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Outdoor Communicator Seminar at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center on March 7, 2015

 

Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, Mansfield, Georgia
Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, Mansfield, Georgia

 

Charlie Elliott, friend, mentor, writer, conservationist  and turkey hunter.
Charlie Elliott, friend, mentor, writer, conservationist and turkey hunter.

I will give the second annual  How to Become an Outdoor Communicator Seminar at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center near Mansfield, Georgia, on March 7, 2015.  The even will start at 9:00 AM and formal presentations will conclude at 4:00 PM followed by a question-answer and networking period until 6:00 PM. Among the topics to be covered are newspaper, magazine and book writing-publication; radio broadcasting and PodCast radio; Video and TV production; Social Media, including Twitter, blogging, Pinterest and Facebook; and Lecturing and Performing Stand-Up Comedy. The objective of the Seminar is to demonstrate how outdoor communicators should employ several methods to disseminate information to the widest possible audience.

My intellectual burden is that I have never been satisfied to work in only one media – say newspaper journalism, although that is how I started. I have progressed through all of the things that I have mentioned and produced thousands of news and magazine articles, 18 books, 1.5-years of radio, 400 YouTube videos, commonly posted on Social Media platforms, and delivered numerous lectures and comedy bits for social and industry audiences. The modern consumer audience has become increasingly segmented. Younger media users tend to rely on one or two media types for 70 or more percent of their daily informational intake. To ignore YouTube videos is to block out what is becoming the most commonly used search engine. Any creator of outdoor content needs to be on that platform while not neglecting traditional print media which is still a significant part of modern communications.

It has never been easier to take a picture, but it is as hard as it ever was to take a good picture. It has never been easier to publish a book, or more difficult to sell one. The flood of media being unleashed is enormous and somehow, the important information that you release must rise above the rest.  The first objective is always to produce compelling content. The second is to morph this content into several platforms so that it gains a higher ranking on search engines, reaches a larger audience and provides you with increased opportunities to deliver your message or service.  I do this quite commonly, and I may cover aspects of the same subject material in books, magazine articles, blogs, videos, radio and social media. In narrow topics, this quickly establishes me as the go-to guy for that information. Not only have I written, etc., about it; I have also done my field work and physically demonstrated the item or concept.

Entertainment always has a part in my materials with some pieces being more outrageous than others. Always, I try to put in the unexpected or unusual in what otherwise might be a fairly dry topic. A little performance art does not hurt. Life is full of follies, and I am not reluctant to talk, or write, about mine.  Unusual for business-related seminars, I will be doing some demonstration wild-game cooking during our lunch break. Anyone who wishes may eat, but bring your own drinks or you may go to Mansfield, some 5-miles away and dine there. Regardless, the seminar will resume promptly at 1:00 PM. Many of last year’s attendees thought that this meal was the highlight of the event.

Attendees will also be provided with a detailed workbook of the presentation which will be E-mailed to them prior to the Seminar. Please print out and complete the first sections of it before attending. Do your homework. I will only have a few extra copies at the event for $10 each. The more time you are able to put into the workbook prior to the event, the more you will get out of it.

There will be a $50 charge. This fee is to be paid to the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. The event will be held in the facilities’ Discovery Center and attendance is limited to 25 participants, so make your reservations early. Rooms are available at the Center, but these also need to be reserved. This facility is somewhat isolated, and is about 40 miles south-east of Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport. The nearest motels are located on I-20, about 20-miles away.

Reservations may be made for the Becoming An Outdoor Communicator Seminar by Wm. Hovey Smith on March 7 by calling  (770) 784-3059   or E-mailing Amber.Mooney@dnr.state.ga.us.

For more information on the Center and their activities go to:  http://www.charlieelliott.org

Or look for them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/charlieelliottwildlifecenter

The Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center

543 Elliott Trail

Mansfield, Georgia 30055                                                                        .

 

 

 

 

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Turkey Hunting Tales and Tails

On this hunt I was ultimately successful in taking a tom from my food plot using an antique 14-gauge Brunswick smoothbore musket.
On this hunt I was ultimately successful in taking a tom from my food plot using an antique 14-gauge Brunswick smoothbore musket.

 

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.