Turkey calling expert predicts an ‘OK’ season


BALDWIN — Rod Little has been coming to west-central Michigan for several years to teach local turkey hunters the art of calling.

But Little is an avid turkey hunter himself and is looking forward to a season that starts next week in the northwest part of the state, including Lake, Mecosta and Osceola counties.

A Pinconning resident, Little attended the Pere Marquette Chapter of the Turkey Hunters Rendezvous at Baldwin last month where he has been for the past 25 years. He specializes in the diaphragm call and continues to give demonstrations. 

“I teach the basic call on what they need to do to hunt turkeys  in the spring,” he said. “There’s a lot of guys that have more experience now. They’ve been turkey hunting for 30 years. I’ve been here 25, 26 years. I like talking to all the people and going out in their shoot.”

Little is among the several calling instructors who comes to the area to assist other turkey hunters.

Little sees a lot of familiar faces when he comes to the area.

“There’s a lot of new ones,” he said.

Turkey hunting begins in various parts of the state on Monday including in Area K that covers Lake, Mecosta and Osceola counties. Three are 4,000 permits issued for the first season (April 20-26) and 4,500 for the second (April 27 to May 3). The Hunt 0234 presents a statewide hunting license valid for all open areas, with a few exceptions, and the dates are May 4-31.

“I haven’t been around scouting a lot,” Little said. “You had a pretty rough winter a year ago. Over where I live, they didn’t have a good hatch. I think it’s probably OK. But I don’t think it’s going to be great. You didn’t have a good hatch last year and the winter before was pretty rough on them.”