What a pleasant surprise when Mark from Buckshot Taxidermy messaged me on Facebook saying “Hey Ken your Snakehead will be done by the end of this week” – Holy cow….was I ever excited! So I went up this past Saturday to pick it up and I was absolutely thrilled with the results! This is that nice Snakehead that I nailed that day while fishing with my buddy Carmen, deep down in the swamps of south Jersey as you might recall. Here`s the link of that day with Carmen;
It looks absolutely stunning! If you`re looking for high quality taxidermy for your next mount, I highly recommend Buckshot Taxidermy. Mark is a stand-up guy and very straight forward and I like that a lot.
And now every time I look at at that wall and see that beautiful Northern Snakehead, it takes me right back to that day in the swamps with Carmen.
Buckshot Taxidermy –
Address: 215County Road 519 Wantage New Jersey 07461
Probably quite a few of you out there know about smoking cattails,…..then again, maybe one or two of you might not. So I thought I`d share this fun, “good-to-know” outdoors tidbit with all of you.
Night fishing in the Summertime means hot, muggy-buggy nights and being devoured by mosquitoes, as you sit along the banks of your favorite river. Now as I sit here writing this, I can`t really recall where I first learned about cattails as a kid growing up. Might`ve been Boy Scouts…….not really sure. But I do remember riding my bike down to the Mill Race in Califon and then tromping out in that mucky-swampy area to cut down my cattails. Then I`d take them home and lay them on top of Rusty`s dog house to dry out for a week or so. Next time Dad would take me eel fishing in Black River and I would be bringing along my cattail “bug repellent” –
While I was out last week with my `Yak, at the end of the day, I whacked down some cattails or “punks” as they are also know as.
Once I got home, I took them up to the attic as the ungodly heat up there would dry them out in just a few days.
And here`s a quick little clip showing how well they smoke once lit;
Eel fishing in the Summertime is something I have always enjoyed on those hot, muggy nights as long as I can remember. Actually don`t know very many guys that still do it…….. but I had the pleasure of doing it with a very special person last weekend…..my younger Brother Keith.
We talked about doing it a week ago and he was pretty excited to have a go at it, as we hadn`t fished together in probably over twenty five years. So we made plans to get together that night and hit the “Musky” below Point Mountain near Changewater. I told him that I`d have all the gear, rigs, lantern and bait for our Saturday night excursion on the river.
Well that afternoon around 4 o`clock I set out to wrangle up some bait at a local pond. As I pulled in and saw four fellas fishing……. and had an idea. Figured I`d use my “Bilingual” capabilities to get them to help me out a bit. These gentlemen were of the spanish persuasion. With that I swung open the door to my truck and said, “Hola hombres!” which two replied “Hola” – And with that I quickly went for my phone to translate;
Struggling to pronounce the words correctly, three of them started laughing! Then one spoke up and said, “Hey buddy I can speak english” – with that we all started laughing and they gladly helped me. In about twenty minutes, I loaded my bait bucket back in my truck and gave them a few extra bobbers, hooks and the rest of my worms. Then I shook their hands, jumped in my truck and said “Gracias amigos!”(ok ok….so I suck at spanish!)
Around 7:30 Keith and I made our way to the river. As I drove we were joking and he asked me, “Hey is the moon out tonight? I said, “Ya know….. I never looked! Ohhhhhhhhhh nooooooo! – See we grew up eel fishing and anyone that knows much about fishing for eels, knows that it generally is a wash-out if a bright moon shows up. You might catch a couple if it comes up later though. But for the most part a full moon and eel fishing are like oil and water……. they don`t mix. “Ahhhhhhhh….. we`re on our way so let`s go have some fun anyways”, I chimed in.
The thing is with eel fishing, they generally don`t feed all night(hence is why we “Gigged” eels many many years ago…… but don`t ask about that. That was a long long time ago.) so we figured we`d fish until 10:30 or so.
It was really good to be fishing with Keith again after all these years.
I guess it was right around dark, about 9pm, after my pole got jarred hard on the rock, that I landed the first river serpent of the night. And a nice one at that!
