Clem Parnell and Thad Holmes were partners at the Alabama Conservation Department, working on a hunting detail one night. Due to a relative's recent passing they were discussing how they wanted their remains to be handled when they passed. The costs and the space of burial was daunting, and Parnell said "You know, I've thought about this for some time and I want to be cremated then I want my ashes put into some turkey-load shotgun shells and have someone that knows how to turkey hunt use the shotgun shells with my ashes to shoot a turkey. That way I will rest in peace knowing that the last thing that one turkey will see is me, screaming at him at about 900 feet per second."
This first conversation led to many more, and a lot of research was done. Parnell and Holmes became the business owners of Holy Smoke LLC which came into action in July. "We're not in the funeral home business. We're not in the cremation business, nor in any way do we want to be in that business" Parnell said. "Our service provides a celebration of this person's life after they've been prayed over and cried over."
Holy Smoke LLC was featured on the Colbert Show which prompted many phone calls, most of which are positive instead of negative and lots of questions: How they keep the ashes separate, how long it takes to get it finished, if they can do golden retriever ashes, and so on. They only have one bag of ashes open at a time, once that job is complete they clean everything and then open the next. Turn around is about two days from receiving the ashes to placing the ashes in shells. They have four men who are helping load the shells to manufacturer's specifications.
The ash will be placed in the shotgun shell's shot cup. Rifle and handgun loads will have hollow-point bullets, which will be drilled after being loaded so ash can be inserted, then resealed. That process could result in a minute amount of ash residue remaining in the meat of an animal shot with it. From Al.com .