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Barr is a World Slam gobbler super star

Sunday, April 10, 2022
Barr is a World Slam gobbler super star
Barr is a World Slam gobbler super star

Rachel Barr is shown with mounts of her World Slam gobblers she took with her bow before finishing high school. Courtesy photo

With the 2022 spring wild turkey season being launched in most of the state April 2, hunters all over are heading out in the pre-dawn darkness to try their hand at out-smarting one of the wiliest critters on the planet. When this happens, there is a feeling of satisfaction like no other.

W h i l e most turkey hunters are content to bring down any legal gobbler, there are those who aspire to take it to the next level. If you are able to move about the country to take the four subspecies in the U.S. — Eastern, Rio Grande, Merriams and Osceola — you meet the qualifications for a Grand Slam.

Add to this the Gould’s and you qualify for the Royal Slam while being able to down an Oscellated in Mexico and you have a World Slam. The ultimate is the U.S. Super Slam which means you have taken a gobbler in each of the 49 states that have wild turkeys; there are none in Alaska. Thirteen hunters have been able to accomplish this amazing quest.

When it comes to challenges, seven years ago a then 19-year-old Rachel Barr, West Monroe high school senior, reached for a mark that was other worldly. She set out with a goal very few have attempted and fewer still have accomplished.

Her mission? Take a World Slam of wild turkeys. That in and of itself would be quite a feat but she added a kicker to her challenge.

“I wanted to take the World Slam with my bow before finishing high school,” Barr said.

Believe it or not, Rachel did exactly that, adding the final sixth notch to her bow with a Rio Grande gobbler one month before high school graduation.

“When I was little,” Barr explained, “my dad bought me a rifle but I never took an animal with it. I didn’t like the noise, the smell, the kick that broke a pair of my glasses once. I told my dad I wanted to hunt with a bow so he sold my rifle and bought me a bow. I have been hooked ever since.”

Barr’s first turkey with her bow was taken March 29, 2011, when she arrowed an Eastern subspecies and at that point she shared her dream with her dad.

“In checking the NWTF site for information on slams, I told dad I wanted to try for a World Slam with my bow. My dad, who is a surgeon in West Monroe, was all for it and agreed to arrange for trips necessary to make it happen,” Barr continued.

She didn’t connect on a gobbler in 2012 but beginning the spring season of 2013, the determined young lady was off and running, arrowing a Merriam’s near Holt, Nebraska, on March 28 and a Gould’s in Chihuahua, Mexico, on April 19.

With graduation looming in May, 2014, Barr went to work, skewering an Oscellated gobbler in Campeche, Mexico, on Feb. 16 and an Osceola near St. Cloud, Florida, on March 15.

This left only the Rio Grande to complete her World Slam, a bird that gave her the most trouble.

“On our initial trip to Texas, the weather was not in our favor and I was not able to get a shot at a Rio,” she said. “However, we were able to return the following weekend but problems cropped up and Barr was beginning to doubt if she could reach her goal of a World Slam.

“We did not hear a single gobble that morning but did have some turkeys come in silently but I could not get a shot,” she continued. “That afternoon, a big Rio broke away from a flock of gobblers and jakes and when he stopped at 15 yards, I made the shot and down he went.”

A check of the records validates Barr’s incredible feat.

Any hunter able to qualify for any of the slams deserves a pat on the back. What Barr was able to complete, a World Slam with her bow before finishing high school, in my opinion, tops them all.


BLACK BAYOU – Fishing is slow. No report this week. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for the latest information.

OUACHITA RIVER – The river is high and rising and water is cold. No fishing reports this week. For the latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.

LAKE D’ARBONNE – Bass are in transition with some moving shallow and some still deep in the channels. Crank baits and soft plastics are best bets. Crappie are also in and out with some moving in and others still holding back. Some have also been caught below the spillway in the bayou. Shiners and jigs are both working. Bream have not started yet but catfish are still biting cold worms fished off the banks. For the latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.

LAKE CLAIBORNE – Crappie fishing has been good on shiners and jigs with some still hanging out in deep water out from the dam while some are starting to move into shallow spawning grounds. Best fishing has been at night fishing shiners around the lighted piers. Bass are starting to move more shallow with best catches made on spinners and plastic lizards in fairly shallow water. A few stripers have been caught in deep water on shad imitations. No report on catfish or bream. For the latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.

CANEY LAKE – Crappie are starting to move up to spawn and some nice fish have been caught using ultra-light tackle to cast shiners in and around the lily pads. Bass are starting to move up as well but best fishing has been when they move back deeper and sinking jerk baits are picking up some fish. The chinquapins are starting to bite a bit but they’re in 10-20 feet of water hitting crickets and red wigglers. No report on catfish. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249- 2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.

LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfishing has been good on cold worms. Crappie fishing has improved this week around the boat slips with a couple near 3 pounds reported. No report on bass or bream. For the latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 878-0101.

LAKE ST. JOHN – The water is back to pool stage and bass are good on jigs and soft plastics. Crappie fishing is fair while catfishing is good. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 201-3821.

LAKE YUCATAN – The water is high and over the roads with a slow fall expected. Still too high for fishing. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 467-2259.