Then Keith had a real nice wirely eel on……. got it to the bank and it jumped off on land and quickly wiggled and dove back into the dark waters of the Musonetcong. I said laughingly, “Hey…. that`s why it`s called fishin` and not catchin!”
He re-baited and in a matter of ten minutes, had a monster on…..
His line shot directly up river as he reeled back to set the hook! He said, “I think I have your line” – I replied, “No ya don`t…..my line is out of the water!” – and with that the beast of an eel thrashed on top of the water!
“Holy cow!….You`ve got a monster buddy!” I said.
He dragged the serpent on shore and I quickly dispatched the monster with my knife. Keith couldn`t believe it, “Wow….that is the biggest eel I ever caught!” he said as I took a few pics.
Right around 10:30 we called it a night as the bite had pretty much subsided. And as we drove back over Point Mountain Keith said, “Well I`ll be damn…..look. It`s a full moon!” – I said, “Ya know what? Sharon and I ran into the exact same situation in the same spot a few years ago. And I totally forgot. It`s because the mountain top blocks the water until later in the night. And when that `ol moon peeks over the hill, fishin` shuts off completely”
We ended up with only three really nice-size eels(and one jumped back in remember?) but what a good time we had.
I threw them on ice for the night and went back down to the river the next morning to clean them. If you`d like
to learn how to clean an eel, watch this clip I shot a few years ago;
My plan was to try something new with my river serpents……. They were headin` for my Smoker! Had smoked eel when I was a kid and wanted to see if I could do it. After I cleaned them up, I rubbed them in sea salt and brown sugar. Then let them set for about twenty minutes before putting them in the Smoker.
So this was pretty much trial and error……but hey that`s how ya learn right? I fired up the Smoker to 190 degrees and used apple wood chips. I only cut up half of them in case my “Smoking venture” didn`t turn out all that well. Figured Sharon could fry up the other batch for me and the bears could eat whatever I messed up smoking! HaHa!
I smoked the eels for an hour and a half and kept an eye on them as they turned a nice golden hue. Now because they`re a sort of fatty/oily fish(but they do not really have a fishy taste), I thought they would turn out great………
Ok ok…… yea I know what you`re probably thinking. “Come on Ken…… We`ve heard of “writer`s block” but a story about a bug? Seriously? Seems like you`re lacking a little bit content-wise with this one buddy!” –
However, I assure you this is unlike any other story that you could ever imagine about a little bug……..
a Katydid. So that being said……..
Once upon a time there was a little bug named Katy….and this is what she did.
Last Tuesday morning I was in a rush as I had a meeting at work. Hastily I gave Sharon a kiss, petted the pups and walked out in that beautiful, warm Summer morning air. As I walked to the car and put my attache case in the back seat, the nice slight breeze put a smile on my face.
I jumped in and started up the car……..backed down the driveway…….As I stopped at the end of the driveway to look for on-going traffic, I looked in the side mirror and said, “Hmmmmm….. look at that bug” – There she was perched on the inside of my mirror almost like she was looking at me.
I took my usual routine drive to Dunkin` Donuts for my morning cup of joe up off of Rte. 31 and as I pulled up to place my order, there was “Katy” still sitting tight inside the mirror. When I pulled up to the window to get my coffee, the girl reached out and almost dropped it when she saw my “passenger” on the mirror! She gasped “Ewwwwwww I hate bugs! That thing is huge!” What is it?” We both started laughing as I explained that I had just driven seven miles and the bug stayed on the mirror!
Now coffee in hand, I headed back out on 31 and made my way to Rte. 78. As I balanced the hot cup of java, I turned on E Street Radio as I steered onto Rte. 78. Bruce ripped into The Promised Land as I cruised at 70 miles per hour and sang along. I gradually made my way into the left lane and glanced into the side mirror and couldn`t believe what I saw…… The magical Katydid was now clinging onto the top of the mirror in the open air! As if she was surfing in the air, clutching happily as I sped down 78 to Bruce`s lyrics. I laughed out loud as I couldn`t for the life of me figure out how the hell this bug was possibly still on that mirror!
