Evolution of Turkey Hunters

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Evolution of Turkey Hunters

Post by Grant » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:59 pm

What do automobiles, country music, and turkey hunters from 1980 have in common with today’s versions of the same? In my opinion, all three have experienced the same dramatic changes and evolved along similar paths over the past 34 year period. Today’s cars are sleeker, trucks ride better than cars, all have high tech features and sensors, and some even have televisions in them. Country music has evolved beyond Conway Twitty and Porter Wagner and now has rock and roll drummers and guitar players, and an entirely different sound with lots of young people involved. Today’s turkey hunters have evolved in much the same fashion in very similar aspects when it comes to transitional changes, styles, product option alternatives, and the younger generation.

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Re: Evolution of Turkey Hunters

Post by sman » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:34 am

I'm a MGH. Brought up on it in the early 90's. It was my dad's last hold on his solo hunting. He'd take me, but drop me off in a spot. I learned on my own. A cassette tape of Dick Kirby and trial and error developed what little skill I have. I don't use blinds and seldom use decoys. I do enjoy today's chokes and shells combination. I tried to find them in the early days by buying expensive overly tight chokes. However, I still try to limit myself to less than 40. I still consider myself somewhat a purist by today's standards. I'm effective with most calls but still to humble to run them in front of others. My total numbers are probably no where near that of others who started hunting when I did as I have just begun to broaden my turkey hunting range.

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Re: Evolution of Turkey Hunters

Post by STEROIDCHICKEN » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:04 pm

Good read Bobby. You are absolutely right, hunt the way that makes you happy. I hunt for myself and do things that I feel necessary to kill or call in a bird. We are all turkey hunters and stand together as one.
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Re: Evolution of Turkey Hunters

Post by MS TurkeyHunter » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:20 pm

Interesting article im glad you decided to post it. I would consider my self a hybrid type of hunter but lean a little more towered old school ethics in some instances. I use todays shells and chokes on the market but prefer to use them within there means. I prefer to call my turkeys in close but keep my shots at or under 40 yards. I do not use decoys at all now but did my first 3 years thinking i needed them. As for how i learned, i was fortunate enough to have two old school mentors that had hunted turkeys for over 40+ years and sill do to this day. There wisdom and advise really helped me become a better hunter.
"Turkey hunting is not a game that needs a score or a scorekepper and does not require the production of a dead turkey to qualify as a success." Tom Kelly.

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Re: Evolution of Turkey Hunters

Post by HookedSpur83 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:00 am

This is a great read. I also consider myself a hybrid . I started around 93-94 introduced to this addiction by my uncle who was a old school hunter. He never carried but one call and no vest 2.75" browning a5 32" full choke. I had a pleasure to spend about 8 years with him but I wish I would have payed better attention to him than I did. Now years later I hunt with a camo 20" 835 with a ff3 sitting on top, tight chokes and all. Around 2001 I started taking along all these calls in a big vest no decoys though. Well about 4 years ago I started back the way I was brought into this. I stopped using vest, now I carry a pouch with 4 different mouth calls, and a pot, witch both fit into my pants pocket. I have become more successful without all the junk, I am still going to use my new gun and fastfire 3 but with lead. I stopped using HTL at the end of 2011 season.

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Re: Evolution of Turkey Hunters

Post by datrip » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:22 pm

Thanks for the great article Bobby. I guess I would put myself in the hybrid category as well. This year will be my 8th season of chasing turkeys. My mentor has been my step-brother. And I have sure learned a lot from him. But he is not so much "old school" as you described. In fact, he is just 13 months older than I am and I will be 53 this year, but he has hunted turkeys much longer than myself. From hanging out here and reading the different articles, reading books, watching videos I would probably say I have learned more from those sources. Last year was the first time I ever hunted solo and I actually missed a bird on my first solo hunt :roll:
I know this year there will be even more solo hunting as my brother has changed jobs and I will evolve yet again, to a more determined turkey hunter working to learn more and more, but on my own. I am ready. Thanks again Bobby.

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Re: Evolution of Turkey Hunters

Post by Bobbyparks » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:17 pm

Thanks for reading guys...

Not many of us hunt the exactly the same...but the passion likely burns for all of us in a similar way...
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Re: Evolution of Turkey Hunters

Post by Cut N Run » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:42 pm

Good read, Bobby. That makes me think back to where I came from on my turkey hunting journey.

I'm definitely a mixed generation hunter. I can get the job done with just a slate call and a single shot, or I can go with a semi-auto with a red dot sight, Hevi shot, and a decoy, if need be. I'm still not much of a pop-up blind guy.

I learned old school mostly by sitting, watching, and trying to make sense of what I saw or heard. I went that way mostly because I didn't know anything else to do. Trouble was that I also learned from a bunch of mistakes I made along the way, but that's a great way to learn what not to do. I remember trying to read everything about turkeys that I could get my hands on. The first time I heard Ben Lee hunting on a cassette tape, I could just about see it in my mind. There weren't any videos, internet, pop-up blinds, decoys, or HTL shot when I started hunting turkeys. I learned it was better to be quiet and make the gobbler hunt me than make his ears ring with too many calls.

There were a few old timers who hung out at the country store where I lived who would sometimes give tips to what worked on gobblers for them...but they made it a point to never talk about where they hunted. Any time a customer came in the store and mentioned seeing or hearing a gobbler somewhere, at least one of the old timers would find a way to slip away from the group right quick to go get a better idea of where that bird was using.

The changes that came to turkey hunting has helped increase the number of hunters addicted to hunting wild turkeys. Everybody who turkey hunts now owes a lot of thanks to the NWTF. No matter how they're being run today, The main objective NWTF has been to conserve and increase wild turkey populations across the country and I think they've done a pretty good job. It used to be a big deal if you saw more than 3-4 turkeys in a day. Now, if you don't see that many or more, something's wrong. I hate to think what turkey populations might be like without the NWTF volunteers and supporters who helped rescue America's king game bird and bring it up to today's numbers. We definitely wouldn't have so many turkeys around and we probably wouldn't have websites like this to share the brotherhood of pursuit of the wild turkey. I'm grateful.

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