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Comple Turkey Hunting

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The Big Seed Turkeys
with Jay Brown

One of my favorite turkeys is Old Wallace. I named this turkey after a karate fighter--Bill Wallace--who's known as Superfoot. Old Wallace has the biggest foot I've ever seen on a turkey. His track is like the track of a small ostrich. Old Wallace is a tough bird. I've seen him only three times, but a friend of mine missed him at 17 steps. Yet nobody has taken him.

Old Wallace travels with a younger bird that I guess is about two years old. I've seen the two together through a binocular. The second lieutenant's beard appears about 8 inches long, while I judge Old Wallace's beard to be between 11 and 12 inches long. Old Wallace is tough to hunt because he's been called to so many times and so many hunters have fooled with him. There's just not much a hunter can do that Old Wallace hasn't heard or seen before. Old Wallace will gobble good in the morning until he hears the first sound made by the hunter--whether he's owling, crow calling, or hen yelping. When he hears a hunter, he shuts up. But even if he's heard a hunter, he'll gobble again in about ten minutes if there are hens in the area giving light tree calls.

I've been trying to take Old Wallace for two years, and I believe he was at least two years old when I first started hunting him. I've introduced him to several other hunters--good hunters--who haven't been able to do anything with him either. I think the only way Old Wallace will ever be killed is to hunt him in the afternoon. He'll gobble one time late in the afternoon, generally before he flies up to roost. I believe that if I take a slate and try calling him in the afternoons, I may have a chance of killing him.

All I plan to do is cluck and purr very softly. Old Wallace probably won't gobble back to me. I believe he'll slip in behind me without making a sound. The only way I'll be able to kill him is to see him before he sees me. That's what makes Old Wallace a tough turkey to take. I call him a seed turkey, because he'll seed many offspring before he's ever killed or before he dies naturally.

Another seed turkey that's dealt me fits for the last few years is the Garden-Patch Gobbler. There's an old lady who lives way back in the hills and has a garden patch. Really, it's more like a small truck farm than a garden. The patch is about an acre, and an old gobbler lives close by.

Every morning when the turkey pitches off the roost, he flies straight to the garden. He'll strut in the middle of that one-acre patch and stay right there until his hens come to meet him. No matter what call you use or how sneaky you are, you're not going to lure the Garden-Patch Gobbler away from the clear patch.

When that gobbler's hens show up, he'll get right in the middle of them and walk off with them. If you try to call him, he'll go in the other direction. That gobbler is not going to move out of the middle of the garden patch until he sees hens or else has hens around him. I've had absolutely no success in calling him, and I don't know if he'll ever be killed. He's another of those tough seed turkeys.

Complete Turkey Hunting is $27.95

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