It's turkey season, y'all. Though seasons aren't quite open nationwide yet, thousands of hunters have already ventured into the great outdoors this spring to embrace the madness that is turkey hunting.
The team here at American Hunter (and NRA Publications at large) has had the opportunity to get in on some of the action, and thus far we've run into nothing but success. We're actually three-quarters of the way to a team Grand Slam. Editor in Chief J. Scott Olmsted bagged himself a Rio, Executive Editor Adam Heggenstaller has tagged an Eastern and Senior Web Developer Tom Rickwalder took care of the Osceola. All that's left is a Merriam's, which Associate Editor Jon Draper will be after in late May. We'll keep you updated as to his progress. In the meantime, you can catch up on the hunts of Rickwalder, Olmsted and Heggenstaller in the notes that follow.
Rickwalder tagged a pretty Osceola, pictured to the right, with Osceola Outdoors. He joined The National Wild Turkey Federation on the trip, and knocked down his bird with Federal Premium's 3rd Degree and a custom Savage Arms bolt-action shotgun.
J. Scott Olmsted—Rio Grande
Olmsted was hunting the Rio Grande subspecies at Canyon Ranch in Sonora, Texas with Bad Boy Off Road when he nailed his gobbler. He called in three toms on a Tuesday evening, just before 7. All three were mature, so Olmsted shot the one doing all the talking. He had a Stevens 320 pump, some 3rd Degree of his own and some Primos accessories. They helped seal the deal. His bird is the featured image above.
Heggenstaller's success was the result of an afternoon spent in a blind with two masters of turkey hunting. Harold Knight of Knight & Hale Game Calls pulled in a longbeard using his company's Last Call push/pull box and the Scarlet Fever pot. Heggenstaller did the rest as triggerman. David Hale was on hand, too, offering advice to both parties. Adam and his bird are pictured below.
As we said, all that's left for a staff Slam is the Merriam's subspecies, which we're hoping to have accounted for by the end of May. For more information on all of the trips described above, stay tuned to AmericanHunter.org and the American Hunter print magazine. Please feel free to share your own 2016 stories in the comment section below!