Talking Turkeys with Rick White

WTR Classic 5 | Turkey Hunting


What better place for hunters to go this spring than to the Iowa Deer Classic and hear hunting tips from turkey calling champion, multiple turkey grand slam and noted whitetail hunter, Rick White. If flying to Iowa is not an option, tune in to this episode as Rick shares some of his secrets and techniques about turkey hunting. He also shares the experiences as well as the mistakes that he had and gives tips on how to overcome these mistakes. Have the advantage of learning all these tips in the comfort of your home or wherever you are as Rick tells his amazing stories.

Listen to the podcast here:


Talking Turkeys with Rick White

I’m with Rick White. Rick is going to be a seminar speaker coming up March 1st, 2nd and 3rd at the Iowa Deer Classic. Rick, tell us about the Iowa Deer Classic.

The Iowa Deer Classic is one of those shows in Iowa that all the deer hunters go to. It’s in the spring, so there are a lot of turkey hunters that attend as well. It’s been a show that’s been around for years. It’s packed. If you’ve never been to it, there are all kinds of things to see. You need to come and see not only for family entertainment but lots of different seminars. It’s a great family fun event for the weekend for sure.

What are you going to be talking about there?

I’m doing seminars. I’m doing one Friday, one Saturday and one Sunday. I’m doing turkey hunting seminars. A lot of people know but those that don’t, I’m an eleven-time Iowa State Calling Champion. I’ve won many other states and a lot of Grand National stuff. I’m going to be there speaking about turkey hunting. I’ve got 41 years of turkey hunting experience so I’ve been around the block. I don’t know everything there is to know about turkey or at least I still make mistakes in the turkey woods. We’ll talk about some of those mistakes and how to overcome them.

Turkey hunting is coming up and if you want to hear from one of the best in the country, not just in Iowa, Rick is going to be there sharing his tips and suggestions. You also are going to be in a booth. What booth you’re going to be at?

I’m going to be at the Bresser Optics booth. We’re going to have a twenty-foot booth. We’re going to be selling binoculars, scopes and rangefinders. We even got birdhouses with cameras in them. We’ve got everything for the women that like to come and shop family things, and to the deer and turkey hunters as well.

Not only is he the seminar speaker, but he’s going to be talking about optics and how you can pick out the best pair for you for your upcoming turkey season and for the whitetail season. Rick, in your travels around the country and everything, what state do you like to turkey hunt the best in?

I get asked that a lot. Being from Iowa, it’s hard to beat Iowa because I cut my teeth here. We have a phenomenal amount of turkeys. Anywhere I can go and hunt turkeys is a good state. I start down in Florida, then go to George. I love leaving Iowa when we’ve got snow on the ground and getting down to Florida where the weather’s beautiful. I don’t have a favorite place. Kentucky is beautiful. Florida and Georgia are beautiful. Anywhere turkey gobbles is a good place for me to go turkey hunting.

You probably have a couple of turkey slams?

WTR Classic 5 | Turkey Hunting


I do. I’ve shot the Grand Slam many times. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of different states. I’ve shot a lot of turkeys over the years for sure.

That’s going to be fun because one, you’re hunting similar birds but different birds. What’s the major difference? Take an Osceola versus a Merriam?

Depending on where you’re hunting, take Osceolas, for instance. If you’re hunting the swamps of Florida, it can be one of the toughest turkeys you’ll ever hunt. You get some of those cattle pastures and things like that, it might not be as hard. Having said that, the next day it might be a little tougher. Merriams, at least for me, they tend to be a lot easier to hunt. Mountain birds, they gobble a lot. They come to calls. They’re not as spooky, but every turkey has its challenge. Probably one of the hardest turkeys I hunt are Easterns down in the swamps of Georgia and Alabama. They are some of the hardest turkeys you’ll hunt. About the time you think you’ve got an easy turkey, you get educated really quick.

I had Lindsay on. He was talking about Turkey hunting. He said, “If you can call a Turkey, then you can call an elk.” Do you agree with that?

