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Eddie Salter Nationally-Known Turkey Hunter and Caller Tells About Tough Toms

When Turkeys Don’t Want Aggressive Calling

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Eddie Salter began hunting at the age of eight near his home in Evergreen, Alabama. After learning turkey-hunting techniques from his father and grandfather, Salter called-in and harvested his first gobbler at the age of 10. Salter began participating in competitive turkey calling and amassed an impressive list of titles, including seven Southeastern Open Turkey Calling Championships, six Alabama State Championships and two World Open Championships. Named one of the top-10 sportsmen in the U.S. in 1986 and 1989 and with almost four decades of turkey-hunting experience, Salter is recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on turkey hunting. He’s appeared on ESPN, TNN, The Outdoor Channel and ABC’s 20/20 TV show and in numerous hunting videos and television commercials for Hunter’s Specialties and has been featured in many outdoor magazine articles and radio interviews.Click to enlarge

Forty or 50-years ago, a hunter only called a turkey in one way. If you found a gobbling bird in the woods, you’d sit down and call to him. You’d give two clucks and three or four yelps, put your call on the ground, sit there and wait on the turkey. If the turkey came in, you shot him. If the turkey didn’t come in, you didn’t shoot him. Then about 25-years ago, I discovered a new kind of turkey hunting called cuttin’ and runnin’. This type of turkey hunting was completely different from the way the old-timers hunted. I’d cut and cackle, get a gobbler fired-up and keep calling to him, until he came in to where I waited on him. I was as hot as a firecracker on the fourth of July. I thought this new style of hunting was much-more exciting, fun and productive than yelping three times, clucking once or twice and then not calling anymore.Click to enlarge

One morning I’d fired-up a gobbler that came toward me. I could see the bird. Because I was in a hurry to squeeze the trigger, I hit that gobbler with some really-hard cuts and aggressive hen yelps. That turkey stuck his head up, cupped his wings, turned around and walked straight away from me. I couldn’t figure out what had happened. My aggressive style of hunting had really been working up until that morning. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with this Old Time Turkey.

I went out to hunt the next morning in the same place that I’d hunted on the previous day. I hClick to enlargead the same turkey gobbling and coming in again, just like the day before, and I hit him with a really-hard call that made him cup his wings and leave again. I hunted this Old Time Turkey for about a week and found out that the turkey didn’t want anything to do with aggressive-style calling. I called to him with a three- or four-note tree call and waited about 20 minutes while the turkey was still on the roost, but he never responded to me. Finally, I clucked to him one time, and then I put my call up. About 15-minutes later, he flew down about 30-steps away from me and took two more steps, and I shot him.

What I learned from the hunt with the Old Time Gobbler:
*I needed to be patient when hunting turkeys. Although I thought I was one of those cut-and-run type hunters, I really wasn’t.
*the old way of hunting turkeys still would work today by yelping three times, clucking twice and then putting my call on the ground, although cutting, running and hunting aggressively would produce turkeys too on some days.
*I still could enjoy cutting and running, but on this day, this Old Time Gobbler showed me that not all turkeys liked that style of hunting and calling. Older, more-mature gobblers usually preferred softer calling. A hunter who was willing to wait longer for these toms to get to where he was would have a tom to ride in the back of his truck all the way back to the house.

Today's video tip from Eddie Salter

Tomorrow: Some of Eddie Salter’s Most-Frequently-Asked Turkey Hunting Seminar Questions

Check back each day this week for more about "Eddie Salter Nationally-Known Turkey Hunter and Caller Tells About Tough Toms"

Day 1: Eddie Salter’s Crooked Toe Tom
Day 2: Why Turkey-Hunt Pine Plantations with Eddie Salter
Day 3: When Turkeys Don’t Want Aggressive Calling
Day 4: Some of Eddie Salter’s Most-Frequently-Asked Turkey Hunting Seminar Questions
Day 5: More of Eddie Salter’s Most-Frequently-Asked Turkey-Hunting Seminar Questions


Entry 553, Day 3