Recordtom This recent spring turkey season William Billings thought he was looking at a Vermont gobbler with three legs as the bird worked to the decoys. It turned out to have just the usual two feet, along with a beard—a big one at that.

Try 16 inches.

When all was said and done, the turkey scored 83.5, easily the biggest ever tagged in New England. It creaked the Messier’s General Store scales in East Randolph, Vermont at 21 pounds and 8 ounces. Each spur taped out to 1 1/2 inches.

According to Vermont Outdoors Magazine, Billings, a resident of South Burlington, saw a big gobbler in a field while scouting the afternoon before.

He and his father set up in cold rainy conditions, not uncommon in New England this time of the year, and around midmorning, the trophy bird entered the field in front of them.

Though Billings and his dad had been calling, they stopped, and let the gobbler work in toward them. Apparently, as the story goes, the hot tom stopped briefly to strut around a woodchuck in the field. Talk about adding to the hunt drama . . .

After this unexpected turn in the morning’s hunt, Billings shot the turkey at 10 steps.

News of the record turkey is not without controversy. Billings’ photo of his gobbler—pictured here and taken with a cell phone—offers sketchy visual detail. Still, if the weigh master at the check-in station signs an official National Wild Turkey Federation form, the record wild turkey will stand.

Log onto for more information.—Steve Hickoff