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“Learning from Turkeys with Matt Morrett” Day 5: One of Matt Morrett’s Toughest Turkeys

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Editor’s Note: I first interviewed Matt Morrett of Pennsylvania when he won the World  Turkey Calling Championship at 16. He also won the Junior and Senior Grand National Turkey Calling contests and the World Friction Turkey Calling Championships five times. Today, Morrett, who started hunting turkeys with his dad in 1976 at 6, is the marketing director for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Here are some of Matt’s recollections on what turkeys can teach us.

When I go to shows, do seminars, or talk to a group of turkey hunters, someone in the crowd will always raise their hand and ask, “Matt, tell us about the toughest turkey you’ve ever hunted.” Well, I’ve hunted a lot of tough turkeys. But I guess one of the toughest turkeys I ever hunted was a gobbler in north Florida, right on the Florida-Georgia border. A friend took me to a turkey that another hunter had shot five days before we hunted him. Although the other hunter didn’t kill the turkey, he did give him a thorough lead shower. Unfortunately, when I arrive at a hunting camp, the landowner or the people in the camp generally “allow” me to hunt the worst gobbler on the property. I don’t think you can hunt a tougher turkey than a gobbler sprayed with turkey shot and missed.

When we got to where we could hear the turkey that day in Florida, the bird was roosting in flooded timber. This gobbler answered me every time I called him, but he wouldn’t come to my calling. Finally, I asked my friend, “How does this turkey usually leave this swampy area?” He pointed in the opposite direction to where I was trying to call the turkey. So, we left the gobbling turkey and went to the spot where my friend had seen and heard the gobbler walk off after he flew down from the roost several consecutive days. Once we were set up, I cut about three times on a friction call.

Within 10 minutes, we saw that turkey in front of us at 60 yards. That turkey knew exactly where we were. He looked at us. Even though he couldn’t spot us, he couldn’t see a hen either. So, instead of coming straight to us, that turkey walked a big circle around us and approached the side of where we were sitting. We were filming a TV show. There wasn’t any way the cameraman or I could turn, shoot the turkey, and get the video footage we needed. My friend told me, “Matt, the next time we hunt this turkey if he shows up within gun range, I want you to shoot him – whether you get a TV show or not. This old gobbler is teaching my young turkeys some bad habits.” But I never did take that tom.

Looking for more content? Check out our YouTube channel and watch “Why I Build My Own Turkey Calls” by John E. Phillips.

Check out John E. Phillips’ 12th book: “Turkeys: Today’s Tactics for Longbeards Tomorrow

  • hunting strategies with pros Will Primos, David Hale, Eddie Salter, Preston Pittman, Allen Jenkins, Terry Rohm, Paul Butski, Larry Norton and others.
  • information about taking turkeys with .410 shotguns.
  • box-call techniques.
  • strategies for moving on turkeys.
  • ways to hunt public-land gobblers.
  • the differences in calling and hunting Eastern, Osceola and Western turkeys.
  • the latest research on turkeys; and other information.

Click here to check out John’s 12th turkey book.

Expert Guidebooks on Turkey Hunting: Best Sellers

Turkey Hunting Tactics
This turkey hunting audiobook has entertaining chapters like: “How to Miss a Turkey”, “Hunting with a Guide”, and “The Turkey and the New York Lady”.

You’ll learn about all the subspecies of turkey across North America, how to use a turkey call, how to scout before turkey season, how to find a turkey to hunt, and what hunting gear you’ll need to put the odds in your favor to take a wily gobbler.


How to Hunt Turkeys with World Champion Preston Pittman
You easily can take a turkey if you don’t make any mistakes, but you have to know what the deadly sins of turkey hunting are to keep you from making those mistakes. If you understand how to hunt a turkey, you’re far more likely to take a gobbler than if you just know how to call a turkey.

Of course, calling is important, and if you want to learn to call a turkey, Preston Pittman will teach you how to call turkeys with box calls, friction calls, diaphragm calls, and other turkey sounds.

You’ll also learn why Preston Pittman once put turkey manure all over his body to kill a tough tom.

When you have turkeys that strut and drum in the middle of a field, when you know there’s no way to get close enough to get a shot, Pittman will show you some weird tactics that have worked for him to help you hunt tough ole toms.

But the main thing you’ll learn in this book is how to become the turkey.

Using what he’s learned while hunting wild turkeys, he’s also become a master woodsman who can take most game, regardless of where he hunts. To learn more secrets about how to be a turkey hunter from one of the world champions of the sport, this turkey-hunting book with Preston Pittman is a must.


The Turkey Hunting Guides’ Bible
The quickest way to learn how to turkey hunt successfully is to either hunt with a turkey hunter with years of experience or a turkey-hunting guide. These two types of turkey hunters have solved most of the problems turkey hunters ever will face. 

Just as one size of shoes won’t fit every person, one style of turkey hunting doesn’t fit each hunter.  Each turkey-hunting guide interviewed for this book has his own style of calling, hunting, and outsmarting turkeys.  

While listening to this book, make a list of the new information you’ve learned, take that list with you during turkey season, and try some of the new tactics. Then you’ll become a more versatile turkey hunter and prove the wisdom from The Turkey Hunting Guides’ Bible.   


Outdoor Life’s Complete Turkey Hunting (2nd Edition)
This Audible book will help you learn how to call turkeys with two of the nation’s best, longtime and well-known turkey callers, Rob Keck, formerly with the National Wild Turkey Federation, and Lovett Williams, a wildlife biologist who recorded wild turkeys giving the calls that you’ll learn how to make on various types of turkey callers.


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