Steve Hickoff is the Realtree Turkey Hunting Editor and Blogger. He’s been beaten by more birds than he can remember. Still he kills enough to eat well, and fool with beards, spurs and fans until the next season. Pennsylvania born and raised, Maine is his home base now. A full-time outdoor communicator with a couple university writing degrees, he chases spring gobblers and fall flocks around the country. It's "all turkeys, all the time" on the Realtree Turkey Blog.
July 27, 2011 | By Steve Hickoff
I should’ve acted on this years ago, but didn’t.
Kidding aside, if any of you have read my “Fall & Winter Turkey Hunter’s Handbook” (Stackpole Books, 2007), you remember me writing this lead in my chapter titled “Guns, Loads, Bows, and Broadheads”:
Our long-suffering spouses endure plenty. When the time comes, I’ve told my wife Elizabeth I want to be cremated, then reloaded into turkey shotshells. This ammo is to be distributed among my still-living hunting buddies, so that I can keep chasing birds around the country.
Now I have my chance: http://www.myholysmoke.com/
According to the company:
Holy Smoke was started by two state law enforcement officers, Clem Parnell and Thad Holmes, who realized there was a need for an individual's choice in how his or her life could be remembered or honored.
"What better way to be remembered than in a celebration of a life well spent?" Parnell asks. "We provide an ideal means for showing your love and respect for the deceased sportsman or woman. Not to mention, our services cost a fraction of what most funeral burial services cost, and they're more ecologically friendly than most of the current funeral interment methods."
Once the caliber, gauge and other ammunition parameters have been selected, you (by way of your funeral service provider) will send approximately one pound of the decedent's ash to Holy Smokes. Upon receiving the ash, the professional and reverent staff will place a measured portion of ash into each shotshell or cartridge. For example, one pound of ash is enough to produce 250 shotshells (one case).
You will be shipped the finished ammunition, boxed in available labeled ammunition boxes. Mantle-worthy wooden carriers with engraved name plates are also available. Your return shipment will also include any unused ash in a separate, labeled container.
July 21, 2011 | By Steve Hickoff
It's important to hydrate your gun dog during summer training sessions. This ongoing effort teaches your canine hunting buddy to seek you out as the primary water source, and not that pool of multi-colored nasty stuff at the end of the two track. If they drink from the wrong puddle, it could be deadly.
As a turkey dogger, I've trained all my dogs to return for water, poured into a collapsible bowl, during fall and winter hunts as well. Even if it's spitting autumn rain and snow, they still need water to hunt effectively and stay healthy.
(Steve Hickoff text/photo/video)
The available dates include a three-day and a four-day hunting period as follows:
Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 1 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday)
Oct. 2, 3, 4, 5 (Sunday through Wednesday)
The 150 available lottery spots will be awarded to 75 hunters for each of the two hunting periods. Only one application per hunter will be accepted and applications can be submitted individually, or as a group, with no more than five applications per group.
Applications and additional details on the application process are available on the LDWF Web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts and LDWF headquarters by writing to the LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Attention: WMA Fall Turkey Lottery Hunt, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898. Completed applications must be received by close of business on Aug. 22, 2011. A $5 non-refundable administration fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries must accompany each application.
All hunters selected will be required to have all required LA hunting licenses, including 2011-12 turkey tags. Turkeys harvested during this fall season count as part of each hunter's 2011-12 turkey season bag limit. Additionally, hunters selected will be required to obtain a Military Clearance Permit from the US Army, provided at no cost by the Fort Polk Game Warden Office.
A drawing will be held in late August and winning applicants will be notified by mail. Lottery permits issued are non-transferable and must be in the hunter's possession while on the WMA each day of the hunt.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter@LDWF.
For more information on the fall turkey hunt lottery, call Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or jstafford [at] wlf [dot] la [dot] gov (jstafford [at] wlf [dot] la [dot] gov).
July 12, 2011 | By Steve Hickoff
1. It will help you scout for deer firearms season, which often arrives later than fall turkey dates.
2. Spending more time with fall turkeys will help make you a better spring gobbler hunter.
3. It’s an excellent opportunity to introduce a young person to the turkey hunting tradition.
4. Early and even late archery seasons often coincide with chances at both whitetails and wild turkeys from the same treestand.
5. In some highly populated areas, taking an adult broodless hen or young bird is practical game management.
6. A wild turkey on your Thanksgiving Day table honors the hunt and extends memories.
7. Turkey dogs are used to find and flush flocks before you attempt to call gregarious birds back to the break site. As a result dog men, in states where it’s legal, can add the wild turkey to their list of opportunities.
8. You’ve got turkey hunting apparel, gear, and a bunch of calls. Use that stuff in two seasons, not just one.
9. That summertime honey-do list is finished (well most of it!). Time to start scouting for fall.
10. It's flat-out fun, and fall turkey camp is a chance to relive previous hunts and make more memories.
(Steve Hickoff text; NWTF media photo)
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