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The Turkey Hunter's Bible 2nd Edition Paperback – March 14, 2014
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About the Author
For the past 40 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a fulltime outdoor writer, traveling the world interviewing hunters, guides, outfitters and other outdoorsmen about how they hunt and fish. An award-winning author, John has been hunting and fishing since his kindergarten days with his dad and brother and has had the good fortune to fish and hunt with experts. He’s also travelled across the U.S. as a newspaper writer, magazine writer, outdoor photographer and radio host, and for the last 13 years, as a provider of outdoors internet content for numerous companies daily. He was the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, the Crossbow Communicator of the Year in 2008, and in 2012, he was presented the Homer Circle Fishing Communicator Award by the American Sportfishing Association and the Professional Outdoor Media Association. To learn more the author and his outdoor experiences, go to http://nighthawkpublications.com/Bio%20Page/john.htm.
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Don't be fooled by the length of this book to think there is voluminous information related to turkey hunting strategy, as the book contains quite a bit of filler material. Too many professional outdoor writers utilize this identical tactic – they use the same old tired formula to spit out another cookie cutter book. (I mean for goodness sake, Ray Eye has a book with the exact same title.) Phillips devotes an entire section of the book to discussing equipment that honestly is completely unnecessary even for the beginner. I wouldn't mind as much were it not for the fact that he devotes so much space to the subject and literally tells the reader nothing. For instance he rambles on for pages about various camouflage patterns, and at the end I could barely tell the difference between his preferences for deep woodlands and desert terrain. It was almost like he felt he may alienate a potential sponsor by leaving them out of his preferred list for each terrain, so he just reorganizes his order of preference.
Further, with all this discussion of camouflage, he never really discussed how and what turkeys see. It also seemed as though he wrote much of this material some time ago, then updated it with some new offerings, but didn't bother to change the discussions of those brands already included. For instance, he continually references "Real Tree" and "Mossy Oak" as "vertically oriented" patterns suited well for blending in with tree bark. This was certainly true with their original patterns, but especially for Real Tree, there is no vertical background to the pattern for their current offerings (Mossy Oak Bottomland would be an obvious exception). Nowhere in any of this does he discuss turkey's vision related to the UV spectrum or their difficulties related to depth perception, nor does he mention the current offering of light weight leafy wear suits which allow hunters to match the weather comfortably using clothing underneath without the necessity for an abundance of camo clothing of variable size and weight.
Now before I sound like I am mercilessly bashing Phillip’s version of the “Turkey Hunter’s Bible”, I should point out that there are several worthy strategies and tips contained within for those who have not read any of his material. I tend to agree with his suppositions regarding older and pressured turkeys, and accordingly his strategies for taking them. My suggestion, though, would probably lean towards reading the book he authored for Preston Pittman instead, though. Both books share a lot of the same strategic thought processes and tactical discussions; only the anecdotal hunting stories are different. Pittman’s personality and flare just adds a little more to the text. However, if you are a true beginner, and you just really want to know John Phillips’ opinion on gun selection, boot selection, camo selection, and so forth – stick with the “Turkey Hunter’s Bible”.