Last weekend, when I wasn't enjoying my grandma's home-cooked meals, I spent most of my time in her backyard with the company of songbirds and the best book I have ever read—no kidding—written by professional turkey hunting legend Ray Eye. Aptly named "Ray Eye's Turkey Hunter's Bible," it's what I would deem as authentic scripture directly from the Meleagris gallopavo gods for spring turkey hunters.
Ray Eye is an expert by definition when it comes to wild turkeys. He has arguably spent more time studying, analyzing, documenting and hunting wild turkeys than hundreds of other "professional" turkey hunters combined. Just read the numerous testimonials from such pros in the beginning of "Turkey Hunter's Bible" if you don't believe it.
The book begins with a rich historical background of Ray's stomping grounds in the Missouri Ozarks, a core area of initial wild turkey restoration efforts and the place he began to grow feathers. Later, it covers everything from call selection, technique and hunting setups to turkey behavior and spring gobbler activity phases. All the while, Ray reinforces the info that's being presented with real hunting stories.
As you absorb Ray's extensive advice while paging through this end-all of turkey-hunting books, you might find yourself grinding your teeth at times; I know I did. "Call-shy" turkeys don't exist. That lesson is shoved down the reader's throat repeatedly as an overwhelming theme to the book. Why? No, it's not because Ray Eye wishes to profit from the sales of Hunter's Specialties turkey calls—it's because he truly believes that "call-shy" is a myth that needs to be dispelled so turkey hunters far and wide can increase their success in the field. If you can honestly say you're a more seasoned turkey hunting aficionado than Ray, and you think he's full of it, go ahead and present your call-shy arguments to the contrary. If you're like me, that's not the case and probably never will be, no matter how much we try. Fact: Not everyone gets to enjoy a career as a full-time turkey hunter. So, for those of us who can't, we might as well humbly submit to the astonishing expertise contained in the very few gentlemen like Ray. We should just be thankful he is a gentleman, and that he is willing to share every detail of his hard-earned knowledge to make us better turkey hunters.