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Tips for Firearms

Turkey Hunting Interview with Mossy Oak Pro Staff Member Tracy Groves

Tracy Groves from Eldersburg, Maryland is the president and founder of the Whitetail Adventure Hunt’n Team, a group of Christian hunters who share the Gospel through hunts and hunting instruction. He also started Heartwood Outdoors to provide quality hunting experiences with the Whitetail Adventure Hunt’n Team.

Tracy has been an avid outdoorsman since his father introduced him to the world of hunting at the age of 12. His experience in chasing big bucks on public land, turkey hunting, black bear and wild boar hunting have led Tracy to be a Pro Staff member for Mossy Oak as well as the Turkey Regional Pro Staff manager for the states of Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and New Jersey.

Tracy is also a Pro Staff member for Bass Pro’s Redhead Field Pro Staff, PSE Archery, Gorilla Treestands, and Involved Habitat. His hunting accomplishments have led to him having several entries in the Pope & Young record book.

Tracy lives by the motto “Success is not found in the size of the animal, success is found in the heart of the hunter.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW:

Tim Anderson
Ph: 563-922-2086
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Q: Can you give me a few general tips on how I can be more successful this spring?

A: I think the best tip you can give anyone in the turkey woods is call soft and be patient. Every day is different and every bird is different. Have fun.  

Q: How much scouting should I do before the season?
A:  The rule I use is 80-percent scouting and 20-percent hunting. You can never do enough scouting as long as you do not pressure the birds. Never scout by using a call.

Q: Is there a best call to use?
A: I prefer turkey calls made by Cody Calls. The mouth call lasts longer because of the type of latex they use, and I love the green slate friction call. They are the only company that makes a green slate call.

Q: Do I need to learn to use several different calls?
A: The more calls you know how to use the better chance you have in closing the deal. Every call has a little different sound, and you never know what they want to hear on any given day.

Q: What do you do to take care of your calls?
A: The way I take care of my mouth calls is by using a product call Diaphresh. It is a rinse that you put your calls in to kill the bacteria on the mouth call and it gives a mint flavor for the next time you use it. My friction calls I just keep in my vest

Q: What is a common mistake that turkey hunters make?
A: The number one mistake I think turkey hunters make is that they do not have enough patience. They try to get too close or they move too soon without allowing enough time for the bird to move toward them.  

Q: Do you use decoys?  If so how?
A: I do not use decoys very often, because where I hunt there is a lot of pressure and the birds get used to seeing decoys. If I go somewhere there is not a lot of pressure, then I will use a decoy.

Q: What should I do if I go out and don't hear any gobbling?
A: If you do not hear any gobbling and you know that is there are birds in the area just sit and be patient. As the day goes on the barometric pressure will change and this will cause birds to gobble.

Q: If I can hunt all day, is there a best time to hunt?
A: I like to hunt the first hour and between 10:30 a.m. and noon. The reason is because the first thing in the morning you may be able to get close enough to the roost tree to have them come check you out first thing. I like late morning because the gobblers are leaving the hens to look for more ladies to breed.

The Mossy Oak ProStaff is a group of top outdoors men and women from across the country that act as spokespersons for the Brand. Members of the Elite ProStaff are people the hunting community will recognize from their hunting expertise and accomplishments, videos, TV and magazine articles. Our Regional ProStaff is a group of accomplished hunters who promote Mossy Oak in various regions across the U.S. They also manage a more localized Field Staff in their regions. From event support to retail store grand openings to radio and TV appearances, our ProStaff adds value to the Mossy Oak Brand nationally, regionally and locally.

 

Turkey Hunting Interview with Mossy Oak Pro Staff Member Josey White

Josey White is the Mossy Oak Turkey Regional Pro Staff Manager for the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Lousiana. He is also on the Pro Staff for Browning and Victory Archery and is on the Field Staff for Commando Calls.

Josey grew up near Little Rock, Arkansas in a family that is passionate about hunting and the outdoors. Some of his favorite times are spent with his wife and his daughter in the great outdoors. He enjoys all types of hunting and outdoor recreation but his true love is turkey hunting.

Josey enjoys spending time in the woods, and because he usually limits out pretty quick, he is always on the look out for someone he can call up a bird for. He enjoys taking others hunting and helping them have the experience just as much as he enjoys it himself. He can’t wait until his little girl is old enough to teach her all he knows about those wily birds he loves so much.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW:

Tim Anderson
Ph: 563-922-2086
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Q: Can you give me a few general tips on how I can be more successful this spring?

A: The best advice that I can give is to not give up at 8 a.m. just because you haven't heard any turkeys gobble. My rule of thumb is that the best time to bag a big gobbler is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Also, don't get stuck in a rut. Be willing to try different set ups and master several calls. Turkeys are like people in that every one has its own personality. Be flexible and take chances. Also you want to blend in with the type of terrain you are hunting. Here in Arkansas and most of the southeastern part of the country where I hunt, Mossy Oak Obsession is by far the most versatile and effective camo pattern I have ever seen. I love it!

