As it turns out turkey tails very often figure in my turkey hunting stories and so the title “Tales and Tails” is appropriate to what I have been doing lately. In preparation for the 2014 Georgia turkey season I have extracted stories from my “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures” radio show and repurposed them as the audio tract for a series of four YouTube videos. The visual portions of these videos is composed of still photos which may or may not be directly related to the subject material, as I will explain later. The first story up is “Charlie Elliott’s First Turkey.” Elliott was a long time writer for the magazine “Outdoor Life,” a professional forester and the head of Georgia’s Dept. of Natural Resources where he participated and promoted the restocking of turkeys and deer in Georgia post World War II. For a time he even published a state fish and game magazine. I knew Charley when he was in his 90s. When we met, we talked about aspects of the outdoor writer’s life, story telling and very often, turkey hunting. Charlie lived to see the construction of the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center near Mansfield, Georgia where his office was recreated. He had the opportunity to record messages about some of the objects that are shown and about his hunts. The cartoon character “Mark Trail” was modeled after Elliott and, although fictionalized, captured something of Charlie’s love of the outdoors and desire to teach others about it.
“Thunderball Turkey” uses natural sound to help construct an audio recreation of a hunt where I take a turkey with a flintlock Brown Bess musket during a violent Spring thunderstorm. I have the good fortune to be able to hunt on my own land just by walking out of my house. On this particular hunt I was a mile from my house and sheltered in a built-up deer stand to keep from getting more drenched that I already was. Strange things happen sometimes in the turkey woods, and despite the weather, the wet gun and a cautious bird some interesting events occurred.
Not all of my turkey hunts end successfully. “Catch and Release Turkey Hunting” consist of two hunts where the turkeys got away, although not without leaving something behind. In both cases I am trying out some new equipment and things do not go quite as planned.
“Turkey Dance with Feathers Chimes and Cannon” was recorded as if I was in a Southern bar at closing time and the only people there was the bartender and “Fred” who was passed out and snoring loudly. This video is for the multi-taskers in that the visual portion is a “How to hunt turkeys” slide show with text over-prints, while the sound tells an altogether unrelated story. If the visuals bother those among you who are strongly afflicted with the “neatness gene,” just close your eyes and visualize the story within the story as it unfolds. As with all of my materials, this story, including the voices and sound effects was produced by me.