John's Journal...

Some of My Toughest Turkeys to Hunt with Eddie Salter

Day 2: Taking the Pine Plantation PhD Gobbler with Eddie Salter

Editor’s Note: Eddie Salter began hunting at the age of 8 near his home in Evergreen, Alabama. After learning turkey-hunting techniques from his father and grandfather, Eddie called in and harvested his first gobbler at the age of 10. In 1981, Salter began participating in competitive turkey calling and amassed an impressive list of state, regional and national titles. Salter, who was named one of the top-10 sportsmen in the U.S. in 1986 and 1989, is recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on turkey hunting and has appeared on TV numerous times as well as in hunting videos and television commercials and been featured in outdoor magazine articles and radio interviews.

Click for Larger ViewAbout 35-years ago, clear-cutting wooded areas became popular. As a turkey hunter, seeing all those pretty hardwoods being cut and the land being put into pine plantations broke my heart. Practically every day I drove by a 10,000-acre 10- to 15-year-old pine plantation to look for hardwoods where I could hunt.

One day, I stopped in at a store and heard some other hunters talking about hunting turkeys in the pines. They told me they’d heard gobbling in the pines, but I was skeptical. I’d always believed that a 10- or a 15-year-old pine plantation was too thick for turkeys to live there. I didn’t think that the turkeys would adapt to living in the pines like they had. However, I was glad I’d checked out these areas because if I hadn’t, I would have missed one of the most-memorable hunts I ever had.

Click for Larger ViewOn this particular morning, outdoor writer John E. Phillips and I had been hunting hardwoods religiously from daylight to dark but couldn’t locate a gobbling turkey. Finally I said, “Bubba, we’re going to get up in the morning and go find us some turkeys in the pines.” John was skeptical about hunting turkeys in the pines because, like me, he’d grown up all his life knowing that turkeys didn’t stay in thick cover like pine plantations.

Then on the way to the pine plantation, the water pump went out on my truck. We stopped at a gas station that wasn’t open and couldn’t find a faucet. However, the bathroom was open, but it didn’t have a washbasin with a faucet. We took a gallon jug and siphoned water out of the back of the commode, filled up the radiator and kept on driving toward the pines.

We reached the pine plantation just before daylight, and I yelped to this turkey and made him gobble in the pines. I knew when you hunted turkeys in the pines, you had to look between the rows to see the turkeys coming. We had to move a couple of times to get on the right row with the turkey to be able to spot the turkey moving in that thick pine plantation.

Click for Larger ViewThis turkey came screaming through the pines. He got so close we could hear him walking in the leaves but never saw the bird until he stepped out 10 feet in front of John, and John took him. We were both really excited. That was the first turkey John ever had taken in the pines. John looked at me, grinned and said, “I won’t tell anybody that turkeys live in pine plantations if you won’t either.” We both agreed, and for 5 or 6 years, we both kept our mouths shut and had those pine-plantation turkeys pretty much to ourselves.

From this Pine Plantation Gobbler, PhD, I’ve learned that:

* turkeys are highly adaptable.
* turkeys will live in pine plantations when the hardwoods in an area are gone.
* you’ll miss a great opportunity to take turkeys, if you don’t hunt pine plantations.
* you can go in to the pine plantations where no other hunters want to hunt, because the turkeys will be there rather than in hardwood regions with their intense hunting pressure.

Click for Larger ViewTo get John’s newest book, “The Turkey Gobbler Getter Manual,” for free, go to

To learn more about turkey hunting from the masters, get these Kindle eBooks and print books 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.”

Share this page with a friend!

Check out our new website at

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: Eddie Salter Outsmarts the Old-Time PhD Gobbler

Check back each day this week for more about Some of My Toughest Turkeys to Hunt with Eddie Salter

Day 1: Hunting the Crooked Toe Tom Turkey with Eddie Salter
Day 2: Taking the Pine Plantation PhD Gobbler with Eddie Salter
Day 3: Eddie Salter Outsmarts the Old-Time PhD Gobbler
Day 4: Some of Eddie Salter’s Most Frequently Asked Seminar Questions about Hunting Turkeys
Day 5: More of Eddie Salter’s Most Frequently Asked Questions about Turkey Hunting

ALL CONTENT PROTECTED UNDER THE DIGITAL MILLENIUM COPYRIGHT ACT. Content theft, either printed or electronic is a federal offense.


Entry 821, Day 2