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John's Journal... Entry 84, Day 5

The Turkey Hunter's Dictionary -- T'S - Y'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 Ts- Ys. You'll want to print out the entire week's dictionary to know more about turkey hunting.

One of the greatest turkey hunters I've ever known was a man named "Uncle" Roy Moorer. Ninety-seven-year-old Uncle Roy had taken more than 500 legal wild turkeys in his home state of Alabama during his lifetime by hunting in the fall with turkey dogs and then also in the spring. Uncle Roy didn't care much for trophy scoring of turkeys. He hunted turkeys to eat. He always rate his treading note call as his best. However, he rarely used this call. Most of the time he would get a tom to come to him by tree calling. Uncle Roy shot a tight patterning gun and always aimed for the gobbler's wattles. He said, "Most hunters call too much to a turkey. All you really need to do is be where the turkey wants to be and give him a few contented yelps."

Tight pattern: A shot pattern in which the pellets are close together at the point on the target where the hunter is aiming. A tight pattern is much more effective for turkey hunting then a loose pattern.

click to enlargeTraveling turkey: A gobbler that will answer a call but moves farther away from the call each time he hears it.

Treading note: A call known today as a cackle.

Tree call or tree yelp: A very soft series of yelps given by a hen before she flies down from her roost. The tree yelp may be best described as a quiet yawn.

Trophy scoring: Based on a system devised by the late outdoor writer Dave Harbour to establish records on the most outstanding turkeys taken throughout the United States. With divisions for each of the wild turkey species, the World Gobbler Records are now kept by the National Wild Turkey Federation in Edgefield, South Carolina. Trophy scoring for each species also has several subsections including the following:

1. Best Overall Typical (not more than one beard or two spurs) Gobbler with a score based on the tom's beard and spur lengths and weight. To figure the best overall score, use the sum of the weight score and the length of the beard multiplied by 2 and the length of the spur multiplied by 10.

2. Best Overall Non-Typical (more than two spurs or multiple beards) Gobblers

3. Gobblers with Longest Typical Beards

4. Gobblers with Best Non-Typical Beards

5. Gobblers with Longest Typical Spurs

6. Gobblers with Best Non-Typical Spurs

7. Heaviest Gobbler (Typical and Non-Typical)

click to enlargeTube caller: A caller made of plastic and resembling a miniature megaphone. The tube caller has a piece of latex rubber over its end that the hunter blows against to make the sounds of the turkey. The tube caller is the modern descendant of the snuff-box caller.

Turkey dog: Any dog used in hunting turkeys. Turkey dogs are illegal in most states today, and are almost extinct. In the old days, a turkey dog was used to trail and flush turkeys in the fall. The dog would return to the hunter and sit by his side until he called the turkey in. When the turkey was shot, the dog would run, grab him and hold on until the hunter came.

Turkey management: The manipulation of habitat, predators, turkeys and hunters to produce the optimum number of turkeys on a given piece of land.

Turkey sign: Anything left on the ground that indicates that a turkey is in the area. Sign includes droppings, feathers, scratches, dusting areas, and tracks.

Wattles: The fatty tissue around a turkey's neck.

Wing-bone caller: A caller made from a turkey's wing bone. The hunter sucks air through the bone to make the sound of a wild turkey. Also artificial wing-bone callers resemble pipes.

click to enlargeYelp: A call that varies in rhythm from turkey to turkey.

Contented yelp -- A call a hen gives when she's walking through the woods with nothing in particular on her mind. Excited yelp: A call a hen gives when she's either frightened, looking forward to meeting her gobbler, or excited for some other reason.

Prospecting yelp: A call that says, "I'm over here. Is there anyone out there to talk to?"

To learn more about turkey hunting, buy John E. Phillips's three books by going back to Night Hawk's Homepage and clicking on "Books." Or, call (800) 627-4295 to receive a free brochure.




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