When I first saw the picture of this huge turkey I just had to get a hold of Ron Stork and ask about the story behind this giant of a bird. After a few messages Ron was nice enough to share the story with me so I could share it with all of you. This was Ron’s first bird and should serve as an inspiration to those who have wanted to try turkey hunting. With a Quaker Boy call and no experience Ron bagged the bird of a lifetime. This is his story in his own words.
I was able to take off a week of vacation from work for the spring turkey season 2004 for my first turkey hunt ever. On May 1st I was out in the woods near my house by 4:30AM to set up for the 1st day of the season. I sat in the woods and made calls until noon, at which time I had to begin heading out as it is illegal to hunt turkey after 12 noon in New York State. I was skunked! I saw nothing and heard nothing. I hoped to have better luck the next day.
May 2nd 2004 I was out in the woods by 4:30am to set up for the 2nd day of the spring 2004 season. It was not looking good from the start. The fog was so dense that you could only see 30 yards in any direction. A friend of mine had given me some ideas on where to set up, and when I saw another hunter entering the woods, I decided to move to a different location than my original plans. I found out that the other hunter had been trespassing.
At around 5:45AM I thought things were looking better, as I heard a turkey gobbling from the roost. The excitement rose, as it sounded like the turkey was 100-200 yards away from me. I then began making some calls from my Quaker Boy Box Call and the turkey responded. It sounded like the turkey was beginning to move towards me! But the next time I heard it gobble, it seemed as though it was moving further away. Fifteen long minutes went by before I made another call, and the turkey seemed to be moving even further away.
Around 7:45AM, while making a couple more calls, a doe and two yearlings crossed within 20 feet of me. Every time I made a call, the turkey answered back. At 8am I made another series of calls, this time there was no response. Another 15 minutes lapsed; still no response! I was discouraged, but refused to give up. My perseverance paid off, because I discovered that a friend of mine had set up about 300 yards away from me (I had no idea he was there, but the turkey did). Every time he made a call the turkey went towards my friend, and every time I made a call, the turkey came towards me. This continued until my friend had to leave the woods for an appointment. I am not sure what happened to the other hunter that had been trespassing?
Then at 8:45AM I heard a faint noise that sounded like hens clucking. Within minutes, out of the fog, at a distance of about 25 yards, came two hens. I made a few quick calls with my box call. The hens ran right past me followed by three jakes. They all stopped 12 yards away to my left. Just as I was getting ready to shoot one of the Jakes, out of the corner of my eye, I saw two Toms running towards the Jakes. One of the biggest Toms I had ever seen stopped 10 yards in front of me. I then shot the Tom with my Stevens 12 gage double barrel shotgun using Winchester 3-inch mages. The bird went down immediately. After inspecting the bird, I found that it weighed 27 lbs. (live weight) the beard was 10 inches but spurs were only 7/8 inches.
After making a few phone calls and speaking to my friend who was hunting 300 yards from me, I discovered that he had been watching this turkey for 3 months as he lives ½ mile from my set up. He even had a video of the bird with the rest of the flock taken a few days prior to the harvest, which he gave to me.
The bird was taken in Medina, NY, located in Orleans County. This is the largest recorded bird taken in Orleans county, and the 4th heaviest recorded in the state.
Since taking this bird, I have joined the Oak Orchard River Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation in Orleans County.
As above; this bird was taken in 2004 and to date it is still one of the heaviest birds to ever be recorded coming out of Orleans County and in 2012 it is now the 6th heaviest Eastern bird to be taken in New York State.
Since taking my first bird in 2004 I have managed to take 7 others and now instead of just going out by myself shooting birds I try to educate youth hunters as well as people that have never hunted turkeys before.