|Sunday, 12 July 2020|
Voice of America, 02-03-28
Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>SLUG: 7-36110 Dateline: Framework Agreement for Serbia and Montenegro DATE: NOTE NUMBER:
 Framework Agreement for Serbia and Montenegro BY Judith Latham (Washington)DATE=March 28, 2002
HOST: Serbia and Montenegro recently agreed [3/14/02] to create a new nation in an effort to preserve what is left of the Yugoslav federation. Foreign policy chief for the European Union, Javier Solana, praised the agreement.
TAPE: CUT 1, SOLANA, :25 "A change in the constitution will be done, a change that will provide for the Montenegrins and Serbians to live together, to continue to live together, and therefore to have in the Balkans, instead of fragmentation, the opposite, the people who were in principle trying to separate from each other, to come back and to live together."
HOST: The agreement, signed two weeks ago, raises many questions. This edition of Dateline examines what the agreement does and its impact on the region. Here's Judith Latham. JL: Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica (VOY-slahv kaw-sh-TOO-neet-sah and his counterpart in Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic (MEE-low jew-KAHN-o-vih-ch) signed the accord in Belgrade that will lead to a new state. It will be known as "Serbia and Montenegro" and will function differently from the current Yugoslav federation. Janusz Bugajski [YAHN-noosh boo-GAI-skee), Director of European Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, was in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica (PAWD-gawr-reet-sah) and says the agreement signed in Belgrade drew varied reactions in Montenegro.
TAPE: CUT #2, BUGAJSKI, :28 "It's to bring an end to the Federation and create a new, what they call 'joint state' under this framework agreement. There is a mixed reception I would say in Montenegro. The first reactions, particularly from the pro-independence bloc, were a lot of anger and even words that President Djukanovic and the E-U had betrayed Montenegro. There are those who see it as an opportunity and others who see it as a defeat. But in the circumstances I don't think President Djukanovic, with the enormous pressure exerted by Brussels, had any other choice." JL: Janusz Bugajski says the framework agreement actually offers some advantages to those in Montenegro who are seeking an independent state.
TAPE: CUT #3, BUGAJSKI, :25 "The agreement for the first time recognizes Montenegro as an international subject, even though it's only half a state. Second, there is a clear right to hold a referendum in three years. It's absolutely clear in the document that, if there is dissatisfaction and disagreement that after three years both Montenegro and Serbia reserve the right to go their own way. In that way, I think Montenegro has won more than it had done three months ago, even though it was pressing for independence." JL: Mr. Bugajski describes the new state to be called "Serbia and Montenegro" as a confederation. Both entities will share "foreign and defense ministry functions." But under the framework agreement, Serbia and Montenegro are to have separate economies, which Mr. Bugajski thinks will pose considerable obstacles.
TAPE: CUT #4: BUGAJSKI, :50 "This is a framework document, and a lot needs to be worked out. It's only three and a half pages long. On the economic side, I think there will be enormous problems in terms of Montenegro maintaining the Euro as a currency and Serbia maintaining the dinar. There will be two economic spaces within one country, which is going to be bizarre, particularly if Montenegro as part of the Euro zone -- continues to integrate faster toward the E-U. There will be problems in customs and in taxation. On the political side, I see conflicts in terms of who controls what at what particular time. So, these are just two of the areas where I see problems. Nothing changes in terms of the Montenegrin political structure and in terms of its institutions both executive and legislative. The only thing that changes is the new parliament. It will be a unicameral joint-state parliament. Djukanovic faces elections for the presidency later this year, most probably in September." JL: According to Janusz Bugaski of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, one of the reasons that the E-U discouraged the independence of Montenegro at this time was to "prevent Kosovo from following suit." But Ylber Hysa [ILL-burr HEE-sah], director of the Kosovo Action Force Initiative, says he doesn't think the new framework document for Serbia and Montenegro has any special relevance for the future status of Kosovo.
