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Jesse Martin's Toughest Turkey


My favorite Mossy Oak pattern and the pattern I wear the most is Mossy Oak’s original Bottomland. I believe that Toxey Haas and the designers of Mossy Oak’s camo patterns got their camouflage right with the first pattern - Bottomland. In 1986, Mossy Oak designed Bottomland, and today Bottomland is still one of the company’s best-selling patterns. I think there were a lot of people like me who bought that pattern, liked it and continued to buy it. I like all the other patterns that Mossy Oak makes, but even when Bottomland wasn’t the hottest pattern in the nation, I continued to search eBay to locate Bottomland Camo, even when I couldn’t find it in the stores. When you sit down next to a tree wearing Bottomland from head to toe, you are the tree. When I'm turkey hunting, I like to sit next to a tree. The new Obsession pattern that Mossy Oak has created for NWTF looks like Bottomland with green trees and pine needles in the foreground.  

Martin_day4I'm often asked in seminars and when people meet me, “What’s the toughest turkey you’ve ever hunted and taken?” I was hunting a turkey one time in Elliott County, Kentucky. I talked to that turkey for 5 hours before I could get him within gun range and take him. He would gobble and gobble, but he wouldn’t come in, because he was henned-up. So, I kept getting closer and closer to him. I had tried every tactic I knew to make that bird come into gun range. Finally, I got behind a ridge where I could set-up to call him without his seeing me. Also this spot had a clear field of view, so that if the turkey came in, I could shoot him. Because I knew the turkey had hens with him, I started off giving the spitting and drumming sounds of a strutting gobbler. I wanted the turkey to think that there was another gobbler trying to lure his hens away from him. Sure enough, that gobble came within gun range, and I took him. He weighed 29 pounds and had a 13-inch beard and 1-1/2 inch spurs. 

Although I think I'm a good turkey caller, I believe that woodsmanship allowed me to bag that bird because: 


  • I was able to stay close to him without his seeing me;
  • I gave hen calls that he would answer to try to make me come to him;
  • I always was close to him and his flock - but just out of sight;
  • I tried to paint a picture in that turkey’s mind by giving the spitting and drumming calls that his hen had found another boyfriend, when I finally realized that he wasn’t going to leave his hens to come to me; and
  • The tom I was trying to call decided he wasn’t letting another gobbler take the hen that had been talking to him for 5 hours, and that was his downfall. 

Day 3: What Calling Routine Jesse Martin Used to Win the Open Division of the Grand Nationals 

Tomorrow: Why Soft and Low Is Deadly Turkey Calling

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