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  • I have been getting good at using my diaphragm, however I call in more hunters with it than elk. My question is, how in the world do you tell the difference between an actual elk calling you back or a hunter who is also good with a bugle?

    J.R. Keller's reply:

    Sounds like you have become pretty handy with a diaphragm call. Over the past couple of years I have had good luck using a bugle primarily for locating elk. Once I have located a bull I will switch over to cow calls. Now and again you have that stubborn old bull that you have to get down and dirty with that bugle, but most of the time your high pitched cow calls will do the trick. Hopefully this will remedy your dilemma with your encounters with other hunters.

  • When choosing a shotgun for your son or daughter (12 yrs old) which would be better, 12 ga. firing 2 3/4 in shells or a 20 ga. firing 3 in shells. The 12 ga. is heavier but there does not seem to be much difference in the shot loads.

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    I would go with the 20 ga for the simple fact that the gun will fit a younger or smaller person much better. Along with the fit is the less recoil with the 20 ga. shooting 2 3/4 ammo. With today's loads there is a lot to be said about the 20 ga. and you will see more veteran turkey hunters switching to the 20.

  • I am looking into buying a new shotgun for turkey and waterfowl. What would be the best choice for both?

    J.R. Keller's reply:

    I would choose a Benelli Super Black Eagle. It works well for both turkey and waterfowl hunting.

  • How did you get started as a H.S. pro staffer?

    Matt Morrett:

    My introduction to the outdoors started at a very early age. My entire family are outdoors men and women. The first trip to the turkey woods with my dad started a passion for turkey calling.
    Competing in numerous state and local turkey calling contests for 10 years (age 6 through 16) is how my time was spent as a childhood hobby. My parents saved for me to go to the Grand Nationals in 1987, in Dallas, Texas. I was very fortunate to win the Junior division there. That same year I won the Senior Division World Friction and the U.S. Open Friction Turkey Calling contests, and I was only 16 years old.
    That is really how my career started. That same year Carman and Dave Forbes, owners of Hunter's Specialties, contacted my parents and asked them if I would be interested in being on H.S.'s Pro Staff. We accepted the offer. Since 1987 I have grown up in this industry — learning from the school of hard knocks, many nights on the road, and time away from home. It is a demanding job, but when you love it, every day it makes it easy to call it work.
    I got an incredible break to be involved in this business. I believe that I was fortunate being from Pennsylvania where hunting deer and turkeys are a huge part of life. I thank my parents, Tom and Gayle, for getting me involved, taking me to the contests, and raising me in the outdoors, and Dave and Carman for having faith in me and helping me grow up in the hunting industry.

    Rick White:

    In 1992 I walked into Fin & Feather, since I'm good friends with some of the guys there, and they told me about a calling contest in Iowa City and encouraged me to enter it. I went on to win the Iowa State Turkey Calling Championship six times, as well as other competitions.
    I actually made a phone call to Hunter's Specialties, looking for some turkey calls for a contest, because nobody had them for sale. I ended up talking with Matt Morrett. He just talked to me about some things and asked me if I'd be interested in the possibility of helping promote Hunter's Specialties at some of the promotions. Of course I was!
    One thing led to another and in 1998 I was added to the National Pro Staff on a part-time basis. In 2000 it was changed to full-time employment.
    More information on joining our pro staff
  • How much should you plant in a Vitarack food plot?

    Plant 6 pounds of Vita-Rack Winter Forage per acre and plant 10 pounds of Vita-Rack Velvet Whitetail clover per acre.

  • I've only planted food plots for Pheasants and quail. I would like to try my hand at establishing a food plot for whitetails in central Nebraska. I've always assumed that there was enough food for the deer in my area (several corn and bean fields). We've

    Rodney Dyer writes:

    Thanks for the question! The answer to the problem would be to try to plant the plot in Vita Rack velvet whitetail clover. It will do fine in the plot you are talking about. However, you need to do a soil test right now to make sure you can get the pH up to 6.5 to 7 before planting. A soil test will help your plot get the nutrients it needs to grow and provide for the deer.
    Also, give our Vita Rack 26 Mineral a try. It provides all the minerals and vitamins a deer needs to unlock its' genetic potential. The mineral also will help deter ticks and other external parasites that are harmful to the deer and slow antler growth.
    Good Luck and let us know how we can help.

  • What is the best seed to use by broadcasting with your hand, no plowing needed, in rocky, low sunlight areas, that will create good forage for whitetails?

    Rodney Dyer's reply:

    Vita-Rack EZ Grow will do the trick. All you need to do is get a leaf blower or rake to remove all the leaves and brush to get bare dirt. Once you have bare dirt exposed, sow your seed and fertilize, then wait for rain.
    EZ Grow is a blend of fast growing annuals which will establish quickly and provide the attraction you want to hunt over during the hunting season. Not to mention, it has high levels of protein for the early spring to help with antler growth and fawn gestation.
    Low light conditions can be tricky to plant in but if your plot gets good filtered light through the tree canopy the EZ grow will do fine.
    Thank you for your question and I wish you success this deer season.

  • What is the best thing to plant around or in your pond to draw ducks? And how do you plant it?

    Rodney Dyer writes:

    At the present time Hunter's Specialties doesn't offer a duck blend. However, there are a few things you can do to attract ducks. Depending on the area, you can drain beaver ponds or find mud flats on the creeks and rivers that flood and broad cast Japanese Millet during the early summer. Once it has grown to about an inch, flooding will not harm it and it will grow well and provide a great attraction to waterfowl.
    Be sure to check your local game laws to make sure this is legal in your state. Some states may not allow you to plant on public water ways. If you have a more specific location you are looking at just email us and I can be more specific.
    Thanks for the support of Hunter's Specialties products!

  • What would be the best choice of food plot seeds to choose from? What works better, Clover or Chicory Plus?.

    Rodney Dyer writes:

    I am a big clover fan, especially Vita-Rack Spring mix. Clover mixed with chicory is hard to manage weeds in, due to the major herbicides used in clover kills chicory.
    It is very hard to beat a properly managed clover plot. Once the pH is right and you fertilize the plot correctly, deer will stay in it and it becomes an anchor to hold deer.
    Spring mix has several clovers and will grow in a wide varieties of soils. Plus, it is a perennial and will last 3 to 5 years when properly maintained. Be sure to follow the planting instructions on the back of the bag to insure success. If need any more help, please contact HS again.
    Thank you for supporting Hunter's Specialties.

  • When hunting in unfamiliar country that is primarily mountaineous and rocky, what can shortcut your "leg work scouting" other than a topo map?

    J.R. Keller's reply:

    If given the time and a little money a great way to scout a area you are going to hunt is to fly the area. You need to check with the state you are hunting's regs but flying an area is a great time saver. Most state you have to allow 24 hrs after flying before you hunt and it will usually cost about $150.00 for a hour of flying time. This might seem like a lot, but you can cover quit a bit of ground from the air in one hour.
    You might call around for some local pilots in the area you will be hunting and quiz them on rates. If you are hunting out west there are usually local crop dusters with small planes that are willing to make an extra dollar to fly you for an hour. First thing in the morning is the best time to fly. I hope this will help you out.