Who were your mentors?

Turkey hunting tips and tricks that have worked and can help others.
Meleagris
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Who were your mentors?

Post by Meleagris » July 21st, 2017, 11:28 am

Just curious how people get addicted to this sport. It's easy to see if someone has a family member to coach them along. But not everyone does. For me I always loved to hunt anything and I was invited to accompany a friend on a turkey hunting trip out of state, back when my state had very few turkeys. I had never heard a wild turkey gobble at that time. We went on a preseason scouting trip the day before the season and I got to hear my first wild gobbles. I was hooked. We camped in a Forest Service campground with other hunters and I was a "sponge" for information. On opening morning I had tons of advice and a homemade diaphragm call plus a Lynch Foolproof box call. Everyone hunted alone, then came back to camp for sharing stories from their hunts. I had painted up my Winchester Model 12 32" Heavy Duck Gun as I was instructed to do. Face mask and camo army fatigues. You know "turkeys can see through thin rocks". As luck would have it, I managed to kill one after a 2 hr hunt on my first morning. Hooked for sure! I credit all the hunters in camp for being my mentors. No one ever took me with them. But I got lots of advice. Sure, I had to sort through all the information to come up with what I could use. In some cases I would listen to it all and then divide by 3. When I came back home I was desperately searching for gobblers within driving distance. Many mornings it would be an hour drive to a place where I might hear one, but probably wouldn't. Now days I can hear one on most spring mornings from my back steps. But I often miss those times in camp when everyone has a story to tell from their morning hunt. Thanks guys!

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guesswho
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by guesswho » July 21st, 2017, 1:42 pm

My Dad and Mom. They took up turkey hunting in 65 and I've been right there with them the whole time. All self taught, what we learned the turkeys taught us. Early on they taught us more of what not to do. But we eventually started turning the tide. And we have had some unbelievable adventures turkey hunting the last 50+ years. I'm really fortunate and both my parents still hunt. My Mom had to sit out last year due to a heart valve replacement but she has recovered and both of them are already talking about next spring.
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appalachianassassin
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by appalachianassassin » July 21st, 2017, 6:57 pm

that would be myself. turkey hunting around here wasn't very popular when I was starting out.
gotta love turkey huntin!!!

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appalachianassassin
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by appalachianassassin » July 21st, 2017, 6:58 pm

guesswho wrote:
July 21st, 2017, 1:42 pm
My Dad and Mom. They took up turkey hunting in 65 and I've been right there with them the whole time. All self taught, what we learned the turkeys taught us. Early on they taught us more of what not to do. But we eventually started turning the tide. And we have had some unbelievable adventures turkey hunting the last 50+ years. I'm really fortunate and both my parents still hunt. My Mom had to sit out last year due to a heart valve replacement but she has recovered and both of them are already talking about next spring.
that's incredible
gotta love turkey huntin!!!

swampchicken
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by swampchicken » July 21st, 2017, 9:32 pm

guesswho wrote:
July 21st, 2017, 1:42 pm
My Dad and Mom. They took up turkey hunting in 65 and I've been right there with them the whole time. All self taught, what we learned the turkeys taught us. Early on they taught us more of what not to do. But we eventually started turning the tide. And we have had some unbelievable adventures turkey hunting the last 50+ years. I'm really fortunate and both my parents still hunt. My Mom had to sit out last year due to a heart valve replacement but she has recovered and both of them are already talking about next spring.
That's awesome Guesswho!

My father was my mentor for turkey hunting. He still goes alone sometimes but he likes it when I go with him so I can carry his bird out.

trap4fur
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by trap4fur » July 22nd, 2017, 9:00 am

Also my dad we both learned together we had not a clue of what we were doing but in the 3rd day of the spring season I called in 5 jakes and we pulled a double off and we were hooked that was 30 years ago and we are still chasing them together and having fun at it.

