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Turkey reapers evolve into a new way to hunt

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 11:28 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 11:36 a.m. CDT

Laying on his stomach in the middle of an open field, Creston-native Chancy Walters moved with stealth behind a hand-held turkey decoy.

He didn’t know if the unconventional hunting strategy would work until the Tom turkey took notice of the moving decoy and charged at Walters.

“The rush is completely on another level,” Walters said. “You actually become a turkey. It’s a crazy turkey-hunting style.”

Walters fired, killing his target, but giving life to a new way to hunt.

Walters and his business partners Jeremy McCarty and Cody Bisher are working with sporting networks to turn “turkey reaping” into a hunting show on the Outdoor channel.

The trio has released some footage to preview on YouTube and built a Turkey Reapers fan page on Facebook. Walters said the early buzz has been positive.

“It’s fun, it’s something different and that’s the key,” Walters said. “There are so many hunting shows with so many people hunting the same way.”

Using small cameras attached to the decoy, the gun and sometimes the hunter, Walters and his partners are able to get up close footage of the birds in action.

“Of course, you’ve got to be safe,” Walters said. “It has to be in an open area.”

While the details of a possible hunting show are in the works, Walters is able to use the trophies taken during turkey hunts and repurpose the feathers for his artwork.

Life in the outdoors, hunting and traveling through the Midwest and Alaska, has inspired Walters’ painting and helped him make connections with a wide variety of business owners.

“Being around it (wildlife) really helps you get dialed in,” Walters said. “You’re there and you can feel it. It helps you paint better.”

While turkey hunting may evolve into a business opportunity, Walters has avoided making hunting tours and guided fishing trips his main career focal point.

Walters said hunting and fishing are his chance to get away and to spend time with friends. He did not want to taint the joys of hunting with the stress of business.

“It’s just something I love, but I don’t want to get into that (guided hunts),” Walters said.

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