Editor’s Note: Fifty-six-year old Daniel Thompson from New Edinburg, Arkansas, has hunted turkeys for 30+ years and has hunted at Bent Creek Lodge (www.bentcreeklodge.com) in Jachin, Alabama, for 15 years. We wanted to know why he continues to go to a hunting lodge to hunt turkeys in the spring.
I believe one of the secrets of hunting turkeys successfully is to hunt with as many experienced turkey hunters as you possibly can. At Bent Creek Lodge, I hunt with different guides every time I come. Because each guide has his own techniques and calling and hunting strategies, every time I come I learn different ways to find, call and take turkeys. When you hunt with guides who have to produce turkeys every day, you learn the fine points of the sport that I don’t think you can learn any other way. I think one of the most-important lessons I’ve learned early in my turkey-hunting experiences from the guides is when to call, when not to call, when to call softly and when to call loudly. Here’s what he’s learned.
* Make the Gobbler Hunt You – I was hunting with Mossy Oak (www.mossyoak.com) Pro Bob Walker of Livingston, Ala., when we spotted a tom out in a green field that wasn’t gobbling. A little hill was out in the field between us and the gobbler. Rather than sitting down where we could see the bird, we got behind the hill and sat down where we couldn’t see him. “We want to set-up, so the turkey has to come and look for us,” Walker explained. “When the turkey peeps over the hill, he’ll be within gun range, and you can take him.” That’s exactly what we did. Prior to that hunt, I always thought I should get as close to a turkey as I could without him seeing me. But on this hunt, Walker taught me if you can set-up, so the turkey has to come looking for you, then when you can see him, he’ll be within gun range, and there’s much less chance of your spooking the turkey, and a greater chance of taking him.
To learn more about turkey hunting, check out John E. Phillips’ print, Audible, Kindle and Nook turkey books at http://johninthewild.com/books/#turkey and at www.barnesandnoble.com. You also can download a free Kindle app that enables you to read the book on your iPad, computer or SmartPhone. You can learn more about calling turkeys by going to johninthewild.com/audio-files/ for audio turkey tapes to purchase of Lovett Williams, Rob Keck and Chris Kirby, available for download to your SmartPhone, tablet or computer. For a free copy of John E. Phillips’ “The Turkey Gobbler Getter Manual,” go to http://johninthewild.com/free-books/ to download.