A homeless man has been charged with unlawful hunting activities after he admitted to taking and killing the locally famous Argyle Turkey.
A witness said that on Wednesday morning she saw a man holding the turkey — called Tom by some and George by others — near the intersection of Frenchtown Road and Hwy 377. The man was twisting the turkey’s neck and choking it before throwing him in his car and driving away.
According to a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesperson, surveillance footage corroborated the witness’ report and Argyle police recognized the man as a homeless man in the area. The man was found Thursday morning in Denton, and game wardens questioned him. The man admitted to taking and killing the turkey, but he didn’t give a reason. He did not hit the turkey with his car, according to TPWD.
The man — 27-year-old Cole Lemmon — received citations for hunting without a valid license and hunting or possession of game animals taken on a public roadway, which are both Class C misdemeanors in this case, according to the Parks spokesperson. The man will be charged restitution for taking the animal, and the turkey’s beard was donated back to the town of Argyle.
Tom/George was a beloved presence in Argyle, and the news of his death angered many local residents who have been seeing him for years. The turkey enjoyed being the center of attention, slowing traffic down, following cyclists and checking out cool cars.
The Argyle Police Department said on social media Thursday morning that some residents have suggested releasing a new turkey in town, but that would be illegal without first gaining permission from Texas Parks and Wildlife.