Opening weekend of North Carolina’s April 1-7 youth-only turkey season will be very busy with a new youth hunt in Pitt County and appearances by outdoors TV personality Michael Waddell.
And those are in addition to the popular Hunting Heritage banquets put on by the Pitt County and Franklin County chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
“Michael Waddell is the big attraction. Evvvverybody loves talking to Michael,” said Bryan Perry of Franklin County, who recently was elected to a second three-year term on the federation board
The weekend starts at 6 p.m. March 31, with Waddell’s appearance at Pitt County banquet at Rock Springs Center, 4025 N.C. 43 N. in Greenville. Tickets start at $25 for Jakes, or youth, $60 for solos with membership and $85 per couple. Order at https://events.nwtf.org/332520-2017/tickets.
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April 1 brings the inaugural Pirate Classic Turkey Hunt, headquartered at Hardy Farms, 7103 Willow Green Road, Snow Hill. Ages 15 and younger may hunt in the State Chapter NWTF event. “Bone Collector” and “Realtree Road Trips” host Waddell, who also has been a champion turkey caller, will speak at lunch.
“The Pirate Classic is filling up, and that is turning into a monster. The Minges family (of Minges Bottling Group and Pepsi fame) has been very gracious,” Perry said.
The hunt is $10. Register by March 12 at https://events.nwtf.org/332521-2017. Watch for updates at www.facebook.com/NorthCarolinaNWTF. To be a volunteer mentor, call Gary Weaver 252-341-5832 or Ken Moore 252-714-8722.
Waddell will be the most famous speaker at a Franklin County Longbeards banquet when he visits Louisburg for the 6 p.m. April 1 event at Big Franklin Warehouse, 412 Fox Park Road.
The banquet has grown from a few dozen to hundreds for one of the area’s big social events, Perry said.
“We’re trying to have one of the best banquets in the country,” he said.
Paper tickets are available from chapter members starting this week or can be purchased at https://events.nwtf.org/330541-2017/tickets.
Waddell will hunt with youth hunters on the morning of April 3. Follow Franklin County Longbeards on Facebook for updates.
Turkey seminars: Turkey season runs April 8 through May 6. To help hunters prepare, the Wildlife Resources Commission and the National Wild Turkey Federation are teaming up to provide 14 free seminars March 1-30.
The 6-9 p.m. sessions are open to all skill levels; ages 16 and younger need parental permission. Register at www.ncwildlife.org/sbs.
Youth shooting: The N.C. Youth Shooting Foundation starts its season Feb. 11 at Dewitt’s Outdoor Sports in Ellerbe. Go to www.ncysf.org/schedule.
Boat show: Seeing an unusual number of boats on downtown Raleigh streets? They’re converging for the 24th annual Raleigh Convention Boat Show Feb. 3-5. Hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10-5 Sunday. Tickets cost $10; ages 3-12 get in for $5.
Find details at www.raleighconvention.com/boatshow.
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