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1 4/2 8:45 AM Nate Greene 7 16.750 10.250 1.000 1.250 59.750
2 4/3 5:00 PM Greg Sheanshang 3E 21.375 8.000 1.000 0.750 54.875
3 4/9 6:40 AM Doug Hardcastle 3S 20.000 11.000 1.125 1.125 64.500
4 4/25 8:00 AM Richard Speer 7 15.500 5.500 0.500 0.500 36.500
5 4/26 8:00 AM Don Alexander (Knox) 7 13.500 4.000 0.500 0.500 31.500
6 4/28 5:00 PM Eric Fontenot (Philip) 3W 17.000 9.250 1.125 1.125 58.000


2011 Spring Turkey Hunting Season is April 2 - May 15.  See

May 8, 2010 - Nate Greene - 19 lbs., 10 1/2" beard, 1 1/2" spurs................LOOK!


April 10 - Bo Chance - Here's his story as related by his dad, Brent...


BoChanceApril102010Bo had gotten a new 20 gauge Benelli Montefeltro Short Stock for his 7th birthday. He had been waiting to shoot it so when we got to HD we filled up some water jugs and let him blow them up.  That done, he was ready.

Stephen suggested we go to Lake Road as there were some jakes hanging around there.  The only problem that was Area 2 West was assigned to Uncle Doug Hardcastle.  I told Doug we were not going to move but would stay in that one spot near the corn and the Box Blind.  Uncle Doug approved, so we took off about 3 pm.

When we first got there we entered the field slowly and ran several turkeys out of the far end of the field. So we jumped in the creek bed and walked about 40 yards past Box Blind 23. I set Bo against a big tree and cut him some shooting lanes and started to call.

The first call brought on about four different gobbles from four different directions. I proceeded to call every 8-10 minutes and almost every time got an answer. One bird to our south kept getting a little closer with every call…but finally shut up.

We had been there an hour and Bo was getting a little fidgety so I belly crawled out to see the whole field. I looked around and finally saw the Big Boy.  He was walking down the middle of the field from the south coming straight to us. I couldn’t tell how big he was but I saw a big red head. I belly crawled back to Bo, moved him into the right direction, told him what to do and I got ready in case he needed a back up.

Sure enough, just like in the videos, he came down the middle of the field looking for a mate. He got into range and I whispered to Bo, “When he stops walking and sticks his head up, SHOOT!”  The Tom stopped, I said “SHOOT” but nothing happened.  The Tom started walking again and I repeated the message.  This time he pulled the trigger and dropped him in his tracks.

Bo had hammered him at 32 yards!  21 pounds, 1 inch spurs and a 9 ¾ inch beard.

I had previously called in 9 first birds for people and killed a couple myself but nothing will top being with my son on his first harvest of mature Eastern long beard. I do believe that I was more excited than Bo at the time but he was pretty fired up to take his feathers to “show and tell” at school on Monday!

April 3, 2010 - Finally 2010 Turkey Season has arrived.  Jamie Osteen started things off with a very nice 3 year old bird, followed a week later by Philip Fontenot with a similar bird.

April 25 - David Neblett was hunting a bird his father Skip had unsuccessfully played with several times this year.  He set up near the field just south of Bonnie Fay's house in Area 1 W...called ever so softly... bird came into the middle of the field and waited for the hen to come to him...strutting, spitting, drumming, etc...but, David waited and did not call again until he started to leave...a soft sexy yelp and cluck enticed him to turn and walk into David's range - 20.375 pounds, 10 1/2" beard and 1 1/4" spurs...Super bird!

April 25 - Jim & Jamie OsteenJimAndJamieOsteensDouble

were in the blind at the end of the field in front of stand # 17...bored...called every 15 - 20 minutes...nothing...with face mask and gloves off, Jamie looked up and saw a head above the 4 feet tall grass...then 2 heads...then 3 and 4...4 Toms walking straight to calling, no strutting, no nothing, just walking straight to them...they aimed, fired twice apiece and two flew away...but two were flapping - one 16  3/4 pounds, one 21 + pounds!