Q: How much scouting should I do before the season?

A: I personally don't start scouting and listening as early as a lot of guys. I usually start scouting about two weeks before opening day. I will try and locate as many turkeys as possible the first week, then the second week try and decide which turkeys seem to have the most reliable schedule. If I can find a gobbler that roosts in the same area all the time and gobbles consistently each morning, he is the one I will be after the first morning. Again, be flexible. You are probably not the only guy who has heard your hot gobbler. Have several places to try in the event someone beats you to your spot. The last thing you want to do is start trouble with another hunter, so be prepared.

Q: Is there a best call to use?
A: I think whatever type of call you can use the best is the best call to use, so no, I really think it depends on the individual. I personally am quite fond of diaphragm mouth calls. With practice you can imitate practically any sound a hen makes, plus you get the benefit of hands-free calling and the ability to carry many different calls due to their small size. However, I also carry at least one friction call, (slate, glass or aluminum) and a couple of different strikers so that I can imitate two different turkeys at once.

Q: Do I need to learn to use several different calls?
A: I think the more calls and the willingness to be flexible using them is a true key to success. So yes, I believe it is important to learn how to use several different calls.

Q: What do you do to take care of your calls?
A: Your calls are an investment, so you should do your best to take care of them. Diaphragms - I suggest soaking them in Diaphresh or some type of non-alcohol mouthwash overnight after each daily use to kill bacteria that will most definitely grow on your calls. I personally don't try to use the same diaphragms for more than one season. I buy all new ones each season. Glass, slate and aluminum calls and strikers need to be sanded often and kept in a stable environment in order to keep them from warping or cracking. Same goes for box calls of all types.

Q: What is a common mistake that turkey hunters make?
A: I believe the three biggest mistakes all come from one source, lack of patience. First, as I mentioned before, don't quit hunting because you haven't heard any turkeys early. Often turkeys don't start gobbling until mid morning or even later. Second, many hunters who have been calling all morning to a gobbler that has been gobbling like crazy and then all of a sudden just shuts up, think the gobbler is done so just leave to early. If I am calling to a turkey that is gobbling a lot, and all of a sudden he shuts up, I am getting ready for him to show up. More times than not, within two hours he will often show up. The third mistake coincides with the second. Often hunters that are hunting a gobbler who is gobbling like crazy will keep setting up closer and closer until they end up spooking the bird and possibly making him even harder to kill. More times than not, the gobbler (or his hens) will see you long before you see him. When I encounter this situation, I will cut like crazy with a mouth call and do a jake yelp with a friction call at the same time. Then I will shut up and wait.

Q: Do you use decoys?  If so how?
A: Yes. Decoys are a great tool especially for fields, open timber, and for wary gobblers. Be careful on public land since the new decoys that are now on the market, especially Primos decoys, are very realistic looking. I love to set up on the edge of a field with a couple of hen decoys and a jake decoy and watch the show when that old gobbler shows up!

Q: What should I do if I go out and don't hear any gobbling?
A:Hunt. Hunt. Hunt. You won't kill a gobbler if you aren't out there. Besides, just because they aren't gobbling doesn't mean they won't come to you. Plus, sometimes you need to have a stale day so the other days seem that much better.

Q: If I can hunt all day, is there a best time to hunt?
A: I honestly believe that between the hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. are the best time to bag a trophy gobbler. Most hunters have given up, the woods are quieter, and most of the hens are setting by then. I would say 60-percent of the gobblers I have killed were within these hours.

The Mossy Oak ProStaff is a group of top outdoors men and women from across the country that act as spokespersons for the Brand. Members of the Elite ProStaff are people the hunting community will recognize from their hunting expertise and accomplishments, videos, TV and magazine articles. Our Regional ProStaff is a group of accomplished hunters who promote Mossy Oak in various regions across the U.S. They also manage a more localized Field Staff in their regions. From event support to retail store grand openings to radio and TV appearances, our ProStaff adds value to the Mossy Oak Brand nationally, regionally and locally.

 

Turkey Hunting Interview with Mossy Oak Pro Staff Member Mike Cockerham

Mike Cockerham, from Oglethorpe, Georgia is the Mossy Oak Turkey Regional Pro Staff Manager for the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Mike has been a NWTF sponsor member since 1994 and is currently a Bronze level life sponsor. He is currently serving in his third term as a Georgia state NWTF board member where he has organized the Georgia State and Dixie Open turkey calling championships.
Mike took his first turkey grand slam in 2006 and his future hunting goals include harvesting a turkey in every state.

