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JAKES Upcoming Events

Jakes Day - 8/2/2014

Benshoff Hill Rod and Gun Club, 1260 Benchoff Hill Road, Johnstown
814-536-6567

Prattsburgh Summerfest JAKES TAKE AIM - 8/2/2014-8/3/2014

44 South Main Sreet, Prattsburgh
607-522-7991

Midwest Gobblers Annual Jakes Day - 8/2/2014

Otter Creek Hunting Club, 19201 Hunting Club Road, Jerseyville
618-786-2445

Chemung Valley Ridgerunners - 8/2/2014

Ram Archery, 5426 Roaring Run Road, Gillett
607-734-5288

Peters Creek Trail Youth Day - 8/2/2014

Shaner Gun Club, 1289 Herold Drive, Irwin
412-751-6984

Western PA Regional Youth Day - 8/2/2014

Buzzard Swamp, Buzzard Swamp Road, Marienville
724-946-2350

Flint River Chapter - 8/2/2014

Jakes Fun Day
810-513-9820

Double Eagle Chapter JAKES Day - 8/2/2014

Veterans Memorial Wildlife Mgmt/Roger Gaps Road
502-370-1520

Grand River Longbeards Chapter 2014 JAKES Event - 8/2/2014

Ionia Fairgrounds
616-912-530

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

8100 Gun Club Run, New Tripoli
610-730-6622

Cascade Thunderin Toms JAKES Day - 8/2/2014

Coachman Club, 1584 Patterson Rd., New Castle
724-968-8549

Space Festival - Jakes Take Aim - 8/2/2014

Cosmos City Park, Cosmos
320-333-0338

MDHA Banquet - 8/4/2014

McLeod County Fairgrounds, Hutchinson
320-493-1508

4-H Jakes Take Aim, North Central Gobblers - 8/4/2014

Northern Pines Assembly Grounds, Cty. Rd. 1, Park Rapids
218-255-0428

National Fun Night - 8/5/2014

Akeley Park, Akeley
218-255-0428

Camas Prairie Turkey Trackers JAKES Day - 8/9/2014

Grangeville Archery Range, Grangeville, ID
208-451-4112

Forked Deer Longbeards JAKES Day - 8/9/2014

Dyer County Fairgrounds, Fairgrounds Road, Dyersburg
731-285-5744

Bayou Longbeards JAKES Day - 8/9/2014

Cotton Port Bank Camp, Mansura
318-240-1540

Yellow Creek Youth Field Days - 8/9/2014

Shelocta Sportsman's Club, Club Road, Shelocta
724-599-9174

Lake Seminole Spurs JAKES Day - 8/9/2014

Bainbridge Country Club, 312 Country Club Road, Bainbridge
229-400-3779

Cedar River JAKES Day - 8/10/2014

Mower County Sportsman's Club, Austin
507-434-7984

McLeod County Fair - 8/13/2014-8/17/2014

840 Century Avenue, SW, Hutchinson
320-493-1508

2014 Camp County Longbeards JAKES Day Event - 8/16/2014

Lake A. J. Jolly Park, Hwy 294, Alexandria
859-380-6357

Whiteford Valley Gobblers JAKES Day Event - 8/16/2014

Sportsmans Club, 6280 Lighthouse Road, Monroe
419-270-1332

NWTF Upper Cumberland Chapter Jakes Day - 8/16/2014

Mustard Seed Ranch, Cookeville
931-510-5421

2014 River Valley Longbards Annual Jakes Day - 8/16/2014

Southern Ohio Coon Hunters Association, Batavia
513-608-7146

Spruce Run JAKES Day - 8/16/2014

Pequest Fish Hatchery, Oxford
908-475-4544

Benton County Chapter Rice Days - 8/16/2014

Downtown Rice, Rice
320-224-1280

Orangeville Sportsman Club Youth Field Days - 8/16/2014

Orangeville Sportsman Club, Orangeville
570-285-1270

Whitehorse Mountain Longbeards Youth Sporting Clays - 8/16/2014

Buffer Creek Sport Clays, 776 Schoolhouse Rd.. Somerset
814-267-5866

Thornapple Valley JAKES Event - 8/16/2014

Barry County Conservation Club, 1180 Cook Road, Hastings
269-792-9587

Connecticut State Chapter JAKES Event - 8/16/2014

Bozrah Rod & Gun Club, 79 Santa Anna Rd., Lebanon
860-608-6009

JAKES Hunter Field Day - 8/16/2014

New Germany State Park, Grantsville
301-268-2436

When Pigs Fly - 8/22/2014

City Airport, McPherson
316-250-9510

Timber Country Cutters Youth Day - 8/23/2014

Wausau School Forest, 2336 C. R. KK, Mosinee
715-693-3212

Edgar County Longbeards JAKES Outing - 8/23/2014

Wilson Family Farms, Paris
217-202-5032

Crow River Cutters Youth Day - 8/23/2014

Gopher Camp Fire, 24718 C.R. 7, Hutchinson
320-493-1508

Stony Valley Chapter Jakes Day - 8/23/2014

Penn Harris Gun Club, Middletown
