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Turkey Hunter Gets the Catch of a Lifetime

Apr 28, 2011

white turkey“We have an albino turkey out here we wanted to report.” Albinism is very rare, and to have an albino that makes it to adulthood is even more so. Albinism is the complete lack of pigment, so the eyes are pink and the rest of the bird is white.  Without the protective coloration, they often fall prey to predators early in life.  I grabbed my camera and went outside to take a photo. Although not a true albino, the tom's light coloration still makes it quite a catch. Billy Blansett of Greenwood, Miss., took this bird, which had an 8-inch beard, on April 27 in Shannon County north of Eminence. Blansett plans on having the tom mounted when he gets back home.


Hunting is a perfectly acceptable pastime. It is regulated and closely monitored. It is important to keep in mind too that there are many families who depend on hunting to put meat on the table. Congrats to Mr. Blansett!

Faith, There is no shame in a hunter legally taking any game animal. That turkey was going to die. Either by the hunter's or nature's hand. Nature's hand is far less humane than the hunter. Have you ever watched any of those nature shows on TV? Congrats to Mr. Blansett on his trophy.

Shane, thanks for your comments.  I had a teacher once who summed up the predator-prey role quite well by saying "Nature isn't nice."  She is absolutely right.  Hunters play an important part in wildlife management and we appreciate the role they play in keeping wildlife populations in check and within the limits the habitat will support in a humane manner.  This is something we stress in our hunter education classes.  Thanks again for taking time to reply and for reading the Pine Needle. 

Thanks for sharing your experiences of the light colored turkeys in DeKalb County.  Although there are turkeys that escape from captivity, other phases do happen in nature.  This one had some darker bars on the wings, blue on his head and the beard and eyes were completely dark.  These characteristics keep it from being a true albino.  Thanks again for your comment. 

Thanks for the comment Faith.  We apprecite you taking the time to write.  Each turkey harvested is a treasure and while the light color makes this one unique, the wildlife code doesn't make any distinction in the color phases of wildlife.  The color just made the event a special day for the hunter.  Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. 

We have seen 2 here on our farm in Northern DeKalb County the past 3 years. Haven't been close enough to check for pink eyes, but they are almost a solid white, much like Beltsville Whites we raised commercially over 50 years ago.

What a shame that this bird lived to adulthood just to have this happen.

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