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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by timbrhuntr » July 22nd, 2017, 11:22 am

I didn't have a turkey hunting mentor . I come from an area with no previous turkey hunting traditions but I hunted moose, deer, bear, small game and am always game to try something new. A buddy went to the Michigan State Training academy on an arson course. When he came back he had a bunch of pics of wild turkeys and told me they hunted them there. I was booked to go the next spring and when I found out I could hunt them I decided to try it with my bow and no blind, decoys or any personal knowledge of how to hunt them. How hard could it be. I met a landowner that I later became good friends with he took pity on me after falling over laughing when I told him I was hunting with a bow and allowed me access to his farm. I got close several times but always was getting caught drawing. I was hooked the first time one answer my cheap box call ! I went back the nexy spring and killed one with my shotgun ! I was hooked and have been hunting them every spring since from Texas to Montana and as many places as I can in between ! Now that our spring bear hunt has returned I keep getting asked to go but have to decline as I am too busy chasing wild turkeys.

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GLS
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by GLS » July 22nd, 2017, 11:26 am

There weren't many die hard turkey hunters on my side of the Savannah River when the first spring season came into SE Georgia in 1977. My mentor was Mr. Hard Knocks. My running and gunning was (and it today frequently still exists) was more "stumbling and bumbling". Today I am trying to learn through videos. I haven't mastered getting the turkeys to come to me in slow motion as in the videos and I play the same music I hear on the videos on my boom box in the woods. It must be a regional thing and off putting to the turkeys in my area as they seem to shut up with the same music I hear on the videos and disappear. It must be the music choices. I do enjoy sitting in the blinds in my LazyBoy and I have a Honda generator running a Westinghouse window unit which keeps things comfortable when it gets warm outside. I may try a yurt next year as they seem to be roomier that the blinds I use and I may be able to get rid of the boom box and have a live band inside the yurt while I hunt. Gil

decoykrvr
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by decoykrvr » July 23rd, 2017, 12:01 pm

When I first started turkey hunting, before the massive restoration efforts, turkeys and turkey hunters were a scarce commodity in my area. I read as much as I could, and attended as many turkey seminars as possible. All of the early turkey hunting manufacturers were doing their best to promote the sport and their products, and I attended many seminars with 10-20 others conducted by luminaries like Ben Rogers Lee, Jim Clay, Dick Kirby, , Dave Harbour and Earl Groves. Heck, I once attended a seminar conducted by the late Lovett E Williams, Jr., and was one of four attendees. It was an unbelievable opportunity to learn from a fellow biologist and true gentleman and the beginning of a life-long friendship. I was a Fisheries Biologist at time and had the good fortune to work the LBL area lakes and have access to a barber shop in Cadiz, Ky, operated by Harold Knight who, at that time, was making calls exclusively for himself and friends. From the beginning, I usually hunted turkeys by myself and had to drive an average 80 miles to get into areas which had birds, which meant getting up at 2:30 a.m.. As a result I, started camping at the WMA's, sleeping in my truck. This camping introduced me to a whole new group of turkey hunters with a lot of "old timers" in the group. These older gentlemen would patiently listen to a recounting of my hunting day and offer their observations and suggestions, a combination of turkey hunting wisdom and campfire wit, and I learned a tremendous amount from these "campfire seminars". There are now turkeys within 1/2 mile of my house, and during 34 days hunting, I heard birds gobbling every day I hunted, but two, and one of those was an afternoon hunt.

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GobbleNut
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by GobbleNut » July 23rd, 2017, 3:20 pm

New Mexico opened its first spring gobbler season in (or around) 1965, as I recall. I was in junior high school. My dad decided to take me turkey hunting, mainly because there were turkeys within a half-hours drive and there wasn't much else going on at the time. We knew nothing about turkey calling or spring hunting techniques, and the results were predictable. The trip was a total failure,...except it got me interested in turkey hunting to a degree that I started looking at articles in the "big 3" publications at the time,...Outdoor Life, Sports Afield, and Field and Stream. My dad quickly lost interest in spring gobbler hunting due to our initial failures, but for some reason I was intrigued with the idea of calling to a bird and having it come investigate, as per the "rumors" we had heard.

