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Monty Mesimer (left) and Jeff Huggins (right) doubled up on these big Pender County gobblers on April 13. Mesimer's bird had four beards that measured a total of almost 30 inches. Four-bearded Pender County gobbler ranks high in NC record books

His big gobbler had been dead a good half-hour before Monty Mesimer of Atkinson noticed there was something unusual about the Pender County tom. He had more beards than he was supposed to. Quite a few more.


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Zach Satterfield of Reidsville killed this 24 1/2-pound Rockingham County gobbler with 1 1/2-inch spurs and beards measuring 11 and 10 inches. Monster gobbler pays his taxes on time to Rockingham County hunter

Zach Satterfield said it was common knowledge that a big gobbler with two beards lived on a farm he hunted in Rockingham County close to the Caswell County line. “He was seen during deer season for the last year or two, but nobody ever saw him during turkey season,” he said. But the big gobbler’s “taxes” came due on April 15, when he showed up 30 yards from the end of Satterfield’s shotgun barrel. Now, Satterfield, a 19-year-old Reidsville resident, has in his freezer one of the biggest turkeys ever taken in North Carolina.


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Late in the season, use decoys in the afternoon or evening around fields. 11th-Hour gobblers - Late-season turkeys require a little different approach in North Carolina

One May morning a few years ago, I sat in heavy cover beside a small, weed-filled Orange County field. My heart thumped in my chest like a bass drum.


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The Crystal Clucker from John Tanner calls pairs a frosted crystal surface with cherry or black walnut wood. Crystal Clucker is Tanner's latest have-to-have turkey call

Call-maker John Tanner of Hemingway, S.C., might have cut his teeth building duck and turkey calls out of ancient cypress, but it’s clear that he’s really hit on how to make high-quality calls out of any of a handful of different woods, as his newest turkey call, the Crystal Clucker, shows.


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Seven tips for late-season gobblers from a North Carolina guide

Sportsmen across North Carolina flooded the woods earlier this month as the spring gobbler season opened, and many have enjoyed reasonable success. But as the season wanes, the gobblers have heard all the misplaced yelps and purrs and busted fidgety hunters, and they’re a lot more wary. It’s a time when guides like Karl Helmkamp of Albemarle Outfitters in the northeastern corner of the state really shine.   


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The author’s son killed this Watauga County gobbler on opening day last April in a woodlot bordering a Christmas tree farm. He finished his limit two days later on an Ashe County Christmas tree farm. No reason to panic over NWNC turkeys yet

One area of North Carolina where the turkey harvest has not followed the overall record-setting pace has been the extreme northwestern corner of the state, which still shows up as having the most-dense flocks.


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Hunters in the eastern third of the state can’t use terrain to hide from a turkey as easily as a hunter in North Carolina’s mountains. Turkeys: From Murphy to Manteo, they’re the same birds

Turkeys are found in North Carolina from just a few feet above sea level in coastal counties to almost a mile into the sky in North Carolina’s mountains. According to Marshall Collette of Greensboro, a member of the Quaker Boy and Mossy Oak pro staffs, there’s no difference in the birds, just the habitat in which they live: thick swamp to thin air.


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Counties in southeastern North Carolina are making up a larger and larger percentage of the statewide harvest every season as the flock in those areas continues to grow. Statewide turkey harvest, 2010-2014

Season       Harvest


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Tim Coble’s gobbler, killed in the Uwharrie Mountains of Davidson County last spring, pushed the 20-pound mark and sported a 10-inch beard and inch-long spurs, but it left him in second place in his family to son Tyler, who killed a bigger bird during the 2014 Youth Only season. Tips for Uwharrie turkeys

• Scout near creekbottoms and river bottoms. Look for places where turkeys have been scratching for bugs and worms. Follow their trail back up the ridges. Most turkeys will hang out just a few hundred yards from a stream.


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David Moore of Kinston poses with two of his 13-year-old triplets, Joel (left) and Will (right), who both killed great Lenoir County gobblers on April 4, opening day of North Carolina's youth-only turkey season. Joel's bird had four beards and rare Two Lenoir County triplets double up on huge gobblers as youth season opens

Two out of three ain’t bad, especially if one of them is really special. That’s got to be the way that David Moore of Kinston is feeling after two of his three 13-year-old triplet sons, Will and Joel, killed monster Lenoir County gobblers on April 4, the opening day of North Carolina’s week-long youth-only turkey season – with Joel’s bird being a rare, “smoke phase” gobbler.


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The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission wants to collect the lower legs of 500 wild turkeys this spring to test for a disease that has been discovered in North America in the past few years. Commission asks turkey hunters to donate lower legs of birds killed for research

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is seeking the assistance of turkey hunters for a study of North Carolina’s wild turkey population and a disease that affects turkeys during the April 11-May 9 spring gobbler season.


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Waterfowl hunting will be on center stage at the Gold Leaf Waterfowlers Outdoor Expo in Wilson this weekend. Gold Leaf Waterfowl Outdoor Expo will debut this weekend in Wilson

The inaugural Gold Leaf Waterfowlers Outdoor Expo will debut on Friday, April 10, and run through the weekend at the Wilson County Fairgrounds in Wilson.


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