If you surf the 'Net on a daily basis for newsy tidbits, viral videos or the all-encompassing cute baby dancing clip, you know what social media is all about. As a social media lover and an outdoor enthusiast, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube dominate my daily routine. It's almost like one big hunting camp, and you'll be lucky if you stumble upon a great story-teller around the Web's campfire. You'll be ever luckier if that story holds your attention.
Chris Walls was one of the first that kept me clicking. Walls, a native West Virginian and three-time National Wild Turkey Federation Grand National Gobbling Champion, uses Youtube as his hunting forum.
Like many freelance videographers, Chris does not have a consistent venue to present his hunting footage. Combine that need with the "Broadcast Yourself" world of America's most popular video site, and you've got Walls' Youtube channel.
"I wanted to become a full-time outdoor videographer while in graduate school at West Virginia University," Walls said. "But it wasn't feasible. I think working in the hunting industry would be very stressful on relationships, so I chose not to go that route."
Walls has had a passion for turkey hunting since the age of 14, and now he enjoys teaching others about the joys of the sport. Those pursuits have taken him to heights he'd never imagined. He's even made an appearance on LIVE with Regis and Kelly to show off his calling chops.
Now, he uses his Youtube page to show off, share with friends and get as many people as he can involved with hunting.
"I have had nearly 250,000 hits to my page since I launched it less than two years ago," he said. "People from all over the world watch the footage and give me feedback. It is a great way to display the footage that you capture; otherwise, it ends up in a shoebox under the bed."
I was on a youth turkey hunt in southeastern Ohio during this video shoot. One of our Beyond The Backyard members was selected as a photo contest winner and was rewarded with a great hunt. This was the first morning of youth season. The gobbler was on the ridge behind us and the hen was roosted on the ridge that we were set-up on. The hen tree yelped a few times and I answered her. In only a few minutes, she was on the ground and coming. That is where the video starts. She excited hen yelps, clucks, cutts, purrs and make some of the strangest sounds I have ever heard. I love hearing hens calling and that is the reason that I like that video so much. You usually don't get to see that often, especially on video.
This one helps you learn just how much you should yelp. Walls thinks most do it way too much.
This footage was shot in southern West Virginia in McDowell County. This was my fourth day in the field filming hunts. This hen crested the hill and walked right to me. I love the way this hen sounds. She is quiet, only one yelp of three notes, and the rest is clucking and purring. It is important for turkey hunters to realize that they yelp way too much. Not call too much, yelp too much. Turkeys typically cluck much more than they yelp. Not all, but most. Most hens in the timber sound similar to this one, quiet with her calling.