You never know when winning will hit ya

Back in the spring, I held a giveaway with my new hunting buddy, champion turkey caller Mitchell Johnston. He makes a line of sweet-sounding turkey calls, designed to help hunters put a hurtin’ on gobblers. They are aptly named Dead End Game Calls.

You got to know Mitchell in earlier blog posts, even gleaned a few mouth call care tips from a guy that’s used the same ones for seven years. (Yeah, you read that right.)

Mitchell Johnston is the Santa Claus of turkey calls, giving away seven of his Dead End call creations to my nice blog followers.

In an earlier giveaway, Mitchell sent seven calls to for Keepin’ Up With Karen followers who were also good at following directions. He parted with seven of his handmade creations to the lucky few who were drawn.

Congrats to…

Ken Bailey
Kevin Beck
Brandon Oxford
Dave Quong
Ryen Sawyer
Genie Walker
Greg Wood

You don’t have to do a thing except wait for Mitchell to contact you. Then you have roughly 290 days until kick off for the spring season.

If you’re a fall turkey hunter, let us know if you do any good with your new Dead End Game Call this year. I love pictures…

 

Turkey Palooza winners: It could be you!

A quick post to announce the Turkey Palooza online winners. Sure, we gave away 15 gift packages to people who came to the event last Saturday, but we didn’t forget the rest of you who couldn’t make it. So here ya go!

Latanya Green, a recent transplant to South Carolina, was chosen by the “Bloodline TV” crew for taking the best photo with the larger-than-life cutout of Alex Rutledge. Latanya won a range-to-field-to-wall turkey hunting package for posing with her cutie patootie girls.

NWTF Facebook photo contest
Scott Bell from Indiana was randomly drawn from the folks who voted for the winning photo of a Palooza-goer and the cutout of Alex Rutledge. He will receive a “Bloodline TV” prize package from Alex Rutledge in the flesh!

My Facebook contest
Anyone who was my friend on Facebook by 10 p.m. EST on Saturday, June 30, went into a drawing for a prize — a Grand Slam candle set handmade by me. I also threw in an NWTF-logoed Blazer lighter to set them ablaze. The winner is Tim Tipton from Kentucky!

Tim may not be jumping up and down at winning a bunch of candles, but I hear the lighter is good for lighting cigars. Then he can use the candles to cover up the smell. Just a suggestion.

Keepin’ Up With Karen blog follower contest
In yet another attempt to lure in more blog followers, I gave a prize to one of my beloved subscribers. Everyone who jumped on the Keepin’ Up With Karen train by 10 p.m. EST, June 30, had a chance to win signed turkey calls from Michael Waddell and Brenda Valentine. And the calls went to blog follower Dean Underhill of Kentucky.

The Bluegrass State is on fire!!!

I appreciate everyone taking part in our effort to spread the fun of Turkey Palooza.

Check back next week for some Palooza photos. In the meantime, I’m taking a long weekend off, whether I deserve it or not!

Palooza prizes for everyone

Because I’m a woman of my word, I’m giving you the scoop on how to win prizes during the Edgefield Turkey Palooza — even if you can’t be there. We’ll miss you but hope you’ll join in the fun online.

My goal is for everyone to “feel” the power of the Palooza, so here are five ways to grab the most gear…

1. Meet a cardboard cutout of Alex Rutledge!
Breaking news: My friend, Alex Rutledge of Bloodline TV, will be our special guest at the Hunting Heritage Banquet in Edgefield, S.C., this November. To celebrate, the NWTF is running an Alex-themed Facebook photo contest with two ways to win.

Vote on your favorite photo of Alex Rutledge on the NWTF’s official Facebook page starting this Saturday for a chance to win something awesome. But you can’t vote for mine. I was just told I’m disqualified. Can’t win for nuthin’!

Folks attending the Turkey Palooza can stop by our little blue tent near the WKSX trailer and have their picture made with Flat Alex. We want people to channel their inner palooza and get crazy. We’ll post the photos on the NWTF’s Facebook page. The person behind the winning image receives a range-to-field-to-wall turkey hunting prize package that includes turkey targets, decoy, call, gun cleaning kit and fan mounting plaque.

2. Vote for your favorite photo!
While you’re sitting at home, wishing you were at the Turkey Palooza, keep Facebook at the ready and watch the fun unfold on the screen before you. I’m not trying to make you jealous; you could win a prize. Vote for your favorite Alex Rutledge/Palooza Patron photo beginning this Saturday. We’ll pick a random voter to win a prize package from Alex (the flesh and blood Alex, not the cardboard one). The “Bloodline TV” will pick the winning photo.

3. Be my friend!
Where else, well, outside preschool, can you ask someone to be your friend and not feel like a dork? Facebook, of course! Friend me on Facebook before 10 p.m. EST this Saturday, June 30. I promise I’ll accept your request (unless you’re my ex-husband). I’ll draw a winner from all my Facebook friends. The prize? A Grand Slam candle set handmade by yours truly, a super neat NWTF-logoed Blazer lighter, as well as the daily assurance that you’re not the biggest dork in the world.

