ACCOKEEK, Md. (April 4, 2018) – Chris Echele was overdue for some time in the woods.
An electric lineman by day, the Darlington, Fla., resident missed the entirety of his state’s deer season on assignment in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, Echele and his co-workers worked for several months to restore power to the American territory after Hurricane Maria. But with deer season long since completed by the time he returned home, Echele had to wait for the start of spring turkey season to get his time in the woods – and it’s a time he won’t soon forget.
On March 23, Echele used his Stoeger M2000 shotgun to take the next No. 1 Overall Atypical Eastern turkey in the state of Florida. With six beards – the shortest measuring 8.50 inches – inch-plus spurs and tipping the scales at 20 pounds, 6 ounces, Echele’s record-breaking turkey has a total NWTF score of 152.3750. The turkey’s overall score also makes it the No. 61 Overall Atypical Eastern Turkey in the nation. The turkey is expected to be officially certified as the new Florida record in the coming days.
“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,” Echele said. “I knew he was a grown tom, but I had no idea he had that many beards.”
Echele relied on his do-it-all Stoeger M2000 shotgun to take the bird at 60 yards. He acquired the shotgun about two years ago, setting out to purchase that specific model after being impressed by the M2000 owned by his brother-in-law. Since buying his own Stoeger, Echele relies on it exclusively for hunting deer, dove, squirrel, hogs and anything else he might pursue afield.
“It hasn’t ever let me down and I don’t expect it ever will,” Echele said. “It’s a tough gun and super reliable. It’s never failed to load, never jammed. With what I paid for it I feel like I got an amazing deal.”
For more information on Stoeger’s line up of hard-working, best-in-class shotguns go to www.stoegerindustries.com.
Chris Echele Turkey
Harvest Date/Location: March 23, 2018/Walton Co.
Method of Harvest: Stoeger M2000 shotgun
Weight: 20 pounds, 6 ounces
A – 1 inch
B – 1.25 inches
Beard 1 – 10.8750 inches
Beard 2 – 8.50 inches
Beard 3 – 9 inches
Beard 4 – 8.50 inches
Beard 5 – 9.1250 inches
Beard 6 – 8.75 inches
TOTAL NWTF SCORE: 152.3750
No. 1 Best Overall Score – Atypical Eastern in Florida
No. 61 Best Overall Score – Atypical Eastern in the Nation