APRIL 12, 2021


By the time you read this, I may have killed my first wild turkey with a shotgun since Virginia’s Spring Turkey Season opened April 10, 2021. Ironically, the only birds I’ve ever killed were with my bow, so I’m pretty excited to see what it’s like to hunt gobblers with a gun. I’ll have my girlfriend, a first-time turkey hunter, with me. She has been dutifully learning how to call for several months now, and I can’t wait to see her face if and when a tom sounds off to her calls. I am sure she will be hooked on turkey hunting like I am. I take great pride in knowing it is my duty and honor to support the sport of hunting by being the best sportsman I can be and introducing new people of all ages to our heritage. After all, if it wasn’t for my youth pastor’s unselfish commitment of his time, resources, and money, I may have never fallen in love with hunting, shooting, or even the great outdoors more than 30 years ago. As silly as it sounds, I suppose a few people in the hunting world are selfish enough to think this great nation and all of its natural resources should only belong to them. No one’s perfect. As for me, I know no matter how successful I am as a hunter, teaching or enabling someone else to hunt has been and always will be more satisfying.  Anyway, I hope everyone has a successful hunt this year regardless of where, how, or why you hunt. As always, thank you for your support and feedback about The Hunting Wire, Jay Pinsky jay@theoutdoorwire.com

Voice of Leadership Panel

By Matt Stewart

Editor - Turkey Country Magazine

Responsibility comes with the territory. As conservationists and hunters, we are responsible for using our natural resources wisely, and that comes with a laundry list of items — whether it be the land we use or the game animals we hunt.

It’s our responsibility to know the current climate of the state(s) we hunt, including its regulations, ongoing wild turkey research and more. The NWTF’s annual Spring Hunt Guide https://www.nwtf.org/hunt/article/2021-spring-hunt-guide can help with that, and we encourage all hunters to review state overviews in the guide and then refer to their state wildlife agency’s official website and regulations before heading afield this spring.

There’s no doubt, 2020 was a banner year in terms of the number of hunters who hit the turkey woods. That’s great news for state wildlife agencies, which depend on license sales for revenue, and for conservation efforts, which are largely funded based on each state’s hunting license sales and a cut from national firearm and ammunition excise taxes.

A rough estimate from reporting states in the fall of 2020 showed that nearly three-fourths of states saw an increase in hunter numbers last spring. That same unofficial survey also came with a similar increase in wild turkey harvests in reporting states. More hunters, more harvests. It goes without saying.

Even before the pandemic hit and resulted in an increase in hunters and harvests in many states, wild turkey reproduction and declining populations were being studied in some areas of the country. A few states already had regulation changes in the works, moving season dates back or limiting harvests in the early season to allow for more breeding to take place.

In 2020, South Carolina, for example, limited the number of gobblers a hunter can take in the first week of the season and delayed the start of the turkey season in certain state zones. For 2021, Tennessee has reduced its statewide bag limit and delayed the season in certain areas and counties. Arkansas made similar changes by shifting its season back and limiting harvest in the first seven days statewide.

Several states are also instituting or changing the requirements for game check-in procedures, whether that be online, by phone or otherwise. Reporting of harvests has historically been low, but it’s critical to help state wildlife agencies with harvest data.

These types of changes are our responsibility to know as hunters. We’ll still hunt with the same fervor in the spring, celebrate our success and share those stories, but we’ve also got to practice responsible recreation. That takes on two meanings in today’s climate: staying safe and healthy while being outdoors with others and understanding how each of us affects wild turkey management for future populations.

It’s a give and take that has lasted for more than a half century. In the beginning, we gave back more than we took. For the sustainability of wild turkey hunting at its current levels and to see populations flourish again, it’s likely time we examine our internal inventory.

Does that mean taking a new hunter on his or her first hunt instead of tagging out this season? Or does it mean abiding by your state’s regulations and making sure others do the same? Maybe it’s just a matter of getting more involved with a local NWTF chapter to help fundraise for conservation. After an unprecedented 2020, these are all questions each of us need to consider in 2021.

