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Guru Huntress: Book Review — ‘Bad Birds’ a great read

Like most turkey hunters, I don’t need to read a book or a magazine article, watch a TV show or a DVD about turkey hunting to get me excited about the upcoming season. Turkey hunting is a beast of its own breed — a “haint” that gets into your head and runs through your veins; the image of strutting toms dancing in your mind and that sound — Oh, that sound that is so distinctive and unique that it raises the hair on the nap of your neck when you think about it and sends chills through your entire body, raising your blood pressure when you actually hear it in the flesh. Many will agree that once you are bitten by the turkey hunting mite, you are an addict with no cure.

Recently, my pre-season reading included Bad Birds by Jim Spencer. Bad Birds is an incredible read for any turkey hunter or even for a hunter that is contemplating turkey hunting for the first time.  A new turkey hunter will be ahead of the game from the wisdom they will receive from Spencer’s writings in this book.

The paperback book is a compilation of  more than 40 short stories, or what I would call turkey tales, of bad birds that Spencer has encountered over his many years of hunting, even some tales experienced with hunting friends. Some comical, some aggravating because you can relate, and some that keep you wondering about a few of your own past hunts.

The book is written in a manner that any hunter can appreciate; throwing in jargon such as “raised him,” “limb-swatted” and “bushwhacked.” Like many hunters, Spencer names his birds and he will introduce you to some of his most memorable targets in his writings. Birds that were coined simple names such as the Damn Yankee, Hobbit, Boone, Hopalong, Tex, Pigpen, Lindbergh and Lucy; but others named more particularly as The Bird of Black Mountain, The Round Pond Gobbler and The Polecat Mountain Stinker.

As an avid turkey hunter, I could appreciate the tales in this book and the eloquent way Spencer put you in the story, at the base of that tree or edge of the field, or even those intense on-foot moments trying to beat a tom to the other side of the ridge by taking the long way around–half out of breath. I could even feel my heart rate rise as I read many of these stories and even caught myself holding my breath a time or two. I have experienced a few of the situations and even the exact unfolding of the hunt as Spencer penned.

Bad Birds is definitely a book that you will thumb through time and time again to revisit several of the tales. You can order your copy of Bad Birds by Jim Spencer for $15.99 plus $5 shipping online at www.treblehookunlimited.com/.

Let me caution you, from one turkey hunter to another, reading this book will make you want to jump up, grab your shotgun and turkey vest and head to the woods in pursuit of yet another Bad Bird.

To follow along with the Guru Huntress’ turkey hunting adventures and to see if she encounters her own “Bad Birds” this season, see her blog.

Endorsement Disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, this product review is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product.

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


The Conversation

  • Nancy Jo Adams says: March 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Deb…you are absolutely right…I can see it now: This book, a pack of mouth calls, a new pair of turkey gloves (because you know MEN are always losing gloves) and a can of mosquito and tick repellent in a stocking!! Excellent idea!! Honestly, he will enjoy it; definitely good for a laugh or two on Mr. Spencers’ account!

  • Deb Ferns says: March 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    This sounds like a great Christmas gift for my brother – a true turkey hunter out in Michigan…thanks!

  • Tammy says: March 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks for pointing us in the direction of this book. Can’t wait to read it!

  • Pat Hendrixson says: March 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Enjoyed reading what you had to say about the book. Will certainly have to have one. Thanks