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JAKES Upcoming Events

Shenandoah Valley Ghost Gobblers JAKES Spring Turkey Hunt - 4/18/2014

50232 SR 147, Sarahsville

Gallia County JAKES Turkey Hunt - 4/18/2014

Gallia County Gun Club, Buckridge Road, Gallipolis

Wild Turkey Jamboree - 4/19/2014

Pathfinder Fish and Game Club, Crest Drive, Fulton

International JAKES Hoot & Shoot - 4/24/2014 - 4/28/2014

Point Sebago Resort, Casco

4th Annual Yates County Youth Hunt - 4/24/2014 - 4/27/2014

Seneca Lake Duck Hunters Club, Dresden

Cortland Limbhangers JAKES Youth Turkey Hunt - 4/26/2014 - 4/27/2014

Rolling Ridges Lodge, 5500 Cheningo-Solon Pond Rd., Cincinnatus

Madison County Strutters - 4/26/2014 - 4/27/2014

4th Oneida County Sportsment Federation Youth Hunt

Little Switzerland Strutters - 4/26/2014

Kevin Armstrong Farm, Bull Pasture Road, McDowell

Mohawk Valley Sharp Spurs - 4/26/2014

Mohawk Valley Chapter 5th Annual Kids Weekend Youth Turkey Hunt

Ten Mile Valley JAKES Day - 4/26/2014

Hunting Hills, 118 Hunting Hills Road, Dilner

Warrior Trail Gobbler JAKES Event - 4/26/2014

Hunting Hills, 118 Hunting Hills Road, Dilner

Sumter County Longbeards - 4/26/2014

FWC Bass Center

Mon Valley Longbeards Jakes Day - 4/26/2014

Star Junction Fish and Game, Game Club Road

Southern Tier Local Youth Hunt - 4/26/2014

Home Central, 199 Stage Road, Vestal

Red Rock Chapter JAKES Event - 4/27/2014

Wilkes Barre Township Settlement Camp, Thornhurst

Salt Creek Gobblers - 5/2/2014 - 5/4/2014

Salt Creek 3-D Archery Shoot, Nephi

JAKES Outdoor Fun Day - 5/3/2014

RSE Farms, Stephens Community, Oglethorpe County

Slate Creek Gobblers - 5/3/2014

Jakes Hunt, Private Land, Wellington

Ohio River Valley Jakes Day - 5/4/2014

Forked Run State Park, 63300 Route 124, Reedsville

Youth Turkey Hunt/Youth Turkey Calling Contest - 5/10/2014

Arnot Sportsman Club, Arnot

Take Aim Youth Sporting Clays Shoot - 5/10/2014

Limestone Sporting Clays and Hunting Preserve, 28755 Coggins Road, Ardmore

California Hills Gun Club JAKES Take Aim Shotgun Event - 5/11/2014

California Hills Gun Club, California Hills

Springfield Kentucky JAKES Day - 5/17/2014

River of Life Church, 1250 Highway 555, Springfield

Grand Gobblers Jakes Event - 5/17/2014

Stand Watie Road, Grove

South Hills Longbeards - 5/17/2014

Lake Vesuvius, CR 29, Ironton

JAKES Fishing Day - 5/17/2014

Accident, MD

Doddridge County Tailfans - 5/23/2014

Hutson Farm, Wallace

Youth Field Day - 5/31/2014

Littlestown Fish and Game Club

Adams-Wells Chapter Xtreme Jakes Event - 5/31/2014

St. Mary's Blue Creek Conservation Club, Decatur

Northwest LA JAKES Day - 5/31/2014

Garland Scout Ranch, Stonewall

Lake Marburg Youth Field Day - 5/31/2014

Isaac Walton League

Bedford County Youth Day - 6/7/2014

Bedford Sportsmans C lub, Sportsman's Club Road, Bedford

North Central Mountaineer - 6/7/2014

Watters Smith State Park, Rt. 1, Duck Creek Road, Lost Creek

Allegheny Valley Jakes Day - 6/7/2014

Bull Creek Rod & Gun Club, Tarentum

Green River Gobblers JAKES Day - 6/7/2014

Green River Lake State Park, 179 Park Office Road, Campbellsville

Mississippi Valley Gobblers South Annual JAKES Day - 6/7/2014

Rock Island Conservation Club, Rock Island

Jakes Event - 6/7/2014

Delaware National Reserve, Dover

Salt Creek JAKES Event - 6/7/2014

Elk Pasture, Nephi

Butler County Youth Field Day - 6/7/2014

Butler City Hunting and Fishing Club

Tygart Valley Local - 6/13/2014

Izaak Walton League Club House, Beverly

John E. Mutt Martin Jakes Day - 6/14/2014

Mashall County Hunting & Fishing Clubs, Big Graves Creel Road, Moundsville

Medina County Strutters JAKES Day - 6/14/2014

Hill n' Dale Club, 3605 Poe Road, Medina

Franklin County Youth Field Days - 6/14/2014