TAPE: CUT #5: HYSA, :26 "Yugoslavia in name doesn't exist anymore. For Kosovo this is not bad news, having in mind that the former state union collapsed three times in bloody wars during the last decade. Kosovo is not looking anymore to having a union with Serbia. Kosovo has its own roadmap in terms of achieving what the majority of Kosovars want." JL: Ylber Hysa of the Kosovo Action Force Initiative spoke with us by cell phone from Pristina (PREE-SH-tee-nuh). Balkan analyst Obrad Kesic [OH-brad KESS-sitch], who was in Belgrade when the framework agreement was signed, says the document leaves much to be worked out.
TAPE: CUT #5: KESIC, :37 "We can't call it a 'federation' or a 'confederation' at this point because what we have right now is only an agreement on a framework. It preserves one state, and it's clear that state will be de-centralized. To understand what kind of state this is going to be, we're going to need to know what the constitution will say and how the parliament is going to function. There is going to be an 'affirmative discrimination,' if you will, in favor of Montenegro. (OPT) That means that Montenegro will have more representation than based on population let's say proportional representation. (END OPT) But there will probably be more representatives in the Parliament from Serbia than from Montenegro." JL: Mr. Kesic describes the reaction to the framework agreement among Serbs as "mixed."
TAPE: CUT #6: KESIC, 1:26 "In general, the public was relieved because it clarified many lingering questions that people had. For example, now there's an understanding that there's going to be a joint state for the next three years, but probably longer is the expectation. In addition, there is a feeling that the worst-case scenario which would have been an armed conflict in Montenegro and which was the norm for solving these types of questions was escaped [avoided]. (OPT) And the fact that both sides seemed to be unhappy with it, many people had a feeling of confidence it was something that could hold. (END OPT) Most of the politicians around the Prime Minister of Serbia, Zoran Djindjic, because this was the product of negotiations led by President Vojislav Kostunica, immediately criticized it on the basis that it was a success for Kostunica. On one hand, you had the economists like the governor of the Yugoslav National Bank who said this was not a good solution because you have the preservation of separate economies. And you had political people like the [Yugoslav] former ambassador here who said it gave Montenegro too much. I think both those arguments are hollow, particularly because the agreement calls for a 'harmonization.' (OPT) In the context of the European Union, that means integration. (END OPT) And it's clear that the intention on the part of the E-U is that there is going to be one market between Serbia and Montenegro, and that market will be the formula for integrating into Europe." JL: (OPT) Obrad Kesic says he thinks that eventually both Serbia and Montenegro will have a single currency, which will be the Euro.
TAPE: CUT #8: KESIC, :32 "What you have is a pledge on the part of the Montenegrin government that they will move to integrate their economy and have a joint currency and have a joint customs and have joint fiscal control within the new country. There is also a clause that calls for 'harmonization' not only economically but also politically between the two entities, Serbia and Montenegro, and then for harmonization with Europe. (END OPT) So, it's clear that the ultimate reward for integration of the two states is going to be the promise of eventual membership in the European Union." JL: Mr. Kesic says the "hard work is yet to come," for example, electing representatives to the "new political bodies" and determining how much authority those bodies will have. He says it's also unclear how much authority the president of the new country will have.
TAPE: CUT #9: KESIC, :26 "This is going to be a very difficult process because not only in Serbia but also in Montenegro there is a very deep separation between political camps. One thing is clear. As the parliaments gear up to vote on this, Europe has a major stake in the outcome of that vote. And I believe the European Union is going to be an effective lever in ensuring that the framework agreement is passed in all three of the parliaments Serbia, Montenegro, and federal parliament of Yugoslavia." JL: The European Union and the United States had opposed full independence for Montenegro, partly out of concern a dissolution of the current Yugoslav federation might destabilize the region, especially Kosovo and Macedonia. Mr. Kesic says it's unclear what implications the new framework agreement might have for Kosovo and Macedonia.
