As an electric lineman, Chris Echele of Darlington, Fla., missed all of Florida’s 2017-18 deer season while working in Puerto Rico repairing damage done by Hurricane Maria. That meant Echele’s next hunting opportunity was the 2018 spring turkey season. It was well worth the wait as Echele’s March 23 hunt resulted in the new Florida state record for the No. 1 non-typical gobbler.
Echele used his Stoeger M2000 shotgun to take a 20-pound, six-bearded gobbler with inch-plus spurs. Overall, Echele’s record bird has a total NWTF score of 152.375. Not only did the turkey take the top spot in the state, but it’s scored as the No. 61 Overall Atypical Eastern Turkey nationwide.
“It’s been wild. I never would have thought that an old country boy could end up with a state-record turkey. I was just out turkey hunting, having a good time,” said Echele.