By John E. Phillips
United States -(AmmoLand.com)- I lived in Piketown, Pennsylvania, and on this hunt, I was hunting with my dad. Although I grew up hunting with my dad, we had two very-different types of hunting.
When my dad picked a turkey and decided to call with him, he might stay with that turkey until lunchtime.
Even if the turkey quit gobbling, Dad wouldn’t leave that bird but I was a run-and-gun type of turkey hunter. If I couldn’t get the turkey to come to me quickly, and the bird quit gobbling, I’d leave that bird and go hunt for a turkey that was more eager to respond to calling.
Dad had taken a day off from work so that he and I could hunt together, which of course would rate as my favorite hunt of the year.
After we’d hunted all morning long and were walking out of the woods, I told my dad, “Let me make one more stop here, and throw my calls out in this one area.”
We’d had a real bad morning and just hadn’t heard very many turkeys gobble.
When I started cutting, immediately a turkey fired back with a loud gobble. Twenty minutes later we’d taken that 25-pound tom with an 11-inch beard and 1-1/ 4-inch spurs, a huge turkey for our section of the country. We had to quit hunting at noon but didn’t strike this gobbler until 11: 30 a.m. Once we actually reached the turkey, I looked at my watch, which reported 11: 50 a.m., just 10 minutes before quitting time. In the past, if I’d been out hunting and hadn’t heard any turkeys gobble all morning long, I would’ve just kept going to the house and not stopped and tried one more series of calls. I’d have given up.
The Piketown PhD Tom taught me to:
- stay after the turkeys until the last minute that I could legally hunt.
- never give up on a turkey.
- remember that often I only needed a few minutes to go from a zero to a hero: The day I hunted with my dad would have been a zero for both of us, but because I made those last few calls in the last few minutes that we could legally hunt, we had a great day of turkey hunting and a day both of us never would forget. The tides of battle in a turkey hunt could change quickly. If you didn’t retreat and leave the field but continued to stay in the game, you might win in those last few minutes.
- be willing to wait on a turkey to show up, if a turkey was really responsive and gobbling good in the middle of the day. That tom might fly a river, cross a creek or come running.
To learn more about PhD Gobblers: How to Hunt the Smartest Turkeys in the World, click here http://tiny.cc/zyzw9x.
About the Author:
For the past 40+ years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a fulltime outdoor writer, traveling the world interviewing hunters, guides, outfitters and other outdoorsmen about how they hunt and fish. An award-winning author, John has been hunting and fishing since his kindergarten days.