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OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Calling and shooting a turkey an enjoyable outdoors activity

By Gary Miller

Unlike some other types of hunting, pursuing the turkey is very enjoyable doing with a partner; especially if one is doing the calling and the other is doing the shooting. Most people who have hunted turkey for a period of time will tell you they enjoy calling in a bird as much as shooting one. Not only do you get to share in a successful shot but the caller gets a sense of pride in knowing that if it weren’t for his calling the shot would’ve never been made.

Most of the time, shooting a turkey is less about a hunter’s skill and more about the caller’s mastery of the tools of the trade. I don’t consider myself an expert caller, but I figure if I can fool a gobbler I have at least accomplished somewhat of an ability to use a call. I may never win a national calling championship but I can enjoy a deep fried turkey breast.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I’ve missed my share of opportunities because I’m no expert, but I’m not going to stay home because I’m not as good as the next guy. I really wish I were a better caller. I’ve bought videos and CDs, just trying to hear and replicate the sounds, but it seems many other hunters just have a greater predisposition for quality calling, than I do. I’m just glad I’ve not let my lack of calling ability detour me from the turkey woods.

These thoughts remind me of another type of calling that I enjoy, and that’s calling hunters to a closer walk with God. I admit that when I listen to other “callers,” sometimes I get discouraged because I’m just not as good as they are. I’ve wished that God had made me like the guy on an old commercial about a financial group – E.F Hutton. The ditty goes, “When E.F. Hutton speaks, everyone listens.” But God has not gifted me in that way. He made me who I am – gifted in some ways, lacking in others. He made you the same way. You now have a choice and it’s the same choice I had in hunting turkey; either to stay home because of my lack of ability, or continue to do what I love to do, the best I can. Again, you know what I chose.

Has something or someone told you that you are unable, ungifted, or unqualified? Do you consider yourself a novice in the midst of experts? Are you letting the shadow of someone else’s greatness hide your own light? Remember, it’s just a ploy to keep you at home so that you never enjoy the successes that God has in store, for just you.

Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at

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