4. Maybe do nothing at all!
There’s a chance if you’re reading this you already subscribe to Keepin’ Up With Karen. (That’s the blog you’re reading now.) Subscribers have my posts sent directly to their inbox, that’s it. I’m not a serial spammer or anything. I just want someone to listen to me. Everyone who subscribes to Keepin’ Up With Karen by 10 p.m. EST this Saturday has a chance to win. It’s easy. Just look to the right, enter your e-mail address, then (most importantly) verify your subscription through e-mail.

Subscribers will go into a drawing for two turkey calls, one signed by Michael Waddell, the other by Brenda Valentine. I appreciate them both for lending their signatures to the cause of me feeling loved.

5. Just come to the Turkey Palooza, for Pete’s sake!
From 4 to 7 p.m., I’m giving away all kinds of good stuff — NWTF gear, gift certificates to Edgefield area restaurants and stores, calls, decoys, knives — just because I’m nice. All you have to do is stop by that little blue tent I spoke of earlier and follow directions. Easy breezy.

I’ll announce all the winners here on Monday, July 2, so don’t forget to check to see if you won. Of course, if you’re a Keepin’ Up With Karen subscriber you won’t have to lift a finger. I’ll bring the info to you.

It’s a Turkey Palooza!

The NWTF is getting a little bit of an early start on July 4 fun with its first-ever Turkey Palooza this weekend. The NWTF campus will be buzzing with activity on Saturday — games, food, live music, auctions, culminating in a big honkin’ fireworks show. All the ingredients for an Independence Day-type festival, but we’re getting our turkey on instead!

So what’s a palooza anyway? I had to look it up myself.

Apparently, “palooza” is a term that came to be after I graduated high school in 1995. It’s nowhere to be found in the dictionary I received as a graduation gift — the days before you could Google everything.

I keep that dictionary in my desk drawer, because I still believe Mr. Webster over what I find online.

Palooza was not where it should’ve been in the “P-Q-R” section, after palooka (an inexperienced boxer), so I defaulted to Wikitonary.com. It says a palooza is an exaggerated event. That tells me absolutely nothing.

So I’m going to say a palooza is a big celebration, which is what I think is the intention of the events on Saturday. Add “turkey” before it, and it becomes a big NWTF party.

The Turkey Palooza began as a thank you to the Edgefield, S.C., community. The NWTF has called Edgefield home since 1973, employing folks from all over the Central Savannah River Area for nearly four decades. We love it here and want our neighbors to know it.

We also want them to get to know who we are and what we do for North America’s wildlife and hunting traditions. I’m not joking when I tell the story of a woman working in the McDonald’s drive-through no more than a mile or so up the road from NWTF headquarters. She actually asked me where we keep all the turkeys. Sigh…

Well, Saturday will be a chance for her to get the full NWTF scoop. Turkey Palooza participants can tour our Winchester Museum for free, typically a perk reserved for NWTF members.

Another bonus for NWTF members is an exclusive VIP area with its own games and made-in-the-shade seating area.

But anyone and everyone can enjoy the fun.

If you live within driving distance of Edgefield, you should totally join us. I’ll be there broadcasting live with WKSX (92.7 FM out of Johnston), giving away prizes, jawing about the day’s activities and trying to convince the show host to let me play some Def Leppard.

If you don’t live nearby, you can still get your palooza on too. Stay in touch here at Keepin’ Up With Karen and on my Facebook page for ways you can win prizes — even if you live in Idaho!

Oh, and click on the video above to get the skinny on what’s happening at the Turkey Palooza. (And make note of that sweet voice convincing you to stop by. It’s me!)

Winning!

I think I gained about 5 pounds reading the recipes submitted by those of you who either:

A)   have mercy on me now that I’ve taken on a huge cookbook project
B)   like to win wicked cool prizes
C)   really enjoy cooking

I can respect all three reasons.

Seriously, y’all have sent in some yummy sounding stuff. I say “sounding” because I haven’t prepared any of them…yet. (I’ve got to stick to apples and low-fat granola to get in shape for turkey season, then I’m gonna blow the diet with gusto!)

And now it’s time to announce the top camo chefs and their recipes.

BEST SOUNDING BREAKFAST DISH

Tom Nare of California will receive a black and pewter NWTF logo mug for his Wild Duck/Goose Breakfast Scramble.

BEST SOUNDING DESSERT or DRINK

Jim Kelly of Georgia gets a three-pack of Knight & Hale’s Bad Medicine Series diaphragm calls just in time for opening day. Good luck, Jim! Bet you’ll mix up some Wild Turkey Bourbon Slushies if you get one, won’t ya?

I didn’t receive any packable snack recipes, so I’m giving away two prizes for…

BEST SOUNDING SOUP, SALAD or SANDWICH

Beth Cowgill of Missouri can relax to a dogwood-scented, Eastern wild turkey-themed candle handmade by best female editor of a turkey magazine under 5-foot-2. She gets it for sending in her Aunt Bubba’s Baked Turkey and Potato Soup recipe. (Here’s a cute little twist: She’s Aunt Bubba!)

And Quaker Boy’s own Ernie Calendrelli can pack out meat for his awesome-sounding Wild Game Cutlet Sandwiches in the new soft-sided camo cooler that’s being sent his way.

