John's Journal...

Unorthodox Tactics for Desperate Turkey Hunters

Day 2: Taking a Hush-Mouthed Gobbler

Editor’s Note: The classical ritual of the turkey hunt is that of a skillful hunter artfully deceiving the gobbler to make him come into range with calling skills alone. But the sport of turkey hunting doesn’t always go that way. And, rare is the hunter, who’s still without a turkey after weeks of frustration, who is above trying some unorthodox tactics. The names have been changed this week to protect the “guilty.”

Click for Larger ViewI’ve known veteran turkey hunters who may profess to be above blowing a gobbler off the roost, but who, under the stress of frustration, have given in to temptation to bag a bronze baron that has been outfoxing them for years. Take the case of the Hushed-Mouth Gobbler. Click for Larger ViewThis old bird had been called to, shot at and aggravated by dozens of hunters. The turkey was so smart that most folks thought he had far-more intelligence than the men who tried to hunt him – and they might have been right.

However, one hunter finally cracked the case. He found where the giant gobbler was roosting for three consecutive mornings. Each morning, the ole bird would pitch-out of the tree, always going the same way. He would gobble once from the roost and then keep his mouth closed the rest of the day, making locating him on the ground and calling to him virtually impossible. The gobbler showed no intention of coming to or even answering the most seductive of calls. But this hunter finally bagged the Hushed-Mouth Gobbler. Click for Larger ViewOne morning the hunter bypassed the bird’s roost tree and camouflaged himself about 10 yards-from where the Hushed-Mouth Gobbler usually flew-down. When the sun started to sneak a peek through the misty-black spring morning, the tom gave his solo call, pitched-off the limb and landed 12- to 15-feet from the “invisible” hunter. Click for Larger ViewBefore the gobbler regained his composure from the landing, there were pellets in his head, and he was stretched-out dead.

To learn more about hunting tough toms, buy John E. Phillips’ book, “PhD Gobblers,” containing information from top turkey hunters, including Eddie Salter, Alex Rutledge, Matt Morrett, Rick White and others, for your Kindle for only $2.99 at

Tomorrow: Hunting Booger Creek Bottom Gobblers Can Test Your Sanity


Check back each day this week for more about "Unorthodox Tactics for Desperate Turkey Hunters "

Day 1: Learn about Owling for Gobblers
Day 2: Taking a Hush-Mouthed Gobbler
Day 3: Hunting Booger Creek Bottom Gobblers Can Test Your Sanity
Day 4: The Challenge of Hunting the Hickory Ridge Runner Gobbler
Day 5: The Downfall of the Ole Eagle Eye Gobbler

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Entry 654, Day 2