Matt Stewart, Editor

Turkey Country Magazine

2020-2021 The Hunting Wire Voice of Leadership Panel

The Voice of Leadership Panel is an appointed six-person group of outdoor industry leaders who have volunteered to contribute their voices on key hunting and outdoor recreation issues to inform, inspire, and educate participants within our community.

  • Jim Curcuruto, Hunting and Firearms Industry Consultant
  • Mandy Harling, National Director of Hunting Heritage Programs, National Wild Turkey Federation
  • Jenifer Wisniewski, Chief, Outreach and Communication, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
  • Joel Brice, Vice President, Waterfowl & Hunter Recruitment Programs, Delta Waterfowl
  • Makayla Scott, Montreat College Shotgun Team
  • Cyrus Baird, Manager of Government Relations, Safari Club International


  • James “Jay” Pinsky, Editor, The Hunting Wire
  • Peter Churchbourne, Director, NRA Hunter Leadership Forum


Council To Advance Hunting And The Shooting Sports: Facilitate the promotion and growth of hunting and the shooting sports and the education of the public on the contributions that hunters and shooters make towards wildlife conservation.

RECRUITMENT, RETENTION AND REACTIVATION (R3): Few organizations have more to do with the future of hunting through the R3 movement than the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports. What is R3? Watch this video and learn more.

CONSERVATION: The entire Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports website is a bounty of hunting and shooting information for not only today’s hunters, but tomorrow’s hunters as well. One key section on their website is the Pittman-Robertson Modernization Act. Learn more about it here.


Teaching A New Hunter

By Jason Houser

The author helped Jeff Embry, the owner of ECW hunting calls, take his first feral hogs.

As hunters, we must pass our love for the sport on to others. This can be done in multiple ways, such as storytelling to try and pique the interest of others, giving a gift subscription to a magazine, or taking a hunter out for their first hunt.

Now, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a child that needs to be introduced. Many adults need an introduction to the sport we cherish so that it will continue to thrive.

I had just that opportunity in April of this year to take a “new” hunter out. At a trade show back in January, I overheard Jeff Embry, the owner of ECW hunting calls, express interest in hunting hogs, but many things were holding him back.

Jeff is a retired Navy veteran that does not have opportunities that others do. He is still a small business owner where he dedicates just about all of his time so his business will flourish. Every dollar he earns is put right back into his dreams, leaving little extra to go on an out-of-state hunt.

Hearing his wishes, I went back to the hotel and made some calls to my friends at No Mercy Hunting Services in Oklahoma to see if we could get this veteran on a hunt. I knew without a doubt what the answer would be, and they did not disappoint me.

The next day I found Jeff in the exhibit hall and extended an invitation to go hog hunting. Fast forward a couple of months and many phone calls later planning our trip, we found ourselves in Oklahoma ready to hunt.

To say Jeff was excited would be putting it mildly. I don’t know how to explain it, but he was somewhat giddy. I hope I can say that about a retired servicemember.

Arriving at camp the first evening, we settled in and rested for what the next day would bring. Waking up well before the roosters, we had breakfast and a couple of pots of coffee before heading out the door.

Meeting up with our guide for this trip, we were given a basic introduction to hog hunting, such as shot placement, recovery, and more.

Piling in side-by-side, we headed out. Now, I will say that Jeff was a little nervous about these hogs. His head was filled with horror stories of hog attacks. When we dropped Jeff off at his stand, he surveyed the darkness with his Super Bright Headlamp from Bossman Outdoors. Confident he wasn’t going to be mauled as he made his way to the stand, I bid him good luck and continued to my stand.

Jeff’s weapon of choice was a Henry rifle chambered in .457. Jeff had no intentions of losing a hog. Again, this had to do with the horror stories of how tough hogs are even after being fatally wounded.

As the morning started to become active with birds chirping, turkeys gobbling, and everything that makes spring so unique, the peace was shattered with the sound of a rifle in the not too far distance, then another. Only one gun in the woods would make all that ruckus.

I immediately got on the phone and messaged Jeff about what happened. He explained that several hogs came into the feeder, and when two broke from the pack, he had his opportunity.

