Ozark hunter sets state record for largest turkey taken with bow

By  | 

OZARK, Mo. (KY3) - A man from Ozark set a state record for the largest turkey taken with a bow.

A hunter from Ozark set a state record for largest turkey taken with a bow. (photo by Travis Greeson)

"I picked out the dominant one, the bird that was strutting and let my arrow fly," Michael Heffernon said. "I usually don't really pay attention to records or scoring animals. Once I looked it up, it was kind of an overwhelming feeling, like, 'Oh, what have I done?'"

Heffernon has been on countless hunts and harvested many animals.

"I've been hunting since I was a kid. I killed my first turkey when I was 11, I think," he said.

However, this big bird was a highlight for this veteran hunter.

"I've never really experienced anything like that but it's a cool feeling," Heffernon said.

Heffernon says in order for his turkey to be registered as a record turkey, he had to have it weighed on a certified scale. His bird comes in at 26.1 pounds. According to the National Wild Turkey Federation's formula of weight, spur length and beard length, Heffernon's turkey scored 77.8.

"It was different because, when I walked up to it, I instantly noticed how big its spurs were and I instantly knew that this was a unique turkey," Heffernon said.

For Heffernon, the sport is about more than the thrill of the hunt.

"It's all about the family and the camaraderie, just that I spend with the guys, just raising my kids to do it as well."

He says that's why he'll always be a hunter at heart.

"The day I get tired of hunting and stuff will probably be the day that I die," Heffernon said.

State turkey records are tracked by the National Wild Turkey Federation. The previous state record was set by a hunter in southeast Missouri with a turkey that weighed barely more than 25 pounds.