A few outdoor writers were writing articles on spring gobbler hunting at the time, which I started reading when they would appear, mostly immediately prior to the spring seasons. The one author that seemed to be the "authority" of that period was Col. Dave Harbour, who wrote for Sports Afield. I would read his articles religiously when they would begin to appear in the magazines, and then I would apply the knowledge gained each spring in our short spring hunts. It took several years before the assimilated information gleaned from Harbour's (and others) articles began to come together in the spring turkey woods, but eventually the pieces of the puzzle began to produce results, not in the form of gobblers killed, but in small steps such as understanding basic turkey calling, and when and where to be in the woods to have the best opportunities.

It wasn't until the mid-1970's that I had put all the pieces together to the point where I started being regularly successful in my hunts. However, I would not trade those ten years of reading from the masters of the time and then applying that knowledge in the woods, on my own and with a few close friends, for anything. With every turkey I kill now there is a satisfaction that could only be felt due to the frustration and failures we went through during that learning period "way back when". Hence, I would have to say that Dave Harbour was the biggest influence, "mentor" if you will, in my life-long passion for spring gobbler hunting.

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Jaybird
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by Jaybird » July 30th, 2017, 6:08 pm

Toad Lainson, a wing bone call maker, and long time NWTF member. He passed a couple of years ago, and I still miss him.
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Dick, Toad, and myself at Turkey camp years ago.
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hoobilly
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by hoobilly » August 21st, 2017, 7:15 am

My dad

he mentored me on many things

the stuff I adhered to in his mentoring was deer hunting as I wasn't getting the woodshed whoop'n type of mentoring

He taught me how to stealth walk and be able to pick out a eyeball, or ear flicker among other things in the deer woods.


I basically learnt what pitiful little I know in turkey hunting on my own. did a lot of reading magazines garnering useful and useless info.

I have helped reciprocate the mentoring with turkey hunting to my dad and a few others.

MAK
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by MAK » August 21st, 2017, 1:14 pm

Listening to tidbits of info. from Uncles for Spring Hunting - Dad was busy in the garden in the spring; we gave 'em heck in the fall - regret that we never doubled, but I was with him when he shot his last one. Miss ya Dad. Everything of value I learned in hunting came from him.

Our early PA birds were game farm raised - would come to a shaking a can with a rock in it - sounded like the dinner bucket to them.
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quavers16
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by quavers16 » November 21st, 2017, 5:30 pm

I had no mentor. The LONG learning curve has been tough. Still learning out there.

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devastator
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by devastator » November 21st, 2017, 7:58 pm

Myself,I had an 80 year old neighbor get me excited about it when i was 15,but
everything ive learned is been by me,trial and error.
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devastator
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by devastator » November 21st, 2017, 8:05 pm

MAK wrote:
August 21st, 2017, 1:14 pm
Listening to tidbits of info. from Uncles for Spring Hunting - Dad was busy in the garden in the spring; we gave 'em heck in the fall - regret that we never doubled, but I was with him when he shot his last one. Miss ya Dad. Everything of value I learned in hunting came from him.

Our early PA birds were game farm raised - would come to a shaking a can with a rock in it - sounded like the dinner bucket to them.
WOW,never heard of any farm raised birds in bradford county :shock:
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MAK
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by MAK » November 22nd, 2017, 11:59 am

PA game commission did a raise and release in the late 60's to early 70's - similar to their pheasant operation.
MAK

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Cut N Run
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by Cut N Run » January 20th, 2018, 9:49 pm

