National Wild Turkey Federation’s National Convention in Nashville, TN, 2011

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  As the Producer and Host of Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures, I sometimes take a look at major trade shows to get a feel for the industry as well as see what I can discover of interest to fellow hunters. This year’s National Convention of the National Wild Turkey Federation had a lot to offer, not only to visitors but also as a statement about the economy. Vendors reported that their sales were much better than last year and one said, “I sold more by 10:00 AM the first morning than I did during the entire show next year.” Before I left the show, I had gathered 20 interviews for my radio program to provide listeners a sampling of the event.

  The impression that I got from the floor was also favorable with most traffic being generated by booths that had new products, a variety of products and long-established reputations. Woods Wise’s Jerry Peterson’s booth was typical of this category. The long-time diversified call maker (since 1985) and I had an outstanding interview about the history of Woods Wise products and game calling in general. He also had some significant information on the numbers of deer fawns taken by coyotes and some new, at least to me, ways of hunting them.

  Although I commonly write about knives, one long-established American company that had escaped my attention was Cutco, who makes kitchen knives and cutlery in upstate New York.  In the 1950s they embraced the then novel serrated edge for kitchen uses, made and still make, superior blades using this edge. I have little use for badly done serrated edges and half-serrated blades. Cutco’s are well done, combined with good steel and make for well-designed instruments. Should your knife become dull, they offer a home sharpening service if they have a nearby representative, or you may send them back to the company at any time for resharpening.  

  Getting your decoys to not only look, but act, like real birds was a task taken on by Natural Motion Decoys who have a light-weight base that causes any pole-supported turkey, goose or other decoy to move in the decoy spread. This is a battery-operated system and permits the hunter to remain motionless and not have to operate strings to provide motion to his decoys on windless days. The movement is purposefully jerky, with pauses, to more nearly simulate a live bird.

  Even though I most often shoot muzzleloading shotguns, Remington’s new VersaMax shotgun is a semi-auto that can digest, without any alteration, any length hull from 2 3/4-inches to 3 1/2-inches long by using a unique gas system that considerably reduces recoil and makes even the honking-big 12-gauge hulls shootable even in  7 1/2-pound guns. Two versions of the gun are available now, with two 26-inch barrel lengths  to come later in the year.  Depending on options, the guns are available from about $1,200 to $1,500. These are expensive guns shooting pricey ammo, but they accomplish some things not previously done in semi-auto shotguns. For a look at the guns go to

<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”” border=”0″ alt=”Mothwing Bill Ghilly (Rear)”></a>

  Another product that struck me as being particularly useful was QuickCamo’s Ghilly cap-face mask with a green cut-leaf pattern. This combination insures that you never leave your face mask behind as well as providing an excellent green cover for spring turkey hunting. The hat-mask combos are available in common camo patterns for winter, spring and fall hunting. To see QuickCamo’s hat-mask combos activate this link: Catalogue and Order Form QuickCamo.

  To listen to the hour-long radio show activate the following live link after Feb. 29. Feb. 29 : The current show is a lively and sound-rich auditory history of the hunting gun, Gun Talk 101.  For a brief on all past shows go to my blog, Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures Radio Show Blog.

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