John's Journal...

When a Turkey Gobbler Answers – You have to be Patient

Day 1: A Good Day of Turkey Hunting, But No Success in Taking a Turkey

Editor’s Note: The late Billy Macoy of Lineville, Alabama, was a renowned, relentless turkey hunter. Some of the most-interesting turkey hunts I’ve ever been on were with Macoy.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View“These woods birds will hush in about 10 minutes,” my turkey hunting buddy, the late Billy Macoy said. “They’ll usually sing for about 10 minutes just at the crack of day. During that time, you can’t hear a turkey gobble – even if he’s only 20-yards away. But when the woods birds finish their singing, the swamp will be quiet, and we’ll be able to hear a turkey gobble.” “Yeah,” I answered.

Yeah was about the only word I could speak after the 1-1/2-mile forced march through the muddy swamp before daylight. Although I was accustomed to walking in the woods early in the morning during turkey season, Macoy’s normal gait was only one half step short of a flat-out run. And no matter where he started hunting from, he always felt like he had to go at least 1-1/2-miles further to be in just the right place. As Macoy explained, “Oftentimes hunters may be too lazy to take a turkey. They may try to drive their vehicles too close to the birds to save some walking. But I personally believe that a better tactic is to stop well away from the tom and walk to where you plan to hunt, so you won’t spook the turkey.”

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewMacoy and a friend of his, Mike Colburn, had driven from their homes in Lineville, Alabama, to turkey hunt at the Southern Sportsman’s Lodge near Hayneville, Alabama. Colburn and I had hunted together the morning before. Only through the grace of God had two turkeys escaped. The first turkey we tried to work double and triple gobbled. “That turkey wants to die,” Colburn whispered.” And I agreed with him. However, when the turkey was only 50-yards away, he hushed and never came in to where we were set up. Apparently he had met up with some hens before he got to us. Later in the morning we attempted to work another turkey on the edge of a field. The only approach we had to the bird was along a rocky creek. Even though we tried to move quietly, unfortunately our big feet on those small rocks signaled our approach. But we had a successful day of exciting hunting in the outdoors. We just had been unsuccessful at taking a turkey.

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About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Tomorrow: Locating the Turkeys You Want to Take

Check back each day this week for more about "When a Turkey Gobbler Answers – You have to be Patient"

Day 1: A Good Day of Turkey Hunting, But No Success in Taking a Turkey
Day 2: Locating the Turkeys You Want to Take
Day 3: Stand Location – One of the Most Important Ingredients for Successfully Taking a Gobbler
Day 4: The Critical Moments of Turkey Hunting to Take a Swamp Turkey
Day 5: Buddy Hunting For Turkeys Is Often Best

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Entry 714, Day 1