Now, I think Jeff would have given John Wayne a run for his money as fast as he maneuvered the lever-action on that rifle of his.

The shots were perfect, and the hogs never took a step after being hit. The challenging part for Jeff was that he was going to have to stay on stand another couple of hours before he could get to his hogs. I still had hunting to do, and I didn’t want the area disturbed until I had an opportunity. I know deep down inside this was eating him up as he wanted desperately to get his hands on the hogs.

Well, my opportunity never presented itself, and we finally made our way over to Jeff. Pulling up, the first thing I noticed were two hogs practically laying on top of one another. Then I looked over at Jeff, and the smile on his face said it all.

Jeff went on to kill another hog later that evening, and even I managed to put an arrow into one the next day.

But there is so much more to hunting than having an animal on the ground. The opportunity to take Jeff on this hunt probably meant more to me than it did to him to kill these hogs. That is what hunting is all about—spending time with family and friends and getting new hunters involved. The animal on the ground is just an excellent bonus.

So, the moral of this story is when you have the opportunity to take someone hunting, even a person that was a stranger just a couple of months before, do it. It will mean everything to that man or woman, and the satisfaction of getting someone out in the woods is unexplainable. This is what we have to do as hunters to keep this tradition going for generations to come.

Welcome to Mossberg's new series, "Spring Collective", which will follow a hardcore group of northeastern turkey hunters as they travel to several eastern states, showcasing the turkey hunting diversity the region has to offer. The group will document their journey while sharing the tips, tactics, and strategies that allow them to be successful hunting both public and private land.

VIDEO: Part III Gobbler at 10 Steps! | Crazy Spring Turkey Hunts

Join us this week to witness two crazy spring turkey hunts! Brett Joy and Jason Dubois hunt Ohio with good friend Jared Hawkins. They start the season out hunting with Jared and his son Grady for Ohio's youth season. After Grady's youth season success, Brett is able to fill one of his Ohio tags on a gobbler at 10 steps!

Episode 13 – Chukar Soup and 'Legrolls'

By Ken Perrotte

Video: Chukar Soup and 'Legrolls' Outdoors Rambler's Cooking with Colton The Hunting Wire

Chukar are popular gamebirds, frequently used at shooting preserves in the United States. These members of the pheasant family are sometimes called "chukar partridge." They are also fine eating. In this episode of "Cooking with Colton," produced by www.outdoorsrambler.com in partnership with The Hunting Wire, Ken and Colton make an Asian-inspired chukar soup, loaded with rice noodles and vegetables, not to mention flavor. To complement the soup, they make "legrolls," basically a twist on eggrolls. The meat in these air-fried rolls come from the legs of ducks, geese and chukar and the front legs of cottontail rabbit. The meat is cooked "confit" (con-FEE) style, namely smothered in fat. The meat is predictably tender and mild, comes off the bone cleanly and mixes well with the cabbage, carrots and other ingredients in the eggroll -- oops, legroll. The knives from a Smith's Cabin & Lodge set are put to good use: cleaver, boning knives, French knives and others. Check out the video and give this a try. For dozens of additional wild game and fish recipes, videos, hunting and fishing adventures, travel and more, visit www.outdoorsrambler.com.

A collection of bowhunting training videos and written content on how to help you become a better bowhunter.

By Easton Bowhunting

Video: Saving a Beard

http://www.eastonhunting.com? Randy and Nate have a quick tip on saving that Turkey beard. #TeamE? #Bloodline?

By Larry Weishuhn and Luke Clayton

Luke Clayton and Larry Weishuhn

Radio File: Hunting Wire Radio - Episode 22

Link: Let’s Go Hunting

If just one in three hunters adds one new person to our sport, we’ll secure a strong future for generations to come. So be the one. Ignite the passion that can change the course of someone’s life forever. For all hunting has done to enrich your life, join the +ONE movement and invite someone hunting. Share your experience with posts on social media. #plusonemovementsm


Stealth Cam® takes their 4K trail camera capabilities to the next level with the new DS4K Transmit! Optimizing the groundbreaking DS4K camera and adding wireless capabilities, the DS4K Transmit sets the new standard for combining remote scouting and professional quality photo and video transmission, straight to your mobile device!