Congrats to you all. And most of all, thanks for taking part in what’s turning out to be a really fun project. I already have delicious recipes and camp cooking back stories from hunting greats Will Primos, Cuz Strickland and Troy Ruiz.

You should join in the fun. Send the 411 on your favorite camp dishes to keepingupwithkaren@nwtf.net.

Also, don’t miss out on current and future giveaways through this blog. There’s actually one happening right now around the March-April issue of Turkey Country.

The best way to stay in the loop is to friend me on Facebook.

Yes, I realize that’s basically buying friends. But it’s not weird if you admit it, right?

 

It’s food o’clock at the NWTF

Food has always been a big part of my life.

I grew up in a family who used mealtimes interchangeably with numbers on a clock.

Instead of making a shopping date for 2 p.m., it was, “Let’s go shopping after lunch.”

Or, “Aunt Margie passed away around dinnertime,” as opposed to talking about the hours around 7 p.m.

Meals make the world go-round in my house, and my life is richer (and belly rounder) for it.

That’s why I volunteered to spearhead the newest NWTF-sanctioned cookbook. It’s still in its pre-breakfast stage (I’ve yet to even settle on a title.), but I’m gobbling up recipes from NWTF members as fast as they’re served.

My hope for this cookbook is that it finds a permanent place on a hunting trip packing list, or even becomes a hunt camp cook’s favored kitchen companion. I want to pack it full of hearty, easy recipes to satisfy the most active sports enthusiasts, from in-the-field snacks to go-to-bed-happy wild game dinners.

Here’s your chance to be a part of this spiral-bound feast of information by sharing your favorite recipes. (Here’s a teaser … Will Primos already submitted his!)

In the next 15 days, I will award a prize to the yummiest recipe in the following categories:

BREAKFAST — Winner will receive a super classy black and pewter NWTF logo mug, perfect for a cup of Joe on a chilly spring morning.

PACKABLE SNACKS — Winner gets a soft-sided camo cooler for toting your own goodies in the field.

Have an awesome wild game inspired soup, sandwich or salad recipe you want to share? It could get you one of these Grand Slam candles handmade by yours truly.

SOUPS, SALADS and SANDWICHES — A Grand Slam wild turkey themed candle handmade by yours truly goes to the one with the best recipe here. Don’t worry, the candle smells like dogwood, not an Eastern.

DESSERTS and DRINKS — Winner gets the Knight & Hale Bad Medicine Series 3-Pack of diaphragm calls. They have a minty flavor, which will go nicely with after-dinner calling practice.

So crack open your recipe files and send your favorites to keepingupwithkaren@nwtf.net. Be sure to include your name, hometown/state and any NWTF chapter affiliation. I’d also like to hear any backstory on the recipe, such as how you came up with the concoction, if it was something your mom used to make, it’s a favorite at hunt camp, stuff like that.

And feel free to send as many recipes as you’d like. But don’t make me wait, it’s three hours ‘til dinner and I’m getting hungry.

I want your momma’s recipe!

The countdown to Thanksgiving has begun. No doubt, many of you are in the throes of planning your feast, whether you’re in charge of deep-frying the turkey or the whole kit and caboodle.

I, for one, am still low enough in the family hierarchy that I’m not responsible for the big meal items, like turkey or dressing. My assignment? Green bean casserole.

That’s one step above bringing the canned cranberry sauce (no offense, sis) and a step below sweet potato soufflé.

Now that I’ve caught you with your cookbooks open and recipe cards laid out, how about passing along some of your favorite turkey treatments?

I’m in the (very) beginning stages of pulling together a cookbook for the NWTF and am in search of recipes.

In theory, it will be a collection of wild game culinary delights from NWTF members across the country, much like we did with Wild About Turkey and Wild About Turkey and More. But if you know me, I’m going to add some kind of twist … I’m just not sure what it will be quite yet.

So come off your super blend of spices that makes a venison steak zing. Let me have the ingredients to a creative leftover casserole that gives wild turkey a second chance on the table. Grace me with those side dishes that will stick to the ribs of the hungriest hunter.

Help me get this cookbook out of my mind and onto paper.

The first 25 of you who send your recipes to keepingupwithkaren@nwtf.net will go into a random drawing for a bunch of turkey hunting gear, including:
• H.S. Strut Squealing Hen Call
• H.S. Strut Ring Zone Li’l Deuce Glass Call
• H.S. Strut Ol’ Mama Hen Waterproof Box Call
• Quaker Boy Crankin’ Crow Call
• Quaker Boy H20 Easy Yelper (push-pin call)
• Gerber Magnum L.S.T. 3½-inch folding sheath knife
• random NWTF logo items
• and a handful of call lanyards for good measure

That’s more than $150 of stuff, if not for you, then re-gift them. Christmas is fast approaching, you know.

Don’t forget to include your NWTF membership number and contact info.

Of course I can’t guarantee your recipe will appear in the book. (I can’t even guarantee I’m going to pull this whole cookbook thing off!) But know that your recipes will be put to good use, if I ever get promoted on my family’s Thanksgiving meal plan.