John's Journal...

Lessons Learned from Matt Morrett’s Toughest Gobblers

What Matt Morrett Learned from Blake Shelton’s PhD Gobbler

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Matt Morrett of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, began his outdoor education while accompanying his father to the woods at the age of six. His love of hunting turkeys and deer found him sitting in the cold woods, waiting for rut-swollen November bucks and straining his ears in the spring, hoping to pick up a gobble ringing across the ridges of Pennsylvania. Morrett has perfected turkey calling to a degree that few others have matched. Dedication to fine-tuning his calling techniques has earned Morrett more than 50-turkey-calling championships, including five World Friction Turkey Calling titles, six U.S. Open Turkey Calling victories and the coveted Grand National Click to enlargeChampion title. In 1994, Morrett put his calling to the test by taking an eastern bird in Missouri, a Rio Grande in Texas, an Osceola in Florida and a Merriam’s in South Dakota to complete the Grand Slam of all four subspecies of the wild turkey. Morrett travels the country conducting seminars on turkey and deer hunting. Using his knowledge, he helps design and field-test many of the products manufactured by Hunter’s Specialties to aid hunters.

I learned from Blake Shelton’s PhD gobbler that when hunting toms with their doctorates I needed to be:
* much more patient. I realized I would have spooked Shelton’s turkey if I’d attempted to run in and get close quickly. This hunt helped me to decide to always call turkeys from a long distance in the spring. I took more turkeys the last couple of years by setting up further away from the turkeys than I would have if I’d used the same cut and get-in-close tactics I’d been using.Click to enlarge
* more respectful of my dad’s method of calling by staying away from the turkeys and calling them to me, instead of running in as close as I could get to them, and possibly spooking the gobbler.
* slower with my calling and not try to force the turkeys to come to me, which allowed me to take more turkeys this season than I had in past seasons. Click to enlarge
* listening to both the hens and the gobblers. In most calling situations, I’d often ignored what the hens were saying and spoken primarily to the gobblers. However, Blake’s turkey taught me to listen to the hens. Often starting a conversation with the hens, even though the toms would be gobbling, would give you a better chance of drawing that gobbler to you by talking to the hens instead of the gobblers. When I started talking to the hen instead of the gobbler, she came to me and brought Shelton’s turkey with her.
* willing to re-learn what I’d known for several years – that a turkey hunt was much more exciting, fun and rewarding when you called a gobbler in for another hunter to take his or her first gobbler than if you actually squeezed the trigger yourself.



Video Tip of the Day from Eddie Salter

Tomorrow: Matt Morrett’s Piketown Turkey

Check back each day this week for more about "Lessons Learned from Matt Morrett’s Toughest Gobblers"

Day 1: Blake Shelton’s Turkey with Matt Morrett
Day 2: What Matt Morrett Learned from Blake Shelton’s PhD Gobbler
Day 3: Matt Morrett’s Piketown Turkey
Day 4: Matt Morrett and the PhD Gobbler Named Bubba
Day 5: Matt Morrett’s 10 Most-Frequently-Asked Turkey-Hunting Seminar Questions


Entry 554, Day 2