Primary Arms Online has announced the start of their ‘SIG M17 American Service Pistol Giveaway’, a free gun giveaway that will run through the month of April. Like all Primary Arms giveaways, entry is completely free, and no purchase is necessary. Just visit their April Giveaway blog post, hit the button, and fill out the entry form for a chance to win.

Enjoying late-season hunts without pain or discomfort from the cold. That’s the aim for Better The Hunt. And for crossbow hunters who enjoy late season and cold weather hunting, the Insulated Crossbow Mitt from Better The Hunt might be the difference between making a comfortable shot or missing the chance at that late season trophy. This versatile new product gives crossbow hunters an innovative option for keeping their hands nice and comfortable on those long, cold, late season hunts.

To compress loud noises like gunshots into a lower volume, the new rechargeable Vertex™ electronic earmuff from Radians® has sound-activated compression over 85dB at .02 sound-reaction time.

Walker’s® - The leader in hearing protection and enhancement, introduces the ALL new X-TRM Razor Digital w/Bluetooth earmuffs! Improved from the original Razor earmuffs, the X-TRM Razor Digital w/Bluetooth feature ultra-low profile with GEL ear pads, cool mesh headband with advanced technology for one of the best electronic hearing protection choices on the market.

The Men's Hatcher Pass Long Sleeve Realtree EDGE Camo Guide Shirt is the lightweight option you need for warm-weather hunting. Scent-Factor Scent Inhibitor Technology controls scent and Solar-Factor UPF 40+ UV Protection shields skin from the sun's damaging rays.

Beretta is excited to join Sako Ltd. in the celebration of its 100th birthday and the impact that the company and its products have made in the rifle and cartridge marketplaces around the world.

Gold Tip, an industry leader in carbon arrows and bolts, is celebrating big wins at the ASA Foley Archery Tournament after team members took home five podium finishes in the Pro Division at the highly contested ASA Pro/Am Tour 3-D match. Leading the way for Gold Tip was veteran 3-D archer, Levi Morgan, pro staff manager Tim Gillingham and top Amateur shooter, teenager Morgan Rives, all winning 1st place in their respective divisions.

Benelli, makers of top-end shotguns and rifles, has joined Whitetails Unlimited as a national sponsor, WTU President Jeff Schinkten has announced. “Benelli makes some of the best shotguns on the market, and their rifles aimed at the big-game market are second to none. No matter what game you’re going after, taking a Benelli into the field means you don’t have to worry about performance. We’re proud that Benelli is part of the Whitetails Unlimited family, and is helping us advance WTU’s mission.”

Originally popularized by the late Col. Jeff Cooper of Gunsite Academy fame, the renowned Yaqui Slide was ushered into the modern era of holster design when Galco added a set of independent tension screw adjustments, allowing for a custom fit to the firearm and micro-adjustment of the draw stroke.

Dust off those decoys and get your slates prepped: Turkey season is here! We’ve assembled some essential gear, knowledge, and content to make sure you’re ready to call one in.

Our goal at Vortex Edge™ is to offer every shooter who trains with us an unforgettable experience. But for one lucky winner and a guest of their choice, we’re offering the training opportunity of a lifetime: Starting April 1 and ending April 30 when we randomly select a winner, you can enter to win a 2-day, one-on-one training experience customized to your needs by the Vortex Edge™ staff, utilizing our new, state-of-the art training facility. You pay for your travel and the rest is on us.

Bear & Son Cutlery, manufacturer of premium Alabama made knives, combines the traditional lockback look and feel with on-demand action, through their new A08 series automatic knives.

Since their introduction in 2004, AXIS arrows have emerged as the best all-around arrow for bowhunters looking for the most reliable results in taking down big game. Although AXIS utilizes made-in-USA carbon for increased durability and speed, most of the hunting-camp talk centers on their ability to out penetrate regular arrows.

