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Brooklet man wins calling competition
Kerry Terrell for web
Kerry Terrell recently won the 2008 Wild Turkey Bourbon/National Wild Turkey Federation Grand Nation Calling Championship in Atlanta. Above: Terrell poses with his championship trophy - photo by Special
    What started as an effort to improve his performance in turkey hunting has led Brooklet's Kerry Terrell to the big time.  After 16 years of competing in turkey calling contests, Terrell placed first in the 2008 Wild Turkey Bourbon/National Wild Turkey Federation Grand National Calling Championships, Rare Breed Champion of Champions competition in Atlanta.
    Performing five different calls - slate friction, friction box, mouth calls, suction calls and tube calls - Terrell took the show.
    "The title explains it," he said. "Champion of champions. You have to learn how to master all kinds of calls. I think that it's a talent to have to learn all of  those, not just the mouth calls. It's tough. I've been wanting this one."
    He demonstrated his variety of calls in Studio Statesboro and heads turned. It sounded as if a flock of gobblers and hens disturbed a murder of crows as the realistic calls filled the air.
    "I've been calling 16 years," he said. "I started turkey hunting in the mid '80s, and when I heard someone call I said 'that's amazing to me - the guys sound just like a real turkey.'  I began calling to improve my hunting."
    But he became so skilled "one of my buddies talked me into a contest." His first competition made him so nervous, "my glass of water shook."
    He first entered the Georgia State Championship in 1992, and won that contest last year.
    "My calling has made me a better hunter," he said. "It has brought up opportunities - to take kids hunting, film TV shows on the Outdoor channel, in hunts - I take outdoor writers on hunts."
    Terrell is sponsored by Knight & Hale Game calls and he films advertisements for the company. He has also made friends with Jason Beard, a Screven County man who is paralyzed, and has taken him on hunts. "That makes it all worth it," Terrell said.
    He said his family supports him, although sons Dustin, 17, and Justin, 21, are avid hunters and fishermen who would rather be out in the fields than competing.
    But "my wife Angie has been there through every contest," he said. "I probably wouldn't still be doing it if not for her."
    He said she is very understanding, especially when his passion for outdoor sports takes over.
    "A man might skimp on some things but he's going to have his hunting and fishing stuff," he said.
    The Champion of Champions competition was held during the National Wild Turkey Federation's annual convention and sports show at the Georgia World Congress Center.
    Contestants were judged by experts in the turkey hunting world, critiqued on their ability to imitate  natural sounds made by wild turkeys using a variety of calls.
    "It's an awesome feeling because it's the one that you have to be a champion to do it, to be champion to even get in it," Terrell said. "You're also running five or six different kinds of calls and it's (a competition) I've really been after."
    To qualify for the event Terrell used his 2004 Grand National Team challenge title won with partner Mark Prudhomme of South Carolina.
    He displayed his skills with the assembly call; cluck-and-purr; gobble; kee kee run; and the yelp of an excited hen. The calls used were a mouth diaphragm, a peg and slate call, box call, and trumpet-style wing bone call.
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