Hunting News and Information

Straight Shootin
No matter what kind of shotgun you use during turkey season, test it with several different shotshell loads so you’ll know how it performs with a gobbler 40 yards from the end of the barrel. The right stuff

Turkey hunters can be successfully using many varieties and gauges of shotguns, even archery equipment, but most hunters stick to scatterguns because they offer a better chance of success and can be fitted to different hunting approaches.


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Boss gobblers won’t allow interlopers in their territory and often come at a fast pace to the decoy setup. To decoy or not to decoy

Marshall Collette never uses decoys in the morning but employs them almost exclusively at fields in the afternoon and evening.


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Travis Sykes of Leasburg killed this bearded hen on April 26 with his bow. Caswell County hunter takes bearded hen with bow

Killing a turkey is an achievement. Shooting one with a bow is impressive. Shooting a bearded hen with a bow is the stuff of legend. Travis Sykes of Leasburg did just that April 26 when he killed a 10-pound, 9-ounce hen that sported an 8 ½-inch beard. The bird closed to 15 yards before catching an arrow from Sykes’s bow.


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A lot of North Carolina deer hunters would like to have had a shot at these two does; the 2014-15 harvest was off 18 percent, or 44,000 deer. Deer harvest is off 18 percent over 2013-14, NCWRC announces

North Carolina hasn’t experienced back-to-back deer-hunting seasons like 2013-14 and 2014-15 since records have been kept by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. In 2013-14, hunters tagged a record 188,130 whitetails. But in 2014-15, the harvest dropped a record 18.3 percent to 144,315 deer, the lowest harvest since 2005-06.


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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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