Unforgettable adventures and unwavering determination

EDGEFIELD, SC — Completing just one of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s turkey hunting contests is a remarkable feat, and it’s a goal many avid turkey hunters aspire to achieve in their lifetime. However, two people accomplished something rare by completing all six of the NWTF Wild Turkey Games.

In pursuit of this achievement, Clyde Neely of Kingwood, Texas emerged as a pioneer, becoming the first person to complete and record all six NWTF Wild Turkey Hits in 2012.

Fast forward to 2023, and Chip Davis of Grenada, Mississippi has become the second person to complete and record all six NWTF turkey hunting slams on the NWTF Wild Turkey Records. Davis embarked on his journey to slams in 1992 when he made his first trip to Missouri. At the time, his goal was simply to harvest a turkey outside of his home state. In achieving this goal, he looked towards what could come next, and for him, was it going after the Grand Slam? harvesting the Eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande and Merriam subspecies.

“This decision is like living life every day,” Davis said. “In life, we all set goals, but sometimes we don’t set the biggest goals first.”

After achieving the Grand Slam, her ambitions naturally progressed to the Royal Slam, the World Slam, and then the US Super Slam. After 30 years of hunting turkeys in the United States, from camping in tents to hopping from hotel to hotel, Davis finally hit the Super Slam, catching a wild turkey in all 49 states with a turkey season (Alaska doesn’t have a turkey season). huntable population).

The completion of the Super Slam marked a major milestone for Davis, as only 16 hunters had officially recorded the 49-bird slam before him. However, he did not stop there. With only a few slams remaining, Davis set his sights on the international turkey hunt.

While he estimated that about 95% of his trips within the US were DIY hunts, Canada requires that non-resident hunters use a supplier. As for Mexico, Davis said the use of a point guard “just made sense.” Even with vendors, he called his own birds and made his own decisions. Turkey hunting is interactive in nature, which is why many hunters love it. Therefore, he strove to be actively involved and make his own decisions, making sure he had a hands-on role in all aspects of each hunt.

Among the countless hunts Davis embarked on, two stand out in his memory. His favorite hunt took place in Tamaulipas, Mexico, where he had the opportunity to hunt Rio Grande wild turkey in the Sierra Madre. The vast terrain of half a million acres allowed him to harvest two mature males, making it an unforgettable experience as part of the Mexican Slam: harvesting a Rio Grande, Gould’s and Ocellated turkey only in Mexico.

On the other hand, Davis’ most challenging hunt occurred in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia, where the terrain was steep, rocky, and devoid of wild turkeys. This hunt marked the final effort for him to complete the Canadian Slam (the subspecies of Eastern and Merriam in any Canadian province) and achieve all six slams.

After successfully harvesting his last bird to complete the Canadian Slam and sixth and final slam, the moment that followed was filled with quiet, somber reflection as Davis gazed at the end of an era and wondered what awaited him.

“It’s very hard to put it into words,” he said.

Davis said she felt extremely bittersweet at the juxtaposition of her enthusiasm and humble sense of accomplishment alongside a deep sadness, realizing that this chapter of her life, into which she had invested so much time and effort, had finally ended with her. one last trigger. .

Throughout his 31-year turkey hunting journey, Davis learned a lot about wild turkeys and turkey hunting and faced numerous challenges along the way. Despite facing inclement weather, scheduling issues, pressured turkeys, and even canceled hunts due to COVID-19, he learned that preparation was the key to overcoming obstacles.

“The best thing anyone can do to improve their success rate, whether it’s turkey hunting or in life, is to be prepared,” he said.

Through setbacks and failures, Davis believes that the experience gained from these challenges makes people better turkey hunters and equips them with valuable life lessons.

“Turkey hunting and the challenges of these slams, again, it’s just like life,” he said. “We never know where our next challenge will come from. What we can be absolutely sure of is that a challenge is coming. The way we deal with that challenge is what sets us apart.”

For Davis, turkey hunting is more than just chasing turkeys; it’s about meeting new people, exploring new places and having unforgettable experiences. His encounters with fellow hunters along the way have become lifelong friendships. Now, she hopes to revisit some of the beautiful places she discovered on her turkey hunting trip and take her two eldest sons, who share her obsession with turkey hunting, to those treasured places.

One piece of advice he leaves for hunters who may follow in his footsteps is to never give up the pursuit of your passions.

“Will there be challenges? Will there be obstacles? Davis asked. “You can bet. But never, ever stop pursuing your goals.”

About NWTF Wild Turkey Slams and NWTF Wild Turkey Records

As a testament to his commitment to turkey hunting and wild turkey conservation, Davis encourages all those striving to complete these slams to officially register them through the NWTF Wild Turkey Registration Program. Renowned writer and outdoor hunter, Colonel Dave Harbor, created the Wild Turkey Registration Program and turned ownership of it over to the NWTF in 1982. Since then, he has amassed more than 27,000 registered wild turkeys.

Davis himself has registered his slams with the NWTF, acknowledging that it not only recognizes his achievements but also contributes to conservation efforts for these magnificent birds.

“I think a turkey hunter almost owes it to the wild turkey out of respect, to record his hits,” he said. “It helps all of us to register them for the benefit of the wild turkey.”

By recording individual birds or entire slams, hunters contribute to a crucial cause: the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting traditions. Funds raised through these records play an important role in supporting the mission of the NWTF and provide an official record in history. The collective efforts of the NWTF, past, present and future, contribute to the health and sustainability of wild turkeys for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Upon completion of any harvest or slam, hunters may register their wild turkey through the NWTF by either online or by mail, and your achievement will be recognized by receiving a slam certificate for each slam achieved, a wild turkey slam record pin for each slam achieved, and your slams will be published in the official NWTF website.