TAPE: CUT #10: KESIC, :20 "It's too early to say. I think, if it succeeds and you see this new state of Serbia and Montenegro begin to function as a state, then I think it can be a model for resolving the situation in Kosovo. So, there is a potential this could have an impact at least in terms of a framework for an eventual solution of the Kosovo problem." JL: Mr. Kesic points out that the United States was not directly involved in negotiating the new framework agreement. But Washington may back the measure because of a desire to see European regional influence succeed.
TAPE: CUT #11: KESIC, :27 "I believe the U-S will end up supporting this wholeheartedly because it's important for U-S interests that the Europeans succeed in this. (OPT) First of all, the U-S position, especially since the Bush administration came to office, has been that Europe should take primary responsibility for the Balkans. (END OPT) But I think the U-S must remain engaged on the political level because without U-S support it's highly unlikely that the Europeans on their own will be able to broker these types of agreements." JL: Obrad Kesic says the framework agreement moves Serbia and Montenegro "one step closer to elections," which may help lead Serbia out of what he calls its "political stagnation."
TAPE: CUT #12: KESIC, :49 (OPT) "You have DOS the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, which is now the governing power within the Serbian parliament. You have DOS in a position where they control just about all aspects of power and you have those forces gathered around the Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. On the other hand, you have the Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica who has very little effective power but has a great deal of popular support. (END OPT) Reform is half-hearted because most politicians have their eye on the elections whenever they come. We've seen very little progress in terms of establishing democratic institutions in the country. Now, with this agreement, we know for certain there are going to be elections on the federal level. And after those elections, the political balance of power will be much clearer. Either Kostunica will be given greater legitimacy or DOS will receive greater legitimacy. Either way what you will have is a more stable government." JL: Balkan analyst Obrad Kesic says the new framework agreement for Serbia and Montenegro holds promise for greater stability in the region as well. MUSIC: OHAMO 'HAMO, (THERE!, OVER THERE!), TRADITIONAL ANTHEM OF MONTENEGRO (:12 lead-in, 3:24 length) "There, over therebeyond those hills, Ruined lies, they say, my Emperor's palace; there, they say, Once, heroes had gathered. There, over thereI see Prizren! It is all mine home I shall come! Beloved antiquity calls me there, Armed I must come there one day. There over therefrom on top of the ruins Of Emperors' palaces to the devil I will say: Flee from my beloved home you plague, Already your loan I must repay!" There, over therebeyond those hills, Lies a green grove, they say, Under which rises up Holy Decani: A prayer said within Paradise claims. There, over therebeyond those hills, Where sky of blue bends down her arch; On to Serb fields, on to battle fields, There, brothers, prepare to march! There, over therebeyond those hills, Trampled by horses' hooves cries out the Jug: Come help me, children, come help me, sons, Avenge the old man - sacred is your task!" There, over there...for the ribs of the old man, I'll dull my sabre's edge on The ribs of the Turks; and cut the ties From the wrists of the wretched masses! There, over therebeyond those hills, Lies there, they say, Milos's grave! There my soul eternal peace shall gain, When the Serb is no more a slave." SLUG: 0-09789 Editorial - U.S. to Train Afghan Army DATE: NOTE NUMBER:
 EDITORIAL: U.S. TO TRAIN AFGHAN ARMYDATE=03/28/2002
INTERNET=Yes CONTENT=THIS EDITORIAL IS BEING RELEASED FOR USE BY ALL SERVICES.
Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: The United States-led coalition went into Afghanistan not as conquerors but as liberators. The successful military campaign has removed the oppressive Taleban regime from power and has disrupted the use of Afghanistan as a base of operation for al-Qaida terrorists. The U.S. is now assisting the interim Afghan government. And plans are underway for U.S. and coalition forces to help create and train an Afghan national army to ensure the country's stability. Getting such an army is one of the top priorities of Hamid Karzai, chairman of the interim government. But while stability is being restored and an army created in Afghanistan, terrorism is still taking its toll in other countries. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, "Our goal is to train and equip forces in selected countries that want to help combat terror in their areas." In Yemen, said Mr. Rumsfeld, "there's reason to believe that al-Qaida would like to reconstitute." The U.S. will support Yemeni government efforts to combat terrorism by helping to train and equip Yemeni forces. Similarly, last September, President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia asked the U.S. to help train his country's security forces. President George W. Bush responded by offering an increase in military aid to help Georgia improve its counterterrorism capabilities. The U.S. is also helping to train troops in the Philippines, where government forces are fighting in the southern part of the country against brutal terrorists who have had ties with al-Qaida. These endeavors are part of U.S. efforts to establish security cooperation with countries that share U.S. goals with regard to stopping terrorism. As President Bush said, the U.S. will not send troops to every battle, but the U.S. will help other nations prepare for the battles ahead. Terrorists, wherever they are, will not be allowed to win. Not in Afghanistan. Not anywhere else. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. SLUG: 6-125622 Thursday's Editorials DATE: NOTE NUMBER:
 THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)DATE=03/28/02
TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
INTRO: The American press has been quick to respond with outrage to the latest Palestinian terrorist attack -- a Passover seder bombing that has killed at least 20 people in Israel. The Arab summit in Beirut, Lebanon, and the Saudi peace plan introduced there are also grabbing editorial attention. On the domestic front, the release of Bush energy policy data is hailed; as is the latest word on world population. The Afghan earthquake draws some response; as does President Bush's pledge of increase foreign aid; and a new Pentagon terrorist response plan that includes the possible use of nuclear weapons. Now, here is ______________with a closer look and some quotes in today's U-S Editorial Digest.
TEXT: The latest Palestinian suicide bombing, which took the lives of at least 20 mostly elderly Israelis at the seaside town of Netanya is drawing the ire of American newspapers. In Pennsylvania, Allentown's Morning Call asks:
VOICE: What is the solution to the never-ending violence? As Jews celebrated Passover, and Arab leaders convened for a summit in Beirut, Lebanon, to hear a peace proposal, a suicide bomber walked into a seder meal in an Israeli hotel, killing  innocent people and wounding more than 100. Is peace possible despite such hatred? The bombing seems purposely intended to distract from the peace proposal offered at the summit by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.
TEXT: Today's Washington Times says of the blast:
VOICE: In the dimly lit rubble of the hotel, it was again clear that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was incapable of stopping the violence. Meanwhile, the Arab League's proposed communiqué from the Beirut summit showed that the violence brought against Israeli civilians is blessed by most of the Arab League.
TEXT: The Detroit [Michigan] News says that President George Bush must stop offering what it calls "carefully measured heartbreak and outrage" against Yasser Arafat. The paper wants to see a more clearly defined message from the Bush administration on what repercussions Mr. Arafat might face in light of more massacres.
VOICE: On Wednesday, Israelis were cleaning up the debris and counting the bodies after the bombing ... What was the Bush administration doing? Blindly embracing the potential of a wispy peace proposal placed on the table by Saudi crown Prince Abdullah in Beirut. Israel's response is a promise of harsh and sweeping measures to bring Palestinian terrorism under control. This time, [Mr.] Bush should at the very least remain silent while Israel does what must be done. The Palestinian Authority deserves to be treated as the Taleban was treated in Afghanistan. It's time [Mr.] Bush made [Chairman] Arafat understand that.
TEXT: Sentences from an unusually long Detroit News editorial. And in today's Chicago Tribune, there is this.
VOICE: For Jews and Israelis gathering at Passover Seders this week, one line in the Haggadah, the seder liturgy, has a chilling resonance. "In every generation someone rises up to destroy us," it reads. After 18 months of bloody conflict with Palestinians yet another one was hardly surprising. But the extent of the death toll, the timing and even the venue was shocking.
