Tag Archives: Dixie Deer Classic

Yelping My Way to the Office!

My daughter thinks it’s sort of funny, the sounds that fill the car on the way to drop her off at school each morning. She’d really think it’s a hoot if she were still in the car most spring mornings when I crank it up and get really loud after I drop her off and make the rest of the trip to the office.

David Halloran and I talking turkey calls.

My Chevy doubles as my practice field. There, I shuffle different diaphragm turkey calls in my mouth in order to practice each cadence I plan to use throughout the season. Sara, my little one, usually mimics the calls – save the actual call being in her mouth. Someday we’ll let her practice on a real call too.

The first-ever AHT pot turkey call - and it really sounds good

I’m certain I’m not alone when it comes to practicing in the car, but I have to admit that I rarely see another motorist on I-85 near Charlotte cupping their hands to see how they can change the tone and inflection of each yelp, cluck, putt, kee-kee or purr!

The first AHT box calls I made in 2010

I’m somewhat of a turkey call junkie. It started from the first time I ever went turkey hunting with a close family friend, Bill “Bose” Bostley. We laid against a log near “Wayland’s Tree Stand” and he cleaned off a slate call with a rough-surfaced patch before making a series of yelping sounds. I still remember the sound from an answering tom down in the valley. I was hooked.

One of the two David Halloran pot calls I came home from the Dixie Deer Classic with. The other is already in my turkey vest, which is in my car!

I have several different makes and models of calls collected through the years. There are a number of pot calls, box calls, diaphragm calls and a wing-bone call or two that make up my collection. Last year I took to making a few of my own. Some of those sound better than others, I promise.

The face side of the beautiful call, which Halloran entered into the North Carolina State and Southeastern Open Call Makers Championships

The Dixie Deer Classic earlier this month had a booth I wasn’t expecting. That said, I was excited to see that David Halloran and his family were there showcasing some of David’s fine calls (visit his site here). I happened past their booth within the first five minutes of being at the Classic and told my buddies that I was likely to spend a few dollars with David while I was there.

I ended up leaving the next day with a couple of Halloran’s masterpieces, although one (Laminate Slate) ended up coming home via a nearly-hidden silent auction the local National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) chapter was putting on. It was definitely a score finding the call. I also chose to buy a Sugartown Sweetness after making several calls across one he had on display. It sounds fantastic. I asked David to sign both calls out of respect for his true craftsmanship.

In addition to being only an hour from my hometown in Western New York, Halloran is among the elite call makers in the trade. And – get this – he’s still not old enough to rent a car! At 23, Halloran won the NWTF 2010 D.D. Adams Award for best pot call – the youngest to ever hold that distinction. Additionally, he scored two first-place awards in the same competition for other calls and has gathered quite a collection of ribbons from call competitions around the country. Not too shabby. To boot, he’s also found his calls on the cover of Turkey and Turkey Hunting in his still young career.

Here’s hoping David can continue living his dream and keep call making his full-time job. In speaking briefly with the rest of his family, which traveled with him to Raleigh, it’s easy to see why he’s finding success. As we say in these parts, “they’re good people.”

Reliving the moments all over again

There’s something amazing about really good taxidermy. I’ll bet that’s something you don’t hear everyday!

But something magical happens for me each time I sit in my man cave and let my mind wander back to the hunts of yesterday, reliving each moment of many specific hunts and then piecing them all together to reflect on the success that came out of those days.

Kurt's 2010 Illinois buck mount

This week I was able to pick up both of my 2010 whitetails from my big game taxidermist, Eric Gardner. He did a fantastic job. My Illinois deer couldn’t look better and I’m pleased I decided to go with a wall pedestal for the mount. The second I saw the deer on Eric’s wall ready for pick up, I couldn’t help but be taken back to the moments before the shot.

The thrill of seeing the deer movement out of the corner of my eye … deciding to capture him on video … praying he would give me a quality shot … watching him for what seemed like hours rub on small saplings … and the climactic moment of the shot … all the way to the recovery and the great times in camp with great friends.

It’s crazy to me how all those memories can light up a soul in less time than it takes to write them for this blog.

Another view of the buck

I’m off today to showcase the Illinois deer on behalf of Riverview Outfitters at the Dixie Deer Classic in Raleigh, N.C. I’m looking forward to it primarily for the opportunity to catch up with both Tyler and Josh. With very little voice after a bout with a cold this week, I’m expecting to go hoarse reliving many of the moments of the hunt this weekend with fellow outdoorsmen.

Stop by if you’re headed that way. We’ll be at 1-K06. I’ll probably be smiling next to the big guy pictured in this post!