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Babbs in the Woods: Calling, yelling and barking at toms

“Hey, Turkey! Hey, Turkey!”

When push came to shove and optics needed outstretched gobbler necks, that’s what our Hunter’s Specialties’ guide Jimmy Estes used as the final call to get our turkeys set up for the kill on a recent Oklahoma Rio Grande hunt. He threw in a few barks, too.

My hunting partner, Shannon Coggin, Public Relations Specialist for the National Wild Turkey Federation, and I had been in the blind for almost about two hours – having snuck in under cover of darkness. We watched as at least 20 jakes and 2 gobblers vied for the attention of our hen decoy – that just kept looking the other way.

The set up. Photo by Jimmy Estus.

Shannon had already bagged the first bird of the camp of six women hunters, and now, she was looking get her second bird and to tag out and so was I. Jimmy had called in a nice Rio Grande gobbler for me at this location the day before.

Jimmy Estus, from Harrison, Ark., is a quiet, unassuming character. Always ready with a variety of Hunter’s Specialties’ turkey calls, he brought those gobblers from a nearby field in close to herd of jakes near our blind. Most of the jakes we’d seen had been downright bullies to the older toms, like a bunch of teenage gang members. This gang appeared to be following the trend.

But then, our two gobblers puffed up their chests and took on the challenge, butting those jakes around a bit. “Hey, at least we have manly gobblers,” I whispered to Shannon. They were so busy keeping the bullies off them that they didn’t put their heads up. Those two gobblers needed to hear something unusual, because the reason they stuck around in the first place was because they knew a hen or two required their services, and that’s when Jimmy piped up and yelled, “Hey, Turkeys! Hey, Turkeys!” And he threw in a few barks – the type that your dog unleashes when someone new is at the front door.

Hunter's Specialties' Pro-Staff Member Jimmy Estes called in four turkeys for three hunters at camp. Photo by Barbara Baird

Shannon and I put our Burris optic sights on the heads of the two gobblers, side by side, at 40 yards. I don’t recall if she or Jimmy counted down, 3-2-1, to squeeze time on the triggers. Boom, boom, plop, plop.

I’ve been out hunting with a lot of guides, but I’ll never forget Jimmy barking and yelling. Thanks, Jimmy! At that moment, you were (wo)man’s best friend! ~Barbara Baird

Twitter: http://twitter.com/babbsbaird
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  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com.


The Conversation

One Comment
  • Tammy says: April 19, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your story of Jimmy yelling at the turkeys. I had never thought of doing that! Sounds like a blast!!!