ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. — Dylan Bearden is a champion turkey caller.
“I knew it was what I was supposed to do,” said Bearden, who has one several state titles. He recently won first runner up in the national Wild Turkey Federation Grand Nationals in Nashville. “It’s more than making a call. It’s getting real emotion that a turkey does.”
He attributes his success to the brand of call he uses made by friend and fellow turkey hunter, Kimmy Hanks.
“They are custom built one-by-one and they have the tone that I’m trying to get on stage,” Bearden said.
It takes a lot of practice and he’s had a lot, starting when he was just a kid.
“My dad was a big influence on it,” he said. “He got me in my first calling contest when I was 5 years old.”
Turkey calling competitions don’t only involve turkey sounds. He’s won several state titles for hooting like an owl, but Bearden says it’s not just about winning.
“If you are not having fun you are doing it for the wrong reasons,” he said.
Bearden will be competing in the upcoming North Carolina State Turkey Championship during the Dixie Deer Classic at the NC Fairgrounds in Raleigh.