NWTF Sport Show - Day 3
Coverage Of The
National Wild Turkey Federation Convention & Sport Show 2003.
Tips From The Pros, Contd.
Turkey Tips From Jim
Pollard - NWTF Grand Nationals Champion for 2003
the cluck and the purr. Soft calls will kill more turkeys than load calls."
Jim's second tip, "Proper set up. Set up above or on the same level of
the bird you are working. Don't try and call the birds down hill." These
were so good I couldn't stop with two so I asked for one more. "Listen
to live turkey recordings. Start duplicating those calls."
Doug Crabtree, Interview
by Fred Lutger
Crabtree is from Brook Park, OH. He was featured on Bowhunting.net in 2001
doing a day-by-day Grand
Slam turkey hunt. Doug completed his mission in 7 days of actual hunting.
This year Doug will be joined by bowhunting.net Webmaster Robert Hoague.
Together Doug and Robert will hunt four states for their 2003 Grand Slam
quest. I'm sure Robert will be the student, learning call techniques from
the 9 times Ohio State Call Champion, Doug.
Alex Rutledge, Jim Parker
& Matt Morrett
"Safety is more important than any other aspect of the hunt. Practice good
safe hunting." Alex also added, "Don't be afraid to try many different
calls. Learn from your mistakes."
Jim Parker, "You
don't have to be a competition caller to bag a turkey. Turkeys make many
sounds. Do your best and go with what works."
Matt Morrett, "Pay
special attention to hens. Reproduce what you hear."
With Harold Knight, by Fred Lutger
Knight is one half of the famous duo, Knight and Hale. Harold is from Cadiz,
Ky. He started the Knight and Hale Game Call Co. in 1972. The company was
sold to Pradco 6 years ago. His TV show, Knight and Hale Ultimate Hunting
is one of the best-filmed and produced outdoor shows on television. Those
are my words, not Harold's'. Harold had this to say. "Watching the Outdoor
Channel is a sight better than some of the other crap on TV."
I couldn't have said that
better. I asked Harold for his best tip. "Learn as much about a wild turkey
as you can. Why does he roost over water? What makes the hen sit on her
nest for 28 days? What is in a turkeys' diet?"
Harold stated he hunts turkey
about 55 days a year. This will be Harold's' 48th year turkey hunting.
I asked him which he prefers, spring or fall turkey hunting?
Harold replied, "Spring
hunting by all means! One-thousand-to-one over fall hunting. Spring is
God's awakening of this great earth. What a great time to be in the
woods. It's the mating time for turkeys. They're struttin-n-gobblin, flowers
are blooming, and buds are opening! Gods' creation is jumping right at
MORE TIPS FROM THE PROS
Rick White, Lance Tangen
and Shawn Grant
Rick White, “Be patient.
The biggest mistake a hunter can make is getting up to move when you should
sit still. When you are ready to get up to move, look at your watch and
sit ½ hour longer.”
Lance Tangen, “Scout!
Prior to season, check out the land you will hunt. Find the fences, streams
and other barriers and obstacles that guide turkey movement.
Shawn Grant, “Patience,
hunt every day. If you don't have luck, if you don't see anything, go again
anyway. Never give up.
Lots of people were at
the show, about 30,000 of 'em. Here is a photo gallery of some of the
folks that attendced the NWTF show. People
Preston Pittman and Walter
Parrott in the 2003 Champion of Champions Competition.
Champion of Champion callers
are judged on their performance of a medley of different turkey calls and
use of required callers. Callers in this category must be a past Grand
National Senior Champion, past World Open Division Champion, or past Natural
Voice World Champions. This years competitors were Preston Pittman, Walter
Parrott, Dick Kirby and Chris Parrish. Here is what happened. NEXT
Blodgett's dynamic personality is matched only by his enthusiasm for turkey
hunting and call making. Harry is CEO of Blodgett Calls located in Corning,
NY. Harry started his call business in 1989. Blodgett Calls are used by
the reigning Grand National Turkey Calling Champion Jim Pollard. Harry
Blodgett's best turkey hunting tip, "Be very versatile in your calling.
Don't stick with one type of calling style. Be aggressive and be soft."
Parrott, a name know to all turkey hunters, is as personable in person
as he is on the many TV shows he stars in each week. See Walter in Bass
Pro Shops Outdoor World TV Show and Co-Hosting Knight and Hales’ Ultimate
Hunting show. Walter also gets time behind the camera. “This helps me relate
to the hunters’ needs while being filmed.” Walters Best Turkey Tip:,
“Be patient. Stay in the woods when other hunters are leaving. Many gobblers
are taken mid-morning and later by patient hunters.”
Tip From Pro Eddie Salter:
Fred Lutger) Many of you know Eddie from his own successful call company
for many years. Eddie has been with Hunter’s Specialties for 7 years. H.S.
truly made a wise move adding Eddie Salter to the team. Eddies’ duties
include seminars, product design, sales and development and video productions.
best tip, “Get and learn to use multiple calls. Have a choice of calls
to fall back on. When a bird won’t come in, give him a different sound.
Don’t be afraid to call.”
