John's Journal...

Hunting and Calling Turkeys with World Champion Matt Van Cise

Day 1: Hunt Ready Turkeys and Learn How Matt Van Cise Wins Championships

Editor’s Note: Matt Van Cise of Brookville, Pennsylvania, has been setting the turkey-calling world on fire and also is an avid turkey hunter. He’s won the Senior Open Division of the World Turkey Calling Championship, the Wild Turkey Bourbon Grand National Championship, five World Open Championships, four Grand National Championships, three U.S. Open Championships and numerous others.

Click for Larger VewI’ve been calling competitively since 1996 and hunting turkeys for more than 23 years. There are numbers of turkey hunters in Pennsylvania, and plenty of public lands where hunters can take wild turkeys there. Many hunters can find 200,000 acres to hunt relatively close to home. The secret to hunting public land is to not hunt in the most-obvious places, like many hunters do. Some turkey hunters hunt the same areas year after year.

Click for Larger VewRight now, our turkey population in Pennsylvania is very good. You can walk almost any ridge top or stop on any dirt road, call and hear a turkey gobble. Many hunters go to the same regions and park in the same places every day they hunt. They leave their trucks there, walk into the woods and call the same way each day. Instead, I try to go into regions where other hunters aren’t hunting by simply steering clear of other hunters’ vehicles. Each morning, I check different areas to find the most-aggressive turkeys. The turkeys gobbling the most are the gobblers that will come to a call. I don’t waste my time trying to take stubborn gobblers. I can take a stubborn bird, but I feel I’m most successful when I identify turkeys that want to come to a call on the day I’m hunting. I can come back and hunt the reluctant turkeys on another day.

Click for Larger VewPeople ask me what I’m doing to win all these world and national championships. Winning a championship is related to how you present the call. I spend time listening to wild turkeys, and I’ve developed a unique sound. I use the standard hen yell, but the sound I make is similar to a box call’s nasal sound. I use the MAD PreCision Plus (, a diaphragm call with four reeds and a combination cut. (The call has a v-cut with one side of the v cut off). I believe this creates a much-prettier yelp on the front end of the call.

Click for Larger VewTo learn more about turkey hunting from the masters, get these Kindle eBooks and print books by John E. Phillips, including: “The Turkey Hunter's Bible (available as an eBook or in paperback),” “PhD Gobblers: How to Hunt the Smartest Turkeys in the World,” “Turkey Hunting Tactics,” (also available in an audio book from, “How to Hunt Turkeys with World Champion Preston Pittman,” “The 10 Sins of Turkey Hunting with Preston Pittman” and “Outdoor Life’s Complete Turkey Hunting.” Also sells John’s eBooks.

To get John’s book, “The Turkey Gobbler Getter Manual,” for free, go to to download.

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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 (ASA) 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: What’s a Stubborn Turkey and How Do You Take Him

Check back each day this week for more about Hunting and Calling Turkeys with World Champion Matt Van Cise

Day 1: Hunt Ready Turkeys and Learn How Matt Van Cise Wins Championships
Day 2: What’s a Stubborn Turkey and How Do You Take Him
Day 3: Get To the Gobblers Quickly
Day 4: Fill Your Turkey Vest with Different Types of Turkey Calls to Be Successful
Day 5: Gobble Very Little and Use These Suggestions for Taking Toms

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Entry 870, Day 1