These Authors Know How to Talk Turkey
Renken, Tim, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Turkey hunting may be unique in North American hunting in the reward it provides for skill.
Luck is involved in turkey hunting, certainly, but not to the degree it is in, for example, deer hunting.
In turkey hunting, every situation seems to have an answer. ea It is almost as if the turkey hunter who knows enough will be successful every time. Of course, no hunter knows enough for that - not nearly enough.
It is this skill factor, probably, that has stimulated the production of such an extensive turkey hunting literature, enhanced in recent years by videotapes. Every year the library grows.
This season's addition is a book, "Harold Knight and David Hale's Ultimate Turkey Hunting," with Wade L. Bourne. Knight and Hale, of Cadiz, Ky., are the game call people. Bourne is a well-known outdoor writer.
The 180-page paperback book (published by Knight & Hale Game Calls, Inc., Drawer 670, Cadiz, Ky., 42211, $13.50) contains quite a bit of junk - philosophy of the authors, history of the company, dedications, etc. But it also contain an immense amount of turkey and turkey hunting lore. These guys know the sport and they are good communicators.
On calling a gobbler with hens.
Knight: "One of the biggest clues that a gobbler is with hens is when he answers your calling, then in two or three minutes he's going the other way. His hens don't want to share him with competititors, so they lead him away.
"I may try a lot of loud, agressive calling to get the gobbler to split away. It's hard, though, and there's always the chance an old boss hen will take the gobbler away. If I can tell where they're going, I'll make a big circle and set up in front of them and I'll wait without calling and try to ambush the gobbler.
"Another strategy is, if the opportunity presents itself, I'll run in and scatter those turkeys, try to separate the tom from the hens. If I'm successful, I guarantee that turkey will be gobbling again in an hour or less. He'll be lonesome and a lot more vulnerable."
Hale: "If you can't call the gobbler away from the hens, come back later in the day. If he's keeping company with only one or two hens, chances are they'll slip off to their nests and leave him alone. He'll start gobbling again and be more likely to come to a call. …