Austin Arnold is still waiting for turkey season, but his spring already has been fairly spectacular.
He came home to stay after four years in the Army with tours in Afghanistan and Kuwait, and he landed a dream job for a young outdoorsman.
Just after the 2011 Clayton High School graduate returned in December, a friend told him Cabela’s in Garner was hiring, “and I knew that was where I wanted to be,” said Arnold, one of the 245 staff, called outfitters, who will assist customers at the store, which opens with a grand opening ceremony at 9:45 a.m. April 16.
Arnold, 22, said last week he has been studying the stacks and shelves of turkey hunting merchandise. He looks forward to sharing turkey and deer knowledge with customers, and he’s eager to see vendors demonstrate merchandise.
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“These motorized turkey decoys … are something I’ve never seen used before. That’s something I’d like to try out,” Arnold said. “… I’ve been reading up on them. I’ve used a motorized duck decoy system, and they work wonders.”
He’s exchanging tips with fellow outfitters, including other veterans, who have their own tactics or decoy setups. Experienced with turkey calls, he’s eager to teach customers.
“We have demo calls they can try,” he said, pointing out a rack of new, unpackaged calls.
For the April 11-May 9 turkey season, he recommends basics that include “a good decoy but not something extravagant,” plus camouflage netting or a ground blind.
Introduced to turkey hunting at age 15 by best friend Teddy Whitley of Archers Lodge, Arnold likes his Stoeger Model 3000 semiautomatic 12-gauge shotgun with a choke for a tighter pattern. He intends to help his brother, sixth-grader Will Morgan, bag his first turkey after uncooperative gobblers spoiled Will’s youth season opener April 4.
“Definitely now that I’m home, I’m focusing on that family aspect,” Arnold said.
Find the event schedule at www.cabelas.com/garner, and find turkey season details at www.ncwildlife.org.
Expo in Wilson: DockDogs canine competitions and appearances by Jep Robertson of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” highlight the April 10-12 Gold Leaf Waterfowlers Outdoor Expo at the Wilson County Fairgrounds in Wilson. Go to www.waterfowlersexpo.com.
Sheepshead considered: Potential management measures for sheepshead will be on the agenda when the finfish advisory committee meets at 6 p.m. April 15 in Morehead City.
Free workshops: The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville is hosting two free workshops:
April 11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Fort Bragg/Fayetteville chapter of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing’s Kayak Fish and Float Workshop with N.C. Kayak Fishing Association.
April 14, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Reel Men Fishing Team bass fishing seminar.
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