I met him years ago and immediately recognized that he personifies the skills, devotion and attributes necessary for punching turkey tags — often. He’s the best turkey hunter I’ve ever known.
What makes him so good? He’s not a specialist. Instead, he covers all the turkey hunting bases.
Incidentally, he isn’t a fictitious composite character. My ultimate turkey hunter is a real person, and for years, I’ve tried to follow his example. You can, too.
This guy doesn’t walk through the woods. He blends into it. Quiet and unseen, he spots the slightest telltale movement and hears the faintest gobble. His brain processes that info immediately, and he puts a plan into action. Soon, he’ll be in great position on a gobbler.
You won’t see this guy on the Grand National Calling Championships stage, though he has won some high-level contests. He epitomizes woods calling; natural, realistic turkey sounds designed to prompt a response from a longbeard. He never just utters noises. Rather, he communicates with turkeys and convinces them he’s the real deal.
This hunter has seen it all. When a gobbler zigs, he can zag. As situations change, he adapts. He understands all aspects of turkey behavior and uses them to his advantage. Moreover, he can survey the landscape, analyze a scenario and say with certainty, “We need to set up right here.” How? He’s seen it before.
Numbers don’t drive this guy, though he kills loads of turkeys every spring. Rather, he craves the challenge and experience of turkey hunting. Snooze buttons don’t exist from March through May.
As accomplished as this fellow is, I’ve seen turkeys beat him. It happens to everybody. But instead of getting frustrated or shaking his head, this guy simply shrugs his shoulders, forgets the failure and moves on.
THE BEST HUNTER AND YOU
You and I might never match the heights achieved by this apex turkey predator. That doesn’t mean we can’t use him as an example and inspiration to refine and improve our own skills. By emulating this top-of-the-food-chain dude, we can become much better turkey hunters.