By John E. Phillips
United States -(AmmoLand.com)- Forty or 50 years ago, a hunter only called a turkey in one way.
If you found a gobbling bird in the woods, you’d sit down and call to him. You’d give two clucks and three or four yelps, put your call on the ground, sit there and wait on the turkey.
If the turkey came in, you shot him. If the turkey didn’t come in, you didn’t shoot him.
Then about 25-years ago, I discovered a new kind of turkey hunting called cuttin’ and runnin’.
This type of turkey hunting was completely different from the way the old-timers hunted. I’d cut and cackle, get a gobbler fired-up and keep calling to him until he came in to where I waited on him. I was as hot as a firecracker on the fourth of July. I thought this new style of hunting was much more exciting, fun and productive than yelping three times, clucking once or twice and then not calling anymore.
One morning I’d fired-up a gobbler that came toward me. I could see the bird. Because I was in a hurry to squeeze the trigger, I hit that gobbler with some really-hard cuts and aggressive hen yelps. That turkey stuck his head up, cupped his wings, turned around and walked straight away from me. I couldn’t figure out what had happened.
My aggressive style of hunting had really been working up until that morning. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with this turkey.
I went out to hunt the next morning in the same place that I’d hunted on the previous day. I had the same turkey gobbling and coming in again, just like the day before, and I hit him with a really-hard call that made him cup his wings and leave again. I hunted this turkey for about a week and found out that the turkey didn’t want anything to do with aggressive-style calling. I called to him with a three- or four-note tree call and waited about 20 minutes while the turkey was still on the roost, but he never responded to me. Finally, I clucked to him one time, and then I put my call up. About 15-minutes later, he flew down about 30-steps away from me and took two more steps, and I shot him.
What I learned from the hunt with the Old Time PhD Gobbler included that:
- I needed to be patient when hunting turkeys. Although I thought I was one of those cut-and-run type hunters, I really wasn’t.
- The old way of hunting turkeys still would work today by yelping three times, clucking twice and then putting my call on the ground, although cutting, running and hunting aggressively would produce turkeys too on some days.
- I still could enjoy cutting and running, but on this day, this PhD gobbler showed me that not all turkeys liked that style of hunting and calling. Older, more-mature gobblers usually preferred softer calling. A hunter who was willing to wait longer for these toms to get to where he was would have a tom to ride in the back of his truck all the way back to the house.
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.