Game Birds Competition
Artistry is the key work
here. This exhibit consists of game birds, mostly wild turkeys, depected
in action scenes. The day by day life of a wild turkey can have it's tense
moments. Hey, is that an alligator??? Taxidermy
Tip From Pro Steve Cobb:
is an excellent tip from Steve Cobb of H.S.Strut. "Early morning let it
get light enough for hens to be on the ground before you call. Gobblers
are smart enough to know a hen isn't down there in the dark."
More Art on display.
(L) Whitetail deer exhibition. (R)
On the last day of the show
I noticed that there were a bunch of new painting and other art on display
in the Art area. Friday's paintings, etc. were auctioned off after competing
and a few of the ones I took pictures of on Friday were still in the Art
section, but there were plenty of great new ones. Click on the thumbnails
to see the larger picture. More
Art. Incredible, is the only way to describe the whitetails on
exhibit at this show. Here
are some highlights.
The Dick Kirby
Fred Lutger interviews
the legendary Dick Kirby.
"Dick Kirby recently retired
from Quaker Boy Game Calls, which as we all know is the company he founded.
If successful in the turkey woods this year, Dick will complete his 20th
successive year with a Grand Slam. This will raise his Grand Slam total
to over 30. These day's Dick is heading another successful company, Dick
"I learn constantly," Dick
Kirby stated. "I use Cherry, Poplar, Butternut, Cedar and other woods.
I learn how each works in harmony as a striker, paddle, etc. I learn by
putting together different lids with different bottoms. I check their harmony
with angles, wall thickness and checkering."
But that's just a highlight
of the interview, here is what Dick Kirby is up to these days. Dick
Kirby Interview, by Fred Lutger.
Here is an out take from
Fred Lutger's interview with Dick Kirby, it's Dick's turkey hunting tip.
Fred begins, "Dick Kirby,
founder of Quaker Boy Game Calls, is a man I respect for not only what
he has accomplished as a turkey hunter and call manufacturer but even more
for how he lives his life. I met Dick several years ago at the National
Celebrity Turkey hunt in Warsaw, MO. If you spend time around Dick you'll
see his enthusiasm for life, his love of God and country and his joy for
the great outdoors and his fellow man. I asked Dick for his best tip for
successful turkey hunting."
This was Dick Kirby's
reply. “You must learn to sit still. If you don't, you eliminate
50 to 90% of your chance of getting a turkey. Take to heart how to sit
still, how to be comfortable while sitting. Don't put your body in an awkward
position. Make sure you can see an approaching bird without moving. Get
your calls ready and laid out, don't try to locate calls once you start
your hunt. Keep movement to change calls to a minimum.”
NWTF Sport Show - Day 3
The Oscellated Wild Turkey
& Turkey Call Making Competition
(Feb 16) This was
the last day of the show. Fred interviewed Harry Blodgett, Harold Knight,
Jim Pollard & Doug Crabtree. (We have to write the interviews from
our notes so it will be a couple of days before they are ready.)
Every year the NWTF has a
different exhibit to show the 6 species of wild turkey. This year they
had mojunts of them plus video footage of each one, including the Gould
and Oscellated. Here are
Top Turkey Call Makers submit
their calls in the Turkey Call Making Competition. Here are Thumbnailed
pictures of every entry (click on them to see the large picture.) Fred
interviewed Dave Constantine, the winningest call maker in the history
of the NWTF. The interview will be ready real soon and will include 4 close
up pictures of Dave's hand carved turkey calls.
Look for lots more tips,
one each, from pro turkey hunters and champion callers.
NWTF Sport Show - Day 2
The Photography and Deer
(Feb 15) Today the
show had a huge crowd. Every isle was packed and the exhibitors were all
busy showing and selling turkey hunting products. I finished taking pictures
of the major competition events of the show and now I'm making photo galleries
of these events. The Taxidermy
Deer Competition is ready as well as the Photography
competition. Dick Kirby gave Fred Lutger a dynamite interview (look
for this as soon as we can get it written up).
Lutger (L) Steve Stoltz (R)
We started a new deal today.
Fred Lutger interviewed Walter Parrott, Steve Stoltz, Shawn Grant and lots
more wild turkey experts and got their hottest wild turkey hunting tip.
Let's kick off this informative segment with Steve Stoltz's tip. "Study
the vocabulary of the wild turkey. Learn those sounds. The better you know
those calls the better wild turkey hunter you will become."
Tomorrow we'll have the Wild
Turkey Call Making Competition, it's one of the highlights of the Show.
The craftsmanship, creativity, and artistry is truly amazing. You're gonna
NWTF Sport Show - Day 1
Wildlife Art Competition
(L) and the Youth Art Contest
(Feb 14) Today turned
out to be a fun day that ended up with hanging with Dave and Judy, Doug
Crabtree, Matt, Sean, Greg and several other wild turkey hunting nutso's.
Back to the subject of the
show: you gotta love the 6th Annual Youth Art Contest. Kids from 6 to 16
are have their art on display
And for the more mainstream
art appreciation types, here are the Wildlife
Art Competition entries.
Wild Turkey Federation Convention & Trade Show - Arrival Day
(Feb 13) Thursday:
I arrived in Nashville just before dark and met Fred Lutger at our hotel.
We left right away for the NWTF show at Opreyland. The welcome party was
in progress but the Media room, where we needed to pick up our badges,
was closed and we couldn't get in. So we went to Ruby Tuesdays and ate
dinner. We'll check in tomorrow and start our coverage of this super event.
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