TEXT: Missouri's Saint Louis Post-Dispatch offers this:
VOICE: Even before the bombing, it was hard to imagine serious peace talks occurring in the current tumult of the Middle East. Palestinians believe they are gaining ground with terrorism. The United States is laying the groundwork for an attack on Iraq. Iran is shipping weapons to the Palestinians In that setting, the Saudi peace plan offered a flicker of hope - - one that seemed all but extinguished after the Passover bombing.
TEXT: Regarding the Summit itself, Pennsylvania's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says of the Saudi peace proposal:
VOICE: Even though its full potential for resolving the now 54-year-old conflict between the Arabs and Israelis was undercut by continued violence and unfortunate moves on both sides, this initiative by the most religiously correct and richest of the Arab states is still significant.
TEXT: Charleston's [South Carolina] Post and Courier writes that the Saudi plan "has come so late," suggesting that both Palestinian President Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have become trapped by events that are spinning out of control. Domestically, the Bush administration is being criticized for its reaction to the latest act in the fight over energy policy documents. The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch says:
VOICE: Responding, sort of, to a court order, the Energy Department has released 11-thousand pages of documents relating to how the Bush administration developed its energy policy last year. Among the revelations: Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham met with 109 energy industry representatives and zero public interest groups. The administration's reaction? Big deal. [Editors: slang, in this setting "of little consequence"]
TEXT: The Omaha [Nebraska] World-Herald says of the difficulty in obtaining the documents: "this newspaper has previously expressed concern about a public-be-damned attitude on the part of the administration when it comes to disclosure laws. Heavy editing of [Vice President Dick] Cheney's energy consultations adds to the pile of evidence justifying concern." Some good news on the world population front draws this from today's Tulsa [Oklahoma] World: "new studies predict that the world's population might actually be beginning to moderate. Here's hoping the trend continues. Fewer people means a better future for everyone." This week's killer earthquake in already ravaged Afghanistan, which left hundreds dead and many towns totally destroyed, draws this suggestion from The Day in America's submarine capital, New London, Connecticut:
VOICE: U-S concern and leadership in the relief efforts, including the use of troops if they are requested, would go a long way toward making Afghanistan more receptive to outside help in restoring law and order to the land.
TEXT: A new, detailed report in The New Yorker magazine on the poison gassing by Saddam Hussein of several Kurdish villages in the late 1980s draws this comment from today's Providence [Rhode Island] Journal:
VOICE: the gassing was much worse than previously known. Hundreds of villages were snuffed out ... with men in biohazard suits [later examining] the disposition of bodies in relation to exploded canisters of toxic agents. Even now, 14 years later, babies with terrible deformities are being born ... If this were a better world, we would be more than rhetorically concerned about Saddam's operation against the Kurds
TEXT: With respect to President Bush's recent pledge to double U-S foreign aid within the next few years, today's Fresno [California] Bee is pleased, but skeptical.
VOICE: The promised boost ... is welcome, even though it would still leave this country far behind other aid donors in per capita terms. And there is no certainty the promise will become a reality [since it] still must pass muster in Congress, which tends to undercut foreign aid's beneficial effects with protectionist trade measures that often do more harm than good
TEXT: Today's Wall Street Journal is sharply critical of international
banking experts who forced Argentina to float the peso, which
continues to shrink, as the nation's economic crisis worsens.
In Baltimore, The Sun is critical of a new Pentagon study proposing a
possible small, nuclear counterattack if this country suffers another
terrorist attack. Nuclear weapons are, writes The Sun, "in some
emotional way" out of bounds. And on that perilous note, we conclude
this editorial sampling of Thursday's U-S press.
 TURKEY / GREECE (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)DATE=3/28/02
INTRO: Turkey and Greece have signed an agreement (Thursday) to build a natural gas pipeline that will link the traditionally hostile neighbors. Amberin Zaman reports from Ankara.
TEXT: Turkey's energy minister, Zeki Cakan, and the Greek development
minister, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, signed the 300-hundred-million dollar
agreement to build a natural gas pipeline that is to link the two
Under the deal, Turkey is to export up to two-billion cubic meters of
natural gas to Greece every year.
