Editor’s Note: Eddie Salter of Evergreen, Alabama, has hunted turkeys for almost 50 years, hosts “The Turkey Man” on the Pursuit Channel, and is a Pro Staffer for the Down-n-Dirty Outdoors call company. Eddie has won two World Turkey Calling Championships and too-many state, regional and local turkey-calling championships to remember. If you’ve ever been to one of the thousands of turkey-hunting and turkey-calling seminars where Salter has performed, you know he can call turkeys just as well with his natural voice as with any type of turkey-calling device. This week, we’ve asked Salter to tell Mossy Oak readers about some of the toughest turkeys he ever has tried to take.
Jimmy Wayne Joyner, a friend of mine, told me about three gobblers he’d named the Three Amigos. The first time he spotted these three gobblers out in the field, he called to them, and they took-off running. He went back the next afternoon and found these same three gobblers out in the field. He decided to set-up along the trail where the turkeys had run out of the field. He called to them again, and those birds ran-out the other side of the field. After hunting these turkeys for 9 days and not being able to take even one of them, he decided to stalk the turkeys.
“I planned to crawl along the edge of this field like a cat, moving slowly,” Jimmy Wayne told me, while I was cutting his hair. “I wanted to get within shotgun range of one of those birds.” Jimmy Wayne was a good woodsman. He planned his stalk and got within 60 yards of the birds. A gobbler started coming his way. Then Jimmy Wayne spotted a young hen on the ridge behind him. She started yelping just as pretty as a hen can yelp. Jimmy Wayne thought to himself, “I’ll bust one of those gobblers. I know they’ll come to this hen.” When Jimmy Wayne knew the gobblers couldn’t see him, he turned his head around to look at the gobblers. Those gobblers threw their heads up, packed their suitcases and ran out of the field away from the hen. Jimmy Wayne said, “When those turkeys ran out of the fields, I decided, if they won’t come to a real hen they can see, I don’t have a prayer of taking them.” Once he finished telling me the story, he looked up from the barber chair and said, “Eddie, you can have those three gobblers.”
But I never tried to hunt those birds. As I’ve said many times, you have to realize there are some gobblers you won’t ever take. As far as I know, no hunter ever has brought one of the Three Amigos home.