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Will Primos’s Turkey Education

Will Primosprovided by John Phillips

Will Primos of Flora, Mississippi, has been a Mossy Oak ProStaffer since the beginning of Mossy Oak nearly 35 years ago and is the creator of Primos Hunting. Will was in one of Toxey Haas’s first ads for Mossy Oak camouflage and probably has been wearing Mossy Oak camouflage longer than most anyone, except Toxey, the founder of Mossy Oak. Will Primos shares about what turkeys have taught him and the hunts from which he’s learned the most. Will has hunted all the species of turkeys in the U.S and Mexico and in just about all the states.

Back when we started “The Truth” Series of videos, Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland was my cameraman. Since that time, Cuz has become an executive vice president of Mossy Oak. On this turkey hunt, Cuz and I were hunting on a property called Rattlesnake in Hermanville, Mississippi. Rattlesnake was owned by a friend of mine, the late Herman Davis. I shot at the turkey, I missed him and couldn’t get another shot off, and then I ran after the tom. Finally I turned around and walked back to where Cuz was set up, and he started laughing like a cartoon dog that was on TV in those days, “Eek – eek – eek – eek – eek.” 

When I asked, “Hey, Cuz, did you get all the footage?” he told me, “Will, I got the miss and part of you running back. But then I turned off the camera, since I didn’t think you’d want me to shoot you missing the turkey.” 

“Are you kidding me?” I said to Cuz in disbelief. “We’ve got to show the misses on the videos too, because that’s what real, truthful turkey hunting is. Everyone who hunts turkeys knows that if you hunt turkeys long enough, you will miss some. I don’t know anyone who hunts turkeys who hasn’t missed before – including me.”

turkey gobbling

So, Cuz and I reenacted my walking back up to Cuz and his laughing like that cartoon dog. I thought showing the miss and how much fun it was to be in the woods turkey hunting with a friend and laughing at our mistakes and misses would be. That tom taught Cuz and me what the goal of making a turkey-hunting video should be. 

What Will Primos Learned from the Missed Turkey:

  • Turkey hunting is more than hearing a bird gobble, calling him up, shooting him and going home.
  • Turkey hunters will miss turkeys, so instead of becoming upset, screaming and hollering and getting down on themselves, they should enjoy the misses, and the good friends who’ve hunted with us could enjoy those too.
  • No matter how a turkey hunt unfolded, we could honor the Good Lord all the way through the hunt, since He gave us the ability to see and show the beauty of the outdoors and one of His greatest creations, the wild turkey. When you miss a turkey, you shouldn’t feel like you’re near the end of the world. Instead, laugh, joke and make good-hearted fun with each other. Take what could have been a bad situation, and turn it into a laughable memory that you won’t forget. 
  • That turkey convinced Cuz and me that we needed to show the misses as well as the successes while turkey hunting in our videos. After that video came out, we saw and learned that other video producers began to show their misses and tell the truth about turkey hunting.

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