Carlton’s Spring Turkey Hunting Tradition

Carlton’s Spring Turkey Hunting Tradition

Story by Bill L. Olson

There’s a saying if you are going to improve your skills in almost anything you should test or challenge yourself from someone whose skills and abilities are better than your own.  When mentored by the best it becomes a unique learning experience. 

I’ve been fortunate to have had exceptional mentors in various phases of my life. When it comes to calling game animals in close Wayne Carlton ranks at the top of that list.  I met Wayne back in the late ‘80s when a fledgling conservation organization was trying to get its legs underneath it. 

For six years Wayne and I sat together on the National Board of Directors of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation based in Missoula Montana.  This was a superb privilege to discuss challenges and exchange ideas on solutions with an exceptional group of passionate men and women hunters.  These conservationists brought a broad background of hunting and outdoor skill sets to the table each time we met.

In addition to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Wayne was a strong supporter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.  He and Rob Keck, former Executive Director formed a close friendship and working relationship to further the mission of NWTF.

Regardless of location the time spent with Wayne were outright entertaining but also filled with tips and tales of hunting and calling game in close.  In the field, on videos, during seminars or just around a campfire I was the proverbial sponge that absorbed every word this game caller and inventor offered.  To also call him and his family my friends was simply icing on the cake.

His two children Rachel and Marc grew up in the family owned and operated business.   Linda, Wayne’s wife and kids mother oversaw day-to-day operations and from my perspective kept things on track.

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