• Turkey Hunting

    Cleaning with a scour pad such as Brillo or Scotch-Brite is how hunters should start, with fine-grit sandpaper in reserve. This will ensure that the shape of the calling surface is unchanged.

    Friction call conditioning and maintenance

    All friction calls — box, trough, pot or scratch box — will need a little TLC from time to time. A scour pad such as Brillo or Scotch-Brite, 120- and 320-grit sandpaper, and some box call chalk is what’s needed to get started.

    April 15 at 7:00am
    A gobbler showing off for a hen is unlikely to leave and head off in the direction of any hen calls from birds that he can’t see.

    Wait them out: Great hunting is on the way

    What’s the biological reason for gobblers to get “henned up” early during the annual spring turkey season? Charles Ruth, a biologist who works with turkeys in South Carolina, explained that it’s just a natural thing.

    April 15 at 7:00am
    Big Lake’s Breaker Box

    Big Lake’s Breaker Box

    Hugh McLaurin of Big Lake Outdoor Products has been making game calls out of a variety of woods for years, and he knows that dymond wood, a laminate that isn’t easy to come by, is one of the hardest, most-dense woods around, often used in the handles of custom knives.

    April 01 at 7:00am
    Josh Hawkins with the fruits of his labors. A retired Navy Chief, Josh considers his old military camo as a good luck charm.

    Tips to take that big Mississippi tom

    “Just when I thought I knew all the answers to the turkey hunting test, they go and change all the questions.” 

    April 01 at 7:00am
    Spruce up those old turkey calls in your turkey vest.

    Calling old calls! There might be a gobbler waiting for you

    During a recent hunt in the Homochitto hardwoods of Franklin County, my hunting partner Shane McCullough and I weren’t having any luck luring in a tom. We heard several on the limb, but they were quickly joined by hens and went silent.

    April 01 at 7:00am
    Are the gobblers ‘henned up?’ If you’re a turkey hunter, don’t give up just yet.

    Henned again? There’s hope!

    Sitting on a flat rock, tucked in against the base of a big tree on the slope down the end of a long ridge, the hunter heard exactly what he wanted to hear in response to his first calls as dawn broke.

    April 01 at 7:00am

    Cover

    Turkey season is in full swing as April arrives, and Mississippi hunters can pick up plenty of tips on tricking gobblers, outwitting bossy hens and making old calls sound like new. Photo by Brian Carroll.

    April 01 at 7:00am
    Bo Brown killed this unique gobbler Sunday morning in Copiah County. In addition to being white, the bird had long spurs, 1 1/4 and 1 3/16 inches, and a 10 5/8-inch beard.

    Hunter kills white trophy gobbler

    Bo Brown had little choice, the way he had it figured, but to lift up his shotgun, aim and fire at the gobbler.

    March 28 at 1:00pm
    A turkey’s weight is only one piece of the puzzle that leads to his final NWTF score.

    How to score a turkey

    The National Wild Turkey Federation’s formula for scoring a wild gobbler is a combination of weight, spur length and beard length, with multipliers used for emphasis on spur and beard. All measurements are taken in 1/16-inch measurements, and lengths and weight must be converted to decimal form.

    March 19 at 7:00am
    Part of a young hunter’s training is learning during a hunt. Scott Ellis uses the time to point out different signs, explain strategy and give calling tips.

    Calling instructions for the champ

    Scott Ellis is a three-time Grand National Champion turkey caller who has beaten all comers in practically every venue. More than a champion caller, he’s a tremendous turkey hunter, as evidenced by the gobblers he has killed all over the country.

    March 15 at 8:00am
    Scott Ellis said using shooting sticks to help a youngster stabilize the gun can help early in their turkey hunting careers.

    Matching a young hunter to the right firearm

    These days, manufacturers are marketing youth shotguns that are easy for even the smallest youngster to shoot ­— and more than adequate for harvesting a turkey with the proper training. 

    March 15 at 8:00am
    Jake Ellis finished off his turkey grand slam last season with this Rio Grande gobbler.

    Father and son grand slam

    Getting a turkey grand slam — killing all four sub-species, Osceola, Eastern, Merriam’s and Rio Grande — in a single season is a daunting task. Imagine a father and son accomplishing it; Scott and Jake Ellis did it in 2017.

    March 15 at 8:00am
    Scratching in the leaves while calling quietly is a great tactic to give an approaching gobbler a sense of security.

    When things gets tough, scratch out a tom

    Hunters love it when a turkey plan comes together right off the get-go, but sometimes a wary old gobbler will tease you with booming gobbles, but sit tight on his turf. Instead of scratching your noggin for answers, just simply scratch…literally.

    March 15 at 8:00am
    Decoys, especially those imitating a jake, can be very effective in getting turkeys to commit and come into shotgun range.

    The pros and cons of turkey decoys

    Hunters typically fall into one of two camps when it comes to using turkey decoys: those who swear by them and those who don’t want the hassle of carrying them into the woods and setting them up.

    March 15 at 8:00am
    Many different turkey loads — 31/2-inch 12-gaunge, 3-inch 12-gauge, 3-inch 20-gauge ­— can be effective in the right hunter’s hands.

    Comparing shotgun loads for turkeys

    One well-known turkey hunter once discussed different shotgun loads for gobblers this way: “The only reason I don’t shoot 4-inch shells is because they don’t make them.” 

    March 15 at 8:00am
    Patterning your shotgun at different ranges, with different loads, will give you a better idea about your weapon’s capabilities.

    Patterning your shotgun

    One of the most-overlooked aspects of hunting with a smoothbore is the act of getting a good pattern for your shotgun.

    March 15 at 8:00am