In addition to turkey hunting, Mike enjoys hunting deer, upland birds and waterfowl.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW:

Tim Anderson
Ph: 563-922-2086
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Q: Can you give me a few general tips on how I can be more successful this spring?
A: Being more successful means practicing with your calls and becoming proficient in using several different types. Also scouting and learning your hunting area can make a big difference in your success.

Q: How much scouting should I do before the season?
A: You should be as familiar with your primary hunting area as you are with your own backyard. That way you can try to anticipate what the turkey is going to do and act accordingly.

Q: Is there a best call to use?
A: The best call to use is the call you have the most confidence in. That could be a call you have called in birds with before or the one you have practiced with the most and are the most familiar with.

Q: Do I need to learn to use several different calls?
A: The use of several calls is crucial because turkeys may respond to one call today and respond to a totally different call tomorrow. Also the use of several different calls can make the appearance of several different hens instead of just one.

Q: What do you do to take care of your calls?
A: The care of calls for me is putting my mouth calls in the fridge during the off season and putting my friction calls in a container out of the heat and cold.

Q: What is a common mistake that turkey hunters make?
A: Most common mistake in my opinion would be not enough patience and calling too much. 

Q: Do you use decoys? If so how?
A: I use decoys most of the time because I hunt a lot of open areas where the birds can see a long way. The decoy seems to confirm the presence of a real turkey.  I use a full strut decoy with a hen.

Q: What should I do if I go out and don't hear any gobbling?
A: This is where your scouting and being familiar with your hunting area will pay off. Find a spot that is being used, find a good comfortable spot and wait while calling sparingly.

Q: If I can hunt all day, is there a best time to hunt?
A: Obviously the best time is early morning before fly down since the gobbling is usually much better, but don't give up on late morning and afternoon. The hens will leave the gobblers in the late morning and they can become lonely and start gobbling again and can respond very well. The afternoon can be good because the birds like to feed before going to roost, so you can set up on a likely feeding area and get him before he goes to bed.

The Mossy Oak ProStaff is a group of top outdoors men and women from across the country that act as spokespersons for the Brand. Members of the Elite ProStaff are people the hunting community will recognize from their hunting expertise and accomplishments, videos, TV and magazine articles. Our Regional ProStaff is a group of accomplished hunters who promote Mossy Oak in various regions across the U.S. They also manage a more localized Field Staff in their regions. From event support to retail store grand openings to radio and TV appearances, our ProStaff adds value to the Mossy Oak Brand nationally, regionally and locally.

 

Turkey Hunting Interview with Mossy Oak Pro Staff Member Kevin Faver

Kevin Faver of St. Augustine, Florida is the Mossy Oak Turkey/Whitetail Regional Pro Staff Manager for Florida.

Kevin started hunting at a young age when his father would take him along on hunting trips to the woods around where they lived. For the past 38 years, Kevin has been returning to those woods and many others pursuing different game.

Although he enjoys all types of hunting, Kevin says his favorite type of hunting is chasing turkeys and whitetail deer with a bow.
When he is not in the woods hunting, Kevin enjoys sharing his hunting experiences and knowledge with others. He has hosted the radio show “The Outdoors Show” for 12 years and “The Florida Roads Outdoors Show” for 7 years.

“Visiting with guests and listeners about hunting is almost as good as hunting itself,” says Faver. “If I can’t be in the woods hunting, then talking about it is the next best thing.”

Kevin also enjoys the chance to hunt with his wife and kids. They go hunting as a family as often as possible. “Passing on the legacy of hunting to my children the way my dad passed it to me is one of the most important things I can do as a father.” Faver says. “Hunting is a great way to spend time with your kids and teach them respect and responsibility.”

Kevin looks forward to sharing his knowledge and experiences with others as he represents Mossy Oak at shows, stores and in seminars.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW:

Tim Anderson
Ph: 563-922-2086
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Q: Can you give me a few general tips on how I can be more successful this spring?

A: Keep in mind turkeys can't smell very well, but they make up for it with their eyesight. I wear a Mossy Oak Obsession leafy suit and when I'm sitting still, the turkeys never know I'm there. The next tip is you have to be patient.  No matter what you hear about turkeys, there are very few easy hunts. So when you go, be patient.

Q: How much scouting should I do before the season?
A: Scouting is very important. Turkeys travel and roost in different spots. What you see turkeys doing in the fall has nothing to do with their spring time pattern. You have to go out 2 to 3 weeks in advance and try to figure out their pattern.

Q: Is there a best call to use?
A: The best call to use is the one you are most comfortable with. If you have an old box call you like then use that call. Confidence is everything in turkey hunting.

Q: Do I need to learn to use several different calls?
A: You don't have to have numerous calls, but it certainly helps. For example, diaphragm calls can be difficult to master but when a bird is in close, it's nice not to have to move your hands. With a little practice (this is when you drive your wife and kids crazy) you can learn to use any call.

Q: What do you do to take care of your calls?
A: I always keep my slate calls in a case along with my scratch pad. For my diaphragm calls, when I'm not using them I keep them in the refrigerator.