I pulled into the dealership at 8:50am and yep! The Katydid still sat on top of that mirror as I got out of the car. I snickered a little bit, shook my head and said, “Welcome to Summit Katy……guess this will be your new home” –
Or so I thought.
Later that day around 2 o`clock, I went out for a cup of coffee. Walked out to my car and yep, you guessed it. My passenger was still hanging out right on that mirror where she was when I arrived earlier that morning. Now I started to have a conversation with the bug…….. “Hey bug….don`t you have to eat or drink or something?” HaHa! Right then one of my colleagues walked out and I called him over to show him “Katy” – I explained how this crazy little green bug rode all the way from Port Murray to Summit. Ohhhhhhhhh…….I forgot to mention how far away that is…….. 52 miles one way!!!!
Now you`re starting to see why this was indeed turning into quite the adventure gang!
As my day ends, I walked back out to head home, lo and behold little Katy was still relaxing on the mirror. I said, “Little bug I`m sure this is where we`ll part as friends, as I highly doubt you`ll ride all the way home” -( jesus christ….. now I`m talking to bugs!!)
Boy…..talk about eating your own words. Katy sat right on top of that mirror and enjoyed the whipping wind as we drove all the way home. Now I was puzzled and amazed all at the same time. How the hell could this little bug stayed on the mirror all day? When I got home, I texted Sharon and told her about this magical little bug. Her response was, “Are you sure it`s not dead? HaHa!” –
Wednesday morning – I looked at the mirror as I approach the car…… No Katy……”Guess she finally flew away” I thought to myself. I got in the car, put in reverse, start backing up and stop immediately! What the hell???
I couldn`t believe it…….. The Katydid was now on the passenger side mirror! I started laughing my ass off…….. Now all I needed was Rod Serling to show up and say “Ken…. you`ve just entered the Twilight Zone”-HaHaHa! I couldn`t believe this!
Same routine as the day before, grabbed a coffee and away we went back down Rte. 78. And yep, there was Katy on top of that mirror riding the wind again.
It was like deja vu all over again. She stayed on that mirror again, all the way from Port Murray to Summit.
As you can see, that is the parking lot of Douglas INFINITI. Folks…… you can`t make this up!!
Later Wednesday afternoon, I went up to 7-Eleven to get a drink. When I got back in my car, the window was down on the passenger side. This guy parked right next to me, walked towards his car and saw the bug on my mirror. “Damnnnnnnnnnnn!……. That`s a big-ass Grasshopper on your mirror man! I started laughing and proceeded to tell him how the bug had been on my car for over 150 miles! He couldn`t believe it and said, “I gotta take some pictures of that Grasshopper for my kids!” and with that he took out his phone and snapped a few. ( As you can see the 7-Eleven sign in my mirror and Aston Martin across the street)
Later that evening, I trekked back home and the little Katydid rode that mirror all the way back to Port Murray. In two days, that little bug rode over 230 miles. What`s truly amazing is the fact that the little bug started her journey in Port Murray and it ended there as well. On Thursday morning, I went out to my car and she was gone………and I never saw her again.
They say a Katydid only lives two or three months……….but I think that little bug lived a lifetime in just two days.
Maybe that was the message of this whole adventure…..Being mindful of our own mortality is the key to making us realize the importance of the moment.
Carpe Diem – “Seize the Day”……To make the most of our current time.
Whenever anyone asks me “Hey Ken do you Saltwater fish?” my usual answer is this, “Not really, but when I do, most party boats usually let me go for free. Why would they do that you ask? Well….. when they see me coming they`re like “Hey here comes the Chum King! Just stuff `em full of donuts boys and we`ll have all the chum we`ll need!” – Yep……. I get really seasick in the Saltwater. Hell I can still hear my Dad yellin` at me when I was 13 out in Sandy Hook, “Jesus christ Kenny! We`re in the damn bay!” –HaHaHa! So when it comes to boats and saltwater, well let`s just say I ain`t too crazy about it.