An ideal blend of form and function, Galco’s new SB7 Fancy Stitched Holster Belt combines classic Western looks with all the sturdiness needed for all-day handgun carry!

The Boone and Crockett Club announced today that Leupold & Stevens, Inc. will be continuing its support as a Trailblazer in Conservation sponsor with the funds dedicated to the Club’s Poach & Pay project. Trailblazer in Conservation is the highest, mission-focused partnership level available with the Club. Leupold has been a strong partner of the Club for many years and this year’s support will help with research on poaching detection and prosecution rates, as well as for coordinated outreach to clearly distinguish between legal hunting and poaching.

Cold Steel, manufacturer and innovator of purpose-built knives and blade tools for everyday carry, tactical, and hunting applications, is excited to introduce the new Gunsite™ Counter Point 1 folding knife. Featuring the Gunsite Raven logo across the blade, the Gunsite™ Counter Point 1 is the perfect addition to any range bag or for everyday carry needs.

MonsterMeal is proud to announce it has continued its partnership with STUBZmedia. As a Marketing Agency located in Ridgeway, Iowa STUBZmedia specializes in helping brands maximize exposure in the outdoor retail space with a track record of results.

Shoot Like A Girl is taking the Home of the Brave Tour to Cabela's in Waco, TX this weekend, April 10 and 11. Both new and seasoned shooters are invited to join Shoot Like A Girl at the state-of-the-art mobile shooting range for this free, interactive event. Certified female instructors will be on-site to share their extensive knowledge of firearms, shooting sports and safety with guests.

Outdoor Edge, America’s leading manufacturer of knives and tools for all things outdoors, is pleased to announce that it has renewed its partnership with Randy Birdsong and Nate Hosie and their award-winning TV show, HeadHunters for the eighth consecutive year.

Galco's Dog Collar is made of the finest quality 10-11 ounce coffee-colored bridle leather, with polished edges for a finished and upscale look and feel. Solid brass hardware secures it to your dog and offers a sturdy attachment point for leads/leashes. The Dog Collar is 1" wide and available in four sizes with five holes for perfect adjustment.

Irish Setter MudPaw shoes are waterproof slip-ons for working in the garden, doing chores or taking a walk in the rain. TempSens technology helps regulate the temperature within the shoe to maintain constant foot comfort. In hot conditions, the system reacts so moisture is hyper-wicked away from the foot, facilitating evaporative cooling.

SITKA, the leader and pioneer in performance hunting apparel, has announced the opening of its first experience center, the SITKA Depot. The 3,000-square-foot retail store will offer a full SITKA-brand experience, including seasonally themed educational seminars, community events, and a full lineup of the company’s performance-driven gear.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation®, the firearm industry trade association, strongly criticized the City of Gary, Ind., effort to revive its lawsuit against firearm manufacturers that seeks to hold members of the firearm industry legally responsible for the harm caused to the city by the actions of criminals who misuse firearms.

In creation of newly formed Regional Sales Management roles, Buck Knives is pleased to announce Connor Slepikas and Anthony (Tony) Tekansik have joined the company to further strengthen aggressive growth plans. Under Vice President of Sales, Mike Silverberg, Slepikas and Tekansik will remotely oversee sales activities for the Western and Eastern United States and Canada.

For an even more effective outcome to your every crossbow shot, Bloodsport® Hunter Strobe™ crossbow arrows now come with an innovative strobing lighted nock. These rugged polycarbonate half-moon nocks feature multicolored strobing lights that are far more effective than static lights in helping you see your shot and find your arrow in low light conditions.

NSSF,® the firearm industry trade association, is pleased to announce that it has awarded a Five-Star rating to CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park. This is the first outdoor range to be awarded a Five-Star Rating under NSSF’s revised star rating system for outdoor ranges.

The original Firminator® was a brilliant solution for land managers looking to maximize their time, energy and financial resources by incorporating all the necessary food plot implements into one unit. But as the popularity of food plots grew, so did the demand, from a broader and more diverse group.

