As a turkey hunter that has only ever tried the practice of ‘Reaping’ or ‘Fanning’ a gobbler one time in my life, I simply don’t get what all the fuss is about. I admit I do like the videos and the idea of tricking a gobbler while crawling towards him only to pop up and knock him upside the head with a 12 gauge at five yards. I was honestly surprised when I came across Cameron Weddington’s piece in Outdoor Life claiming that the practice should be banned completely. My initial thought was “who is this blowhard trying to tell other hunters how they should or shouldn’t hunt?”. However, after reading the entire piece I thought it would be more beneficial for everyone if Cameron and I sat down and hashed out why he feels the way he does regarding reaping and fanning.
Can he show me scientific evidence that these practices are causing a decline in turkey populations? Or is it an ethics issue for him? What about the fact that reaping on public land is responsible for multiple hunting accidents? Maybe it’s some combination of all of the above. We might still disagree at the end of the conversation, but we will know exactly where he stands and why. I believe having these conversations has a much more positive result than the usual mud flinging back and forth on social media. Hope you enjoy the discussion.
(One thing is for sure, Cameron is a die hard turkey hunter as he completed another season grand slam this spring)