Waynesboro Fish and Game Assn., 10205 Fishand Game Rd., Waynesboro

Logan Area Jakes Event - 6/21/2014

Camp Chief Logan, Garrett Fork Rd., Champmanville

Fulton County Youth Field Days - 6/21/2014

Sinoquipe Scout Reservation, HCR 74, Fort Loudon

Lake Marburg Jakes Day - 6/21/2014

Starview Sportsmans Club, 501 Jerusalem School Road, Mount Wolf

Tri-State Jakes Day - 6/21/2014

West Side Sportsman's Club, Evansville

Tussey Mountain Strutters JAKES Day - 6/21/2014

Henrietta Sportsman's Club, Henriette Road, Martinsburg

1st Annual Wisconsin JAKES Event! - 6/21/2014

Mead Education & Visitor Center, Milladore

Kinzua Allegheny JAKES Day - 6/22/2014

Sheffield Rod and Gun Club, Rod and Gun Club Road, Sheffield

Doddridge County Tailfans JAKES Event - 6/28/2014

Hutson Farm, Wallace

Flint Hills Gobblers Jakes Trap Shoot - 6/28/2014

Madison Gun Club, Madison

State Line Strutters Jakes Event - 6/28/2014

Delmar VFW, Delmar

Crawford County Youth Field Days - 6/28/2014

Pymatuning Sportsman's Club, 2642 West Erie St. Ext., Linesville

Honey Hole Longbeards - 6/29/2014

Whitetail Shooting Preserve, 118 Boulevard Road, Bloomsburg

Jakes Take Aim - 6/29/2014

Whitetail Shooting Preserve, 118 Boulevard Road, Bloomsburg

South Lake Osceolas - 7/4/2014

Groveland City Park

Kit-Han-Ne Chapter - 7/12/2014

Apollo Spring Church Sportsman's Club, Apolo

Three River Jakes Event - 7/12/2014

Izaac Walton League, 17100 Griffin Road, Huntertown

Mountain Lakes Chapter - 7/18/2014

Holly Gray Park, Sutton

Sterling-Rock Falls Gobblers Jakes Day - 7/19/2014

Coleta Sportsmans Club, Coleta Road, Coleta

Clarion County Youth Field Days - 7/19/2014

Camp Coffman, Camp Road, Kossuth

Flint Hills Gobblers Jakes Trap Shoot - 7/19/2014

Madison Gun Club, Madison

South Jersey Classic - 7/20/2014

Ranger's Sport Shop, 840 Piney Hollow Road, Winslow

Muskinghum Valley Chapter JAKES Day - 7/26/2014

Coshocton County Sportsman Association, Coschocton

Western Maryland Chapter - 7/26/2014

Wings of Challenge Range, Accident

Jakes Day - 8/2/2014

Benshoff Hill Rod and Gun Club, 1260 Benchoff Hill Road, Johnstown

Cascade Thunderin Toms JAKES Day - 8/2/2014

Coachman Club, 1584 Patterson Rd., New Castle

Lehigh Valley JAKES Youth Field Day - 8/2/2014

8100 Gun Club Run, New Tripoli

Lake Seminole Spurs JAKES Day - 8/9/2014

Bainbridge Country Club, 312 Country Club Road, Bainbridge

JAKES Hunter Field Day - 8/16/2014

New Germany State Park, Grantsville

Pine Mountain Longbeards Day - 8/23/2014

2107 General Carl Wade Stiner Hwy., Lafollette

Youth Dove Hunt - 9/1/2014

Melvern Wildlife Area, Reading Office

Carlisle Sports Expo - 9/5/2014 - 9/7/2014

Carlisle Fair Grounds, 1000 Bryn Mawr Road

Three Rivers Local Chapter - 9/13/2014

RSE Farms, Stephens

Kansas State Jakes Camp - 9/13/2014 - 9/14/2014

White Memorial Camp, 1271 S. 1050 Rd., Council Grove

Beaver Creek Local - 9/27/2014

Leetonia Sportsmans Club, 311 East High Street, Leetonia

Sawnee Mountain - 9/27/2014

Lower Pool Dam

Melvern Wildlife Area Youth Waterfowl Hunt - 10/18/2014

Melvern Wildlife Area, Reading Office

Flint Hills Wildlife Refuge Youth Waterfowl Hunt - 10/25/2014

Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge, Hartford

Click here to find JAKES events in your area

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Calling for Meat vs. Money

There are many theories about calling competition style and calling live turkeys. Many say turkeys would run away from competitive calling because it is not the same, while others swear competitive callers are the best afield. There is a difference between stage calling and coaxing live birds. The sounds are basically the same, but there are differences that mean success or failure in either arena.

