It's Always Time to Talk Turkey in Giles County

Painted Fiberglass Turkeys
Painted Fiberglass Turkeys

In Giles County, it’s always time to talk turkey.

The community prides itself as the Turkey Capital of Tennessee, a distinction it is hoping to formalize, and it has the wild bird population and the events to back its case.

In April, during the second week of hunting season, Giles County is the home base for the annual Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt, a five-county event that attracts hunters from all over Tennessee. These hunters, accompanied by a local guide, are taken out to sites in Giles, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marshall and Maury counties with the goal of bagging a turkey with a single shot.

Finding their prey is never a problem. “Those five counties have the largest flock anywhere in the Southeast,” says John Allred, event co-chairman.

The event concludes each year with a banquet and auction in Pulaski. The event raises money for clay-target trap teams at the local high school, as well as for a planned public shooting range in the region.

Musicians, athletes and other celebrities, are lured to participate each year by the area’s unparalleled turkey hunting.

“It has to be one of the best days of the year here, and we just want to make it bigger and bigger,” Allred says.

These days, Giles County’s turkey flock has grown to include larger, less mobile birds. A fund-raising effort developed through the Giles County Chamber of Commerce’s leadership program has placed 10 fiberglass turkey sculptures at different businesses throughout the city. The money raised through sales of sponsorships has gone to developing a youth leadership program similar to the one for adults.

The turkey displays are part of the effort to earn the “Turkey Capital of Tennessee” designation, while also serving as a magnet for curious tourists, according to John Patel, who spearheaded the program.

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