April 25 - Philip's story for his second bird:

Bird #2: Same thing, went out late, parked at the entrance to a field, played with the same bird as yesterday, got one little glimpse and he was gone. Started walking out and saw a tom in the road not 50 yards from the Ranger walking toward it. Jumped in the bushes and made a couple of quiet yelps with some leaves rustling. Again, he did not want to play but 2 birds off in the hollow in front of me gobbled. I heard hen yelps to my right and to my left so I just acted like the prettiest one of the bunch. They came to me after several minutes. This one periscoped me twice, the second time was his last. 28 yards with 3 1/2 in. #4's. He was hard to carry out - 110 yards to the Ranger. Another great turkey hunt.

April 24 - Philip's story:  "The bird for Friday morn. went like this: got up late, went in orange gate, played with a bird on one ridge that outsmarted me, then went to Hourglass, bumped a bird on the way but went to blind anyway. Set up decoy in edge of field, heard gobbles down the ridge, they worked around the hill and into the field. All I could see was a fan as they had locked up because of the decoy. Finally, one gobbled and sounded like they were leaving, I took a chance and stood up where I caught this one in the field coming out of a strut. From a standing position, 56 yards. We had a little wrestling match which I won and it was a great morning."

April 10 - The story goes something like this...Sam and Nate Greene hunted in Area 8 in the morning, but were frustrated by the lack of action.  Early that afternoon, they took their magazines and pillows and planned to wait it out in the ground blind in Area 2W.  Nate called once and proceeded to work on the news and information in his Blackberry.  Sam's asleep by now.  About 15 minutes into the hunt, Nate looks up and two Toms were within 30 yards.  From a dead sleep, Sam eased up, fired twice and took one.

17  3/4 lbs., 10  1/4" Beard, 1  1/4" spurs - CONGRATULATIONS!

An untold story about this hunt is that Sam's fearless guide extraordinary turkey hunting brother Nate walked up on a turkey within range but was unable to get a shot off... and then they actually tried to work him for an hour.  Hmmmmm...



Nate Greene, Jr.  did it. He and his father Nate ventured into Area 2W, which neither had ever visited.  By 10:00 or so, they had heard nothing, but received a text message that the birds in another area had been hot for an hour...duh... they were talking somewhere, just not where they were set up.  So, off they went into the unknown territory searching for an illusive talking bird.  An hour or so later they were greeted with 2 eager Toms and called them.  When they got into the "red zone", only Nate Jr. had a clear shot and took it.  First ever turkey... Like Father...Like Son...

NateJrstanding NateMonkey2004 

Later that day Wilson Burton took a very old bird - spurs measured 1 5/8" apiece.  April 15th is around the corner, so Wilson decided to pitch a tent beside the blind in the Do-nut field - to do his tax return while "hunting".  He did both.

March 21, 2009 - Alabama Youth Hunter - The Alabama Contingent beat the Tennessee contingent 1 - 0 - and the entire hunt was video taped.  The Hunter and his Dad plus a cameraman were successful for the first turkey taken at HD this season.  Details and pictures to follow.


May 7, 2008 - Rusty Dunn - # 15 - Yesterday, Rusty and Stephen Scott had a 2 ½ hour conversation with a Tom, only to have him race in to 10 – 15 yards, take a peek, putt and disappear.

RustyDunnFirstTurkeyMay72008Today, the leaves were wet and they were able to sneak in to about 100 yards from a very vocal bird.  They set up and yelped…got an immediate response…then, he shut up.  After 15 minutes, soft called again…nothing.  Another 15 minutes…soft called…nothing.  Another…nothing.  Then, Stephen gave a loud call and he finally responded and started walking straight to Rusty.  At 35 yards, Rusty nailed him.