Q: What is a common mistake that turkey hunters make?
A: I think too many hunters go by the book.  Sometimes you have to think outside the box. If you sit on a bird that you know has hens more than likely he's not coming to you. You have to figure out a way to either call the hens to you or make a move to get in front of the birds. Always keep in mind no two hunts are alike.

Q: Do you use decoys?  If so how?

A: I use a single hen decoy and lay her on the ground in a breeding position. One thing I do is not place the decoy in front of me. If a gobbler can see the decoy from a ways away he may stop and strut and try to get the hen to come to him. I will set the decoy up at 50 yards to my left or right. That way he usually walks right by me.

Q: What should I do if I go out and don't hear any gobbling?

A: If you've done your scouting and you know there are birds in the area sit and call and be patient. If you are on private property, after a while pick up and move and hit some really loud yelps and clucks every 100 yards or so. You might get lucky and light off a bird.

Q: If I can hunt all day, is there a best time to hunt?
A: If you don't kill that bird from the roost then give him an hour or two to hang with hens. That 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. can be magical.

The Mossy Oak ProStaff is a group of top outdoors men and women from across the country that act as spokespersons for the Brand. Members of the Elite ProStaff are people the hunting community will recognize from their hunting expertise and accomplishments, videos, TV and magazine articles. Our Regional ProStaff is a group of accomplished hunters who promote Mossy Oak in various regions across the U.S. They also manage a more localized Field Staff in their regions. From event support to retail store grand openings to radio and TV appearances, our ProStaff adds value to the Mossy Oak Brand nationally, regionally and locally.

 

Turkey Hunting Interview with Mossy Oak Pro Staff Member Darrin Campbell

Darrin Campbell, of Leroy, West Virginia is the Mossy Oak Regional Turkey Pro Staff Manager for West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana.

Darrin is retired from the West Virginia State Police. He is currently the Executive Producer of Strut and Rut Outdoors Television Show, which airs in the Mid-Ohio Valley Region.

Darrin started hunting over 37 years ago at the age of 5, when his dad would take him squirrel hunting on the weekends or when he got home from work. The passion has never died. Today, Darrin shoots competitive 3-D archery with his best finish to date being 3rd place in the 2009 ASA Florida Pro Am.

He is an avid turkey hunter and is dedicated to helping young people learn about hunting and the outdoors. Darrin currently resides in Leroy, West Virginia with his wife and their two children.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW:

Tim Anderson
Ph: 563-922-2086
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Q: Can you give me a few general tips on how I can be more successful this spring?
A: Spend as much time in the woods as possible and that's for a couple of reasons. The biggest reason is, if you're not in the woods you can't harvest your bird. I don't know how many times I haven't gone hunting because it was raining or the wind was blowing or yesterday was a bad day. And lo and behold you're in the local restaurant at lunch time and every other hunter that was in the woods that morning harvested a bird, because it quit raining or the wind quit blowing and today was a good day. Turkeys are in the woods every day.

Q: How much scouting should I do before the season?

A: It's pretty simple. You can't do too much scouting but it is really easy to not do enough. Spend every minute you can in the woods. Scouting for me is year round. When I am deer hunting in the fall, it's really just a cover for turkey scouting. I highly recommend that you do your early scouting from a distance. A little pressure goes a long way with an old tom. You bust him one time and it may be the last chance you get. Make sure you wear your Mossy Oak Obsession when you're scouting. I don't know how many times I've been looking down the beak of an old Tom while I was scouting and Obsession covered me. A pair of blue jeans and a t-shirt would have probably given an old tom a lesson he may not forget.

Q: Is there a best call to use?
A: Absolutely. And I think this is one of the biggest keys to being a successful turkey hunter. The best call, and I am not trying to be funny but the answer is whatever call the turkey wants to hear. That, in my opinion, is why they make turkey vests. So there is enough room to carry all the calls. All joking aside, I can't count the times I have tried to work a bird with my favorite mouth call and he shuts up. A lot of guys pack it in and that's the end of the story. And that's also where a lot of hunters miss the boat. Switch calls! Try a different mouth call, a slate, a glass, a box, anything you got in that fancy new turkey vest, and more times than not you will stir that tom into a meeting with his maker.

Q: Do I need to learn to use several different calls?

A: Yes and don't just learn the basics. Be proficient with each call. I believe you should at least have three different (tone) mouth calls and at least one slate or glass and a couple of box calls. I think the previous question answers why.

