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Lawman’s Ploy Fails To Snare Turkey Killer

April 18, 1985

CENTREVILLE, Ala. (AP) _ A sheriff whose phony newspaper article failed to flush out the killer of his prized turkey says he’ll stop at nothing to catch the varmint who left the bird’s mate ″a-gobblin’ and a-cryin.‴

Glenn Smitherman, sheriff of Bibb County, said his hen was ″just grazing along the side of the road″ when she was shot on Easter morning. All he found were some feathers, blood and shotgun shells.

He had received the hen and a gobbler two weeks earlier.

The hen’s death left its mate in a state of shock, Smitherman said. The female bird already had laid eggs and had been nesting.

Smitherman said he has since paid $10 for another hen to ease the mourning turkey’s loss.

″He was a-gobblin’ and a-cryin’ so that I had to do something,″ the sheriff said.

Although open season on turkeys does not end for several more weeks, it is illegal to shoot a hen, or to shoot from a road.

Smitherman filed a complaint with the Department of Conservation, then, acting on the suggestion of a neighbor, wrote an article for the Centreville Press to try to lure the bird’s killer into a publicity trap.

Smitherman invited the person who bagged the hen to stop by the paper to have his picture taken because the bird’s size would have made the kill a record.

″If you need any proof that you did it, you did have a witness who saw you do it and can identify your vehicle,″ the sheriff wrote.

Smitherman said later his deadline for the hunter to come forward was Sunday.

However, there were no takers and Smitherman said he is more determined than ever to catch the bird’s killer.

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