“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”-William Styron
During the offseason, I long to be back in the woods. I like to watch hunting shows on YouTube, but my favorite way to pass the time is by reading turkey hunting books.
I have created a list of my six favorite turkey hunting books. Each will leave you with many experiences. Most of them will make you feel like it’s spring (or fall) and a gobbler is just over the ridge. You will learn something from all of them.
Let’s start with my favorite. An old, classic…
One of the greatest turkey hunting books of all time, Tenth Legion was originally published in 1973. It has been read by thousands of turkey hunters ever since.
If you are looking for a “how to” book, this is definitely not your book. In fact, I would not recommend it to new turkey hunters or non-hunters. Some of the humor that makes this book so great could be considered “inside jokes” between turkey hunters.
Tom Kelly’s comedic tales have aged well. This book will make you laugh as you commiserate with Kelly through the trials and tribulations of turkey hunting.
Read this book to be highly entertained and learn more about what it means to be a turkey hunter.
This was the first turkey hunting book I read when I began my pursuit of the thunder chicken. It provides an excellent overview of turkey hunting techniques for beginning hunters.
If you’re not familiar with Ray Eye, he is one of the biggest champions of the sport of turkey hunting ever. He has been a turkey hunting guide, call maker, turkey calling contest champion, hunting TV show host, cameraman, author, and outdoor magazine editor. That’s quite the resume! He might know a little bit about turkey hunting.
You will likely learn something from this book even if you’re not a beginner turkey hunter. Mr. Eye doesn’t just tell you what to do. He tells you why to do it.
If you’re looking to improve your turkey hunting skills, pick up a copy of Practical Turkey Hunting Strategies: How to Hunt Effectively Under Any Conditions.
Gene Nunnery was a call maker and turkey hunting enthusiast in a day and age when there were a lot less of those than there are today. While he died in 1992, this reprint of his classic turkey hunting book lives on. Originally published in 1980, The Old Pro Turkey Hunter is a great book for learning how some of the “founders” of our sport hunted turkeys.
This book focuses on old-school turkey hunting tactics. You won’t find any information on using decoys or blinds. However, most of the tactics Nunnery and his mentors used are still used by some of the best modern-day turkey hunters.
Nunnery also teaches you how to respect your game. Like many hunters, he relished the “game” more than the actual killing of the bird.
Considered to be one the greatest turkey hunting books of all time, this book will entertain you with its stories while also educating you on how to outsmart the wily thunder chicken. If you enjoy learning about the traditional ways of turkey hunting, you should pick up a copy of The Old Pro Turkey Hunter today.
Illumination in the Flatwoods: A Season with the Wild Turkey is not a turkey hunting book per se, but any turkey hunter will find it fascinating. It is the true story of Joe Hutto, a Florida man who lived with the wild turkeys.
Hutto reared two sets of wild turkey eggs. As the turkeys hatched, he “imprinted” himself as the poults’ mother. He then spent the next year living with these turkeys until they decided not to return to the pen that he built for them.
Hutto provides insight into wild turkey instincts, language, relationships, and survival. It is extremely well written.
Every turkey hunter should read this book as it will increase your appreciation for your game and show you how complex the wild turkey really is.
A great call maker and hunter, Kenny Morgan passed on his legacy through his first book, Turkey Hunting: A One Man Game. Turkey hunters of all experience levels will enjoy this book which both entertains and educates.
Originally published in 1987, many modern hunters may consider Morgan’s techniques to be a bit “old school.” However, the stories told in this book will inspire you in the “art” of turkey hunting that Morgan practiced.
Less instructional than Ray Eye’s book and less humorous than Tenth Legion, this book still makes the list of the best turkey hunting books of all time due to Morgan’s ability to paint a picture of a beautiful turkey hunt in the reader’s head.
Pick up this book if you’re looking for an interesting read that also teaches you some turkey hunting technique.
By far the most recently published book on this list, Ballad of a Turkey Hunter is the memoir of Hunter Farrior. You may know Farrior from his podcast, The Spring Legion Podcast.
This book takes on a similar mission to Tenth Legion in that it tries to explain what makes turkey hunting so addicting and enjoyable to the turkey hunter. Like many of the other books on this list, it is a good book for the beginner or experienced turkey hunter.
This is not a how-to guide, but most will learn something from it. Just as he does in his podcast, Farrior can get a bit wordy with his sentences (heck, you all probably say that about me too). If you can get past that and some other minor issues with the print, the content is pretty good.
Grab a copy to be entertained by the tales of a modern day turkey hunter.
While there are many good turkey hunting books out there, these six are my favorites. A few of them I have read multiple times. Others, I have referred back to on multiple occasions trying to become a better turkey hunter.
How about you? What’s your favorite turkey hunting book? Did it make the list? Let us know in the comments below.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy my post on my 7 favorite turkey hunting quotes.