• Turkey Hunting

    Andrew Kibler shows off one of the 17,932 turkeys that were harvested during North Carolina's turkey season this past spring.

    2016 turkey season was 2nd best in state's recorded history

    North Carolina turkey hunters produced the second-highest harvest on record during this past spring’s season, taking 17,932 birds, an increase of 104 over the 2015 season.

    June 10 at 9:40am
    Late-season gobblers on public lands respond to some of the same tactics that fool private-land birds.

    Private land or game land, late-season turkeys take a different approach

    Guide Karl Helmkamp said many hunters who don’t have access to private lands will give up on game lands after the first couple of weeks of turkey season, and that is a mistake. 

    May 15 at 7:00am
    Guide Karl Helmkamp lets his strutting jake decoy, Biggie Smalls, do his stuff.

    Dead rapper or plastic turkey decoy, Biggie Smalls still has his charms

    Not many turkey hunters are fans of The Notorious B.I.G., but if they could see guide Karl Helmkamp’s Biggie Smalls strutting jake decoy in action, they might reconsider. Complimented by Helmkamp’s mastery of the diaphragm call, as seductive as his namesake rapper’s smooth lyrics, Biggie is as smug as plastic and feathers can be and has lured many an unsuspecting gobbler to an early death. 

    May 15 at 7:00am
    Sandy Brady holds the sling bow in his left hand he used to down the N.C.- and USA-record eastern wild turkey he bagged May 6 in Rockingham County.

    Record ‘sling-bow’ gobbler downed in Rockingham County

    Robert “Sandy” Brady of Reidsville bagged an eastern wild turkey gobbler in Rockingham County the last day of the 2016 hunting season. 

    Although the bird weighed a modest 17 pounds, sported an 11 1/8-inch beard and 1 3/8-inch spurs, it nonetheless is a North Carolina and world-record for the type of weapon he used, a sling bow.

    May 13 at 2:10pm
    Austin Thompson killed this triple-bearded gobbler during the youth season.

    Youth hunter bags triple-bearded gobbler in Halifax County

    Sherman Thompson took his two sons hunting during the youth season, and it was a day none of them will ever forget. Austin, Thompson’s 14-year-old son killed a triple-bearded gobbler, and 12-year-old Levi killed a jake.

    May 09 at 11:40pm
    This trophy gobbler beat Brant Grady on April 16, but Grady got the last laugh on the following Monday.

    Durham hunter bags trophy gobbler

    Brant Grady learned a lesson about how badly even a small, rusty wire fence can ruin a turkey hunt on April 16, but he capitalized on the lesson, and bagged his trophy gobbler on the following Monday near Hurdle Mills in Orange County.

    May 09 at 1:54pm
    Tammy Tucker, from Kannapolis, killed this double-bearded gobbler on April 23 in Cabarrus County.

    North Carolina woman bags state-record archery gobbler

    North Carolina has another state-record turkey, and a Kannapolis woman has her second state record.

    Tammy Tucker killed a double-bearded gobbler on April 23 in Cabarrus County that will become the state record with the N.C. Bowhunters Association as soon as scorer Joey Thompson’s paperwork is accepted. 

    May 08 at 8:18pm
    John Money of Trap Hill killed this bearded hen, which is the new state record, on April 30.

    Surry County hunter kills new record bearded hen

    Trap Hill’s John Money is an avid hunter and has spent enough time outdoors to have seen numerous bearded hens and white gobblers over the years, and he’s killed his share of what most hunters would consider trophies, but he killed a true, record-book trophy on April 30 when he shot a bearded hen that is the new North Carolina NWTF record.

    May 05 at 11:13am
    Teaghann Hensley was hunting with her dad on youth weekend when she killed her first turkey. The gobbler had a 10-inch beard and 1-inch spurs.

    Burke County 6-year-old kills first turkey

    When Chris Hensley of Morganton took his 6-year-old daughter Teaghann turkey hunting on the second day of youth season, he had intentions of setting things straight from her hunt the day before, when she shot a jake with her .410, drew a few feathers, then watched the jake run off. The second hunt had a happier ending, as she killed a gobbler with a 10-inch beard.

    May 04 at 2:51pm
    The author killed this fine tom turkey last May by setting up late one morning and using a gobbler decoy.

    Late and great - Late-season North Carolina turkeys require different tactics for hunting success

    One of the two gobblers that had been responding to Karl Helmkamp’s calls since daylight had gone silent for a while, presumably paired up with a hen, but the other kept gobbling even when he switched tactics and only answered its calls.

    May 01 at 7:00am
    Ashley Maiolo is a self-taught hunter, and killed this 22-pound gobbler after scouting it for a few days.

    Franklinton hunter kills her first turkey

    Ashley Maiolo of Franklinton said female hunters without male hunting mentors should not fret and should not fear taking things into their own hands. The self-taught huntress has been hunting deer and a number of other game for the past 10 years, mostly on her own with information she’s read in publications such as North Carolina Sportsman Magazine. 

    April 30 at 12:44am
    13-year-old Emma Alexander killed her first turkey during youth season. The gobbler had a 10-inch beard and 1 1/4-inch spurs.

    Morrisville 13-year-old huntress kills first turkey

    If you ask Bryan Alexander of Morrisville what could make his hunting season any better, he will laugh and tell you nothing. He guided his 13-year-old daughter on a turkey hunt during the youth season, and she killed her first turkey, a gobbler with a 10-inch beard and 1 1/4-inch spurs.

    April 27 at 9:05pm
    Josh Pruitt of Reidsville killed the NWTF's highest-scoring bearded hen in North Carolina on April 27.

    Reidsville hunter kills NWTF record-breaking bearded hen

    Wild turkeys with beards measuring close to 10 inches long are considered trophies.

    Especially if the bird carrying such a rope hanging from its chest is a hen.

    April 27 at 8:19pm
    Sam and Carrie Thompson of Watauga County doubled up on longbeards on their April 16th hunt.

    Boone husband and wife double on turkey hunt

    Sam Thompson of Boone has taken his wife, Carrie, turkey hunting once or twice a year for some time now, and while they’ve had some close calls, they’ve never been able to get her on a gobbler. That changed this year on April 16 when they each killed nice longbeards on the same hunt.

    April 26 at 11:19pm
    Jason Pickard killed this rare silver-phase turkey in Stokes County after chasing the bird for a year.

    Greensboro hunter kills silver-phase gobbler

    A Greensboro hunter ended a year-long quest last week when he killed a rare, silver-phase turkey gobbler on a hunt in Stokes County.

    April 26 at 2:49pm
    Ethan (left) and Roger Rumley of Browns Summit doubled up on opening day.

    Guilford County turkey hunter doubles with both sons in opening week

    Roger Rumley has been an avid turkey hunter for many years, but he’s already decided that this year has been his best turkey season yet, hands down. He doubled up on birds with his younger son on April 9, then duplicated the feat with his oldest son on April 14. It’s an experience he never imagined would happen.

    April 25 at 9:55pm