Q: What do you do to take care of your calls?
A: Momma probably isn't going to be happy about some of this but here goes. My box calls and other friction calls are pretty easy. I store them in the same condition I would as if I were going to take them hunting the next morning. Next, I store them in a warm, dry and secure place. Secure place you ask? This means some place brother Bubba won't sit on them. If you have ever tried to replace your favorite call, you understand secure. My mouth calls I store by first separating the reeds with reed separators (teeth off of broken plastic forks). Then I let them air dry over night. Next and this is where Momma comes in, I store them in the refrigerator in the turkey call holder or as she calls it, the butter door. When it's time to use them again, I take them out of the call holder, put them in a cup of water over night, and we are back in business.

Q: What is a common mistake that turkey hunters make?
A: Not learning how to take the temperature of a turkey. No, not the one in the oven. I am talking about the one that gobbles one time and you call your head off as loud and fast as you can. If you had taken his temperature with a few purrs and a cluck or two and maybe a yelp or two you, would have known he wasn't the cut-n-run type. Or the tom that has gobbled for a solid hour and when you finally get close he shuts up. And what's that you hear now? He has a hen with him now. Game over.  NOT! It's now time to call the hen. Make her mad by mocking her and if she gets mad enough to come in, he will follow and then you can take his temperature in the oven. Don't give up.

Q: Do you use decoys? If so how?
A: Yes. I use decoys especially when I am bowhunting. I like to face a strutting decoy toward my blind, that way another gobbler will always try and face an intruder putting his back and tail toward my blind and giving me a perfect chance to draw and shoot.

Q: What should I do if I go out and don't hear any gobbling?
A: I like to run and gun. I move a lot and try and find a hot bird. If I don't have a lot of acreage to hunt, I find a high point, kick back, relax and wait him out. There's a good chance, if you know there are birds there he has a hen with him, she will slip off sooner or later. Then he will announce his availability. Just remember whichever way you try, you will still at least have a chance. If you give up and go home, you don't have that chance.

Q: If I can hunt all day, is there a best time to hunt?
A: Remember taking temperature? It's the same with the time of day. Just depends on the bird and his company or lack thereof. Any time is a good time.

The Mossy Oak ProStaff is a group of top outdoors men and women from across the country that act as spokespersons for the Brand. Members of the Elite ProStaff are people the hunting community will recognize from their hunting expertise and accomplishments, videos, TV and magazine articles. Our Regional ProStaff is a group of accomplished hunters who promote Mossy Oak in various regions across the U.S. They also manage a more localized Field Staff in their regions. From event support to retail store grand openings to radio and TV appearances, our ProStaff adds value to the Mossy Oak Brand nationally, regionally and locally.

 

Turkey Hunting Interview with Mossy Oak Pro Staff Member Michael Leslie

Michael Leslie of Southbridge, Massachusetts is the Mossy Oak Turkey/Whitetail Regional Pro Staff Manager for the New England States.

Mike is a competitive archer with a number of wins in N.F.A.A., N.A.A., and I.B.O. tournaments, among others. In 2006 he was a member of the United States Archery All-Academic Team. In the 2009 Northeast I.B.O. tournament, Mike was the 3-D champion in the Men’s Bowhunter Open.

Mike’s accomplishments have led to sponsorships by AEP Stabilizers, Bear Archery, Brunton Optics, C.C. Porter Release Aids, True Spot Scopes, Mossy Oak and Vaportrail Custom String & Cables.

Mike graduated from Unity Environmental College with a major in Conservation Law Enforcement and a minor in Wildlife. Mike enjoys competing in archery tournaments, hunting whitetail deer and wild turkey with archery equipment, and bass fishing.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW:

Tim Anderson
Ph: 563-922-2086
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Q: Can you give me a few general tips on how I can be more successful this spring?
A: Hunting in the spring is one of my most favorite times of the year. There's nothing like the first "gobble" in the morning as the sun is just creeping over the mountain peeks, hearing Mr. Tom talking from the tree top. The most successful tip that I can give is to scout, scout, and scout. Find the birds, and put them to sleep. Back out of there with no noise and set up 2 hours before day break within 50 yards from where you watched them roost the night before.

Q: How much scouting should I do before the season?

A: As much as you can without pushing them out of your area. Find groups of birds in a few locations. Nothing is worse than going to your public grounds on opening morning and finding a truck already parked in your spot. The hard work before the season will pay off when the time comes and you know you have a few sets and different possibilities.

Q: Is there a best call to use?
A: I have a few favorites but if I had to only bring one call, I would choose my go-to call. For me it's my "Penn Woods Waterproof Wizard." It works as a locator call, but also, it has a very nice raspy sound. This call does it all and is very easy to use from beginners all the way up to the die-hard. With this call there is no need for chalk and it can be used in all weather conditions. My close second to use is my "Enticer Raspy Classic." This call has unbelievable sounds and will purr like no other. As for mouth calls, I stay close to Primos Signature Series. It's very easy to use and great sounding.

Q: Do I need to learn to use several different calls?
A: Need? No, a simple box call kills more birds than any other call. But, it's always handy to pull out another call when you have a bird hung up at 50 yards and is very hesitant to come any closer. This is when your time practicing with other calls will help you seal the deal.

