Editor’s Note: Turkey season already has begun in some places, and several states’ seasons start March 15. This week I’ve covered information for better turkey hunting with my turkey-guiding friend, Bob Long. Bob went turkey hunting with his daddy as far back as he could remember, and he started carrying a gun when he was 9. He grew up in west/central Alabama in York, an area that has had one of the longest turkey seasons in the nation for years and never has had a closed season. Bob started guiding at Bent Creek Lodge (http://www.bentcreeklodge.com/) in Jachin, Ala., in 2001.
I started guiding turkey hunters at Bent Creek Lodge when I was 18-years old. I love to guide because I:
* enjoy being in the woods;
* like helping other people try to take turkeys;
* love teaching people how to hunt turkeys;
* learn from each of the guides at Bent Creek Lodge every year; and
* get to turkey hunt almost every day of the season.
For me, if I can get a turkey within gun range for my client, I’ve had a great hunt. I also really enjoy the people I hunt with, and I like to watch them learn and enjoy the sport of turkey hunting like I do.
My Most-Memorable Hunt:
I’ve been fortunate enough to have had many memorable hunts while guiding at Bent Creek Lodge, but one stands out from all the rest. This hunter was in his early thirties, and he was on his first turkey hunt ever. This was an afternoon hunt, and I took him to a spot where I’d heard a turkey gobble the morning before he arrived. I knew we were going to have a tough hunt, because the sky was getting dark, and I could hear the rumbling of thunder in the clouds. Just as we got out of my truck to begin our hunt, I heard a turkey gobble down in a creek bottom. Every time we’d hear thunder, the turkey would gobble. So, we eased off the ridge and got down in the creek bottom where we had heard the turkey gobble. Within 20 minutes of calling and listening, two big gobblers came strutting in like you always dreamed about, and my hunter took his first wild turkey gobbler. He was so excited and so pumped up. I never forgot the expression on his face, and the joy he felt at harvesting his first wild turkey. Remembering this hunt and closing my eyes, I still could see the excitement on my hunter’s face.
“Why I take more than one gobbler out of the areas I hunt:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWCIxr7hIMA
“Why I Rest My Hunting Regions:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6gUQ8kZPRU
To learn more about turkey hunting, check out John E. Phillips’s book, “Outdoor Life’s Complete Turkey Hunting,” available in Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IXXJWOQ and in print at https://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Lifes-Complete-Turkey-Hunting/dp/1720096821. To get a free eBook, “The Turkey Gobbler Getter Manual,” go to https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ps7hp9vdlek764m/AACP4EjpWIPxf8azkeWajvsMa?dl=0. To learn more about turkey hunting, check out John E. Phillips’s book, “The Turkey Hunting Guides’ Bible,” available in Kindle and print at https://www.amazon.com/Turkey-Hunting-Guides-Bible-ebook/dp/B01ITWYY2K and from Audible at https://www.audible.com/pd/B07L14HS5J/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-135445&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_135445_rh_us.