Hunters heed the call during wild turkey expo

Published 10:25 pm Monday, February 24, 2014

If the doors of the Cattleman Park complex had not been tightly shut Saturday, every turkey in Pike and surrounding counties probably would have been called indoors.

Inside the facility, turkey calls of every kind were being tested and re-tested and it sounded like a turkey gobbler convention where the hens had been invited.

The Pike County Cattlemen’s first Wild Turkey Expo exceeded expectations and plans will begin soon for the Cattlemen’s 2nd Annual Wild Turkey Expo, said Ed Whatley, the Association’s executive director.

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“For our first expo, it was very successful,” Whatley said. “We are looking at ways to improve next year’s Expo and make it bigger.”

The Wild Turkey Expo featured a nationally sanctioned turkey calling contest, a bow shooting competition for kids and adults, BB shooting competition for kids, vendor booths and chow from the Cattlemen’s chuck wagon.

Ed McCormick of Enterprise won the archery competition using a hunting bow with 64 pounds of pull and an arrow speed of 352 feet per second.

“I’ve been shooting the bow for about 30 years and I don’t hunt with a gun,” McCormick said. “I only hunt with a bow and turkey hunting is my main interest although I hunt deer and wild hogs, too.”

McCormick said he enjoyed the Expo and is proud to have an event of its kind in the area.

Tim Brady, Pike County Cattlemen’s Association president, estimated a crowd of more than 500 at Saturday’s Wild Turkey Expo.

“We were on the learning curve and we learned several things that will benefit us in the future,” he said. “We want to make the Wild Turkey Expo an annual event.”

Brady said overall the Cattlemen were pleased with their first Expo.

“The atmosphere was great and everyone seemed to have a good time,” he said. “We had more kids compete in the archery competition than adults. We’ll want to get more adults involved next year. The BB contest was a big draw. We were glad to see a lot of kids out competing.”

Brady said 14 callers participated in the turkey-calling contest.

“That was fun to watch and we’ll do more to promote it next year,” he said. “It’s a nationally sanctioned competition and callers can earn points to compete in nationals.”

As a first-time event, Brady said everything moved at a good pace and there was a good crowd from beginning to end.

“We’re going to look very closely at the things that worked best and the things that we might want to do differently next time,” he said. “Everyone worked really hard to make the Wild Turkey Expo a success. I want to thank our Cattlemen and Cattlewomen, the Pike County Wild Turkey Federation, our sponsors, our vendors, those who competed and those who came out and had a good time.”