The first time I heard about a “North Missouri Spring Grand Slam” was several years ago.
I stopped on a Linn County dirt road to chat with another turkey hunter who had just taken his first-ever wild turkey and was really “pumped.” After hearing every detail surrounding the turkey’s demise (I was jealous because I, a supposed experienced turkey hunter, hadn’t taken one yet), he said, “Now, I’m going mushroom hunting and this afternoon I’ll try for some crappies over at Mark Twain Lake”.
And then he said, “You know, if I could do all these successfully in one day, that would be sort of a Grand Slam, wouldn’t it?”
As most sportsmen know, the hunting/fishing world is full of “Slams” such as all four species of North American sheep, all four species of wild turkeys, etc.
As we expanded on his idea, we decided that this “slam” should be geographic to our primary hunting/fishing locations and thus the North Missouri Spring Grand Slam was born.
What we came up with was this: To qualify for the North Missouri Spring Slam, a hunter/angler would have to take a wild turkey, a limit of crappies (this number could vary depending on where you were fishing), and a sackful (we decided a standard-size plastic grocery bag qualified as the general sack size) of morel mushrooms, all during the same day. Quite an undertaking, but certainly possible in many parts of north Missouri (we determined north Missouri was north of the Missouri River).
He headed off to hunt mushrooms while I resumed looking for a cooperative turkey. I didn’t find a turkey, and I never found out if he was successful in his mushroom/crappie efforts. I did find out that he was a pretty good crappie angler and Mark Twain Lake was his primary fishing location. I’d like to believe that his efforts that fine spring day several years ago were successful and that he was the first-ever “North Missouri Spring Grand Slam” taker.
Since then, at someone else’s suggestion, I’ve come up with a “North Missouri Super Grand Slam” by adding a limit of catfish to the qualifications. Since catfish bite pretty good after dark, this would add some hours to the one day time limit, although just thinking about the before daylight until after dark effort this would entail wears me out.
This all came up because, at least here in north Missouri, spring turkey season, crappie spawning time and the peak of morel mushroom time all occur at approximately the same time, normally mid-April to mid-May (although this year’s unusually warm March caused the crappie and mushrooms to get an early start). I don’t know about other turkey hunters, but I always have a zip-lock bag in my turkey vest in case I sit down in a clump of mushrooms. And this has happened many times.
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