Every cowboy believes he can ride every bull he gets on, and each turkey veteran believes that he can take every turkey he hunts. But, PhD gobblers are as crafty and as smart as the bull that’s never been ridden. Matt Morrett is a multi-winner World Champion turkey caller and a professional hunter for Hunter’s Specialties. One of the PhD gobblers he’s learned his craft from was a turkey named Bubba.
“I first came to work with Hunter’s Specialties about 1987,” Matt Morrett remembers. “Hunter’s Specialties had a farm in Kirksville, Missouri, and Bubba the turkey already had established his reputation there, before I arrived at the farm. The hunters saw Bubba almost every evening with two other gobblers. He was 6 or 7 inches taller than the other birds. I spent my whole season trying to take Bubba. Since this ole PhD gobbler had been spooked, shot-at and overcalled, he’d learned just about everything he could know about dodging turkey hunters. He was one of those kinds of turkeys that would get your goat. He always would be one of the first turkeys to gobble, and he’d gobble at every call you made. However, that’s all he would do. He wouldn’t come to any call you made. Because I’d focused all my hunting time on Bubba and hunted him every day I could hunt at the farm, I’d spent my entire season without tagging a gobbler. Bubba was one of the best teachers I’d ever had.”
I’ve been fortunate enough to hunt with some of the greatest turkey hunters in the nation, and for more than 45 years, these masters of turkey hunting have continued to teach me better ways to take gobblers. But, while learning from the masters, I’ve also wanted to know who has taught these veterans to successfully take turkeys every spring. All these outstanding turkey hunters have agreed that they’ve learned the most from the PhD gobblers they’ve hunted. So, I’ve collected the stories of some of the greatest turkey hunters of our day and those PhD gobblers like Bubba that have taught them their craft.
To learn more about PhD gobblers and how to hunt them from the masters of the sport, click here for “PhD Gobblers,” a new eBook for Amazon’s Kindle by the author.
One of the most-frequently-asked questions of Matt Morrett is, “How much do you have to call a turkey?” Morrett answers, “I always explain to hunters at a seminar that this is a loaded question. It’s much like asking how often you have to call and talk to your wife or your girlfriend in a day’s time. Each turkey is an individual, and every day he’s on a different emotional level. But here are some general rules that will help you. In my opinion, a turkey is either really interested in breeding or has to be made excited and fired-up. If a turkey’s gobbling back to you every time you call to him, then quit calling. He knows where you are, he’s excited about finding you, and more than likely he’s on his way to you. However, if you call, and the turkey only gobbles back ever now and then, he’s not excited. You’ve got to make him excited by calling more and calling more aggressively.
“One of the most important things to remember about how many times to call to a turkey is when the turkey’s gobbling and coming to you, call less, and call softly. The more you call to this kind of turkey, the more likely that the bird will stop 60 to 70 yards away from you and not come in, because you’ve told that gobbler you’re an excited hen and ready to breed. When he reaches a place in the woods or a field where he thinks this excited hen can see him, he’ll stop and expect her to come running to him. Here’s a simple answer to this problem: if a turkey’s gobbling and answering aggressively, call less. If a turkey’s not gobbling aggressively, call more.”
Check out the video below to see the author interviewing Morrett on how to solve the problem of the gobbler that won’t come in.