Outdoors show in Perry attracts longtime hunters and novices

lmorris@macon.comFebruary 9, 2014 

Emma Grace Williams, 6, of Warner Robins, was among the youngest at the Great Outdoors Show in Perry on Sunday.

But she was quite knowledgeable about hunting for her age.

“I like to go hunting,” said Emma Grace, who has been dove hunting with her father. “Next season, we are going deer hunting. I will take my BB gun.”

Emma Grace said she knew to always keep the gun safety on and to point guns at the ground.

After attending a bird show at the event, she remembered1 that owls hunt mostly at night and that “they weigh 3 pounds.”

Emma Grace and her mother, Jenni Williams, along with little sister, Melissa, nearly 17 months old, attended the bird show presented by Chehaw Park and Zoo in Albany.

Jackie Entz, from Chehaw, also showed the crowd a red shouldered hawk named Maverick, which came from the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany.

Entz said she had raised the hawk since it was a hatchling and the bird is used for educational programs.

Although exact numbers were not available Sunday night, sportsman program director Sam Stowe said about 10,000 people attended the three-day show at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter, The event had nearly 125 exhibitors.

“I think it was a good show,” Stowe said.

While there were more turkey-caller vendors than you could shake a turkey feather at, the show also included exhibitors offering T-shirts, leather belts, guns of all sizes and types, and taxidermy services. At least one vendor sold jerky sticks from deer, elk and buffalo.

Mike Halloran and his son David Halloran traveled about 900 miles from Great Valley, New York to exhibit David Halloran Turkey Calls at the show.

“We come every year,” Mike Halloran said. “It’s a good show, and we’ve always had a good time here. We’ve had a really good weekend. We’ve sold a lot of callers and met a lot of new people.”

They go to about three or four shows a year.

David Halloran, 27, began making turkey callers in his father’s shop when he was about 12 years old and seven years later he was in business. He has won several national awards for his callers.

Some of his callers are made from exotic woods such as Macassar ebony from Indonesia and purple heart found in tropical rainforests.

Their “day jobs” are working as carpenter contractors, Mike Halloran said.

At one of the exhibits, Robert Mosely, of Lizella, said he has been a sales representative for Camp Callers since 1988 and been a turkey hunter since about the same time.

Camp Callers has been an exhibitor at the wildlife show since the early 1990s. “We’ve done real good here. We’ve had a good show (this weekend),” Mosely said.

He demonstrated an owl hooter, which is used to locate a turkey. The turkey will respond to the owl hooter because the turkey wants the owl to know it’s bigger, he said. When the turkey calls out, it lets the hunter know where to find it. Greg Lee, of Fort Valley, said he comes to the show “for the deals.”

This time he bought a pistol and a laser sight. He also bought his souvenir T-shirt — he gets one every year.

Lee mostly hunts deer, and his wife, Kim Lee, said she went deer hunting with him for the first time two years ago.

“I killed one on my first hunt,” she said. “I got a doe. It was the first time I ever shot a gun like that. They put me on a stand by myself.”

She said she was told that if she shot a deer to remember exactly where it was. She had a unique way of remembering.

“I took a picture of it on my phone and then shot it,” she said.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

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