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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Turkey Tom A Fussy Bird

By Gary Miller

There’s nothing like the sound of a gobble at daylight. If you’re close enough, it seems it reverberates throughout the hollows and ridges. It will truly make you wide awake like nothing else. The method most of us use to cause a tom to gobble is by using some kind of shock call. For you non-turkey hunters a shock call is simply a loud noise that is made which causes a gobbler to react to the sound by gobbling. There are also other calls which are used like an owl hoot. I’m not totally sure but I think the turkey despises the old hoot owl so much that when he hears one he just fusses back at it by gobbling. But whether you shock one or owl hoot or crow call, the results are the same; a turkey is located.

It seems to me the old gobbler is a cantankerous bird. When something unexpected happens, he fusses. When some other creature wants to sing out, he fusses. When something is different or interrupts his normal routine, he fusses. But what he doesn’t realize is by his responses and reactions he lets everyone know where he is.

And in turkey hunting that’s good for the hunter and not good for him. He reminds me of some people I know. They are fine when everything goes their way and when everything is as it should be, and when there are no unexpected interruptions or unplanned circumstances. But when something happens out of the ordinary, they fuss and complain. It may be the clerk at the grocery store who smashes his bread or the waitress at the restaurant who gets his order wrong, but again, the results are the same. What he doesn’t realize is by his actions he is letting everyone know where he is. He is telling the world around him what you see might not be what you get. He is telling everyone what is really inside. I think he forgets about his own imperfections and his own mental lapses. He seems to demand more from others than he does from himself. I hope you’re not that way because the true test of Christian character is not how you act during the expected but how you react when you are shocked by the unexpected.

Gary Miller can be reached via email at


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