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Billy McCoy

Billymccoy2 The turkey hunting world suffered a great loss last week with the passing of Billy McCoy. A longtime turkey hunter who I first met on a Missouri hunt years ago, McCoy was in tight with the crew at both Walker's Game Ear and Quaker Boy Game Calls among others, and had done a lot of work over the years to teach a legion of new hunters how to call turkeys.

Billy died March 19 after a long battle with cancer. I last joined the former calling champion on a hunt in Alabama with Bob Walker and Paul Butski with Walker's Game Ear. Though fighting the disease at the time, you would have never known it. Billy went after the turkeys as hard as any of us and relished every moment in the woods.

I stood amazed as he called a bird from way across a river right up to the opposite bank. We worked that bird for over an hour before deciding to give it a rest. I was on a short hunt that trip and had to leave that afternoon without getting a bird. But that didn't matter. What I did get to do that day was share a special time with a great hunter who knew the end was drawing near. How he approached that dark horizon with humor, strength and the determination to keep enjoying each day was as strong as any lesson he ever gave on turkey hunting. We're going to miss you Billy.


Matt Wettish

Been spending a ton of time in the woods and in the office getting ready for my spring event here in CT ... Canon USA is coming in next week and I've invited some great writers for photography. Wish you could have made it. The birds are hot here and we are starting to see some break-up of the flocks. Where I was seeing a dozen plus gobblers I am now seeing 4-6 ... although the others haven't gone far. Gives us better calling when they are a little broken up. I would rather call in two or three a few times than ten all at once. Anyway ... things are hot and I was able to put the "Pretty Boy" decoy to the test the other day on video. The first two birds to come into the spread puffed up, started to aggressive purr and bumped right into the him ... pretty cool ... they are going to have a bad day if they do that during season. The real tail you put on the decoy makes it look great. The hen that comes with him is VERY loud in the woods and I will most likely bring a softer bodied decoy to team up with Pretty Boy next time. Sounds like your doing well so far ... Congrats on the Osceola, keep your travels safe and good hunting.

Matt Wettish

It's always a tough thing to hear about the passing of a fellow sportsman ... My belief is that he is in a better place ... where the long-beards roost, they aren't call shy and the hens are all nesting. Best wishes to Billy's family and friends ... God bless,
Matt Wettish

John Brown Jr.

Every turkey hunter out there needs to take time and read "An Evening on The Handles" by the great Tom Kelly. It describes in detail not only the passing of a fellow turkey hunter but how and where they laid him to rest.

No doubt Billy McCoy taught lots of hunters how to chase longbeards. He will be missed.

John Brown Jr.