My best friend started going on guided turkey hunts with his father, who is a doctor & big game trophy hunter. I wasn't raised with that kind of privilege, but I acquired the addiction the first time I encountered a strutting gobbler in the woods. In 1982 I made the mistake of inviting a rabbit hunting neighbor to come turkey hunting with me to go after a longbeard I'd roosted the evening before. Next morning, the gobbler sounded off from the limb and I remembered something I'd read by Ben Lee that said don't call to him on the roost. Well, my rabbit hunting neighbor hadn't read that, and he was about to come unglued trying to convince me to call that gobbler. Once the gobbler hit the ground, I made some hideous sounding squawks on the old second hand Lynch box I'd bought and that gobbler said he wanted more. Pretty soon I saw him easing my way and his colors exploded when hit a beam of sunlight on the forest floor. I was awestruck. Because of where he was set up, my rabbit hunting neighbor hadn't seen any of that and was motioning me to call, when the bird gobbled about 75 yards away. My neighbor's head swiveled like a lighthouse and that gobbler PUTTED twice as he ran away faster than I thought anything could move through the woods."Call him back" my neighbor begged. I was hooked and I knew I had a lot of learning to do. The first thing I learned was not to bring my neighbor along.

My best friend was out of town hunting with his dad until that season closed, but he helped shorten my learning curve in the next few seasons and we have hunted together most years since. He has his world slam a few times over, while I've never hunted outside of N.C.. We always have a blast and turkeys usually die when we hunt together.

Jim
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paboxcall
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by paboxcall » January 21st, 2018, 1:58 pm

devastator wrote:
November 21st, 2017, 8:05 pm
MAK wrote:
August 21st, 2017, 1:14 pm
Listening to tidbits of info. from Uncles for Spring Hunting - Dad was busy in the garden in the spring; we gave 'em heck in the fall - regret that we never doubled, but I was with him when he shot his last one. Miss ya Dad. Everything of value I learned in hunting came from him.

Our early PA birds were game farm raised - would come to a shaking a can with a rock in it - sounded like the dinner bucket to them.
WOW,never heard of any farm raised birds in bradford county :shock:
That's because of its remoteness, one of the locations the PA Game Commission / NWTF trapped wild birds from were the mountains in the northern tier of PA and transferred them to other states during the mid-twentieth century. Turkeys are as wild as wild can be in north central PA.

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jdjnicholson
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by jdjnicholson » February 22nd, 2018, 8:02 pm

Me....and I did a great job.

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Yule
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by Yule » February 23rd, 2018, 8:17 am

There was this guy named Carl Smith, who lived on Taylorsville Lake, in NC. My uncle had a cabin, next door. When I would go over there, in the mid to late 70's, I would hang out with Carl and listen to his stories. He was the first person that I can remember, with a mouth call. I was not old enough to drive, so I talked Carl into taking me on my first turkey hunt. We loaded up in his yellow Jeep and headed to Alleghany county. We heard a bird, but that was as close as we got. I do remember killing a groundhog with his 3" - Browning A5. When I look back, I have to say he was one of the guys who really got me excited about hunting turkeys.

beardwhacker
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by beardwhacker » April 26th, 2018, 8:49 am

I did not have a family member who hunted Turkeys, but a bowhunting buddy of mine introduced me to it in the fall, so long ago. We began learning the hard way. Then I attended a Ray Eye seminar,and my eyes was opened and then on hooked.

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ncturkey
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by ncturkey » June 5th, 2018, 4:01 pm

I did not have a mentor to teach me. I read and watched hunting videos. It was a hard way to learn to turkey hunt. It took me 5 seasons to finally call up my first turkey. I learned fast it does not go as the turkey hunting videos showed. I had to learn about the turkeys and I had to learn to call on my own until I got a cassette tape of Wil Primos and the guts to learn how to make the turkey sound correctly.
Mike

jryser
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by jryser » June 5th, 2018, 7:22 pm

Ray Eye books.


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mspaci
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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by mspaci » June 11th, 2018, 7:53 am

My father in law, took me in 1987 in the catskills, near hunter mt. Have been hooked ever since. He is now passed but I have the home made box call that he used to call my first bird that first day. Mike

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