17 lbs., 1” spurs and 10” beard.

Congratulations!  First ever for the recently frustrated, now-hooked duck hunter-turned-turkey hunter.

April 26, 2008 - Sam Murray - # 14 - Son of the State of Tennessee's Turkey guru, Jack Murray, who hunted many times with us at HD.  Sam and Wilson Burton barely got into the woods in Area 1 W when this guy started calling for his hens.  Wilson was evidently a pretty good sounding hen and this bird fell to Sam at 6:15 AM.  16 lbs., 10.4" Beard and 1" spurs.  Nice job.

April 12, 2008 - Nate Greene, again! - # 13 - (this is # 3 for Nate - total hunting about 3 hours.)

Same story, second verse - arrived late, scrambled to find a spot...went to 3 E this time...worked hard for about an hour...DOA @ 5:00 PM...14 1/2 lbs., 8 3/4" Beard, and 1" spurs!   Message from Ned..."Dude, I'm hot.  Nothing to it..."

April 8, 2008 - Ned Priest - # 11 - Ned decided to enjoy a  little hunt prior to the Lady Vols game and showed up on the campus at about noon...signed out for Area 3 W, where everyone else has been hunting and there couldn't possibly be another bird...but, along came a couple of shooters and Ned did the deed...back by 2:30 or so... in time to get home and watch the Women's Finals...about 18 lbs., 9 + " beard and 3/4" spurs...

April 7, 2008 - # 10 - Wilson Burton - At 6:00 PM, Wilson had been in position for over two hours...never called...was working on his Blackberry answering e-mails and coordinating the next week's activities...when...suddenly a jake appeared...then a long beard....then another....then another.  With the Blackberry in one hand and the gun by his side, he was basically trapped by the birds.  Slowly the Blackberry went down to the ground, the other hand gripping and slowly moving the gun into position...the grip...the shoulder...the cheek...the sights...the lower jaw...and at 20 yards, pulled the trigger.  The bird lay prone, but the other birds stayed around wondering what in the world just happened to their buddy.  After about 30 minutes and several Blackberry messages, they finally eased away.  Thirty minutes later, he picked up the bird and eased away himself...planning his return to the area the next day.  Statistics - 20.5 lbs., 10.5" beard, 1 1/8" spurs.  Congratulations!

April 5, 2008 - Robert Alexander scores again!  # 9 overall.  At 5 PM Saturday, Robert is high on a hill, so he could get a decent cell phone signal, and is talking with Scottie, his daughter, when two white heads appear.  "Gotta go!"...."No, No, No, I mean you later".  The birds work themselves into position for better identification...both are 30 yards...BANG!  # 9 is history...

April 1st and 2nd, 2008 - Richard Speer and Nat Harris score - Richard with a 22 pounder and Nat with a 18 pounder....  so, the total is now 8!

March 30, 2008 - Nate Greene (#2) ..................................................and Skip Neblett


Skip in front of Lodge →→→→→ SkipNeblett033020081 

Hot Shot, Nate and Tom # 2 for Nate...

March 29, 2008 - Nate Greene, Robert Alexander, Owen Hardcastle and Jimmy Love....

NateRobertOwen50329 JimmyLove032908


April 12, 2007 - Robert Alexander documented a miss and then a hit.  Turkey # 7 gets into the books.  Robert arrived about 3 PM and decided to go to a new food plot north of the Quarter Moon Food Plot...found a comfortable spot for an afternoon nap and called once...within 30 minutes, 2 mature birds show up...Robert carefully aims and fires...and two birds flew away!  On the way to the Lodge, he decided to stop at an old favorite - the Doug Hardcastle-named "Hissy - Pissy" blind (old # 8 for the rest of us).  Again, he called once...and within 20 minutes, a bird silently strolls up...more carefully this time, Robert took aim and fired...turkey # 7 weighed 22 lbs, sported a 10 1/2" Beard, had 1 1/4" spur on one side and 1 3/8" on the other.  Score 7 - 1.

