Tippin talks turkey
Story and photos by Page
Two-year-old Teddy Tippin is fortunate to
have a sports-loving father with whom to share such joys as
winning a fishing trophy. Country music superstar Aaron
Tippin, a patron of DeKalb Farmers Cooperative and an ardent
wild turkey hunter, sows 20 to 30 acres of wildlife food plots
on his farm. He says BioLogic is his wild game seed of choice.
See story on page 4.
— Photo by Page Haynes
With one platinum and five
gold albums to sing about, country music superstar Aaron Tippin is
well known for hits like "My Blue Angel," "Call of the Wild,"
"Working Manís Ph.D.," and "Youíve Got to Stand for Something." But
between tours and shows, one of his favorite pastimes is
In fact, he enjoys the sport
so much that this marks the second year he has sown food plots
throughout his 300-acre farm near Smithville in DeKalb County. The
seed of choice for the wildlife plots is BioLogic, one of many items
that Aaron purchases at DeKalb Farmers Cooperative.
A competitive sportsman who
enjoys the challenge of a good hunt, Aaron has hunted squirrel,
quail, mountain grouse, and deer. But he says his absolute favorite
game to hunt is turkey.
Aaronís father, Willis Emory
Tippin a professional pilot whoís called "Tip" by his
acquaintances began teaching his talented son all about
firearm safety and how to hunt when Aaron was 4 years old. Eager to
follow in his fatherís footsteps as an avid hunter, the young Aaron
was soon a skilled marksman.
"I started squirrel-hunting ó
thatís the game to start with when youíre little," says Aaron, who
grew up in Travelers Rest, S.C. "Of course, then we had squirrel for
supper that night because my dad believes that if you kill it, you
need to eat it. Shortly thereafter, I gave up hunting squirrels -
they werenít very tasty!"
While in high school, Aaron
became interested in deer hunting. But because South Carolina had a
limited deer population, hunting was difficult. Aaron soon shifted
his attention from hunting to focus on his career. He became a
multi-engine instrument commercial pilot and pursued a top job with
major airline carriers before deciding to move to Nashville in 1986
to begin singing and songwriting. In 1990, he signed with RCA
Records as a singer and released several award-winning albums. In
1998, he signed with Disneyís Lyric Street Records and released the
album "What This Country Needs" and his newest work, "People Like
Aaronís passion for hunting
was rekindled about four years ago when he tried turkey-hunting
after a 10-year lapse from the woods. Aaron says no other types of
hunting compare to stalking a wild gobbler.
"Turkey-hunting is the
combination of all types of hunting," he explains. "It is very
action-oriented. Youíve got to do a lot of walking sometimes
running to get to the bird before he quits gobbling. And then,
thereís the stealthy part of being quiet and still after you set up
and are waiting on that bird."
"Itís a great sport that
keeps you in shape," adds Aaron, whose additional hobby is
bodybuilding. "Itís you against him. You listen for the birds and
call them. If one answers you back, youíve got a' hot bird,í and you
try to set up on him and get as close as you can without being seen.
The closer the sound, the better chance you have to harvest him. I
canít tell you how exciting it is when you roll a big bird.
Afterward, itís turkey-eating time!"
At home, Aaronís favorite way
to prepare turkey for his wife, Thea, daughter Charla, 23, and son
Teddy, 2, is to cut the breast into strips, roll them in wheat
batter, and drop them in the fryer. Visitors to the Tippin homestead
can also view several stuffed turkeys that the singer has harvested
on his farm. His most impressive trophy sports 11/4-inch spurs and a
Though Aaronís tour schedule
is demanding, he seldom turns down the chance to go turkey-hunting.
In fact, he sometimes schedules his tour dates to coincide with
turkey season in the areas he will be appearing. And no tours are
booked during Tennesseeís turkey season April through the
first week of May, and October 27, 28, 29 in select counties. Thatís
"I take my vacation in the
woods," says Aaron. "Because of my job where Iím associated
with people most of the day Iíve grown to appreciate the
solitude of being absolutely by myself out in the woods."
Although he occasionally
hunts out of state, Aaron mainly goes with friends around Middle
Tennessee. He enjoys hunting on his own property, too, where 20 to
30 acres of food plots are planted and are often visited by a
variety of wildlife. For the plots, Aaron visits the Co-op and
purchases BioLogicís Fall Premium Perennial Mix and Turkey T.O.P
blend, Trophy Whitetail Clover, and a mixture of soybeans and
Darrin Barnes, right,
sales coordinator at DeKalb Farmers Cooperative in Smithville,
shows music superstar Aaron Tippin a bag of Turkey T.O.P.
blend, BioLogic's newest seed. An avid sportsman, Aaron loves
the thrill of an exciting hunt and says he'll do "just about
anything" to bag a good-sized gobbler. Co-ops across Tennessee
offer a variety of BioLogic food plot mixes and other hunting
"I love BioLogic," Aaron
tells Darrin Barnes, sales coordinator at DeKalb Farmers
Cooperative. "Itís good stuff. Iíve only used it one season
last year but it did well. In fact, the turkey are eating the
tarnation out of it!"
"I plant food plots strictly
for wildlife," he adds. "I care about all types of wildlife. I only
shoot the biggest game, and I eat what I shoot. Itís game
management. You kill whatís necessary for the advancement of the
sport. Iíll do whatever it takes to further the game.
"My dad taught me that game
management is what is most important, and I believe he taught me
well. He is the most outstanding man in my life. Jesus is at the top
of the list and my dad is right under him in matter of importance.
He is a major influence in who I am, what I think, and how I
believe. Heís definitely top-notch!"
Aaron says turkey-hunting
just seemed to come naturally to him. After he became so interested
in the sport, many people told him that long ago his late
great-grandfather had been quite a whiz at turkey-calling.
"Heíd take a leaf and make a
diaphragm out of it to call a turkey," Aaron says.
"I guess turkey hunting runs
in my family," he adds. "I must have gotten it honest. I hunt almost
every day during Tennesseeís season. At the end of the season, Iím
drained because I have been going constantly. I usually lose five to
seven pounds the first four days of turkey season because Iím on the
move. Iíd climb a bluff to harvest a turkey. Iíll just about do
anything. Iím on the hunt!"
Aaron is this yearís official
spokesperson for Hunters for the Hungry, a cooperative program
sponsored by the Tennessee Conservation League and the Tennessee
Wildlife Resources Agency to provide venison to food banks and soup
kitchens for those in need. For more information on the program, see
Co-opís Fall 2000 Sportsmenís Catalog on page 7.
Sportsmen can see Aaron in
action as a hunter on this yearís Knight & Hale turkey-hunting
video, Volume 5. Knight & Hale hunting videos along with a
variety of BioLogic blends for deer and turkey that can be planted
in the fall and spring are sold at Co-ops throughout the