The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

One of the most remarkable accounts of hunting wild turkeys and shooting one’s head off was told me by my old time friend, William Trimble, son of Allin Trimble, who lived on the south bank of White River in Franklin Township, Marion County, Ark. Here is the way Mr. Trimble said it occurred.

"One day in the year, 1860, I and my brother, John (Jack) Trimble, while hunting for turkeys on Trimble’s Creek, saw a turkey sitting on the limb of a tree. Being in close rifle range of the turkey I aimed my gun at it and shot and the turkey pitched off the limb and flew. When it had got 100 yards from the tree it flew from we saw its wings collapse and the turkey tell to the ground. On going to It we were more than surprised at finding that it was minus of a head, The bullet from my gun had completely severed the head from its neck and the neck bone was protruding from under the skin. How it come that the turkey flew so far after its head was shot off I am not able to explain unless it was in the act of pitching off at the moment I shot and the action of the wings kept in motion after the bullet struck it and was carried the distance named before the vital forces give way. Mr. Trimble assured me that if he had been alone he never would have told it for it seemed so unreasonable that no one would have believed his story without other testimony to confirm it."

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