John's Journal...

What to Do if You Want to Hunt Turkeys

Day 2: Learn How to Become a Turkey Hunter and How to Find a Place to Hunt

Editor’s Note: Turkeys don’t have teeth. There’s no report record of a bird charging a man and eating him. Neither do turkeys have supersonic hearing which allows them to detect a fly lighting on an oak leaf at 200-yards. Turkeys can’t see through large oak trees. But many newcomers to the sport may believe some of these myths because of the hype associated with hunting Meleagris gallopavo. I have heard a sportsman say, “I’d really like to get into turkey hunting, but I can’t call.” Or, “I’m afraid I’ll move and spook the bird.” Or, “Maybe that old gobbler is smarter than I am.” All of these ideas are nonsense.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewIn some instances, turkey hunting is not nearly as difficult as many would have you believe.

Probably the quickest way to get the most turkey knowledge in the shortest time at the highest price is to hire a guide. However, when you evaluate how much you learn and how much time will have been required while hunting on your own to obtain that same amount of information, a competent turkey hunting guide is a good investment. Most reputable guides not only will take you to a turkey but also will teach you how to hunt turkeys. I try and hunt with two or three different guides each year to add to my turkey-hunting knowledge. One of the best places to obtain a turkey-hunting education quickly is at a hunting lodge that has plenty of turkeys.

The least-expensive way to become a serious turkey hunter is to find a buddy who knows how to hunt turkeys and is willing to take you along for the fun of teaching a novice how to hunt. Each year I enjoy introducing novice hunters to the sport of turkey hunting. I always have more fun than the beginners do – especially when I see them take their first gobbler. There are many turkey hunting books and videos/DVDs on the market that you can read/view to increase your knowledge of the sport.

How to Find a Place to Hunt:

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewIf you’re going to hunt turkeys, you must locate them. The best place to start is to contact the Department of Conservation or the Fish & Game Commission in the state you plan to hunt. Ask where the best public hunting for turkeys is in that region. Find out if there are any private landowners who will let sportsmen hunt turkeys on their land for free or for pay and whether or not any turkey hunting clubs are in that area. Also inquire who the best turkey hunters are and their phone numbers as well as whether any turkey hunting guides live in that part of the state. Ask the biologist who he suggests for you to contact about hunting turkeys in that district.

Armed with this information, you now can pinpoint a place to hunt and possibly a person to hunt with, either for free or for pay. Something else you’ll find out when you begin to make your series of phone calls is that you’ll learn the tactics that are the most productive in that specific region for bagging gobblers. The common denominator in the world of turkey hunting is that most sportsmen like to discuss how they hunt turkeys and the equipment they feel is best for the sport. So by talking to turkey hunters in the area you plan to hunt prior to the season, you can glean a lot of information in a short time from some of the best hunters.

To get these Kindle ebooks by John E. Phillips, including: “The Turkey Hunter's Bible, click here; “PhD Gobblers; click here; and “Turkey Hunting Tactics, click here, or go to, type in the names of the books, and download them to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.


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About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Tomorrow: Having the Right Equipment – Calls, Clothing and Boots for Turkey Hunting

Check back each day this week for more about What to Do if You Want to Hunt Turkeys"

Day 1: The Quickest Way to Learn to Hunt Turkeys Is to Hunt Them with Lovett Williams
Day 2: Learn How to Become a Turkey Hunter and How to Find a Place to Hunt
Day 3: Having the Right Equipment – Calls, Clothing and Boots for Turkey Hunting
Day 4: The Best Guns for Turkey Hunting
Day 5: Other Essentials You Need for Turkey Hunting

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Entry 758, Day 2