March 31, 2007 - It's Turkey Time in Tennessee! 

On a beautiful opening morning, our season finally opened.  By 7:00 AM, Owen Hardcastle and Nate Greene had their first birds...Richard Speer followed shortly thereafter.  That afternoon, Ned Priest bagged the oldest and biggest of the day - a 22 pounder!  The next morning, Ned Priest bagged another by 7:30 and the scoreboard read - Hunters - 5, Turkey Misses - 0.  A few days later, a turkey-frustrated Jim Love harvested the often seen Rifle Range Tom.  Score 6 - 0.


Nate Greene, Owen Hardcastle and Richard Speer

March 31, 2007

Owen's story...

Hunting with the master guide Robert Alexander, this is the second year in a row that RA has guided a mature tom harvest for me on opening day. Although he is slipping just a bit.  Last year it only took 35 minutes after getting out of the car.  This year it was approx. an hour and a half...90 minutes!

We got set up and as the sun rose we saw that the turkeys in question were roosted about 70 to 80 yards behind us.  They flew down at about 6:15 am.  Robert worked the turkey for over an hour before a shot presented itself.

The turkeys were in front of us...behind us...on the side of us...all around us.  In fact, Robert had just slid around to the back of tree because approx. 10 minutes before the shot was made, they were within 50 yards of us in the opposite direction.  They reappeared down the ridge 180 degrees from where they were 10 minutes before.  When they reappeared Robert was not in a position to take a double.  I kept waiting to see if we could score a double but I felt like the Turkey were getting too close and I might spoil at least one kill.  I just could not wait any longer and took the shot at 30 yards.

OwenandGuideRobertMarch312007At one time when the turkeys were behind us, I was in such a contorted position that the whole right side of my body from my hip to my foot went to sleep.  I could not stay in that position any longer. So, I had to lay down on my chest and put the gun on the ground and hope that they did not appear over the ridge during my movement.  Likewise, Robert shifted around to the back of the tree.  The birds were right on us gobbling but a shot did not present itself.

The birds talked for the entire 1:15 from fly down until the shot was made.  We could not see them but they were within 50 - 60 yards the whole time.

After the deed was done and we were admiring our accomplishment, we heard another gobble!  We set back up but were not successful in calling in another Tom.. only a hen and three jakes presented themselves in the next 45 minutes.  Obviously, this was a very exciting morning.  I am looking forward to next year going for a TURKEY "THREE-PEAT” - three strikes in a row on opening morning.

By the way, I am reserving my appointment now with Robert for next year opening morning.  I'm delivering a bottle of Absolute this afternoon to seal the deal.

Nate's story...

Got up.  Got dressed.  Drove within 100 yards of Brother Mike's blind.  Got in stand @ 6:15.  Made one call.  Bird strutted in...DOA @ 7 AM.   Mowed grass until noon.  Easy!

Ned's 1st story...

Well, ya' see, it was like this... and I swear this is the truth.....

Turkey # 1 - I got to the club about noon on opening day, Saturday March 31.  After checking everyone's location, I decided to go to Area 6.  I knew that turkeys sometimes use the woods road up that hollow so I set up where that road leaves the little food plot just east of the base of Hammer Ridge.  I put out 2 hen decoys and my B-Mobile Primos strutting gobbler and sat in the thick woods just back from the food plot edge, looking into the food plot and onto the road. About 4:00 PM, 2 gobblers came in from the west, out of the large field/food plot where Stand 6 is located. They were headed across the food plot, right toward the woods road, when they saw my decoys. They couldn't believe that some intruder was stealing their women!! they actually gawked, stared and walked like drunkards, staring at my G-Mobile.  Heavy 13 #6's smoked Turkey # 1 at 20 yards.

Ned's story # 2...

If you believe this, Nate has a bridge in Alaska to sell to a certain doctor.

