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  • June 3, 2014

    Video: Two Turkeys With One Arrow-3

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    As turkey season comes to a close, and many of us are left eating tag soup, here is a video to lift you out of the birdless depression.

    Brent Kneifl of Metzger Outdoors posted this awesome footage to YouTube (click the link for the full video). Here, we can see Brent take two gobblers with one arrow. Using a Magnus Bullhead, he was able to drop both birds in their tracks.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • May 9, 2014

    Blowing It: The Gobblers That Get Away-3

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    Earlier this week, Deputy Editor Gerry Bethge wrote a post for the Strut Zone blog about an epic morning of turkey hunting that started with birds gobbling off the roost and ended with a foolish shot (taken by yours truly).

    Between that first gobble and the final shotgun blast, Gerry and I endured four hours of gobbling, strutting, and drumming with two longbeards out of range. He finally coaxed them in with an aggressive series of fighting purrs while I got into position to shoot — by then I was shaking from excitement and exhaustion after sitting stone-still for so long.

    The better of the two longbeards strutted his way to 30 yards, facing me straight away. I slid the safety off and the shotgun boomed, almost to my surprise. The bird rolled over and then got up and flew off to live another day.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • May 6, 2014

    Turkey Calling: Fighting Purrs Revisited-1

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    Although I’ve never had the pleasure of hunting with them, Harold Knight and David Hale have always been two of my favorite turkey-hunting personalities. Incredibly knowledgeable, kind and gentlemanly, Harold and David taught an entire generation of sportsmen how to hunt spring gobblers.

    Despite my wholehearted respect for the dynamic duo, I was admittedly skeptical when Harold and David first introduced the “Fighting Purr” calling system back in the early ’90s. Even though I'd read (and edited) innumerable success stories about the double-pushbutton, gobbler fighting call, personal hands-on accomplishment escaped me. It wasn’t long before I banished the fighting purr from my repertoire … until last Saturday.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • May 2, 2014

    Wild Turkey Pioneer, Lovett Williams, Dies-2

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    His daughter Heather Keane Thomas sent word on April 30: “With a heavy heart, I have some sad news. My father Lovett Williams passed away this afternoon after a prolonged illness.”

    To many of us in the turkey hunting world he was a true legend: an icon, a man whose words on the wild bird we love (and love to hunt) was something close to gospel. You didn’t doubt him. He’d studied the wild turkey all his life, and hunted them as hard as anyone you or I know; not only here in the states, but also in Mexico, where his work on both the Ocellated and Gould’s turkeys was ground-breaking (his two books on each are must-reads for World Slam planners).

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • April 30, 2014

    Barred Owl Video: The Bird You Want to Be-0

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    It's turkey season around much of the country, so it's a good time to give our buddy the barred owl a little love. Strix Varia can be found through most of the Eastern and Southern U.S. and they're also scattered throughout the Pacific Northwest and Midwest too.

    Their classic hoot "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?" is a favorite locator call for us turkey hunters. You don't have to sound as good as the guy in the video to get turkeys to gobble, but it wouldn't hurt to get a little refresher either…

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • April 21, 2014

    How to Hunt High-Country Turkeys-1

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    When he ran into my setup, the New Mexican gobbler’s chest seemed unnaturally huge. I assumed it was because he was so puffed up, ready to kick the grits out of the full-strut Hazel Creek tom decoy.

    But later, when I checked my GPS and confirmed the elevation—10,400 feet above sea level—it occurred to me that maybe the tom’s breast was so large because his lungs were freakishly big, an adaptation to living in that thin alpine air.

    The Vermejo Park Merriam’s is easily the highest-altitude gobbler I’ve ever killed, and hunting him reminded me that alpine turkeys are different from their lowland brethren.

    Here’s what to keep in mind as you hunt gobblers above 5,000 feet, which is a pretty common elevation for public-land Merriam’s.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • April 17, 2014

    Strutting Hen Takes on Jakes-1

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    It’s been a long, hard and miserable winter up here in the Northeast. With the countdown to turkey season picking up pace, many of us are still wondering what sort of season we’ll be faced with. Have we lost birds this winter? Has the lingering cold weather delayed gobbling and breeding activity? When—if ever—will the hardcore gobbling cut loose?

    As we await those answers, we’d like to thank Maine resident Lou Dagneau for sending along this intriguing turkey photo that’s worth a double take. Here’s the note that came along with it:

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • April 11, 2014

    The Occasional Family: Chasing the Turkey Grand Slam-2

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    Photos by Andrew McKean

    Aunt Linda has a problem, but it's solvable. She needs us to shoot different turkey guns.

    The matriarch of our little group, Linda Powell, has switched jobs, moving from handling media relations for Remington Arms to a similar gig with Mossberg. So we dutifully trade our field-worn 870s for pump-action Mossbergs. The new Flex would be a good choice, Linda says, and would I be interested in trying one out on Mexican gobblers?

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 31, 2014

    Video: Wild Gobbler vs His Own Reflection-0

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    This is the kind of tom that turkey hunters dream of finding in the spring. He's ready for a battle and will try to lick anything that comes his way, including his own reflection.

    The video was posted by Todd Clifford over the weekend: "This is a very cool video that happened at our house yesterday! A rare video of a Tom Eastern wild turkey fighting his reflection in our door window!"

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 25, 2014

    Turkey Hunting School: Lessons Learned from Last Spring-0

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    Photo by Donald M. Jones

    The spring gobblers that waft in and out of our lives—refusing to sound off, ignoring our calling altogether, spooking at an errant movement, stalling just out of range, drifting off with a real hen—can be good teachers.

    But unless you end up with a dead turkey in hand, those hunting lessons are incomplete. How can you say, with any certainty, what really went wrong?

    [ Read Full Post ]

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