It's also fundamental to the organization's mission.
"We're hunters, but we're also conservationists," Ray says.
After a few more hours of unsuccessful turkey hunting, returning home empty handed is increasingly becoming the more likely outcome. We've crisscrossed Ray's best turkey spots and seen dozens of telltale signs, but despite many pleading calls, the wily birds aren't interested.
Ray seems surprised that we haven't heard a peep from the birds, but the challenge of finding them is exactly what makes hunting turkeys anything but boring. This is what hunters live for, what they pay thousands of dollars to outfit themselves for, what they wake up early and sit in the dark and cold for. It's a cerebral undertaking.
We hear a promising scratching sound, similar to the sound of someone raking leaves; the same sound turkeys make when raking the forest's leafy carpet in search of food.
Ray freezes. He makes a few clucking noises to try to communicate with the phantom turkey. The scratching continues and he points upward.
"Damn squirrel," he says.
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Meg Handley is a reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @mmhandley.