Turkey # 2 - On Monday, April 2, I decided to go to 60 Ridge and set up in the brand new ground blind on the brand new food plot there.  It didn't look too good for gobbling - warm, humid, cloudy and breezy.  I parked way back on County Line Rd and walked past Stand 2 in order to approach my spot from the north.  Just as I reached the little neck of woods where 60 is located, not one but two gobblers lit up strong.  One was out the ridge and the other in the head of the hollow behind me, about halfway up to the ridge where I had just walked!  I immediately sat down and set up looking at the new food plot.  As I did that, three very mouthy hens began tree-calling just down the side of the ridge from me.  They couldn't have been 50 yards away!  They started by tree-peeping and clucking but moved quickly to yelping, cackling and cutting.  So now I had two gobblers yelling at three hens, who were yelling back!  It was a turkey symphony and it had my heart rate at about 130!!!  I joined in with the hens and was expecting to see big boy real soon when the hens flew down into the hollow that opens on Old County Road at the Old Home Place food plot.  I continued to call from my spot on the ridge to sound like the most conveniently located anxious whore for the gobbler across the food plot, but suddenly he stopped for about a minute, then lit up again from the side of the food plot right next to the ground blind.   I never saw him and I still don't know how he got there so fast.  He gobbled at me and the hens in the hollow for about 5 minutes at about a gobble every 15 seconds, then walked off into the hollow gobbling.  I was now in utter despair!  What looked so certain about 30 minutes ago had become a real long-shot!  In desperation, I tried an old Jimmy Barnes trick.  I ran right to the spot where the gobbler had been strutting beside the new ground blind, set up in the ground blind, and called.  I could not believe my eyes when I saw the tip of a strutting tail coming up the ridge to me about 5 minutes later.  It was big boy and his subordinate buddy - and their girl friends - coming back to pick up that last hen!!!  Turkey # 2 was pole-axed at 23 steps!
Those are my true stories...and I'm stickin' to them!


************** 2006 ***************

May 13 - Turkey # 16 - Toby Magsig (Skip Neblett's son in law). Perfect ending to the season...

Toby and Skip arrived at the north end of the west lop of the Kelly-Goff Ridge road about 5:30 AM planning to climb the ridge and listen for gobbling.  Just out of the truck Toby heard a gobble to the west.  Sounded fairly distant but we followed our ears up the logging road to the junction of the woods and clearcut at the top of 1W.
The bird was gobbling frequently (more toward Hog Creek Road) and we set up there with a decoy in the clearing and started to call.  He slowly headed our way but then seemed to drop off into the hollow along the north edge and we quit hearing any gobbling.  We tried to be patient but about 9 AM, having heard no gobbles for an hour, decided to move.
We packed up and started to walk quietly down the road to the bottom.  About 150 yards from the top we heard a hen clucking excitedly in the hollow off to the left.  Hoping she might have a gobbler in tow we dropped right along the edge of the road and answered her.  She was conversational and we talked back and forth for about 5-10 minutes.  We were both facing down the hill toward her when we heard a booming gobble just up the hill and off toward the same little hollow on the north side of the road.  Toby was to be the shooter and had just time to edge around slightly uphill and to change his gun position.  He normally shoots lefty but had to position for a right-handed shot due to how he was situated this time.  Unfortunately he did not realize how close the bird was and did not get his gun up to his shoulder immediately.  Within seconds not one but two mature gobblers popped up on the road looking for their new best girl friend and they both were looking right where Toby was lying half against a tree and half out in the road.  The distance at this point is only about 30 yards but of course Toby doesn't have his gun mounted yet and they are looking right at us.
One is in full strut and seemed to be the dominant bird.  They both slowly walk down toward us and Toby picked the BIG boy as his preferred target.  That bird then veered to the left just off the road and partially behind a tree fall maintaining his strut and his visual contact with our position.  The second bird continued right down the road till he's within 15 yards and Toby's going over in his mind the best way to initiate 'hand-to-wing' combat.
At this point the bird on the road takes a left hand turn and looks like he's going to depart the scene over the left side of the road bed.  Toby quickly goes to plan B realizing that he may not have a shot at the larger bird and that the closer bird is going to be out of sight shortly.  He quickly mounts his gun (right handed position).  The strutting bird sees movement and gives an alarm putt.  The closer bird accelerates toward the edge of the road.  Toby gets off a shot just as the bird drops out of sight past the side of the road.
At this point we hear nothing but the sounds of a fleeing gobbler or gobblers.  No thrashing in the leaves. Anticipating the worst, we are thrilled to see Toby's bird lying stone dead in the leaves about 5 yards down the hill toward the hollow.  The great "wrong handed" shot was made at 18 yards using #6 Hevi-Shot.  The beautiful three year old bird weighed 15# 10 oz with a 10 inch beard and 1/1.03 inch spurs.
This was Toby's first gobbler ( he killed a Jake last year) and was the reward for eight days of pretty hard hunting this year in some pretty nasty weather conditions.  He had a few close calls but no shots till our last day of the season.

