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Hunting event coming to SteelStacks

“The turkey walked into range, and I drew my bow, took aim and let the arrow fly,” said Christian Berg, remembering a Kansas turkey hunt. “It was a good hit, and the bird started flopping on the ground.”

But a couple seconds later, the bird got up and started running away through the woods.

“I literally dove out the front window of my blind and landed flat on my face,” Berg said. “Getting up as fast as I could, I started running after the turkey, which of course picked up its pace.”

Just as Berg closed the gap, his foot caught a tree root and he fell forward but was able to grab the turkey as he hit the dirt. The turkey had a 10.5-inch beard, 1.25-inch spurs and is still Berg’s biggest gobbler.

“Now I am not sure what the lesson is in that story, except make a better shot than I did and never give up when you are bowhunting turkeys,” Berg said. “Just goes to show it ain’t over until it’s over.”

Did that turkey hunting story whet your appetite for the upcoming season? If you want to build more anticipation – plus have a lot of fun for a good cause – head to SteelStacks in Bethlehem for The Art of Turkey Hunting, at 6 p.m. March 18. The event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit ArtsQuest and the National Wild Turkey Federation. Tickets are $15 in advance (on sale at www.Steelstacks.org) or $20 at the door.

You’ll be entertained by Berg and World Turkey Calling Champion Matt Morrett, who are among the presenters, who will give seminars. Morrett is the Marketing Division Chief for the Pennsylvania Game Commission; Berg is editor of Peterson’s Bowhunting. There will also be a selection of films curated by the NWTF.

If you’re a seasoned turkey hunter, what can you gain by going to the event?

“I think the best thing that will happen for veterans at the event is simply the bond of fellow turkey hunters, and no matter what, as an outdoorsman, there is always something to take away,” Morrett said. “Personally, I try to learn every day and especially learn about subjects that are my favorite and participate in most often – it never hurts to learn different things and approaches.”

“Everywhere my travels take me, I try to give encouragement – because there is no wrong way to enjoy the outdoors,” he added. “It is like anything – you put into it what you want to get out of it and do it the way you want to.”

Berg said that as the winter fades, anyone who loves the outdoors is eager for spring’s arrival and the opportunity to get back in the woods. Even those who have long been successful hunting the long beards will pick up a few things from the seminars – whether it’s a new insight on calling, decoy placement, or hunting gobblers with archery gear.

“An event such as this is will be a great time to stoke that enthusiasm for spring turkey season while learning some things that can help you be more successful,” Berg said. “One of the great things about hunting is that everyone has their own style, and no matter how long you hunt, you can never know it all.”

During the evening, attendees will have a chance to bid in a silent sale and a live auction featuring an African Safari for Two with Somerby Safaris, Steelhead Angling on Salmon River in New York courtesy of Wack’em Guide Service, a Turkey Hunt for Two at Camp Freedom in Northeastern Pennsylvania and more. Proceeds from The Art of Turkey Calling benefit ArtsQuest’s free Step Outdoors festival for families May 30-31, as well as the conservation work of the Jerry Zimmerman Memorial & Walking Purchase Chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Step Outdoors, now in its sixth year, encourages children and families to get outdoors with presentations, hands-on activities and educational experiences by more than 20 different outdoors and conservation groups. Partners helping to make The Art of Turkey Calling possible include The National Wild Turkey Federation, Petersen’s Bowhunting and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Christian Berg, editor of Peterson’s Bowhunting, will be one of the presenters at the SteelStacks Turkey Calling event. LISA PRICE/TIMES NEWS