Q: What do you do to take care of your calls?

A: All of my mouth calls stay in a Primos call case and I use reed separators after each use. Keep your box calls chalked up and your strikers cleaned.  

Q: What is a common mistake that turkey hunters make?

A: One of the biggest mistakes that we make is leaving our set too soon. Wait it out. A lot of my birds have stayed quiet the whole time. Just because they're not responding does not mean they're not there. Blend into your environment. Don't wear your deer hunting camo; wear mid-light colors with lots of bright green like Mossy Oak Obsession. This pattern is the ideal pattern for the spring season. Also, don't forget that decoy!

Q: Do you use decoys?  If so, how?
A: Yes, decoys are one of the most important tools I use. It takes the turkey's eyes off you and onto your decoy. This allows you to draw your bow or settle in for your shot. I like to set up one strutting tom and one hen in the ground. This setup has worked the best for me.

Q: What should I do if I go out and don't hear any gobbling?
A: Try different calls, stay quiet and relax. Some of the best birds come in very quiet. These birds are smart and may have been tricked before. Stay on them and don't give up. If you know they are there in the area, they will come.

Q: If I can hunt all day, is there a best time to hunt?

A: I still like the mornings. It's very peaceful and there are no distractions. The worst is to be working a bird and then somebody drives by and sees birds in your field and slows down, scaring them away. Get to them early and slap a tag on him. Pattern that gun with different types of ammo. Continue to shoot that bow and practice often. Hard work will pay off. Have a safe and happy hunting season. Good Luck!

The Mossy Oak ProStaff is a group of top outdoors men and women from across the country that act as spokespersons for the Brand. Members of the Elite ProStaff are people the hunting community will recognize from their hunting expertise and accomplishments, videos, TV and magazine articles. Our Regional ProStaff is a group of accomplished hunters who promote Mossy Oak in various regions across the U.S. They also manage a more localized Field Staff in their regions. From event support to retail store grand openings to radio and TV appearances, our ProStaff adds value to the Mossy Oak Brand nationally, regionally and locally.

 

Turkey Hunting Interview with Mossy Oak Pro Staff Member Perry Peterson


Perry Peterson of Manchester, Iowa is the Mossy Oak Regional Turkey Pro Staff Manager for Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas.

He is a long-time employee with the City of Manchester Public Works Department.

Perry started hunting some 32 years ago, when he was 8. His dad would take him rabbit and pheasant hunting. He started turkey hunting around 16 years ago and developed a passion for the sport.

He currently is involved with the NWTF, serving the last 12 years as his local chapter’s president, 9 years on the Iowa State NWTF Board of Directors, and he also serves as NWTF District Director for the eastern half of Iowa.

Perry’s main focus the last several years has been introducing new people to hunting. He spends much of his time taking young kids, the older generation, and the handicapped out into the woods. Through the NWTF Perry also hosts JAKES hunts for young members of the organization.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW:

Tim Anderson
Ph: 563-922-2086
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Q: Can you give me a few general tips on how I can be more successful this spring?
A: Scouting should have started last fall when you were deer hunting. You have to know what is going on in your timber. Are there any new trees down, fences down, new gullies that have washed out, anything that might affect the turkeys' travels and how they are going to come to your calling? Get in the woods and learn the lay of the land.

Q: How much scouting should I do before the season?
A: As much as you can without pressuring the birds. We like to start in late February just to hear them gobble. But you need to scout up to the day you hunt because their patterns change a lot as it warms up.

Q: Is there a best call to use?
A: The call you can use the best is the best one to use. You don't have to know how to use them all just get good at a couple.

Q: Do I need to learn to use several different calls?
A: No, but over the years you will learn to more and more. Just get comfortable with what you use.

Q: What do you do to take care of your calls?
A: I baby my slate calls, they are protected up until I use them. Keep everything dry and secure so it is ready at a second's notice.

Q: What is a common mistake that turkey hunters make?
Impatience. Most hunters can't sit still long enough. Also be open to new ideas; not everyone hunts the same.

Q: Do you use decoys?  If so how?
A: I always carry at least one, but feel out the birds before using them. Early, you can usually use 2 or 3. The more call shy they get, back off on the decoys.

Q: What should I do if I go out and don't hear any gobbling?
A: Set back and take a long deserved nap or go to town and get breakfast. Come back at 9:00 and hit them again. If you did your scouting, you know they are there. In Iowa you go mushroom hunting and just wait for them to gobble.

Q: If I can hunt all day, is there a best time to hunt?
A: I prefer fly down, just to hear them gobble. But late morning through lunch is when we kill most of our birds.

