Editor’s Note: Bob Walker of Livingston, Alabama, is a Mossy Oak pro, an avid, longtime turkey hunter and a Turkey THUG. He has hunted and guided for turkeys most of his life. For the past 29 years, Walker has been a guide at Bent Creek Lodge in Jachin, Ala.
On this hunt, I had Jeff Reeder of Tupelo, Mississippi, with me. Mr. Jeff doesn’t have a whole lot of patience. He has taken a lot of turkeys with me, but he doesn’t like to sit still for long periods of time. We got on a gobbler late in the morning, and the turkey was across the small, deep creek from us. The creek bank was 10- or 12-feet above the water. Jeff started whispering to me, “Make him gobble.” I whispered back, “I can hear the turkey drumming. We have to shut up and quit calling to him, so he’ll stop strutting, fly across the creek and come looking for us. I really think that turkey wants to come to this side of the creek.” Finally, Jeff said, “Look, Bob. I can’t sit here any longer. Let’s get on the same side of the creek as the turkey.” I said, “OK, but let’s be quiet as we back out of here.”
As we were backing out and starting to walk to get around on the other side of the creek, I told Jeff, “As soon as we get on the other side of the creek, I guarantee that turkey will be right where we’ve just left.” We finally got around to the other side of the creek. I yelped to the turkey. Sure enough, he was on the other side of the creek, where we just had been. We decided to get down in the creek, since there was hardly any water in it, and the banks were so steep that the turkey wouldn’t see us. We got Jeff really close to that gobbler. He crawled up the creek bank and prepared to take the shot. Once he was in position, I continued down the creek to about 25-yards below the turkey and started calling, even though I couldn’t see the bird. I knew Jeff had to see the bird to take the shot. I started scratching in the leaves to sound like hens feeding. I could hear the turkey drumming, and I couldn’t understand why Jeff didn’t take the shot. Then I heard the turkey putting. I said to myself, “Jeff has spooked that turkey. He’s messed up this bird we’ve been hunting hard for a solid 2 hours.”
I heard a ruckus close to Jeff that I couldn’t figure out. I heard the turkey putting as he went past me. I couldn’t stand not being able to see what was happening, so I peeped over the creek bank. I couldn’t believe what I saw. This big gobbler was charging and flogging a coyote. In all my years of turkey hunting, I never had seen anything like this. After that gobbler had run the coyote out of the country, he came back and walked right out in front of Jeff, and Jeff took him. After I heard the shot, and the turkey was flopping, I crawled out of the creek and went to meet Jeff. When I asked, “What happened?” Jeff replied, “The gobbler was strutting and coming to me. This coyote came-up out of the creek and started running toward him. Once the gobbler saw the coyote, he dropped his strut and went straight for the coyote on a dead run. The coyote stopped when it saw the gobbler running toward it and then turned and ran away from the gobbler. By this time, the turkey was on the coyote and was flogging him. The coyote was running trying to get away from the turkey, and the turkey was putting and trying to catch up to the coyote.” I wouldn’t have believed this story if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. I never have before or since seen a turkey attack and charge a coyote. But on that morning, that was exactly what happened. Once the coyote was gone, the old gobbler turned his attention back to looking for the hen he had heard calling before he saw the coyote. I don’t know whether that gobbler was trying to protect what he thought was a hen, or whether he just didn’t like coyotes. This turkey hunt is one I’ll never forget.
To hunt with Bob Walker, contact Bent Creek Lodge at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-398-3040.