When determining the best location for a stand or blind, several cameras are sometimes needed to cover all the trails and key locations. The new Kicker™ camera series from Wildgame Innovations® is an excellent option for budget-minded hunters who want to cover a lot of ground all at once.

Bighorn sheep are rebounding across the American West thanks to strong conservation partnerships. A new interactive ArcGIS StoryMap, produced by the Partner with a Payer initiative with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, shows how funding from excise taxes on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment has helped restore bighorn in Nevada and beyond. The Partner with a Payer initiative connects state fish and wildlife agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program with the industries that fund conservation through the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson acts. View the StoryMap here: https://arcg.is/1uTiLD

Chestnut Hill Outdoors' trees are on the way to select Walmart locations. Arrival is expected between April 2nd and April 7th for the following states

Take scouting to the next level by instantly sending images to any mobile device or desktop computer nationwide with a Wildgame Innovations® Encounter™ cellular trail camera. The new Encounter cell cam offers a swift and smart solution, keeping hunters connected wherever via the HuntSmart app and its artificial intelligence features.

The new Barnett® HyperTac™ 420 packs premium features, performance-driven innovation and industry-leading technology into a small, hunter-friendly package. With a precision-engineered, tactical-style design and ultra-compact riser, the HyperTac™ 420 is a compact and highly maneuverable powerhouse.

Veteran Innovative Products is excited to announce they’ve joined forces with WILD Jaeger. WILD Jaeger is an international sales and marketing powerhouse and will be representing VIP broadheads and other products around the globe. With this agreement, Wild Jaeger will represent Veteran Innovative Products in 31 new countries across Europe.

Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) was proud to host Native American and retired/disabled Marine veteran Tray Ardese on a Bison hunting in Nebraska at the Dismal River Club.

Springfield Armory® is pleased to announce the groundbreaking for a new facility at Geneseo, Ill., which will expand its manufacturing capabilities and provide a new headquarters location.

Hunters establish feeding stations to attract and nourish deer, not rodents! Keep varmints out and wildlife coming back with the Wildgame Innovations® Evolution Feeder PCUs (Power Control Unit).

Enjoying late-season hunts without pain or discomfort from the cold. That’s the aim for Better The Hunt. And for hunters who enjoy late season and cold weather hunting, the Insulated Multi Mitt from Better The Hunt might be the difference between making a comfortable shot or missing the chance at that late season trophy. Whether you’re rifle hunting, bow hunting, or using a shotgun, this versatile new product gives hunters an innovative option for keeping their shooting hand nice and comfortable on those long, cold, late season hunts.

For dove hunters looking for the ultimate, spinning-wing decoy, the wait is over. New for 2021, the Avian-X® PowerFlight™ Dove decoy sets the standard in motion decoys. Avian-X product engineers invested countless hours of hunting and observation that led to the PowerFlight Dove design. From its ultra-realistic paint scheme and true-to-life wing-spin speed to its carefully crafted molding, every detail is perfect.

New for 2021, the Nomad Pursuit Series combines innovative designs, high-performance materials and hunter-friendly features to create the ultimate in turkey hunting apparel and concealment. The full line-up is available in Mossy Oak Shadow Leaf®. Shadow Leaf was initially introduced by Mossy Oak in 1997 and quickly became one of the most effective turkey-specific patterns on the market. This pattern features color-perfect green patterns and high-definition realism that has proven deadly on even the wariest toms.

As the name implies, the new Barnett® Hyper Whitetail™ 410 provides innovative features, design and value for the serious whitetail hunter. With hard-core whitetail enthusiasts in mind, the Hyper Whitetail™ is blazing fast, super accurate and penetrates like nothing else on the market!

Every new activity has a learning curve and a set of basic terms. A few basic terms will help with that exciting journey for the person entering the world of long-range shooting.

SCI is pleased to announce a new multi-year partnership with Pyramyd Air, the world’s largest online retailer of airguns. SCI members will benefit from the expert knowledge, customer service and comprehensive selection of products offered by Pyramyd Air while the partnership supports SCI’s mission to defend the freedom to hunt and promote wildlife conservation.

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