But there`s always the Surf which is something I`ve never really indulged in very much having only tried it twice in my life. However, when my buddy Mark Jones invited me to have a go at some toothy critters in the Salt, how could I say no? I couldn`t! So we made plans to head down to Cape May to go after some sharks on the beach. Sounds exciting doesn`t it? Sure did to me! Chasin` toothy critters in the dark!
For me this would be the furthest south in Jersey(couldn`t get much further!) that I had ever been and the possibility to catch a `Ray or Shark was also a first. Heck for that matter, catching anything in the surf would be a first.
Upon arriving at their home, Mark came out and as we greeted each other with a handshake, he introduced me to his Wife Shelly who would also be joining us on our night time adventure. Such a pleasant Lady…. one of the first things she said was, “Where`s your Hat?” —HaHa!
We got to Cape May around 5pm and made our way out on the beach to begin our night. What a beautiful beach! There was a nice, light breeze coming off the ocean. Quickly Mark put the sand spikes in for the poles and cut up some bunker for bait and before you knew it, we were fishing. Shelly got all set up as she was going to be our “Photographer” for the night and a great one at that.
Several of Mark`s buddies also joined us in the evening surf. Real nice fellas. Heck I didn`t even realize that one of them was already friends with me on Facebook until I got home the next day!
Always amazes me how many nice people I meet because of fishing!
After fishing maybe an hour or so, Mark had a bite. As the fish ran the line he reeled back setting the hook!
Fish on! I couldn`t believe the bend in that twelve foot pole! He immediately called out saying, “Feels like a Ray” – And after about a twenty minute fight, the massive Ray was on the beach!
I couldn`t believe how these big fish fought! Then it was my turn……
Whatever I had felt great to me! What a fight!
At this point, the big Ray actually broke water! It was awesome to see with it`s big wings taking to the air!
Eventually I tired(or I got tired! haha!) and landed the beast on the beach.
Next Mark and Scott had a “Double” on!
Then at dark, Scott caught a behemoth of a Ray! Had to go over one hundred pounds!
A Monster Butterfly Ray! Absolute monster!
So while the sharks never showed up that night, it certainly was one big Ray “Party” and it was a blast! I can`t thank my gracious hosts Mark and Shelly enough for inviting me down. Just enjoyed everyone`s company immensely. I`ll be back…… after my Shark!
Howdy! If you get a chance, when you`re at a Quick Chek, Krauszer`s or maybe 7-Eleven store, pick up a copy of this month`s June edition of The Fisherman magazine. I believe you will find the story by yours truly, quite compelling and rather challenging on page 28.
I`d like to give a big thank you to Jim Hutchinson NJ/DE Managing Editor for considering and publishing my Pike story. I also had the pleasure of meeting Jim in person in April at the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife Outdoor Writer`s Workshop. Just a heckuva nice guy.
Here are a few pictures of the flies, Pike and of course, Piper our Pomeranian. If you do not live in Jersey and can`t pick up the magazine, you can go on-line to read it digitally at the link below;
If there`s one sure-bet as to where you can find me on a rainy, drizzly day, bet the ranch you`ll either find me hunting or on the water somewhere in Jersey. And that`s exactly where I ended up the last two rainy Saturdays for a few hours. Chasin` `ol Esox in my `Yak up on Budd Lake.
Now I have to be honest, it was a torrential downpour when I pulled into the lot. I mean it was raining so hard that I actually sat in the truck contemplating going back home. But after waiting almost an hour, it had let up enough that I decided to have a go at it and dragged my `Yak out.
One of the reasons I enjoy fishing in the rain is simply because of lake traffic. There isn`t any! HaHa! I usually have the entire lake to myself, especially the harder it comes down.
Even brought the `ol Go PRO to try my hand at shooting a little video of the day`s adventure. But I`ll tell you, sometimes I prefer to leave the camera home though, as I have lost countless nice fish fumbling with it. I assure you that on more than one occasion, I have cuss n` swore while attempting to turn the camera on, and keep the fish on my line as well. Nice when it comes together, but doesn`t always work out the way you planned.
So getting back to the story….