The Mossy Oak ProStaff is a group of top outdoors men and women from across the country that act as spokespersons for the Brand. Members of the Elite ProStaff are people the hunting community will recognize from their hunting expertise and accomplishments, videos, TV and magazine articles. Our Regional ProStaff is a group of accomplished hunters who promote Mossy Oak in various regions across the U.S. They also manage a more localized Field Staff in their regions. From event support to retail store grand openings to radio and TV appearances, our ProStaff adds value to the Mossy Oak Brand nationally, regionally and locally.

 

Turkey Hunting Interview with Mossy Oak Pro Staff Member Greg Miller

Greg is the Mossy Oak Turkey/Whitetail Regional Pro Staff Manager for the state of Michigan. He is also a Regional Pro Staff Manager for Montana Decoy. In addition Greg is a Pro Staff member for PSE Archery, Hips Targets, Aftershock Archery “Team Maniac”, Ameristep, and Team Fitzgerald Pro Staff.


Greg Miller resides in Plainwell, Michigan. As a young boy he wasn’t exposed much to hunting so almost everything he learned about hunting he did on his own.

Bowhunting with a compound bow is Greg’s favorite type of hunting and he enjoys pursuing elk, mule deer, antelope and black bear but his main focus is whitetail deer and turkeys.

Greg is an instructor for the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and has been through the George Chapman’s Archery and Technical School and Shooters School, and is a lifetime member of the North American Hunting Club.

Greg enjoys 3-D archery and hunting with his daughter. “The time we spend together whether on the range or in the woods is simply priceless,” says Greg. “If it weren’t for the love and support of my wife and daughter, I wouldn’t be able to do the things I do today. For me Mossy Oak isn’t just a product name, it is a way of life.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW:

Tim Anderson
Ph: 563-922-2086
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Q: Can you give me a few general tips on how I can be more successful this spring?
A: If you haven't used decoys in the past then give them a try, but be sure to check your local game laws so that you're using the right kind. Take the time to practice (before the season) with your weapon so you will know what your effective range is. If you have a bird coming to your calls, once you see him back off on your calling and make it soft and seductive. If you have trouble sitting still or you're trying to take a child hunting with you then get yourself a blind. It will make things much easier on you.

Q: How much scouting should I do before the season?
A: If it's a new property to you then you should do plenty. Find out where the turkeys roost, like to fly down to and like to feed and hang out during the day. Don't waste your precious hunting season trying to figure these things out. If it's the same old place you hunt then not as much is needed. You still need to get out there and find out where they are roosting, because birds will change it up every so often. You also need to see if any crops got changed around because that will affect where they feed and hang out year to year.

Q: Is there a best call to use?
A: For me it's the diaphragm call. It's the call that can do it all. You can make it loud and aggressive all the way down to soft and seductive. The best thing about it is there's no motion required to make a sound and it's hands free!

Q: Do I need to learn to use several different calls?
A:  Yes you really should. There is not just one call out there that is going to work every single time you hunt. Some birds just won't respond to certain calls while others will. So it's good to have different calls on hand and know how to use them. This way you can find the one that strikes his fancy.

Q: What do you do to take care of your calls?
A:  I always keep them stored in my turkey vest so I know right where they are at all times. I'll prep them before I go hunting, rough up surfaces and chalk anything that needs it. I prefer to keep my diaphragm calls stored in a small plastic case so no debris can get on or in them that could affect their performance. I also make sure when I'm using my diaphragm calls, if I want a drink of something I make sure it's only water. If you drink anything like soda, the residue in your mouth can get between the reeds, which most of the time makes them stick together rendering the call useless.

Q: What is a common mistake that turkey hunters make?
A: They don't sit still enough, they call way too much or they are not wearing Mossy Oak Obsession!

Q: Do you use decoys?  If so how?
A: I always use my Montana Decoys. I'll put a Tom or Jake decoy closest to my set up say 20 yards out (this will vary a little depending on if I'm using a bow or gun). Then I'll put 2 hen decoys another 10-15 yards out and spread them apart so that all 3 decoys make a triangle pattern. I always put the Tom or Jake closest to me because if a Tom comes in, that decoy will be the first one he confronts. Once a Tom is inside the triangle not many make it back out!

Q: What should I do if I go out and don't hear any gobbling?
A: If you know there are birds in the area you're hunting don't give up on your set up. Not all Toms come in gobbling their heads off. Some will come in all quiet and catch you daydreaming or packing up to move.


Q: If I can hunt all day, is there a best time to hunt?
A:  Early morning right around dawn, when they are flying down from the roost. Also midday, like 12:00-3:00 p.m. give or take an hour. The hens will go to nest and leave the Toms (who are always looking for a new mate), all alone.

The Mossy Oak ProStaff is a group of top outdoors men and women from across the country that act as spokespersons for the Brand. Members of the Elite ProStaff are people the hunting community will recognize from their hunting expertise and accomplishments, videos, TV and magazine articles. Our Regional ProStaff is a group of accomplished hunters who promote Mossy Oak in various regions across the U.S. They also manage a more localized Field Staff in their regions. From event support to retail store grand openings to radio and TV appearances, our ProStaff adds value to the Mossy Oak Brand nationally, regionally and locally.

