Many of my waking moments are preoccupied with them, and at night my dreams seem to be filled with them - memories of spring. Turkey hunting, for many of us, is something that has ahold of our grey matter. We love the sights and sounds of spring. We fondly recall and relive the chirruping cardinal, the smell of damp earth, and we feel the vibration of a drumming gobbler a few paces behind us…all while we struggle to regulate our quickening breath. We may only be in the turkeys woods for a few days or weeks of the year, but our memories of those hallowed moments are gifts that keep on giving to us all year long.
Ron Jolly is a storyteller in every sense of the word. More than one generation of hunter has been instructed and entertained by the images captured in his many hours behind a video camera, and the words flowing from his pen. A son of Louisiana, Jolly’s passion for everything turkey began as a boy when his father taught him the do’s and don’ts of hunting wild turkeys. Since those early years he has traveled the country hunting, videoing and photographing them. He produced a stunning 20 turkey hunting videos from hunts in more than 20 states. He was the producer for the acclaimed The Truth Video Series (Vol 2-8) by Primos Hunting. It was during those years that Jolly first began sharing his turkey hunting passion, knowledge, and expertise through writing. His award winning articles have, and still do, appear in multiple major outdoor and hunting publications.
Jolly’s book, “Memories of Spring,” puts readers right alongside him on his hunts, to experience the thrills and frustrations that ultimately lead to success or failure. More than many formulaic how-to books, here, the learning is fun and effortless. The chapters of his book tease at those nuggets of fun and wisdom, and examples include; Living on Turkey Time, Grudge Gobblers, Just Add Water, Character Turkeys, and Poncho and Lefty. Jolly presents us with emotional moments in chapters like A Promise Kept, and The Last Shot, that are cause for reflection on the special bond that develops with those we share the woods with.
“The empty hull lay inches away on the leaf-covered ground. A feathery wisp of gray smoke bled out of its open end. I could hear her excited voice as Tes secured my bird, but I could only look at the spent shell and think of where it came from, how it got here, and what it represented.”
It is a story that I myself, a year after reading it, would make my own, after the death of my father, who was my most dear hunting companion and mentor. You will have to read the book to appreciate the full context; it may be the best chapter on the relationship between turkey hunters that has been written.
“Memories of Spring,” like much of Jolly’s other works, is greatly enhanced through the photo images taken by his wife, Tes Randle Jolly. The Jolly duo have been recognized and awarded for their achievements, including Ron’s 2020 induction into the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Hall of Fame. They continue to be stewards of the outdoors, giving the best parts of themselves to others, in the interest of wild turkeys and turkey hunters. “Memories of Spring” has quickly become a favorite amongst turkey hunters, and for good reason; it is a gateway to the treasured memories we have made, and the promise of those yet to come.
“Memories of Spring” is available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.