AIKEN --- Matt Lindler says he is cursed.
He laughs, but vows that this spring he's going back to Florida and will bag the one turkey he needs to complete his "muzzleloading grand slam," a coveted honor among turkey hunters.
The North Augusta man didn't get the Osceola turkey he was after last fall, when he and other hunters were filmed for Turkey Call, a show on The Outdoor Channel.
Viewers who receive that station can see Mr. Lindler miss out on that turkey -- but watch fellow hunter and Aiken resident P.J. Perea bag one -- when the episode airs three times this month.
The two are editors for the National Wild Turkey Federation, based in Edgefield, S.C.
It's Mr. Lindler's first time on Turkey Call, although he has appeared on other shows on The Outdoor Channel.
Mr. Perea also has appeared on other shows, but this is his first Turkey Call.
"I completed my third grand slam," Mr. Perea said. "That's when you harvest one of each of the four subspecies of wild turkeys in North America."
The four wild turkeys are the Osceola, Eastern, Merriam's and Rio Grande.
Mr. Perea said that if a hunter gets a Gould's turkey in Mexico, it qualifies as a royal slam. He got his third grand slam at Hatchineha Ranch in Florida.
In addition to the hunt, the group will give tips on maintaining muzzleloaders.
Mr. Lindler said that muzzleloading is the one category that continues to elude him.
"I've got one grand slam with a traditional shotgun," he said. "I've been going after my muzzleloading grand slam using primitive firearms about three years now."
Shooting with a muzzleloader is more of a challenge, he said.
"You have one shot only," Mr. Lindler said. "You don't have a follow-up shot, but today's muzzleloaders are built so well they're nearly infallible."
Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The episode featuring local National Wild Turkey Federation editors P.J. Perea and Matt Lindler is scheduled to air on:
- Tuesday at noon
- Saturday at 7 p.m.
- Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3 a.m.
Source: National Wild Turkey Federation