Lessons Learned from Old Timers and Old Toms
The Ozark hills of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas have long been home to many die-hard turkey hunters as well as die-hard gobblers. And when I say die-hard, I mean it in literal terms, both for man and bird. When you've slid off one of these rugged but beautiful mountains in pursuit of a gobbler only to find you must climb right back up, death begins to take on a different light. I've done it enough to know better, but I seldom take my own advice. The scars I carry are a testament to this bird's ability to avoid its own death and nearly bring about mine. In these deep recesses, a handful of turkeys survived to restock many eastern states. Those hardy populations gave reason to why the region has such a rich history of turkey hunting and has long been home to the turkey hunter.
Published in 1999 by Larry Dablemont, The Greatest Wild Gobblers…Lessons Learned from Old Timers and Old Toms is a book full of stories about the type of bird the Ozarks are famous for. It also contains the stories of some true "Old Time" turkey hunters. Dablemont has a knack for telling a story, and this book is no exception. With chapter titles such as "Shootin Buzzards Off a Dead Cow" and "A Letter to the Judge," one can quickly see some great tales are hidden between the covers of this book.
The Story of Harrison, Arkansas, turkey hunting Legend Clyde Trout is reason enough to purchase this book. Trout was an old-timer who took Dablemont under his wing and taught him the art and meaning of real turkey hunting. He was a "Turkey Man" before the concept had gained the fanfare of today. He hunted the Ozark mountain gobblers before many of our modern day conveniences. Trout tells of packing in several miles and "There we would defy the elements and set up camp with the heavens as a roof and Mother earth as a mattress." Comfort and convenience were not considered when this turkey hunter began thinking of chasing that amazing spring song.
I'll leave you with one final quote I hope will send you after a copy of this book. It's a thought-provoking example of why reading a good turkey hunting book is the best medicine for that off-season grumpiness.
"A wild gobbler puts all men on the same level. I know of no other area of my life where I could be considered equal to anyone. You might be permitted to hunt where I would be barred, a lot of people are. You might have a better gun, nearly everyone does. You might be a better hunter, most of them are that also. But you set me down in the turkey woods with a king, and I'm his equal. Outside of the above mentioned advantages, there's no strings he can pull or no power under the shining heavens that will influence that gobbler. He's not swayed by power, money, or influence and respects no one. I sort of like that thought."
The Greatest Wild Gobblers….Lessons Learned from Old Timers and Old Toms can be purchased at www.larrydablemont.com.