 

Fitting Your Weapon

Fitting Your Weapon
by Ann Horsman,
Contributing Writer,
Vermont
 
Women hunters often face exceptional challenges when it comes to outfitting ourselves for sport hunting.

Read more: Fitting Your Weapon

How Martha Stewart, Kmart and Terry Carr Made My Day

So it could be thought of as scandalous by the title, look at the characters. These characters are intertwined in a way that none would have thought. Their ties are close, as you will see and scandal is evident but in a good way. Many will benefit from this association, as you will soon see.

We all know about the mistress of home fashion and her connection to Kmart who sells her brand. I freely admit I like Martha, I find her style and ideas to be refreshing and useful. She's also a chicken farmer so what is not to like there. She's perhaps become most famous for her less than scrupulous investment practices. Hey, everyone makes mistakes don't they? We all know how Kmart has squandered their assets and stolen their employees pensions and priced themselves out of retail competition where they were once giants. But what about Terry Carr, who is he and how is he, mixed up in all of this?

Terry is a well-known fashion maven to be found writing of good products on various Internet forums in the hunting themes. He has made many recommendations to safari goers always of superb fashion savvy and detail while being thrifty at the same time, pushing products that would make anyone proud in the hunting fields and always recommending quality and comfort, much like Martha. One can find a comprehensive safari packing list here and there put together by Terry that is exceptionally well thought out. He is also an accomplished African hunter with several cape buffalo under his belt as well as a recent bull elephant trophy. He is very reliable and well informed, always ready to lend a helpful hand in field fashion decisions. With what I have seen and know, I believe Terry to be one of Martha's students.

Some time ago Terry made many of us aware of his self constructed shooting sticks. He made them of bamboo landscape poles and a vacuum cleaner belt. Ingenious, practical and easy I thought, what a great idea, so I set out to purchase the necessary items to construct my own. This was going to be a great winter project! I couldn't wait to get started. What a great way to practice shooting before my next safari, shooting sticks provide a portable and stable platform for shooting large caliber rifles. A most necessary fashion accessory while on safari, there is nothing better than a steady shot. Ladies, take note, they are much less punishing for practice shooting than sitting at a bench.

I was soon to find out that this task was not going to be as easy as I thought. For one thing, no bamboo landscape poles can be found in Michigan stores during the winter. We just can't use them in the concrete hard frozen earth, so the retail stores were not carrying them. I was foiled, dismally delayed. I laid aside the project until the warmer months took hold.

So in late May of 2003 I set out again to complete my shooting stick project. I could not find the right length bamboo poles in several retail stores until I got to Kmart. Lo and behold, they had them! Reorganization did them well. Better yet, the poles are the Martha Stewart signature series so I knew right away they were high quality. Good old Martha, so dependable! I had choices of green painted bamboo poles or natural colored poles. I splurged and purchased a package of each. In the vacuum isle, I found a package of suitable vacuum belts. They must have thought me to be strange at the check out counter as I was humming a cheery tune due to my exclusive find.

So my project went along, I made my sticks and am set in the fashion front on the Michigan shooting range I practice at. When people ask me about my shooting sticks, I tell them the story of Terry Carr and Martha and Kmart. Thanks Terry, your idea has been a great help to me and hopefully others who read this.

Here is Terry's recipe for safari shooting sticks:

  • Package of bamboo garden poles, preferably 6 footers, 6 pack
  • Package of vacuum cleaner belts, Eureka F&G worked for me, 2 pack
  • Makes two sets of shooting sticks

Select three stout bamboo poles and hold together. Take belt and loop over top of poles three times. Push looped belt down about six inches from top. Spread poles evenly forming a tripod to a height comfortable as a rest for the front end of your rifle. Enjoy and fire away!

Total cost: $4.54 ($2.27 per set of shooting sticks) plus sales tax

Time required to complete project: Less than 5 minutes

 

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Regional Directors

 
Regional Directors organize
and participate in
get-togethers,
shoots and shows

Julia Heinz
Alaska and the Yukon
juliah@womenhunters.com

Kathy Russell
Missouri
kathyr@womenhunters.com

Tammy Hartline
North Alabama, Mississippi p
and North Georgia
tammyh@womenhunters.com

Synthia Wilson
Kansas
synthia@womenhunters.com

Kim Hose
Maryland
 
Rachel Baker
    Colorado    
 
Beth Milligan
Arkansas
 
Jo Rice
Washington
 
Angelina Coopersmith
Michigan
 
Jenny Paul
Texas
 
 
 Mara Osborne
North Carolina
 

 

Tracy Rowe
Illinois

 

 

 

 To become a regional director
for your area, contact:
kathleen@womenhunters.com