At age 7, Adriana Armstrong may be the youngest girl to harvest the grand slam of turkeys. Her older sister, 11-year old Alli, also scored a grand slam in the spring of 2009. Although many hunters strive to achieve this coveted milestone, the two Illinois siblings are believed to be the youngest grand-slam-sister-team on record.
The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) identifies the grand slam of turkey hunting as harvesting an Eastern, Rio Grande, Merriam’s and Oscelos (Florida) birds. The NWTF awarded the girl’s accomplishments with official certificates and pins. Adriana is believed to be the youngest girl to complete a grand slam. When she started the season, Adriana was 6-years-old and turned 7 during her quest. The entire Armstrong family went on every hunt and all were captured on video. In fact, every member of the family now has grand slams.
Susan Armstrong, the girls’ mother, was the first member of the family to get her grand slam and is a member of the SHE Outdoor Apparel field staff. Susan recalls their recent adventures,” We started out in Florida in Alachua County where the girls took two jakes on the first evening. This completed Alli’s first grand slam and started Adriana’s. As soon as Adriana shot her Osceola she started talking to her daddy about going after her own grand slam.”
The next day Alli and her father Darrick accomplished what Susan describes as, “the ultimate DDD or daughter-daddy-double. They scored on two gobblers, which completed Darrick’s grand slam and started Alli on the trail to her second.”
Upon returning to their farm in Southern Illinois Adriana doubled on two Easterns and Alli took another great gobbler. Soon the family was headed to Donley County in Texas to hunt with All American Outfitters. Adriana got a jake and a gobbler in the same morning. Later that evening Alli called in a four-bearded gobbler and scored her Rio.
Next, they headed to Trophies Plus Outfitters in southeastern Montana to hunt Wyoming Merriam’s with outfitter Mike Watkins. Alli and Darrick pulled off yet another successful DDD. Alli shot her turkey then gave her dad the gun and took control of the camera to video his hunt. Adriana completed her grand slam on this hunt too.
This hunt completed Alli’s second grand slam all in one season. Susan describes an added twist to the story,”What made it even more special for everyone is that Alli was able to take her second grand slam with Mark Cubley’s 12 gauge Benelli. Mark was a close family friend who passed away suddenly in the spring of 2008. He had always dreamed of getting his grand slam. Mark was more like an uncle to Alli and Adriana and he loved turkey hunting. Alli and Mark had traveled to Florida the year before he died to try for a slam, but neither one harvested an Osceola. After he passed away, Mark’s family wanted Alli to have his Benelli. She graciously accepted the gun and pursued the emotional grand slam in his memory.”