• Turkey Hunting

    Ron Newcomer poses with a tom he harvested in Hoosier National Forest in Indiana in 2014.

    In the bag — Must-have turkey-hunting gear

    If it’s spring, Chad Newcomer is on the move, chasing gobblers from Mississippi to Nebraska — and several spots in between — with an intense passion and skilled precision.

    March 01, 2016 at 7:00am
    Scott Ellis has a growing reputation as a champion turkey caller and expert hunter, and the Florida-based sportsman takes us through a day of hunting.

    Turkey Tracker — Expert turkey hunting tips

    Scott Ellis struck out on a late-afternoon mission to fire up some tough turkeys while stopping every 200 yards or so to call, hoping to get a shock-gobble from a battle-worn tom. 

    March 01, 2016 at 7:00am
    A textbook turkey hunt is rare on opening day, but it worked out for the author’s nephew Josh in the spring of 2015.

    Opening salvo: Turkey hunting tips for opening-day success

    Last turkey season began with the typical dawn chorus of bird songs, greeting the hunter hoping to score on opening day. 

    March 01, 2016 at 7:00am
    Before the season opens hunters should not be out in the woods spooking birds away.

    Turkey hunting warm up

    It was nearly dark when the black ghost finally materialized around from the back of a big oak. We had been working that gobbler one of many ways since early afternoon.

    March 01, 2016 at 7:00am
    With a mix of mature (4-year-old) and young (2-year-old) gobblers available in most areas of Mississippi, there could be plenty of competition in the flock and for hunters in the 2016 season.

    Early turkey forecast good

    That moment when a mature tom turkey commits to a hunter’s spring trap, coming to the gun displaying his splendid courting passion — fully strutted, glowing red head, with thunderous gobbling and drumming — is as exciting as hunting gets.

    February 11, 2016 at 10:00am
    Blake Jensen killed this big gobbler in 2013 in Southwest Mississippi. The state is now considering having hunters tar or at least report the harvest of all turkeys in the future.

    MDWFP conducting turkey tagging survey

    Mississippi wildlife officials are apparently considering instituting a tagging or, at the very least, a harvest reporting system for turkey hunters in the Magnolia State.

    On Wednesday (Aug. 12), the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks sent out emails to hunters announcing an online survey stating it “is related to turkey hunting in Mississippi and is intended to determine opinions regarding mandatory tagging and harvest reporting.”

    August 12, 2015 at 5:15pm
    Crystal Clucker

    Crystal Clucker

    Call-maker John Tanner of Hemingway, S.C., knows how to make high-quality calls out of a number of different woods, as his newest turkey call, the Crystal Clucker, shows. The Crystal Clucker, which pairs a circle of frosted crystal over glass, is made in either cherry or black walnut, and it comes with an Osage Orange striker peg. The call and striker hang from an adjustable lanyard so it can be hung around a hunter’s neck for easy access.

    June 01, 2015 at 7:00am
    Trey and Kinsman (left) shared a great hunt, shooting these longbeards from the same blind.

    We’ve come a long way

    The 2015 spring turkey season was, as of this writing, a total bust for me, as I have been neck-deep in the moving process to a new house that the wife and I have been building and dealing with for some months now.

    May 18, 2015 at 9:00am
    Jenifer Flanagan, fishing manager at Bass Pro Shops in Pearl, displays a trophy limbhanger gobbler killed near north of Meridian on April 18. The bird had a thick 10 1/2-inch paintbrush beard, 1 1/4 inch sharp curved spurs and weighed 19.5 pounds.

    Hunter gets her limb-hanger

    Jenifer Flanagan was brimming with anticipation as she waited expectantly for a gobble in the quiet pre-dawn darkness at her hunting camp near Topton in Lauderdale County. 

    April 30, 2015 at 2:20pm
    Landen Prestage, 9, of Lena killed his first gobbler of the 2015 season on March 31, while hunting with his grandfather, Glen Prestage. The beard measured 9 inches and the spurs measured one inch.

    Don’t give up on gobblers

    Too many hunters quit long before May 1’s official closing of Mississippi’s spring season, which is a mistake others say since some of the best hunting is in the final two weeks.

    April 22, 2015 at 10:30am
    If you want to kill a turkey, the key could be toning back your calling.

    Call less, kill more gobblers

    If Marshall Collette of Greensboro strung together all the beards from the turkeys he’s killed or called in for other hunters on a piece of rawhide, you could probably use it to measure for first downs in a football game.

    April 21, 2015 at 6:00am
    Getting that old tom to move that crucial 10 yards closer is a challenge.

    What you need to kill a turkey

    I can remember when I was in my mid-20s and decided I’d be a turkey hunter. I packed up that spring, headed off to my nearest public tract of land, set up before daylight and began some beautiful (at least to my ears) purring as the sun broke over the horizon.

    April 18, 2015 at 6:00am
    Austin Gill, 15, of Vancleave, and his uncle Rusty Gill pose with the youngster's first gobbler, killed with his two uncles. Matt Gill did the calling and set the photo.

    Uncles help youngster get first gobbler

    When 15-year-old Austin Gill finally killed his first gobbler on April 10, it was a family success story that couldn’t have come at a time when the Gills needed one more.

    April 16, 2015 at 4:20pm
    Break down a turkey caller’s vest and you will likely find an assortment of calls from boxes, to pots to diaphragm mouth calls.

    Meek: Keep your box “fine tuned”

    Paul Meek has made thousands of turkey calls in his life, including about every style there is to try. It’s what he does for a living.

    April 15, 2015 at 7:00am
    Gobbler chasing can often put hunters in dangerous situations. Where you sit, what you wear and how you react to any sound is important.

    Gobble call: Proceed with caution

    It’s an argument as old as the sport of turkey hunting, one that sparks a fiery debate whenever it surfaces, which is becoming more frequent with the growth and popularity of high-tech gobbler decoys.

    April 15, 2015 at 7:00am
    Devin Rice of Wesson (left) called up a trio of gobblers that he and friends Kenny McLaughlin of Vicksburg (center) and Aaron Weatherford of Fairhope, Ala., killed simultaneously on private property in Central Mississippi. Weatherford’s turkey was double-bearded, with 11-inch and 9½-inch beards.

    Odd call ‘Kee’ to turkey triple

    Devin Rice called in a crowd of gobblers to the area where he and two friends were hunting early in the Mississippi season, but it wasn’t until he switched calls that the birds got fired up.

    April 09, 2015 at 8:45am