This piece started as a cover for the NWTF’s magazine, Turkey Country. I worked as a graphic designer and illustrator their for seven years right out of college. During that time I laid out numerous magazine covers (all featuring photos from wildlife photographers), so it was cool to work with their design staff nearly a decade later on a cover in this capacity, where I’m creating the art from scratch. I actually took the pose from a pheasant photo, but referencing a taxidermy head for the pose and swapping out the pheasant wings, body and tail feathers with that of a gobbler.
I painted the original turkey on white for the magazine cover, then a year later, came in and painted the mountainous sunrise scene in the background. The title “Perfect Pitch” was submitted by a social media follower, and I chose it because of the double meaning. I’ve hung out with championship turkey callers over the years and they’ve helped me on my cadence and pitch more than any YouTube video could. I love hunting with them and seeing how they change their pitch and style to match the hunting situation. And of course, a longboard perfectly pitching down into your setup before the sun can even rise above the treetops is what turkey hunting dreams are made of.