I loaded up my gear, rods and reels and quickly paddled out into the “pond” – Ahhhhhhh and the wind was blowing out of the East. Reminded me of an old fisherman`s saying my friend Dave “Gonzo” Dembitsky told me; “Wind from the east, fish bite the least. Wind from the north, don`t go forth. Wind from the west, fishing is the best. Wind from the south, blows the bait in the fishes mouth”
Definitely had a strong, gusty breeze blowing that rainy afternoon. But it would make for decent drift, as I ran parallel to the shore-line. Just had to find a few hungry “fishys” that`s all.
I started throwing a Chartreuse Chatterbait with a white Keitech three inch swimbait for a trailer. I paddled my way into an upcoming patch of lily pads and started working the area. On the fourth cast I had a strike, only to reel up my half-bitten off Keitech. I just smiled as I knew `ol Esox was nearby.
I should also mention my set-up a bit. Everyone has their preference/style and this is mine whenever I`m fishing Toothy Critter Waters. I use a Extra-Fast-Action seven foot rod, paired with a Shimano spinning reel. Nothing fancy(as I tend to be a little “rough” with my equipment and break alot!) spooled with 30lb Power PRO Braid. Now I have used straight 30lb Braid and have also had Northern Pike bite through it like butter. So that being said, I always use a six or nine inch 30lb steel leader…..always. Also the leader gives just the right amount of weight I when I`m throwing a Zoom Fluke.
As I maneuvered about the submerged young lily pads, there was an abrupt, huge splash literally three or four feet in front of the `Yak. Apparently I was invading the resident Beaver`s territory, as this was his way of warning his friends of my presence. And when they smash their tail on the water that unexpectedly close, you`ll jump a bit!
Working the Chatterbait around the pads,….. suddenly a good strike……. Fish on! As the Bucket-Mouth acrobatically took to the air and eventually met my net.
Snapped a few pics and quickly released the Greenback back in the “pond” – Paddled further down along the tree-line and decided to switch to my other rod and throw another one of my “go-to” lures, a White Zoom Fluke.
My very basic “arsenal” of lures usually consists mainly of these two lures. The top is the Zoom Fluke which I use from everything from Bass, Northern Pike, Snakeheads, Bowfins and even Muskies.
The Chatterbait (with the bitten off Keitech swimbait!) usually always gets me plenty of action wherever I`m fishing as well.
The very first cast I made with the Zoom Fluke, was right into the edge of this submergered brush………BAM!!! WOW! It was like a freight train smashed the Zoom when the mighty Northern struck! As I reeled back to set the hook, the heavy Esox dove down deep and the drag began to peel off line! After battling the Toothy Critter for several minutes, I went for the net and scooped up the fat Pike. A very good fish indeed!
Without further ado, here`s the little clip I shot of the day`s adventure up on Budd Lake;
Hope you enjoyed my adventure up on Budd Lake. Get out there and catch `em up Gang!
Just about every time Turkey Hunting rolls around, I start scouring around trying to find some new, “catchy” turkey call. And every season, I try to figure out how to use a turkey mouth or diaphragm call to no avail as well. I typically start gagging on it, get pissed off and give up, which is pretty much par for the course, till the following season.
But this pre-Turkey season, I found a Wingbone Turkey Call on eBay and thought, “What the heck? Why not?” Wasn`t sure how it would sound or even if I could make a sound with it, as the “level of use” pretty much the same whatever I read……. “Difficult”. Whether I could make a sound with it or not, either way, sure did look pretty cool. So I bought it for $20 bucks.
The Wingbone call arrived a few day later and I had been studying various YouTube clips and was eager to have a go at it. I have to admit, I didn`t sound all that good or very “polished” but after a couple nights fooling around with it, I decided to give it a shot in the field. Well lo and behold, that very next morning I called up a Gobbler with that `ol Wingbone call and bagged him…… and now I was hooked!
