Eldo Meyer has some pretty impressive trophies in his Gerald area home.
There are 22 different species of big game, and other hunt prizes, that Meyer killed during his travels.
Meyer has traveled to New Zealand, Australia, Africa and closer to home in Canada, where he has hunted.
The avid turkey hunter also has been across the country on hunting tours.
Each of Meyer’s trips have been with his wife of more than 40 years, Janet, and friends Lyndon and Janice Ruediger, of the Hermann area.
Eldo and Janet have two children and three grandchildren.
Their first trip was taken in 2006, just days after Meyer retired from the Department of Defense. It was a hunt in Namibia, Africa, purchased at the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) national convention.
“I took five animals in that hunt,” Meyer said.
He noted that his friend Lyndon killed six animals.
Two years later, the couples purchased another trip during a local NWTF event and traveled to New Zealand.
They don’t just hunt on the tripes, Meyer said, but tour the area.
“We kind of went all over the place,” he said about his New Zealand Trip.
It is the experiences and the sites that are just as memorable as the hunts, Meyer explained.
Meyer said during a 2010 trip to Australia, he and his friend were the only two hunters on a 6-million acre hunting ranch.
He added that they flew into the ranch on a gravel runway and traveled 16 miles to camp.
“The road was just where something drove through the woods,” he said. “At that point we were 400 miles from the closest paved road.”
Meyer said they drove through wilderness looking for the prize that trip, an Asian water buffalo — and they saw many, but they were looking for a large animal.
“It was rough. We were just bouncing all over the place,” he said. “We saw hundreds of water buffalo, but we were looking for one that (the horns) was over 100 inches.”
Meyer described the trip as “amazing.”
“We were miles and miles away from civilization,” he said, then, in the middle of the weeds, we saw a regular cat — we never knew what was going to happen.”
While in Australia, the Meyers and Ruedigers toured the coastal area.
In 2012, Meyer and Ruediger took a second trip to Africa, this time they hunted on Limpopo.
Again, Meyer killed five animals and his friend killed six.
It isn’t just the hunts that Meyer enjoys about the trips.
During this trip to Africa, they went to Kruger National Park.
“We saw animals of every description,” Meyer said.
They saw the “big five” animals, which are elephants, rhinoceroses, leopards, lions and cape buffalos. They also saw a cheetah and monkeys while in Africa, Meyer added.
“We enjoy the other cultures and the people,” Meyer said. “I never once felt threatened. The people take such good care of you.”
He said it is interesting to visit the Third World countries and see the differences in the daily lives of the people.
Meyer said he has watched women in Africa carry large loads of wood on their heads, and in Australia, he watched bushmen perform a traditional show.
Meyer is an avid turkey hunter and has hunted in nine states.
He also completed turkey “grand slams,” which means he has killed the four basic subspecies of turkeys — he did that three different times.
“Turkey hunting is probably my passion,” he said.
Meyer is a member of the Four Rivers Chapter of the NWTF and he served on the state board for 15 years.
He was president of the state organization for four years, and chairman of the state board for four years.
Meyer also has hunted turkeys on the television show “Turkey Country.”
He appeared on the show twice and guided two Olympic athletes during hunts.
Meyer said Olympic shooting team member Haley Dunn and Junior Olympics shooting team member Stacey Schroeder were on the televised hunts.
“They both got their birds and I got one too,” he said.
Also through the NWTF, Meyer has taken part in the Governor’s Youth Turkey Hunt.
He explained that children are taken on hunts and then they go the Governor’s Mansion and have dinner with the governor and first lady.
“It’s quite a thrill, especially if you can get a young kid a turkey,” Meyer said. “There is a lot of satisfaction in that.”
Meyer has been involved with the Owensville Threshers Association since the group began 51 years ago.
“I used to show a lot of tractors and pull in the show,” he said. “I don’t do that anymore.”
He has been involved in many areas of the threshers, but today he is the master of ceremonies for the shows.
“Basically I am the voice of the show,” he said, “but I have been involved in all different parts.”