Review April 2009 by Author Dave Richey

This new turkey-hunting title by Mike Joyner is one of the finest turkey hunting books to hit the market in several years. Mind you, there have been dozens of other turkey books published over this same period of time, and some of them were just a waste of perfectly good paper.

That is not the case with this book. It comes at the reader hard and fast like an unexpected and nearby gobble at daybreak, one that seems to shake the ground, and it grabs your attention with the same authority as a sucker punch. Joynerís story telling skills first came to my attention with his previous book ďThe Hills Of Truxton.Ē That was a great book but I think this one is even better.

Joyner is much more than just another turkey hunter telling stories of some of his favorite hunts. He is the real deal, and his 28 stories flow smoothly with some heartfelt emotions. He presents each story well, and leaves the hunter ending the book wanting more.

Read the title and sub-title again, study on it a bit, and the reader will soon determine that Joyner finds his better days, with or without a gobbler, in the turkey woods trading talk with a big old longbeard.

Each of these stories tells a particular tale. Some are obviously about shooting a particular bird, and the author has a way of naming some of the birds he hunts. This is nothing new to turkey tales, but he proves his worth as a writer by tackling different types of stories.

A Morning Swimming With Gobblers is just one example. Greenfield Ridge Gobbler is another. Smack The Bully is yet another. Youíll have to buy the book to learn any more about some of my favorite stories from this book.

This isnít a how-to or where-to book although there certainly is some of that information in each exciting chapter. Itís impossible to read Joynerís Tales From The Turkey Woods without learning more about how to hunt turkey birds and how to gain more respect for these old monarchs.

Turkey hunting is almost a mystical thing to many of us who match wits with these keen-eyed birds each spring, and Joyner sprinkles a good measure of the reasons why he hunts gobblers throughout this book. More important to me is that the author, in his own way, tells us about how and where to hunt, but even more importantly, why we should hunt turkeys.

The reasons why we should hunt could fill a good-sized book. Turkey hunting is the only spring season for any game birds, and that is certainly a plus for those of us who have just come off one of the longest and worst winters in many years.

How can anyone measure the value of listening to that first explosive gobble as the sun creases the eastern horizon? How can we explain the thrill of watching a big gobbler, one or two jakes and a bevy of hens walk over a ridge, all spread out like infantry soldiers moving forward?

Many hunters have never heard a gobbler spittiní and drumminí, or if they did, didnít know what it was. A bird must be fairly close to the hunter for them to hear it. This too is part of the magic of spring turkey hunting.

Joyner has captured much of the excitement that is spring turkey hunting in these chapters, and to read this book is to relive personal hunts or to make memories for the future. Many hunters, including this reviewer, would rather call a gobbler within range and allow him to walk off wondering where the hen went than to shoot the bird.

Shooting a spring gobbler is anticlimactic. The thrill of the hunt is working a bird within easy bow or shotgun range, and decide then whether to shoot or not. This book captures much of these feelings. In many of these stories the reader will feel like they are on the hunt with the author, and are walking into the woods before dawn with him.

The book is available in paperback (of which the first 100 copies were numbered and signed) and in hardcover with dust jacket. My personal preference is to get a paperback copy to read and a hardcover to put on the shelf. Good turkey books increase in value with time, and although Iíd never suggest anyone buy books with the sole intention of making money off them sometime in the future, but only a foolish person would not realize that some books do increase in value over time.

Turkey season is almost upon us, and this is a great book for new or advanced turkey hunters to read, and this may just be the best collection of turkey stories of the year. Itís my choice of the book to buy for a Fathers Day gift for the turkey hunter in your life.

Itís a dandy and highly recommended!

Posted by Dave Richey on 04/05 at 03:55 PM



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