717-574-6936

Lake Area Gobblers 2013 JAKES Day - 8/23/2014

McCollum's Hunting Preserve, Bejou
218-935-2468

Tuscarawas Struttin' Toms JAKES Day - 8/23/2014

Norma Johnson Center, Dover
330-339-3827

Plateau Longbeards JAKES Day - 8/23/2014

Caryonah Hunting Lodge, Crossville
931-267-2016

North Montour Sportmans Club Youth Field Days! - 8/23/2014

North Montour Sportsmans Club, Danville
570-285-1270

Southeast Silver Spurs Youth Field Day - 8/23/2014

State Wildlife Preserve, Montgomery County
215-822-0637

Family Fun Day - 8/23/2014

South St. Paul Gun Club, Gun Club Road
651-459-5772

Pine Mountain Longbeards Day - 8/23/2014

2107 General Carl Wade Stiner Hwy., Lafollette
423-871-2200

Central MN JAKES Day - 8/24/2014-8/25/2014

Nisswa Sportsmans Club, Nisswa
218-963-0477

Youth Fishing Derby - Mountain Lakes - 8/24/2014

Burnsville Lake Docks, 2746 S. Main St., Burnsville
304-452-8357

Youth Dove Hunt - 9/1/2014

Melvern Wildlife Area, Reading Office
620-437-2012

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

Carlisle Fair Grounds, 1000 Bryn Mawr Road
717-554-9437

North Country Longspurs 18th Annual JAKES Event - 9/6/2014

William Bunnell Camp, Barnet
802-748-1415

MDHA/NWTF Youth Shooting Day - 9/6/2014

Pennington County Sportsmans Club, Thief River Falls
218-689-2913

Clay Co. Cutters and Strutters JAKES Field Day - 9/6/2014

Ray Winka Farm (1 mi. north of Flora) Flora
618-838-9238

Franklin County JAKES Event - 9/12/2014

Waid Park, 701 Park Road, Rocky Mount
540-483-2732

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

White Memorial Camp, 1271 S. 1050 Rd., Council Grove
620-437-2012

Three Rivers Local Chapter - 9/13/2014

RSE Farms, Stephens
(706)310-0088

Black Swamp JAKES Day - 9/20/2014

Camp Lakota, Defiance
419-438-0018

Soque River Spurs - 9/20/2014

Fieldale Farms, 1700 Blacksnake Road, Mt. Airy
706-499-8084

Shenandoah Valley JAKES Day - 9/20/2014

Winchester-Frederick County Conservation
540-667-8858

Botetourt Longbeards - 9/20/2014

Botetourt JAKES, Richard Simmons Farm, 1554 Prease Rd., Buchanan
540-254-2564

Susquehanna County Youth Field Day - 9/21/2014

Harford Fair Grounds, Harford
570-396-5033

South GA JAKES Day - 9/27/2014

Paradise PFA, 536 Paradise Drive, Enigma
404-316-1283

Beaver Creek Local - 9/27/2014

Leetonia Sportsmans Club, 311 East High Street, Leetonia
330-532-5570

Sawnee Mountain - 9/27/2014

Lower Pool Dam
(770)654-7548

McCook Strutters Archery Day - 9/28/2014

Red Willow Lake, McCook
308-737-7337

Maple Country Extreme Jakes Dove Hunt - 10/4/2014

16766 Hosmer Road, Middlefield
440-313-7406

11th Annual Wildlife Adventure Day - 10/11/2014

Rock Point Road, Newburg
301-751-6945

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

Melvern Wildlife Area, Reading Office
620-699-3372

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

Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge, Hartford
620-203-8514

Ken Middleton Memorial Youth Pheasant Hunt/Sporting Clays Shoot - 1/9/2015-1/10/2015

Chauncy Ranch YMCA Camp near Spring Valley
928-848-4549

Ken Middleton Memorial Youth Pheasant Hunt/Sporting Clays Shoot - 1/23/2015-1/24/2015

Chauncy Ranch YMCA Camp near Spring Valley
928-848-4549

Juniors Turkey Hunting Camps - 4/16/2015-4/20/2015

Forests near Flagstaff, Alpine or Greer and Payson
928-848-4549


Click here to find JAKES events in your area

Get Your Call On

Watch the Winchester Museum music video about NWTF's world's largest box call exhibit.

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JAKES Online Poll

Who bought your JAKES or Xtreme JAKES membership?

My parents

40.9%

I am not a JAKES or Xtreme JAKES member.

25.6%

I did

13.3%

My grandparents

12.4%

Other friend or relative

7.8%


Total votes: 563


 


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."