John's Journal...

Turkey Hunting Guides Scott Hendry and Doug Shipp Tell All

Day 5: Other Turkey Hunting Problems with Guide Doug Shipp

Editor’s Note: Doug Shipp from Jachin, Alabama, has been turkey hunting for more than 40 years and has been a turkey-hunting guide at Bent Creek Lodge ( since 1987.

When Turkeys Are Invisible:

Click for arger ViewClick for arger ViewWe have quite a few first-time turkey hunters hunt with us at Bent Creek Lodge. I’ve learned that if you’ve never seen a turkey in the woods, you really don’t know what to look for when you’re trying to see one. On one hunt I called a turkey that was out in the open to within killing range. I told my hunter to, “Kill him.” “I can’t see him,” my hunter whispered back. The turkey was only 20 yards from the hunter, and the hunter was looking straight at the bird. However, again he told me, “I can’t see the bird.” So, I watched that turkey walk off without my hunter taking a shot. When that turkey was gone, the hunter said, “I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t see the turkey.”

Why I Don’t Cross Creeks on Foot Logs:

I don’t mind getting my feet wet to reach a gobbler, but I’m not going to walk across a foot log. I’m afraid of heights, and I’m afraid I’ll fall. One client I was guiding asked when we got to the edge of a creek, “What are we going to do now?” I smiled and answered, “If we’re going to kill that turkey, we’ll have to cross the creek.” Although the creek was deeper than my thigh-high rubber boots and higher than my client’s shin-high leather boots, I went across the creek first. My client followed along behind me. Because the turkey was about 80 yards from the creek in front of us, after we got out of the creek, we moved about 20 yards closer to the gobbler. Then sure enough, my hunter took his bird that morning.

Click for arger ViewClick for arger ViewI won’t try and cross a creek if I don’t know the depth of the water where I plan to cross. Here’s why. A friend and I were buddy hunting one day when we heard a turkey gobble on top of a ridge. The place we were hunting was flooded. This turkey was on a ridge out of the water, so we started walking on the same ridge toward the gobbler. Then the ridge dropped off into a creek. To get to the turkey, we had to cross that cut in the ridge. My friend said, “I’m going to that turkey, and I’m going to cross this cut and wade the water.” I told him, “I’m not going to cross that cut, but you go ahead.” He quickly said,”I don’t believe this creek’s going to be very deep right here.” I watched my hunter step into the water. The next thing I saw was his hat floating, and his gun and turkey call being held out of the water a little bit above his elbows. Finally he came out of the water - dripping wet from the top of his head to the tips of his leather boots. He managed to collect his hat and went to where he could call in the bird. The bird had left the area from where he’d been gobbling. In a little while, I spotted my friend coming back, looking like a drowned rat. I realized he’d have to cross that creek again. Once again I saw him go into the water over his head, holding his gun high, and he came out again dripping wet. He didn’t talk much as we walked back to the truck. He was wet, but I was dry.

Doug Shipp on “Why I Like to Guide Turkey Hunters:”

To get John’s book, “The Turkey Gobbler Getter Manual,” for free, go to to download.

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.” Also sells John’s eBooks.


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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.

Check back each day this week for more about Turkey Hunting Guides Scott Hendry and Doug Shipp Tell All

Day 1: Some of Guide Scott Hendry’s Favorite Turkey Hunting Stories
Day 2: Mistakes Turkey Hunters Make with Guide Scott Hendry
Day 3: What Turkey Guide Doug Shipp Has Learned from Hunting Turkeys
Day 4: More of What Guide Doug Shipp Has Learned about Hunting Turkeys
Day 5: Other Turkey Hunting Problems with Guide Doug Shipp

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Entry 862, Day 5