In our lives we meet a few very special people who seize our attention and multiply our appreciation for something. For Larry Proffitt, the esteemed Dwain Bland and Wayne Bailey of turkey hunting history and fame served that purpose for him. I must say that Larry Proffitt did the same for me! The first time I met him, Proffitt struck me as a humble man, quiet in his manner, and a turkey hunting sage of our own time. In his 2018 book, “Letters To My Grandsons,” Proffitt reinforced my opinion, providing us a lifetime of learning and insights from the spring and fall turkey woods, gleaned from legends like Kenny Morgan, Bland, Bailey, and from the sly wild turkey itself.
Larry Proffitt is a productive man, having tenaciously and meticulously applied himself to every facet of life. In his professional life, he is a pharmacist and pharmacy owner, and also a second generation barbeque restaurateur to boot! As a volunteer, he has served the National Wild Turkey Federation in many capacities, and he is a well-respected contest calling judge. His qualifications for a calling judge are firmly rooted in decades of conversing with and observing the wild turkey, along the way amassing a number of Grand and Royal Slams - just how many Proffitt is too respectful to divulge.
Turkey Hunting History and Literature
Proffitt’s thoroughness is exemplified as well, in how he has conducted countless field studies with all manner of turkey calls and calling, inspired from reading turkey hunting’s original book. When he obtained a copy of that 1914 book, “The Wild Turkey and Its Hunting,” originally written by Charles Jordan, and put into print by Edward A. McIlhenny (following Jordan’s death by a dastardly poacher), he read with interest about trumpet calls. Jordan claimed that a trumpet carried farther and more realistically than other calls, so Proffitt got out his tape recorder and went to work. He was surprised to verify those results!
He also worked to understand the wild turkey’s language, and throughout the book, he shares how what he learned was tested and applied on many hunts. I was raised to believe that applied knowledge, leading to understanding, was a demonstration of wisdom. We are at the feet of a master when we open Proffitt’s book, and he is hungry yet to further his education. “I can’t explain why turkey hunting has become so addicting to me. I just know that if you want to find me from the dates March 15 to May 1, the first place you should look is in the turkey woods - just try to be quiet - you might spook a turkey,” Proffitt quips in the book.
A principled man of family and faith, one can see how he cherishes his grandchildren by how he honors them with the title of his book. “Letters To My Grandsons” is exactly that - love letters in the form of turkey hunting advice and knowledge passed down for their benefit. We are graciously adopted into the family with the publication of this book. Proffitt tells all in the book; his call testing results, the subtleties of turkey language (the ‘bonk’ was intriguing), and he details interactions and lessons from virtually every angle and situation in turkey hunting. He includes chapters contributed by several accomplished callmakers and hunters, and we get to learn from them as well. This book is one I’ll bet you will find yourself going back to, and is a book deserving of many dog-eared pages or bookmarks.
“Letters To My Grandsons” is available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.