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Turkey Talk

Monday, March 31, 2014
My 2013 Tennessee Turkey Tales

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Gobbler #1 March 30
My Tennessee turkey season started off this year in McNairy County near Selmer. Nothing was going to stop me from missing the Volunteer state’s season opener. Not even the 1.5 hour early morning trip I had to make through the rain and very dense fog could deter me. For the past 2 weeks or so Mr. Latch, the land owner, had been watching turkeys on his place and in the agricultural fields that bordered his property. “There are more turkeys around here than I’ve ever seen,” said Latch. This had me full of excitement even as I stood in the light rain and thick fog awaiting the day’s first gobble. I had my doubts in hearing any gobbles early that morning, but at around 6:20 a bird fired off up a wood line that separated 2 big fields. I knew exactly where the bird was so I quickly made my way to the field I hoped he would fly down in. As I positioned myself in a small clump of sweetgums I was amazed how much fog had filled the cut corn field. While I was awaiting the bird’s next gobble, I quickly caught movement about 150 yards straight out in front of me. It was a group of deer feeding in the field.

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Posted by Mark Newell on 03/31 at 10:48 AM
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013
2013 PA Mentored Youth Turkey Hunt

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Saturday April 20th was mentored youth spring turkey hunt in Pennsylvania; one day only.  My 6-year-old son, Grant Snavely, had been practicing with his new Remington 11-87 and was confident that he would tag a longbeard during his first spring gobbler hunt.  We started off in the morning well before daylight and we were surprised at how quiet it was; not a single gobble on the roost.  We decided to run and gun and approximately a quarter-mile into our trek my short series of cuts and yelps from my mouth call were immediately interrupted by several gobbles.  As we scrambled for a tree to set up the turkeys continued to gobble aggressively on their own; closing the gap in a hurry.

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Posted by Jason Snavely on 04/23 at 11:01 AM
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Monday, July 16, 2012
Approaching 150 and Twenty Years of Turkey Hunting: Part 3

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Go West Young Man: Chapter 2

Chapter two starts off right where we left off last time. I had just picked up Chris and his gobbler. After he told his “Crazy” story, we continued the day’s hunt.

Windy Day Gobblers

With the wind still blowing pretty hard we knew the turkeys would be out in the big fields so we drove around to see if we could spot a gobbler. We also wanted to check on the others guys. As we were driving we got a text from Rob telling us he was at the road. So we headed toward Rob’s location glassing fields along the way. We drove by a large pasture and I spotted several turkeys along a fence line next to some patchy woods. I stopped to check them out and my inspection revealed only hens. I was about to leave when Chris said, “Gobbler! He is on the edge of the woods about ten yards to the right of the hens.” After seeing him myself, I pulled down the road a quarter mile just past where the woods started. I got out, grabbed my shot gun, and headed toward him. If the birds would hang around I knew I would have a good chance to get in front of them and should get close enough for a shot with the wind blowing the way it was.

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Posted by Mark Newell on 07/16 at 08:00 AM
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Monday, June 18, 2012
Approaching 150 and Twenty Years of Turkey Hunting: Part 3

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Go West Young Man: Chapter 1

In the spring of 2007 my wife, Emily, and I headed 520 miles a little north and mostly west to the eastern Kansas town of Fort Scott. This was my first hunting trip that was west of the mighty Mississippi. A friend of mine, Rick, had been hunting Kansas for years and had been trying to get me to come out there for sometime. We arrived in Fort Scott around noon on that very hot day in May. Rick had some private land that we could hunt, but he was not going to arrive till around noon the following day. So he told us about a public hunting area to try out that he had hunted turkeys on before. After we ate lunch, got a hotel, and suited up in our turkey-hunting garb, we headed to the woods.

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Posted by Mark Newell on 06/18 at 08:59 AM
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Monday, May 14, 2012
Approaching 150 and Twenty Years of Turkey Hunting: Part 2

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During my second year of college, my high school’s basketball team was playing in the state playoffs so I dropped in to watch the game and support the Wildcats. The playoffs are always just prior to turkey season here in Mississippi. During the game the subject of hunting turkeys was brought up somewhere in the middle of lay-ups and three point shots. The guy I was sitting by was a sports writer and friend of mine, but I never knew that he was a big turkey hunter. He was several years ahead of me in school so we really didn’t spend that much time together. After celebrating our beloved Wildcats’ win, we exchanged phone numbers and future hunting plans for the up coming season.

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Posted by Mark Newell on 05/14 at 05:07 PM
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Monday, May 07, 2012
Approaching 150 and Twenty Years of Turkey Hunting: Part 1

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When my dad and I pulled up to the mouth of that old logging road before daylight in 1993, no one imagined the transformation that was going to take place on that early April morning. This was the year that a mere fourteen-year-old boy was turned into a turkey hunter. As we opened the truck door on that historic morning, we immediately heard a turkey gobbling close by. The sleepiness of a typical teenager was quickly replaced with the excitement and rush of energy that only a gobbling turkey can bring. The most sugar and nutrient filled energy drink can not come close to the shot of adrenaline that a single gobble from the king of spring can bring. The gobbler was roosted on the opposite side of a narrow strip of cutover that was only eighty yards wide. We slowly moved up the edge of the cutover. The turkey was thundering off at what seemed like every sound that was made on that Mississippi morning.

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Posted by Mark Newell on 05/07 at 08:05 AM
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Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Late Winter Turkey Management on Your Deer Hunting Property

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The wild turkey, in general, is wildlife conservation’s Cinderella story of the twentieth century. Wildlife management had its meager beginnings during the middle years of the century when wild turkey populations plummeted to the verge of extinction in the 1940’s. Thanks to legions of sportsmen across the country who saw the wild turkey being lost forever, wild turkey numbers now are at an all time high. Every state in the United States, except Alaska, has huntable turkey populations. Mexico and parts of southern Canada all have wild turkey available to hunt.

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Posted by Mark Newell on 03/07 at 09:51 AM
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