Read an Excerpt
EXCERPT, from Chapter 4, All Turkeys, p. 39-40:
"A turkey walks about like a man, and he does it in about the same places that a man would walk. He will come out into roads on rainy days, to stay out of the wet bushes, just as you would, and he is no more willing to walk through dense thickets and briar patches than you are. He is generally much more willing to walk straight uphill than a man is and he can fly over obstacles, although he flies over things only as a last resort. a thorough knowledge of the ground gives you the advantage of knowing where a turkey has half a mind to walk anyway, and then if you take the time to hide yourself well and to sit still, you have won nearly half the battle. If your yelping then does not sound like a crow being raped by an eagle and you have taken the trouble to do these other things, it is good enough.
If you find that you cannot accept that statement with both eyebrows in line, take a suggestion. Go to the next turkey calling contest conducted in your town. Go there and listen to some of the outrages perpretrated by men who consider themselves experts, in front of judges who consider themselves to be bigger experts, and watch them get prizes for doing so. Listen to some of the horrible noises made in barbar shops and sporting goods stores before the season opens, and better yet, privately and separately approach two or three recognized experts in your region with a tape recorder. Seat yourself intellectually at the feet of these founts of wisdom and humbly ask them to yelp into your machine. Whatever you do, keep your face straight and never smile in a patronizing manner. In fact it is better not to smile at all. Never, never, never comment that you have heard better. Let your entire demeanor be one of awe and praise and flattery. Be as disgustingly humble as you can possibly prostitute yourself into being. Remember back to how you used to act when you chased girls, and hoped to catch them, and act just like that. Remember how you were never so foolish as to comment on how pretty Alice was when you were with Betty, and remember what trouble you got into if you forgot.
After you have done all this, and have gotten two or three experts on the same tape, come home and let the whole thing rest for several days. Then one night after dinner when the house is quiet, go and turn the machine on and listen to all of them carefully, one behind the other. Then do it again---then again. You are going to find exactly one similarity---their timing is going to be very, very close. The pitch will differ, and so will the tone, and so will the number of notes. But the timing between whatever notes they make will be nearly identical. Memorize this timing. Fix it in your mind and quit. Have a nightcap and go to bed. You know enough. You know what has been good enough for a hell of a lot of people to kill a hell of a lot of turkeys for years and years and years."