Who were your mentors?

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

Post by BumbleFoot » June 17th, 2018, 6:03 pm

D. Henry Shipes — Vernon, Florida...well, posthumously anyway. ;)

Get out of the way Ben Lee, Tom Kelley, Ray Eye, Cove... Ole Henry might be the deadliest turkey hunter you’ve never heard of. Natural voice caller at that.

Check out Netflix or YouTube’s archive of the movie “Vernon, Florida” (1981). Better yet, on YouTube, the video “Return to Vernon Florida. In the latter, he claims to have killed 47 turkeys in one year :roll:

Beware: if you’re passionate about turkey hunting—to the point of obsession—it’s not a flattering look.

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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by Jamey » June 17th, 2018, 7:22 pm

My mentor for both turkey hunting and call making was Charles Hudson of Travelers Rest SC. I worked with him as his only employee in his backyard shop for about 2 years around 79-80 and listened to him call almost every day while we worked on import cars (mostly VW bugs). We discussed turkeys and turkey hunting a lot and he was happy to share his knowledge with me. We each killed several turkeys those years.
He was building calls then along with fixing cars and later turned entirely to call making in that shop.
He was the SC NWTF callmaker of the year at one point a few years later and when I decided to start turning trumpets, he answered questions and helped me get started by shortening the learning curve quite a bit. I am still trying to build calls that sound as good as the trumpets of his that I have and I use his to test mine against.
He passed away last October and I just found out from his wife that there was an article about him in the Sept-Oct 2017 issue of Turkey Country...he never got to see the article.
BTW, I would love a copy of that issue if anyone has one available and is willing to let it go. Can't seem to find a way to order that issue on the NWTF site or even read it online.

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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by jryser » June 17th, 2018, 8:46 pm

Lt. Arnold Noyd, WWII army veteran.

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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by Big Pine » June 18th, 2018, 2:47 pm

My youngest son. I got a rather late start turkey hunting. I hunted everything else but not yet turkeys.I took the boys on a doe cull hunt.Lots of birds on the property and my youngest (mabee 11 or 12 at the time) was thrilled watching the turkeys.Couldnt care less about the deer.He kept laughing,watching them.Said the way they walked,bobbing their heads back and forth was funny.Couldnt get enough of them.I told him in the spring,we,d give it a go.Had a bit of a learning curve for a few years,we learned how to call and decoy together and finally started killing birds.In fact,his very first was a very aggressive 25 pounder! We both got the disease bad now. Nothing either of us would rather hunt more. Sometimes the kid teaches you!

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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by HennedUp » January 1st, 2019, 3:22 pm

I didn't have a mentor either. I grew up in a hunting family, but nobody hunted turkeys. At one point, Dad bought a book that had a picture on the back cover of a Tom walking on a downed Beach tree and that picture made me want to hunt turkeys in the worst way.

I bought a box call, learned how to yelp and cluck and that spring I had Mom drop me off along a road where Dad had hunted for years and I knew my way around fairly well. I heard my first gobble that day, but being as smart as I thought I was at 16, I figured I'd just sneak down through the woods and shoot him instead of calling. That turned out about as well as you'd imagine, but I'd heard a gobble and I was hooked.

Like some of you, I learned from there by trial and error. The first couple years were tough, but I was learning and I was bound and determined that I was going to kill a turkey. By the third year I had figured out some of what I now know to be basic stuff and I had called in a couple birds, but screwed things up in one way or another.

I went out one morning and climbed a ridge where I'd known birds to roost, armed with what I'd learned up to that point. I was neck deep in anticipation of the coming gobbling, but everything was quiet. Not a sound from a turkey. I called on and off for about an hour with no luck, so I decided to drop down just off the side of the ridge and call into the hollow bellow me.

I called a couple times in fifteen or twenty minutes and leaned my head back against the tree I was sitting under and shut my eyes. I was sitting there bummed out and thinking about what to try next, when I heard what sounded like deer coming over the ridge behind me and to my right.

I was looking out the corner of my eye, expecting to see some deer any second, when I saw something black at the limit of my vision. The next thing I knew, here comes a turkey down the hill and he had three buddies with him. They came within 20 yards and when they got just a little below my level, they turned and walked single file in front of me on a bench on the side of the hill. I picked the biggest looking bird and brought the gun up with a smooth steady motion and they stopped and looked at me. By this time I was squeezing the trigger on my first turkey. They were jakes and I wouldn't trade the one that I carried out of the woods that day for the biggest bird in the woods. 40 years later and I still can't get enough.

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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by hoobilly » January 1st, 2019, 10:17 pm

Speaking about mentors.. now that I look back at the fellers who I have had the chance to hunt with, I learn different ways of hunting. So I guess that’s also kinda like a mentor

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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by HennedUp » January 3rd, 2019, 12:20 pm

hoobilly wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 10:17 pm
Speaking about mentors.. now that I look back at the fellers who I have had the chance to hunt with, I learn different ways of hunting. So I guess that’s also kinda like a mentor

I'll add the turkeys that whipped my butt too, some of them repeatedly. I used to get mad and downright disgusted with them. Now I look back at them with gratitude and appreciation for the education they gave me.

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Re: Who were your mentors?

Post by Swampstalk » January 10th, 2019, 12:24 pm

My son, my current hunting partner. He had hunted with some friends a few times, and finally got his first jake up at Fish Eating Creek WMA. We've hunted several public areas here in South Florida without success, until 5 years ago when we found a honey hole that has produced birds each year since. Prior to this late blooming I grew up in Oklahoma when there were not turkeys in our area. Now we hunt both there and Florida. Some great times with a wonderful partner! I'm already getting the itch!

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