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.
I can remember a gobbler that nearly drove me crazy. Everything that possibly could go wrong happened while I was trying to take this bird. He would come to me, and hens would intercept him. Then he would leave with the hens. I had him coming to me one morning when another tom gobbled. The two birds met in the road where I was set-up, just little bit too far away to shoot. They fought, and when the fight was over, those two longbeards walked off with each other-almost holding hands. This wasn’t the first time I’d seen that happen while turkey hunting. On the fifth day, of hunting that turkey, I got up early and looked out my window. A heavy fog had rolled in, which was a good excuse for not getting out of bed. But my inner voice said, “You’ve hunted this bird for 4 days. You need to give him at least another day of hunting.” So, I rolled out of bed, put on my Mossy Oak Bottomland camo and headed for the woods. This ole gobbler was roosting in an area that was about 150 yards in circumference. I knew if I could get into that region, he at least could hear me call, and I could hear him gobble.
When I arrived in the woods, the day was foggy and still dark. I slipped into the area and made the decision not to call to the turkey until he gobbled. On the 4 previous days, I had called to the bird using several-different diaphragm mouth calls. I decided this morning, after the turkey gobbled, I would use my box call and give him a fly-down cackle. So, that’s what I did. The turkey gobbled again, and I heard him fly down. With that heavy fog, I started thinking to myself, “Oh, my goodness, the fog is so heavy that if this turkey comes to me, I’ll never see him.” I put my box call down and got my gun up. In less than a minute, I could see a white turkey head coming to me. That head looked like a bright neon light, charting the turkey’s progress to my stand. When the turkey was at less than 30 yards, I squeezed the trigger on my shotgun, and the bird folded up.
I learned several good lessons from that hunt. Even when you’ve been hunting a gobbler for 4 consecutive days and are ready to give-up on the bird, if you’ll go and hunt that tom one more morning, you still have the chance to succeed. I also relearned the fact that you need to have several-different types of calls with you at all times when turkey hunting. Although I had used a wide variety of mouth diaphragm turkey calls, this was the first morning I’d used the box call. This is one of the reasons there are so-many types of turkey calls in the Turkey THUG line. A turkey hunter may need diaphragm calls, box calls, friction calls like slate or glass calls and even push-button calls. On any given day, one of those calls will have more magic in it than the others. Finally, even though I had to hunt in that nasty fog, I remembered that you couldn’t take a turkey, if you didn’t get out of bed and go hunting, regardless of the weather conditions.
To hunt with Bob Walker, contact Bent Creek Lodge at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-398-3040.