Editor’s Note: Mike Pentecost, the founder and owner of Woodhaven Custom Calls, Inc., in Heflin, Alabama, has been hunting turkeys for more than 40 years – spending most of his hunting life on public lands. He had a burning desire to build the best possible turkey calls when he started his business in his grandparents’ basement in the 1980s. His passion led to the development of his well-known calls – the Red Wasp and the Cherry Classic Crystal (all made in the USA). His company always has given superior customer service. As Pentecost explains, “I want to always have the faith and the courage to continue following the Lord and doing my best.”
These other factors also impact how I hunt public-land turkeys.
- The terrain, the hunting pressure that turkeys have had, and what the gobbler will have to do to reach me are all factors that determine how much I call, and when I call.
- Another question I’m asked is, “How long have you sat in one spot on public lands to try and kill a tough turkey?” The answer is four hours by my watch, and that was when I was a young hunter. I kept spooking turkeys and not taking turkeys. I had an old slate call that I’d broken, but had had to repair, since it was the only one I had. That’s part of the reason I wanted to start making turkey calls. So, I decided that I’d call a turkey and hunt him like the old timers once did. I’d sit in the same spot that I called from, call very little, wouldn’t expect the turkey to gobble and would keep watching and looking. When I couldn’t stand the suspense any longer, I’d leave the woods.
- Many people have asked, “Who taught you how to hunt turkeys?” My answer is, nobody. I learned it all on my own. I made all the mistakes. I did everything wrong, and every time I hunted, I tried to learn more about turkey hunting. I finally decided I was probably the worst turkey hunter who ever lived. I made the decision I would call a little and sit in one place, until I took a turkey or knew for certain I wasn’t taking a turkey. Like everyone else, I realized I was calling way too much and not waiting nearly long enough to be successful. No one in my family turkey hunted, but the few people I knew who did know how to turkey hunt were folks I respected and admired. I made my mind up that I would learn to be a turkey hunter. My turkey-hunting education began in the 1970s. At that time, there were very-few turkey hunters and very-few turkeys in north Alabama where I lived.
- I started hunting public lands, because I got tired of knocking on doors asking for permission to hunt private lands and being told, “No.” Since I didn’t want to bother anybody, the only places I had left to hunt were public lands. Another place I was able to hunt was timber-company land. I could get a permit to hunt there for free or nearly free. Several national forests are near my home, and I hunted that public land too. One of the major things I liked about hunting public lands was that no one could tell me to get off the land, and I didn’t have to ask permission from anyone to hunt there.
- You must realize on public lands that everyone has the same right to be on that land and hunt the turkeys on that land. I do follow a code of etiquette that many-other public-land hunters use. I’ll do everything I can and go wherever I have to go to prevent ruining your turkey hunt. I’ve always tried to be safe. If I see a car parked where I want to go, I’ll move to another place. I’ve never wanted to hunt where other hunters hunt. For many years, I could turkey hunt all day long – from daylight to dark – on wildlife management areas. But in my state, those management-area hunting times have changed, and I only can hunt from daylight until noon today.
Tomorrow: Why to Teach Young Turkey Hunters
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.
VERSIONS: AUDIBLE, KINDLE & PRINT
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.
VERSIONS: AUDIBLE, KINDLE & PRINT
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.
VERSIONS: AUDIBLE, KINDLE & PRINT
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.
VERSIONS: AUDIBLE & KINDLE