Yeah, a little bit. When you’re hunting during the rut of the elk season, it’s a lot like turkey hunting. If you use some of those similar tactics that you use in the turkey woods, you can be very successful in the elk woods.

Listen to that and some people get intimidated because of the West and the size of the mountains. I’ve been told that years ago, Wayne Carlton, he was a great turkey hunter, caller. He helped explode the calling factor of it. He became quite famous because of his abilities and calling. He started off cutting his teeth on turkeys and moved that right on over to elk like you yourself who created a career based on calling animals.

Anywhere turkey gobbles is a good place to go turkey hunting. Click To Tweet

Wayne is a very good friend of mine. I’ve hunted with him many times over the years. You’ll find that Wayne uses a lot of his turkey tactics in the elk woods as well.

When you think about the little secrets, what are some of the secrets you’d like to share that the people if they come to the Iowa Deer Classic might not hear?

You could call them secrets if you want but tactics and good strategies. The one thing that I tell people more than anything else is patience. If you’ll have patience, patience will kill you more turkeys than anything else you do. You have to have the right equipment. You got to know how to shoot your gun. You got to have a good pattern with that gun. You got to have a good turkey call, sit still and all that stuff. Patience, people make more mistakes getting up and moving on turkeys when they shouldn’t or perhaps not getting up and moving when they should. Nine times out of ten, if you could be a little more patient, you’ll be a little more successful.

That’s a lesson that, unfortunately for me, I wasn’t patient. I’ve got a lot of animals that I didn’t get simply because I was impatient. Had I hung in, I’m talking seconds or minutes, all of a sudden that elk shows up or that whitetail shows up or the mule deer or whatever. It’s disheartening and you go, “Why did I do that?”

I tell people when you think it’s time to get up and move, whether you’re going to lunch or you don’t have anything working right now. You’re going to try and go get on one. You’ll make a call and sit down and wait about 30 minutes without doing anything else. I need to watch to do this because 30 minutes in the turkey woods, without a watch is about five minutes. If you’ll sit for 30 minutes, you’ll be amazed how many turkeys will come in within that 30 minutes.

I could learn how to do that when I’m deer hunting. I know where I’m supposed to be. Everything is right and they’re not there and you give up on yourself. All of a sudden you come back and you see tracks or you check your trail camera and you go, “He was waiting for me to get out literally.” I believe that.

Not everybody likes hunting turkeys out of blinds. I understand that blinds almost to some people, they say it’s cheating a little bit. It’s a great tool if you’re taking a kid on their first time or somebody that doesn’t have the patience and can’t sit still. It’s a great tool as well. It’s also a great tool if you’re hunting in an area where you don’t have cover. I talk about all these things in my seminars, blinds and decoys, the right pattern, the right gun, right choke, all these things. Blinds can definitely make you more a successful turkey hunter too if you decide you want to use them.

What about hunting turkeys out of a blind with a crossbow? Have you seen that done or have you done that?

WTR Classic 5 | Turkey Hunting


I personally have never shot a Turkey with the crossbow. I shot a lot of turkeys with a compound bow. I know lots of people that have used crossbows and absolutely whether you’re in a blind, in fact, hunting out of a blind with the crossbow to me would be a lot easier than hunting with a compound. I’ve shot many turkeys and I know lots of guys that have with a compound bow not being in a blind. You’ve got to pick the right time to draw your bows. It’s a little tougher.

It’s a lot tougher because it’s typically not just one set of eyes. If you go up there in Stratton and you’ve got a couple of hands working, all of a sudden, it’s like trying to sneak up on some antelope or herd of elk. It’s like, “What am I going to do because they got me pinned and I can’t move?”

Blinds also keep you out of the weather. If the weather is not real nice, it’s rainy or something, you can still go out and enjoy the hunt. I film almost all my hunts. One of the reasons that I hunt on blinds a lot, and my cameramen might argue with me a little bit, but I’ve got camera guys that can’t sit still. I’ve been doing it for a long time. I know when to move and when not to move. For those camera guys, they don’t know the fact that you have all this big equipment that you’re trying to hide and not move. You have to film the turkey so you have to move the camera with the turkey. A lot of times blinds give you an advantage to doing that as well.