May 12 - turkey # 15 - Philip Fontenot.

This morning, Philip slept until 5:30, then chose a close place to go – Area 3.  He quietly called (mouth yelper) down each hollow until he got the type response he wanted…set up in the woods and called a couple of times again - very softly.  About 15 minutes passed and he was greeted by a gobble about 15 yards away - from the wrong direction, of course.  By the time he turned around to get into a decent shooting position, the three birds were about 40 yards away.  Several putts later, they were in the air.  Philip claims he put his best wingshooting move on the lead bird and pulled the trigger.  Down he came at 42 yards!

16 lbs., 4 oz., 1” spurs and 10 ½” beardPhilipMay122006TurkeypicforHD.


Shot in the air at 42 yards>>>>>>>>>

April 27 - Turkey # 14 - Skip Neblett. This too is a relatively short story.  Skip arrived for the morning hunt around 8:30.  By 9:00 or so, Skip was in perfect position - decoy in sunlight, clear shot to the left and right (but not straight ahead) - and began his soft calling routine.  This bird never said anything, but managed to sneak up the blind front approach, and presented a good shot behind a fairly thick bush.  Knowing that a bush is 90% air, Skip took the shot and the bird took a few steps to present a better shot.  Bang!  Another shot jolted him and he rolled down hill.  On Skip's arrival a third shot did the trick.   Total hunt time 1 hour 15 minutes.  (This same day, Will Morgan hunted from 5 AM to 12:30 PM and heard one faint gobble at 6:15.)

SkipApril20062 Skip in the traditional turkey pose.                   


  Skip in the traditional HD pose....... SkipApril20064


April 22 - Unlucky Turkey # 13 - Nat Harris. This is a 35 minute, no calling story.   "Pretty Boy" is a new gobbler decoy endorsed by Harold Knight and David Hale.  Nat Harris was given one by Frank Bloom, who heard they were fantastic.  They are!  The afternoon of the 22nd, Nat took Pretty Boy and his subordinate companion, "Pretty Girl", to Area 7.  He walked down the edge of the field and then between the pine trees to somewhat conceal his movement.  A brief set-up included the Tom and hen decoy plus a bobbing battery operated hen decoy.  Nat settled in for the afternoon at 4:10 PM.  He did not make a call of any kind.

At 4:40 or so, a Tom came into the middle of the field and spotted the Pretty Boy set-up.  He RAN to the decoy, which had obviously invaded his territory, and stopped about 20 yards from Pretty Boy.  Nat shot him at 42 yards at 4:45 with the new Hevi-13 # 5 load.

Set up from the Tom's perspective... NatsetupfromTomperspective

Close up of the set up plus the Tom... NatsetupwithTom


NatPrettyBoyTom4 Giving credit where credit is due...

Pretty Boy did all the work...

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