Now the Wingbone call was used by Indians thousands of years ago to actually call wild turkey within bow and arrow range. The more I read about it, the more intrigued I became. Got me rationalizing “Hell if it worked for Cochise, don`t see why it wouldn`t work for me. being part Comanche and all” (Well… at least I might be! Haha!) –
Then it got me thinking…… how cool would it be to actually make my own Wingbone Turkey Call! And that`s exactly what I planned on doing with the Gobbler I had just shot.
The very next evening after supper, I went down to my truck, flipped down the tailgate and started pulling the wings apart. I`ll show you a sequence of pictures I took that night as I “worked the wings” –
Here I started pulling the feathers from the wing, exposing the meat on the wingbones.
Next, I began fleshing the meat and separating the feathers from the cartilage.
Then I kept “fleshing” the bones removing as much meat as possible, before I started boiling them
Sharon said, “No dice….. not boiling your bones on my stove!” – So I fired up the grill and boiled `em for about an hour and a half.
Cooked off most of the meat, then scraped any remaining with my knife. By this time it was getting late, so I put the bones in a cooler that I partially filled with vinegar, as I figured this would help to de-grease the bones a bit more until I could work on them the next night.
The following night, I cut the bones using my Dremel Tool as this has quite a few various attachments and I thought it would be ideal for my Wingbone Turkey Call project. I should mention that I planned on making two calls, one from each wing.
After cutting the bones into sections, I used a clothes hanger to work out the marrow in the bones. Then simply blew out any remaining particles. Using the Dremel, I honed the edges and widened the openings a tad to get a nice fit. While my original plan was to make a three-bone call, that didn`t pan out as I learned that while it did indeed look really cool, it didn`t create the “sound” because the bones were not really aligned properly. Having two bones going one way and the other facing the opposite, didn`t work, as I found out through trial and error.
But that gave me another idea. To make two 2-bone calls. One with a higher pitch that would imitate a younger hen turkey and one with a slightly deeper, raspy tone imitating a more mature hen.
So #1 was the main and #2, the thinner bone gave me the higher “young hen” pitch. And obviously #3 attached to #1 did also give me that “rasp-ier”, deeper sound I was looking for. Again, it took a few hours of honing with the Dremel to get everything to fit, but once I did, I then epoxied everything together and let them dry out and set for a night.
The other morning I was out with one of our pups in the backyard and had the Wingbones in my pocket. So I decided to see if any Gobblers would answer up on the hill behind our house. Sharon was getting ready for work, heard me calling, opened the window and said jokingly “Oh my god! I hear turkeys everywhere! HaHa!”……… I took Piper back inside and went back out to call again.
Then it happened! Three Gobblers started answering back and coming down the hill! I quickly went to the window and signaled her to open it. I put my index finger to my lips then pointed to my ears as she stuck her head out the window. Then I called again……. and her eyes got wide and her mouth dropped open in disbelief….. “Oh my god, you really are calling them in! They`re close!
All of the sudden another Gobbler was coming in from another direction fast as hell, gobblin` his brains out along with the other three! Turned out to be pretty exciting as they came within 60-70 yards before it started pouring rain.
Check out the short clip below to hear my Wingbone Turkey Call –
Springtime…….ahhhhhh……. yes. After a long,cold winter, the change of season is most definitely welcomed. The days are longer, the air is finally warmer and silence of the morning forest is beginning to burst alive with the gobbling of male turkeys. And if there`s one thing that I truly enjoy this time of year, it`s Springtime turkey hunting.
Turkey season in New Jersey runs for five consecutive weeks as follows; A,B,C,D(D runs for two weeks) and E is a permit to hunt on Saturdays during the season. Last week was the beginning of the season(“A” week) and I have to admit, I don`t recall the first week of Turkey Season ever being as cold as it was.Several mornings it hovered right around the thirty degree mark…… and that`s a tad chilly for this time of year. For that matter, I literally only heard two turkeys gobble on the roost, the entire week. In the previous years, I pretty much hear gobbling consistently each day throughout that first week.
The most excitement actually happened Thursday morning as I ventured into some new territory with the hopes of crossing paths with `ol Tom Turkey. It was a beautiful, chilly morning as I hiked into the darkness of the woods at 4:30am. Going by only the shimmering light of the April moon, I trekked down an old logging trail and eventually set up on a flat that had a slight crest of a hill to my right. Looked like a decent set-up from what I could make of it at that hour.