Unfortunately, I do have a habit of eating a lot or drinking. I love my hot tea. You reach over and you’re getting the thermos and stuff like that and it falls. There’s a lot of movement in my blind. It covers up a lot of sense. That’s what I like to say.

That’s all part of it right there. If you’re going to go out and hunt, you might as well enjoy it. If you want to be comfortable and you want to take your coffee or some snacks and that kind of thing to keep you out in the woods that much longer and make it more enjoyable, that’s a great thing.

What’s one thing that you know about hunting whitetails that you wish you knew a few years ago?

A few years ago, I was not doing things a whole lot different than I’m doing now, to be honest with you. Take me back several years ago when I didn’t use to rely on scent elimination products, for instance. I didn’t even play the wind when I was a kid. I didn’t know any better. Knowing that scent elimination products are out there and knowing how to use them has been a big factor in a lot of my success and finding the right products that work better. Believe it or not, there are scent elimination products that are a lot better than some of the others that are out there. I’ve learned a lot in the past years of when I can move, when I can draw my bow, when I shouldn’t draw my bow, my equipment, what I should shoot and what poundage I should shoot comfortably to be more accurate. I’ve worked on a lot of those types of things, fine-tuned those in the last few years and keep updated with a lot of the equipment that’s out there now. It’s made me a better deer hunter for sure just on those things.

Patience will kill you more turkeys than anything else you do. Click To Tweet

Let’s talk about the seminars that you’re doing and the date of the Iowa Deer Classic.

The Deer Classic is Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s the 1st, 2nd, 3rd of March. I’m doing a seminar. I know I have one at 4:30 on Friday. I don’t remember the times on Saturday and Sunday, but I have one each day. After the seminars and before, I’ll be over at the Bresser booth. We’ve got some great deals on some great products. The folks can catch me in the seminar and then they can also catch me in the Bresser booth. I would absolutely love and spend time talking with the folks, whether it’s a turkey hunt that you want to talk about or a deer hunter or stop and say hi. It’s a great show and a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to seeing all the people that come.

You said they could stop by and say hi. You’re always good for an autograph, I’m sure.

We’ve got a lot of neat things. I’ve got the last few years of our turkey videos. We’ve done a turkey video for the last few years. I’ll have videos there as well if anyone is interested. That’s to me what gets me fired up before turkey season is sitting down and watching a turkey video. I remember doing that years ago. They’re harder to find nowadays. Not a lot of people are doing them like they used to. If I can sit down and watch a turkey hunt on TV before the season, that puts me in the mood.

They get you all fired up, doesn’t it?

It certainly does.

Rick, thank you so much for taking time to do this promo for Iowa Deer Classics and yourself. Rick White is going to be at Iowa Deer Classic doing seminars on the wild turkey. Thanks so much, Rick.

Thank you.

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About Rick White

WTR Classic 5 | Turkey Hunting

Rick White, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was introduced to the hunting tradition at age eight by his father. He began hunting small game and gradually progressed to the challenge of larger species such as deer and turkeys.

White is an accomplished turkey caller. He has won a number of turkey calling contests, including the Iowa State Turkey Calling Championship 11 times and the Iowa Open 10 times.

White’s experience and knowledge of the Midwest woods is a valuable asset to Hunter’s Specialties. He has shared his expertise on Hunter’s Specialties Outdoors on The Outdoor Channel and ESPN Outdoors with Tom Miranda. He has appeared on Hunter’s Specialties DVD series PrimeTime Bucks, PrimeTime Bulls and Cutt’n & Strutt’n.

Rick is also an accomplished videographer and films hunts for Hunter’s Specialties TV and DVD series. When he is not hunting or filming, Rick travels the country, conducting seminars on turkey and deer hunting, sharing his knowledge, expertise, and passion for the outdoors with others.

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