Turkish Energy Minister Cakan said the gas will come from Central
Asian nations and other sources and will eventually be exported to
other Balkan countries, including Bulgaria and Romania -- once the
proposed pipeline connecting Turkey to Greece is built and extended.
Turkey now imports gas from Russia and Iran through an existing
pipeline network. Officials confirm that initial deliveries to Greece
will come from those two countries.
The agreement, termed a huge step forward by the Turkish energy
minister, is a sign of steadily improving ties between the two
traditionally hostile neighbors. The thaw was triggered by a series of
deadly earthquakes, which shook the two countries in 1999. Greeks and
Turks rushed to help each other, generating a spirit of cooperation
and friendship that officials from both nations have been building on.
The two countries remain at odds, however, over the future of the
divided island of Cyprus and territorial rights over the Aegean Sea.
Turkish and Greek officials say they share hopes that an increase in
trade and joint investments such as the gas pipeline project will help
bring their two nations lasting peace. The project will also help
Turkey fulfill its strategic ambition of becoming what Turkish
officials call an "energy bridge" between East and West. (Signed)
 EDITORIAL: AQSA MARTYRS BRIGADE TERRORISMDATE=03/28/2002
INTERNET=Yes CONTENT=THIS EDITORIAL IS BEING RELEASED FOR USE BY ALL SERVICES.
Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: Israelis continue to be subject to murderous attacks by Palestinian terrorists. On March 27th, a suicide bomber killed more than twenty people and wounded more than one-hundred at a Jewish Passover observance in Netanya. The terrorist group Hamas claimed responsibility for the Netanya bombing. Over the years, this group has perpetrated many acts of terrorism against Israelis. But it is far from the only terrorist group operating in Israel. In recent months, a group called the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has committed many deadly acts of terrorism in Israel. They include a suicide bombing this month near a Jerusalem synagogue. Ten people were killed, including an infant and several other children. Al-Aqsa terrorists have also carried out numerous shooting attacks on Israeli -- and American -- citizens. In January, six people in Hadera were killed and thirty wounded when an al-Aqsa gunman opened fire at a bat mitzvah, a young Jewish woman's coming of age celebration. The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade includes an unknown number of small cells affiliated with Fatah. Fatah is a faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Palestinian nationalist group headed by Yasser Arafat. This week, the United States formally designated the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade a foreign terrorist organization. It joins thirty-two other terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and al-Qaida. All are prohibited from obtaining funds or material support from American citizens or within U.S. jurisdiction. U.S. financial institutions are required to block funds intended for al-Aqsa or other designated terrorist groups. The U.S. condemns the terrorist campaign by al-Aqsa, Hamas, and other groups aimed at wrecking peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. As U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said, it is time for Yasser Arafat "to get on television, to get on radio, to speak to his people, to tell them that they are destroying their own desire and vision for a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel." The terrorism must be stopped. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. SLUG: 7-36113 Turkey Hunting Season DATE: NOTE NUMBER:
 Turkey Hunting Season in West Virginia BY Erika Celeste (Cheat Mountain, West Virginia)DATE=3/28/02
INTRO: The wild turkey is a true native American, and was hunted by tribes in the northeast long before Europeans arrived on the continent. The meaty game bird was served at the Pilgrims' famous Thanksgiving dinner in 1621, and over the next 300 years became so popular that by the Great Depression of the 1930's, wild turkeys had been hunted nearly to the point of extinction. But through the efforts of hunting and conservation groups, the population has recovered, and there are now more than 5-and-a-half million wild turkeys in North America. And they are again fair game for hunters, as Erika Celeste reports from West Virginia's Cheat Mountain.
TEXT: The thrill of the hunt is alive and well in America whether the prey is deer, rabbit or duck. However, game hunting is limited by law, so people can only hunt certain animals at certain times. Next month (April), wild turkeys become the target of hunters in many eastern states -- but according to Lieutenant Tim Coleman of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, these birds unlike their domesticated cousins -- are crafty when it comes to keeping themselves off the dinner table.
