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Nick Charney enjoys a challenge. For him, the more work he has to put into something, the more worthwhile that thing is. This is true in all parts of his life, from joining the Air Force at 18 to cofounding Apex Ammunition. More than anything else though, Nick’s favorite challenge lies in turkey hunting.
Like many hunters, the sport runs in the family. Nick’s dad started him early at the young age of nine.
Nick said, “I enjoyed being in the outdoors with my dad and all the things he was showing me clicked and from there I never really looked back.”
Nick went into the military when he turned 18, an event that left him feeling blessed thanks to the diverse world experiences it gave him. Despite the benefits the military gave him, it was challenging to maintain his passion for hunting while he served.
For Nick, spring turkey season is second to none. While he does like going after waterfowl here and there, even that doesn’t hold a candle to turkey.
Nick said, “Turkey hunting is an interactive cat and mouse game, it gets the adrenaline going and each hunt has its own uniqueness.”
Turkey calling is a necessity when hunting these creatures, but Nick said that’s a misnomer.
“You’re not just calling to them, you’re communicating with them,” Nick said. “If they gobble at you, they’re telling you something, and it’s your job to figure out what exactly they’re telling you — it’s not just blindly calling.”
Aside from the interaction with the animals, Nick also savors the chance to see new places when hunting. He currently lives in rural South Carolina, but hunting allows him to see many different environments. Nick said, “Just being able to experience all the places these animals inhabit, getting to be a part of it is definitely up there with the interactivity of it.”
One of the greatest challenges Nick recently overcame was earlier this year in the middle of April. He had been picked in a public land draw with a friend and had a tag to fill, but the weather wasn’t looking too good on the drive up. They almost called it quits due to the thunder but, fortunately, the sky cleared by the time they got there.
They went to a spot where they discovered several turkeys the day before and made their rounds trying to spot check until they heard a turkey, though it seemed to be far off. Nick’s buddy walked 50 yards and made a call to try and pinpoint the location, but it was difficult for the two hunters to get a fix on the bird’s position.
“The little rolling hills will play tricks on your ears,” Nick said. “He got set up and I hit the crow call and he looked back at me with a ghostly white face and said, ‘Get down, and crawl up here to me.’”
They learned that the turkey was extremely close — just 100 yards away. They started calling and every 10 minutes they heard a tom moving closer and closer.
Nick said, “He gobbled one last time super, super close, and my buddy said, ‘He’s fixing to die here real soon.’ and I said, ‘I know it.’”
The turkey stood upright, and Nick put the beat on him, sending him — in his words: “ass over teakettle.”
The tom was Nick’s biggest bird ever — one of the spurs ended up going an inch and three quarters, which Nick said, “was unheard of.” For context, a spur length of one and a half inches is considered trophy size. Nick was pumped to be able to hunt such a majestic animal with a close friend.
When it comes to advising other hunters on how to match Nick’s success, he recommends: “Don’t run and gun. Take time to hunt an area, and don’t just turn around because you don’t hear anything — they can sneak up quiet as can be, and you have to know they are there.”
It’s easy to get dissuaded from a lack of success, but it’s important to have the mental fortitude to stick it out. If you have that then you will eventually succeed in your own turkey hunt.