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John's Journal... Entry 84, Day 2

The Turkey Hunter's Dictionary -- D's - I's

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: I've compiled a turkey-hunter's dictionary for this week to enable you to communicate your turkey-hunting experience to other sportsmen and understand what they're telling you. Today, we'll look at turkey-hunting words beginning with Ds- Is. You'll want to print out the entire "Turkey Hunter's Dictionary" this week to keep and to help you talk turkey this spring.

A pack of free-ranging dogs came in and busted up a flock of turkeys. The gobbler had begun displaying and moving closer to me before the dogs attacked. After the birds went skyward, I used a hawk call to try to get a shock gobble. Moving closer to the gobbler, I found him hung-up. I stayed with that turkey all day long but never could get a shot at him. That tom messed up my mind that I realize I'm totally infected with turkey hunting. Read on to understand what I've said.

Decoy: An artificial reproduction of a hen turkey. Many hunters use a mounted hen or a plastic replica as a decoy. Some tough gobblers will come in to a hunter only if they see as well as hear what they perceive to be a sweetheart.

Diaphragm caller: A caller made of tape, lead and latex rubber that is inserted into the rook of the hunter's mouth. When air passes over the rubber diaphragm, the hunter can make many of the calls of the hen turkey and the gobbler.

Displaying: The strutting of a gobbler.

click to enlargeDominant gobbler: The gobbler whose strength, size, age, and intelligence put him at the top of the pecking order in a flock. Sometimes called a boss gobbler. Many times a dominant gobbler will keep subdominant toms from gobbling. He claims the right to breed the hens because of his superiority.

Dominant hen: The female boss of a flock. Often the dominant hen determines which way a flock will travel, and she's generally the one that calls a scattered flock back together.

Double calling: Calling done by two hunters at the same time, to imitate a number of turkeys in the same area.

Droppings: Turkey excretion in a stool form. A gobbler dropping has the shape of a fishhook or question mark. A hen dropping stool is round and resemble a small cow dropping.

Drumming: The sound a tom turkey makes when he struts. this sounds much like the shifting of gears of an 18-wheel tractor-trailer truck -- "Vutt-V-roooom."

Earl: A term for a turkey gobbler that denotes his majesty.

Fly-up/fly-down cackle: An excited call that the hen turkey makes when she jumps off a limb in the morning and flies down to the ground to greet a new day, or when she jumps off the ground to fly into a tree to welcome a night's rest. The cackle usually begins with a series of excited clucks, followed by a series of fast yelps.

click to enlargeFree-ranging dogs: Wild dogs with no permanent home, or dogs allowed to run free by their owners. Free-ranging dogs often prey on turkeys.

Friction call: Any type of call consisting of two objects rubbed together to produce the sounds that turkeys make. A slate and peg, a box call, or a Twin Hen (a call made of aluminum and wood with a peg striker) are all examples of friction callers.

Gobble: The sound made by a tom that gives away his location, calls hens to mate, and notifies other turkeys that he's in the area.

Gobbler: A male turkey. Hawk call: The sound that a hawk makes as it flies overhead. This is the same call that turkey hunters use to cause turkeys to shock-gobble.

Hen: A female turkey.

Hung-up: Said of a turkey that stops just out of gun range and refuses to come closer to the hunter.

click to enlargeInfection, or turkey infection: A disease similar to turkey affliction. A turkey infection starts gradually when the hunter first goes to a calling contest, picks up a mouth yelper or begins to play with a diaphragm caller. Then he starts listening to veteran turkey hunters talk about their experiences and will usually accompany a hunter on a turkey hunt. Once he hears that first wild turkey gobble, the vector starts to incubate, and infection spreads. Then, when seeing his first wild turkey gobble and strut in front of him - just out of killing distance - the hunter feels the hair on his neck stand up, his face becomes flushed, his breathing becomes heavy, and his whole body begins to tremble with uncontrollable muscle spasms. He knows he's infected with turkey fever of both body and mind. One of the surest symptoms of turkey infection is a hunter's uncontrollable babbling about turkeys, turkey hunting, and turkey calling.

Integrade: A turkey produced by the interbreeding of tow different turkey subspecies. Integrates of the eastern turkey and the Florida turkey are common in a narrow zone across the South.

To learn more about turkey hunting, order John E. Phillips' three books on turkey hunting by going to Night Hawk's homepage and clicking on books, or, call (800) 627-4295 to order a free brochure.

TOMORROW: The Turkey Hunter's Dictionary -- J's - P's




Check back each day this week for more about Bo Pitman's Offbeat Tom Tactics ...

Day 1 -The Turkey Hunter's Dictionary -- A's - C's
Day 2 -The Turkey Hunter's Dictionary -- D's - I's
Day 3 -The Turkey Hunter's Dictionary -- J's - P's
Day 4 -The Turkey Hunter's Dictionary -- R's - S's
Day 5 -The Turkey Hunter's Dictionary -- T'S - Y's

John's Journal