TAPE: CUT 1 - SFX gobbler
TAPE: CUT 2 COLEMAN Unlike most other animals they're not colorblind. So they can really pick up on movement and they can really pick up on sound. Some of 'em you actually think they have a brain and thinkin' about "I know he's over there, so I'm gonna fool him". They're pretty smart.
TEXT: It's the male turkeys in the cross hairs now, since the females which have chicks in the spring are off limits. But that's fine with Larry Case, who's been hunting turkeys for 20 years. The males, known as gobblers, can weigh up to 9 kilograms. Mr. Case says the turkey's featherless head is its most striking feature, with a bright red wattle under its beak, and a long horsehair-like beard.
TAPE: CUT 3 CASE Most hunters want the biggest male gobbler, some hunters brag about how heavy the turkey was. They want the beard, horsehair feather like appendage, they want one with a long beard and big sharp spurs. As the age of the bird increases the shape of the spurs curves and becomes sharper. That's kind of a trophy thing for the turkey hunter
TAPE: CUT 4 SFX Outdoors, birds
TEXT: Unlike big game hunters, who stalk their prey, turkey hunters must stay in one place and call a bird to them. That means they are out before dawn, encamped in a wooded area with medium cover. For Mr. Case, the perfect location for outsmarting the wild bird is a ridge on Cheat Mountain. It's there he waits for a gobbler to come within a couple hundred meters before he begins his hen call.
TAPE: CUT 5 - SFX diaphragm call
TEXT: He makes the noise with a U-shaped piece of latex and metal called a diaphragm call, which fits into the roof of his mouth.
TAPE: CUT 6 CASE Why it's so popular is you don't have to move your hands. Because once the turkey comes into range you can control your shotgun. You don't have to be foolin' with the more old fashioned call, the box call.
TEXT: Some hunters believe the box call, a small wooden hand-sized square, works better, but Mr. Case says he'd be hard pressed to tell what sounds romantic to a male turkey.
TAPE: CUT 7 - SFX box call/CASE That is what is known as a yelp. The turkey yelps. They have a vocabulary just like many animals. That's kind of a "I'm over here" call.
TEXT: As with any kind of hunting luck is a big part of the game. In heavily hunted areas, Larry Case says turkeys often figure out the difference between the calls of a beautiful turkey babe, and a deadly hunter.
TAPE: CUT 8 CASE You can be the best turkey caller in the world and maybe he don't want to come in that day. It can happen very quickly if you're in the good place and you get a turkey to call to and he's gonna respond and all the variables line up to where he comes in range that day. Some people can hunt the entire season and not get a turkey that year.
TEXT: But he adds, when you do, it makes it all worthwhile.
TAPE: CUT 9 CASE The first glimpse of the turkey you're calling coming init's exciting to a turkey hunter. Most people that I know who are good turkey hunters are good woodsmen. In that they learn a lot about the game, the habitat, what the game does, where it's at at different times of the day, how to track, how to look for signs, all that Daniel Boone type stuff.
TEXT: Turkey hunters must also learn turkey hunting safety skills. Lt. Tim Coleman says more and more of the state's 130-thousand licensed turkey hunters are taking classes before they head out into the woods, which has significantly cut down on the number of accidental shootings. Rule number one think like a turkey:
TAPE: CUT 10 COLEMAN If you would happen to see a hunter come into your area shout him off, don't try to wave him off. Because if he sees you moving he's going to try and take a shot. Better to lose a day's hunt than to lose your life.
TEXT: A debate has been raging about whether a rifle or shot gun is safest to use when duping the devious birds, but in the end.
TAPE: CUT 11 - SFX gun firing
TEXT: the result is usually the same for the turkey. Nearly
18-thousand of West Virginia's wild turkeys become dinner each spring.
I'm Erika Celeste on Cheat Mountain in West Virginia.
Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article