88, Day 1
Waddell Teaches Turkey
NOTE: Twenty-eight-year-old Michael Waddell
of Columbus, Georgia, a longtime avid hunter of all game species, produces
"Realtree Outdoors" T.V. shows and videos.
Question: What type of gun do you use when you
Answer: I shoot a Remington 1187 shotgun. I like the way Remingtons
are built. They are low-maintenance and dependable guns. I use No. 5 and
No. 6 shot because they're great for taking close turkeys. We have to
shoot close turkeys for our videos. No. 6s give me a lot more shot and
a little bit more room for mistakes. No. 6s shoot better out of my shotgun,
and I like more shot versus a No. 4 shot.
Will you tell me about the turkey hunt that you learned from the most?
Answer: I learned the most about turkey hunting from a 4-year-old
gobbler that I killed on my dad's farm. That turkey consistently gobbled
at locator calls, but he wouldn't commit because he was aware that something
was different. Although I was a young hunter, I knew how to work the land
to get the turkey. This gobbler would not come to a turkey call but instead
walked to the 60-yard mark and tried to get the hens to come to him. I
did everything to call that turkey to me. So, I started hunting the turkey
day after day and finally learned his pattern. I deer hunted that turkey
more than I turkey called to it. He roosted in a little swamp bottom regularly
within a 200-yard radius. I used a crow call to get him to gobble one
time. After I located him, I gambled that he'd head back to his roost.
I set up in an area I knew he'd probably pass through and made some soft
hen calls. I intercepted that gobbler on his way back to the roost. During
that hunt, I learned that you couldn't always take your turkey by calling
to him. Sometimes you'd have to actually hunt him.
What else did you learn from that hunt?
Answer: I learned that older turkeys are wise to the hunter's ways.
They understand Mother Nature and know when something is out of place.
So, they are definitely harder to fool than a younger turkey is. Older
turkeys know that the hen is supposed to come to them. Often, older turkeys
have been hammered or missed at least once which has made them very cautious
about coming to the caller. When you work an older turkey, you must know
the land where you hunt, understand where that turkey wants to go and
depend on your hunting skills more than your calling abilities.
To learn more about turkey hunting, you can order John
E. Phillips' three turkey-hunting books by calling (800) 627-4295. Click
on Books on Night Hawk's home page to learn more.
TOMORROW: WADDELL'S TURKEY-HUNTING SECRETS