 68-percent success rate. It's one of the best rates in recent years. Five of six youth hunters also took toms.

All turkeys were scored by a system that measures the tom's weight, plus 2 times beard length and 10 times the length of each spur.

The following hunters took the largest birds:

73 1/8 points — Ed Markel, Pretty Prairie, guided by Joe Malone. Markel's bird weighed 23 pounds, 12 ounces, with a 10 15/16-inch beard and spurs of 1 7/16 and 1 5/16.

70 1/8 points — Jason Vanderbrink, Nixa, Mo, guided by Lance Nolan. The tom weighed 23-1 with an 11 3/8-inch beard and spurs of 1 1/4 and 1 1/4.

69 1/4 points — Clairborne Darden, Atlanta, Ga, guided by Warren Rensner. The bird weighed 23-14 with a 10 1/2"-inch beard. The spurs were 1 1/4 and 1 3/16."