Call on the Experts

Chris Parrish, Rod Pettit and Alex Rutledge have won national and world turkey calling titles and a truckload of awards for smaller competitions. All either guide or film turkey hunts, making them three of our nation's best turkey callers. Here are their ideas on the subject:

Chris Parrish

"Wild turkeys have differences in their voices that make them impossible to duplicate and no two turkeys have the same voice." Parrish said. "But I think the best callers learn from having conversations in the woods with actual hens. Callers in competition tend to be more perfect than actual wild turkeys. This perfect style of calling is not always successful on wild birds."

Parrish believes turkeys sound like they are making mistakes compared to skilled callers, but truthfully these unusual sounds are just part of their vocabulary.

"Beginning competitive callers make the mistake of imitating top callers instead of making sounds like true wild turkeys," Parrish said. "That is what I look for when judging competitions, but not every judge does."

Veteran callers believe competitions should return back to the roots of making real turkey sounds instead of making perfect competition sounds that you likely won't hear in the woods. But for now, perfect sounds are winning competitions.

"If you want to be a top competitive caller, start by listening and learning from live turkeys," Parrish said. "Repeat every turkey sound you like. Turkeys are like singers, some you like and some you don't. You will never imitate every turkey, but find those you are closest to in sound. Next, watch competitive callers and see how they present calls, but never try to mock the callers. Develop your own style."

Parrish recommends listening through a pair of headphones to live turkey recordings, especially before calling in competition. Turkey voices are like a song. Listen every day and you will memorize the sounds like remembering a favorite song.

Rod Pettit

Rod Pettit discovered that many of his friends took up competitive turkey calling to sound like a wild turkey and be better hunters.

"I learned what hens are saying means more than just idle noises or chatter," Pettit said. "I don't think it is humanly possible to completely match a turkey's sounds, but you can get close with lots of practice. That will eventually make you better than the average hunter. I listen to hens make different noises and add it to my two-minute competitive calling routine. Competitive calling is different because it is more constant. Calling live turkeys sometimes mean long moments of silence between producing sounds. I sometimes pause 20 minutes between calls. We use brief pauses in competition. They are considered dead spots if you pause too long."

Beware of totally imitating live hen sounds in competitions, especially speed or cadence. Pettit has heard hens make cutting sounds faster than is humanly possible, but they still occasionally break up their cadence. Cackling too fast, like wild turkeys occasionally do, is another sound that is a mistake in competition. Competition cackling or cutting is slower, more deliberate and without the pauses than live bird sounds.

"Experience is key for calling birds or contest calling," Pettit said. "Chris Parrish has the ability to listen to a competitive caller and say, 'that won't score because it is over the judges' heads, but that sound will score.' So we try to stay in the area of what sounds are pleasing to the ear, the kind of sounds that generally score big. I think this is where the beginning caller has to be careful. There are some real turkey vocalizations that won't work on stage."

Pettit cautions not to make his mistake of trying contest calling after learning how to use a mouth call without outside help. He was above average as a hunter, but eventually veteran competition callers pointed out bad calling habits that were hard to break. He eventually started over and quickly became competitive as a contest caller.

"I think an individual will find competition calling more demanding than hunting live birds," Pettit said. "It has always been that way for me. I tend to let my nerves get the best of me on stage and that makes it harder to perform. Nerves make you over-blow your calls and speed up sounds. You can relax in the woods. I would probably have won a great deal more if I could call on stage like I do in the timber where I am relaxed and sounding like a wild turkey."

Alex Rutledge

Alex Rutledge discovered the need to worry about cadence and pitch in competition calling and especially not making mistakes. But in the turkey woods, mistakes are not always bad, perhaps better than perfect competition calling. The key is knowing the difference between the two arenas.

"You call with expression and emotion when calling birds," Rutledge said. "Emotion in contest calling depends on what the judges ask for. Adding excitement, intensity, rhythm, speed and volume creates this emotion. I call this passionate calling because I am talking to the turkeys as opposed to talking at the turkeys."

Rutledge discovered through years of hunting turkeys that when calling take the cadence high and bring it down low. But in competition take the cadence from low to high and never drop back down. Emotion in the field allows you to work with cadence like a wild turkey, giving them more realistic sounds, but not the same sounds that would score high in a contest. However, he added that saying the wrong things to a turkey might quickly end your hunt.

"When you sit down and start talking to the turkey, everybody knows you start out soft and easy while checking your pitch," Rutledge said. "The turkey may be 100 yards away but if he hears you calling louder, that tells him the hen wants him more than he wants the hen, a key way to hang up a gobbler."

Rutledge agrees that listening to real turkeys when beginning competitive calling is important. Pay close attention to their rhythm and how they change from high pitch to raspy sounds. Add emotion on the stage and maintain a rhythm throughout your presentation with perfect sounds.

"To be a top competition caller, raise some domestic turkeys and listen to them in the pen," Rutledge said. "Then compare your sounds with them. Spend time in the woods and pay close attention to all turkey sounds. But beware of the emotions you will hear from live turkeys. A lot of judges will dock points for this live turkey enthusiasm."