John's Journal...

Five Secrets to Successful Turkey Hunting with Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland

Day 2: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland Thinks Many Turkey Hunters Walk Past Turkeys They Can Take

Editor’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, Mossy Oak’s senior vice president of media services, probably has hunted turkeys as long and as hard as any man alive. He hunts for his own enjoyment, but in the early days of Mossy Oak (, he was a cameraman, field producer, guide and caller. One of Cuz’s greatest joys in life is calling up a turkey for someone else to take. Cuz has hunted turkeys all over the world and in most states. When Cuz talks turkey, we all listen.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewThere are many more turkeys in the woods than hunters think. You can take turkeys if you’ll hunt later in the morning, after all the other hunters have left that area. I love to blow a tube call that makes a loud, high-pitched, very-piercing sound. I use that call later in the morning to cause a turkey to shock gobble. If you’re walking down the road, listening for turkeys, and one of your hunting buddies jumps out of a bush and yells, “Boo!” you will jump and holler. That’s what the loud, sharp-piercing tube call does to a turkey gobbler in mid-morning. Now you can have the same effect using a really high-pitched, loud box call. You have to remember that most turkey hunters will use a crow or an owl call to try and get turkeys to gobble late in the morning, but turkeys hear crows and owls all day long.

Before I blow my tube call, I look around and make sure that I can set-up by a big tree or a bush, if a turkey gobbles, especially if he gobbles close by. When I blow the tube call, if a turkey gobbles, I’m going to give him some hen calls to try and call him in to where I am. Even if I don’t call that turkey in, at least I’ll know where he likes to stay in the middle of the morning. So, if I try and call a turkey off the roost, and I’m unsuccessful, I can go to the place where I’ve heard the turkey shock gobble and have a real good chance of taking that tom before lunch.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewMany times I’ve been filming other hunters trying to call turkeys. After they’ve used their owl calls and their crow calls and cackled to try and make a turkey gobble, they’ll say, “There must not be a gobbler here. Let’s go to another place.” I’ll smile and say, “Do you mind if I blow my loud nasty tube call before we leave?” Many times I’ll make a turkey gobble close by that hasn’t answered any other call.

So my suggestion is: in the middle of the day, when you’re trying to locate a turkey, and you just can’t seem to get one to gobble, before you leave your calling site, either blow a loud, sharp, piercing tube call, or give some exciting yelps on a loud, high-pitched box call. I’m totally convinced that many hunters walk off and leave turkeys they may have called, if they’ve only made them shock gobble. Make sure, if you hear a turkey gobble, that you have on your Mossy Oak gloves, have pulled up your Mossy Oak face mask, and use your Mossy Oak camo to blend in with your surroundings.

To learn more about turkey hunting from the masters, get these Kindle eBooks by John E. Phillips, including: “The Turkey Hunter's Bible (available as an eBook or in paperback),” “PhD Gobblers: How to Hunt the Smartest Turkeys in the World,” “Turkey Hunting Tactics,” “How to Hunt Turkeys with World Champion Preston Pittman,” “The 10 Sins of Turkey Hunting with Preston Pittman,” and “Outdoor Life’s Complete Turkey Hunting.” Click on the links above, 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: Shut Up and Listen for Turkeys with Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland

Check back each day this week for more about Five Secrets to Successful Turkey Hunting with Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland

Day 1: Finding Places to Hunt Turkeys Instead of Practicing Your Calling with Ronnie Strickland
Day 2: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland Thinks Many Turkey Hunters Walk Past Turkeys They Can Take
Day 3: Shut Up and Listen for Turkeys with Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland
Day 4: Successful Turkey Hunting Is All about Attitude with Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland
Day 5: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland Says Find Another Turkey to Hunt

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Entry 814, Day 2