At about 7:15, I heard a gobble way off in the distance and even though it was pretty far off, that sound immediately got the `ol blood pumping. I began to lightly “cluck” on my box call in the crisp morning air. After about an hour, it was apparent that the lone gobbler had headed elsewhere. Eventually, I pulled out my slate pot call and began “cutting” and “purring” if hopes of a response. Then at about 9:15, as I looked down to begin striking my call, something literally forty feet to the right of the trees I was facing, got startled and jumped back behind the trees. I thought, “Well I`ll be damn, a red fox” I thought to myself, as I wasn`t 100% positive what I had actually seen.
In a matter of seconds, I was about to find out what had caught my eye……..As a Coyote darted up the hill!! It was the closest I had ever called in a Coyote, let alone with a turkey call. `Ol Wiley E Coyote caught me totally off guard as I never had the gun up figuring it was a fox. So that was my only real excitement that week(And I loved it!) – Onward to “B” week……..
Looking at the extended forecast, it looked like the weather was going to break open with a warm snap about the middle of the week, as I was banking on this for my morning hunt later in the week. Hopefully the warm streak would get the birds “talking” – The week before, I was sitting at the computer browsing turkey calls on eBay one night and found a rather interesting one. The Wingbone Turkey Call. Native Americans crafted these calls thousands of years ago to lure wild turkeys within range and the calls are actually made of three different bones from the turkey`s wing. So I ordered one and figured I`d give it go.
After watching several YouTube videos like the one below, I have to be honest, I didn`t sound as “perfect” as the guys in the clips, but I figured, “What the hell, not all turkeys probably sound perfect every time either so let`s have at it” –
Loaded up my truck that morning at 4:10am and off I went into the darkness of the early Springtime air. I planned on setting up my pop-up blind which I usually only use when it rains. Just wanted to try something a little different this time.
Daybreak came and I heard the first gobble of the morning off in the distance. At 6:30 I let out my first attempts of lightly yelping on the Wingbone. About an hour later, I did it again. Like I said gang, it sure didn`t sound perfect by any means. Another hour and a half goes by, no gobbling at all so I let out a few more yelps on the Wingbone……..Then it happened! Right over the crest a Gobbler answered back as he was heading up the ridge in my direction. `Ol Tom Turkey was close now…..really close. I gave one light yelp on the Wingbone and he answered back quicker! I slowly raised the Browning in his direction waiting for him to come over the ridge. As his blue head showed, I slowly squeezed the trigger……….. Gobble gobble….. BANG! Thunder-Chicken down.
Hope you all enjoyed my Springtime Turkey Hunting Adventure.
I just picked up my Turkeys from Wildlife Artistry by Mario, and I am ecstatic! What a phenomenal job! Just scroll down take a look at the detail in these pictures. High Quality Taxidermy indeed!
Sharon and Mario are the most gracious, down-to-earth people you`ll ever meet as they always welcome you
warmly when you come to their home. For that matter, they invited me in to have a cup of coffee and some pie the morning I stopped by and I really enjoyed our conversation. We talked for hours about everything from hunting to fishing to a radio show that Mario does to my writing and just about everything under the sun. But one thing that I really wanted to share is what Mario said when discussing customers because it really struck a chord with me……..
He said, “You know Ken….. I don`t have awards and ribbons hanging all over because I`m not that type of guy. I`m not into doing the whole taxidermy show/contest gig…… it`s just not my style. While some guys in the business nowadays, turn down some work because they don`t want to mount this or mount that, I rarely turn anything away. I`m a taxidermist…… that`s what I do. We truly develop a real personal relationship with our customers and that`s why we have a very high percentage of repeat customers and referrals every year. It`s about doing business with the highest level of integrity.
And while accolades are nice, our true reward is seeing the smiling faces of our customer`s when they pick up their mounts. That`s our “Ribbons” at Wildlife Artistry. Because when the day ends, making the customer happy is all that really matters” –