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Outdoor Life’s Turkey Season: Bottomland Book Club

Jason Worley

Outdoor Life's Turkey Season book


As a bonafide book nerd - I say that with the utmost pride, by the way - there is something special about a book that you can pick up and turn to any chapter and begin reading it. In so doing, you miss no significant details, you are not lost as to the plot, and no matter the starting point, you will still end the read wishing for more. Even with the lapse of weeks between reading sessions, this type of book makes perfect medicine for someone who is up at ungodly hours each day chasing a dream. A perfect treatment for someone obsessed with the next match of wits and the perfect companion to a nice glass of elixir after a solid tail whooping. In short, this is the perfect book for the turkey hunter who never stops from the early days of March to the late days of May.

Outdoor Life's Turkey Season was published in 2000 and is the compilation of stories by some of the greatest writers ever to pen stories on the pursuit of this grand bird. With authors such as Charles Elliot, Doug Harbour, Ray Eye, and John E. Phillips, there is no denying that experience lives within the pages of this book. Along with the above authors, you will read titles such as "Calls that Collect" by Lovett Williams and "Why We Miss Turkeys" by Jim Zumbo. The range of topics and the storytelling abilities run deep in this 224-page book. This book is not just written by men obsessed with this pursuit either. The women who this bug has bitten are represented in the fantastic writing of Shirley Grenoble and Kathy Etling. Grenoble's tips on scouting and Etling's piece on the number one reason we DON'T kill gobblers - the lack of patience - shows that these ladies fully understand how to hunt this bird.

The final chapter in the book titled "The Old Man and the Tom" by Charles Elliot brings this book to a level of "Keeper." I won't go into a tremendous amount of detail because one must read the story to soak in all it offers, but the first paragraph sets the stage for an entertaining and thoughtful read. No matter our age or physical shape, the need to chase this bird never ends, and we are better off for it. 

"If he lives alone or lives long enough, an outdoorsman is likely to arrive at a certain stage of life when he begins to talk to himself. Whether he's lonely, or beyond his allotted span, or has slipped a cog in the upper story, thinking out loud seems to help solve whatever problem he has at hand." The number of times I've found myself pondering the outcome of a hunt out loud to no one is hard to believe, but it's good to know a legend like Elliot shared in that same habit. You are going to love the rest of the story.

If you need a low-cost book that is perfect to stuff in a pocket or slide into your vest, you won't go wrong with the purchase of Turkey Season. You can find it at Turkey Season: Successful Tactics From the Field (Outdoor Life): Outdoor Life Magazine, Life, The Editors of Outdoor, CPi: 9780865731127: Books

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