Bone Collector Crew Collects Turkey Hunting World Record Grand Slam

Harvesting each of the four turkey subspecies was completed in just 10 hours, 43 minutes.

By Lynn Burkhead

When a campfire conversation turns to Michael Waddell, the longtime Outdoor Sportsman Group TV personality who got his start filming hunts years ago, it’s understandable that many think of his deer hunting adventures.

After all, Waddell is the architect of the Bone Collector brand and TV show franchise born in 2008, a bowhunting and gun hunting fanatic who excels at getting huge whitetails to ride home in the bed of his Chevrolet pickup truck. Chasing big game critters across North America and beyond, Waddell has become a household name in the outdoors industry thanks in part to his ability to create great TV content for Outdoor Channel and MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).

And partly because Waddell — Waddy, to his friends like co-host Nick Mundt and Travis “T-Bone” Turner — is no stranger to filling tags on big bucks carrying massive amounts of headbone on top of their noggins, then making everyone smile as he tells the story.

But as good as he is at doing that, Waddell actually got his start years ago in the spring turkey hunting woods near his Booger Bottom, Ga. home, becoming a rising star in the gobbler getting world and a NWTF Grand National Champion caller that one day caught the eye of Realtree’s owner, Bill Jordan. Waddell started behind the camera as he filmed Jordan and David Blanton, but it didn’t take long for his big smile, infectious personality and sheer southern charm to find its way to the other side of the camera.

And once it did, the rest, as they say, is history.

Speaking of history, Waddell is up to his old tricks again, and was a part of a history making race in his ongoing “Can’t Stop the Flop” campaign held annually in the spring turkey woods of America. That short-lived race during the spring of 2024 was a part of a Bone Collector crew effort that recently completed a World Record Grand Slam that happened in short order, very short order, in fact.

In a group that included Waddell, Bone Collector co-host Nick Mundt, Jack Link’s owner Troy Link, EDLINCO food broker Bubba Lindley, Florida and Georgia landowner Ike Rainey, and Bone Collector producer Cohen Stone and Jacob Keel, this group was part of a hunting version of the Amazing Race, completing the World Record Grand Slam mission in record setting time.

In doing so, as Waddell and others called and filmed, Link took each of the four wild turkey subspecies that make up a slam, tagging an Eastern longbeard in Georgia, an Osceola turkey in Florida, a Rio Grande gobbler in Oklahoma, and a Merriam’s turkey in Colorado.

In a turkey hunting race against the clock and the record book, Jack Link’s owner Troy Link (second from left) took all four wild turkey subspecies necessary for a Grand Slam in a new world record elapsed time of 10 hours, 43 minutes. Here, Link displays the Osceola, Eastern, Rio Grande, and Merriam’s turkeys he took this spring with a little display help from Nick Mundt (left), Bubba Lindley (second from right), and Michael Waddell (right). (Photo courtesy of Michael Waddell / Bone Collector)

While the group had set an original personal goal of doing so in an elapsed time of 24 hours or less — which would have shattered the previous world record grand slam mark of 45 hours, 52 minutes by a turkey hunter named John Cassimus — the total time spent in this 2024 spring hunting effort finished at only 10 hours, 43 minutes from the time the first shot was fired on a Georgia eastern longbeard until the last shot was fired on a Colorado Merriam.

The result of all of this turkey hunting and filming work is a 45-minute documentary on the Bone Collector’s crew and their chase this spring for the World Record Grand Slam, a film that will be aired exclusively on MyOutdoorTV.

It’s an interesting and in-depth look behind the scenes at what went into chasing wild turkeys in four very different locations in a single spring day, a task that ended up putting some of the wood’s best tasting wild protein on the dinner table, collecting four turkey fans and beards for the wall, and having a whole lot of fun in the process.

In short, it’s what Michael Waddell excels at, producing great outdoors content, a table filled with backstraps and wild turkey, and being an ambassador for the hunt and the outdoors lifestyle that captivates so many of us each year.

It’s also true to his nature, as Waddell has become increasingly a voice for the American outdoors enthusiast and a champion for hunters and hunting in a world that is sometimes hostile to that idea.

But that’s nothing new for Waddell, because when he and his crew decided to form Bone Collector earlier in the 21st Century, it was a move that the Georgia man had been contemplating for a good while, some of that time spent in a treestand or next to a Georgia pine tree calling longbeards. And it wasn’t just about creating great content for his own brand, for Outdoor Channel, and now for MOTV.

Jack Link’s owner Troy Link (front row, second from left) recently completed a Grand Slam on America’s four wild turkey subspecies in world record time. Here, a group of producers, friends, and calling talent that helped him out on the amazing turkey hunting race against time all smile big after the quest was completed. That group includes (back row, left to right) Cohen Stone, Jacob Keel, Ike Rainey, (front row, left to right) Bubba Lindley, Link, Micheal Waddell, and Nick Mundt. (Photo courtesy of Michael Waddell / Bone Collector)

In fact, it was something more, something that had stirred deep down in Waddy’s soul, a DNA level idea that had to find its way to the surface.

“Bone Collector was an idea that I had been thinking about for a long time,” notes Waddell on his brand’s website. “I knew I was ready to take a stand for the hunting community in a way that had never been done before. We have a team of people that believe in the hunting culture and are doing things to improve it, and I’m proud of that.”

That was not only true for Waddell back in 2008, but it also remains true today as a conversation I had with Waddell back in January at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas showed again.

“Hunting is a great thing, man,” he said as he signed autographs and posed for photos with fans who had gathered to see Waddell in the OSG booth. “I think hunters and outdoorsmen are the best assets that America has.”

That’s true in a forgotten corner of the woods that no one will ever see when a father introduces a child to the sport of turkey hunting and passes our tradition along. It’s also true when the Outdoor Channel TV cameras are rolling and another gobbler goes down on film to provide a little education and entertainment. And now, it’s true in the pages of the record book with a notation added of a “Can’t Stop the Flop!” turkey hunting World Record Grand Slam accomplished in 2024.

A lot of that above is with a beaming Michael Waddell somewhere in the picture, slapping high-fives and showing the world that hunting is cool, that it’s about being conservationists who care for the land and the wildlife that call it home, in passing on our heritage and time-honored traditions, and having a little fun along the way as the hunter that God created Waddy and others to be.

Burkhead, L. (2024, May 23). Bone Collector Crew Collects Turkey Hunting World Record Grand Slam – Game & Fish. Game &Amp; Fish.