Exclusive Turkey Q&A with Michael Waddell and “T-Bone” Turner

Turkey Hunting Tips |Exclusive Q&A with Michael Waddell and “T-Bone” Turner

 

Bone Collector’s Michael Waddell and “T-Bone” Turner were asked into the interview room for an exclusive discussion. They were asked some personal and entertaining questions about turkey hunting. This exclusive turkey Q&A session ranged from turkey hunting tips and tactics, to personal questions and straight up turkey talk with two legendary turkey hunters! The questions and answers can be seen in the video and in the blog below!

Behind The Flop | Bone Collector Exclusive Turkey Q&A

 

Q: What’s your favorite turkey hunting tactic?

 

Waddell’s Answer:

“I don’t consider myself a purist. I consider myself a man who raids the game and fish guidelines and does whatever else I want to, outside of not breaking the law, for a tactic. So, I’m an aggressive turkey hunter…I will use a fan, I will use a decoy, I will crawl, I will climb a tree, I will dig a tunnel, and I will run & gun. I’m not a big blind sitter because I’m too impatient. I like to bring the heat to him. If he’s gobbling and getting sexually frustrated, then I like to use my tools like a decoy or a fan, and a good sounding turkey call to manipulate his frustration, and get aggressive and make him do something to make a mistake and give me the opportunity to shoot him.”

Watch Michael’s aggressive tactics pan out in this turkey reaping video: Michael Waddell Turkey Reaping with a .410 Shotgun!

T-Bone’s Answer:

“As you can see from my physique, I’m not much of a creeper or a crawler, so I like hunting in small groups. You get to share the experience. I’m a sit and wait type of guy. Find them, roost them, and try and call them in. I also love to use decoys. I’m not a reaper or a creeper, I don’t crawl too well.”

Q: Can you call a gobbler that already has hens?

 

 Waddell’s Answer:

“By rule, I wouldn’t say an eastern turkey. Can you, yes. It never hurts to try. You’d have a lot better luck really showering down on a Merriam turkey, that’s “henned” up, than you do an eastern turkey, by rule. But it is very difficult. Oh, can I call a “henned” up turkey away from a gobbler? Absolutely, I’ve called them over walls that trump has built, off of hens, off posted property. In all seriousness it’s tough… I have had success but I would say, no matter how great of a turkey caller you are, I would say the percentages are less than 15% if I had to gauge it. But hey, where there’s a little bit of hope there’s a chance. I saw Jackson “Boo” Bishop go out with a girl one time, a real date.”

 T-Bone’s Answer:

“I can sure try. I’m not the best turkey caller in the world, but I can sure try.”

Learn more on calling turkeys by visiting the Bone Collector Turkey Calling Guide Here!

Q: Briefly tell us about the first turkey you ever killed.

 

Waddell’s Answer:

“I’ll try to keep it short. It was Paw Paw Waddell and I in Booger Bottom, and we knew absolutely nothing about turkeys. As a matter of fact, We didn’t 100% know, in our county, if you could legally hunt turkeys, we just knew it was turkey season. Our uncle Morgan said that the fall before he had seen turkeys in the corner of the back field. We had heard that turkeys gobble to an owl call, so we went to the corner of the field with an owl hooter and a box call, that we had the directions with. I’ve got an old 870 shotgun, my dad’s got this box call, I’m reading him the directions, and he’s just firing off. The turkey would gobble every once and a while. Then, we had been sitting about an hour without hearing the turkey gobble in a long time. Then off in the distance, we heard a shot. As soon as the shot was fired, that turkey gobbled and he was literally just over the ridge. Honest to goodness truth, that turkeys head came up over the ridge and I saw a red, white, and blue head. I could see just enough to know it was a turkey and I shot. I walk up over the ridge, and there it is, a world record jake! It was my first turkey and we toted it all over Meriwether, Harris, and Talbot County until we really thought it was about to spoil. I’ve been hooked ever since. Two years later I killed my second turkey and I realized that first morning was complete luck for me and my dad.”

T-Bone’s Answer:

“The first turkey I ever killed happened to be the biggest turkey I have ever killed. It was actually years ago at the Country Goes Huntin down in Blakely GA. A thunderstorm was rolling in and two big gobblers came into a decoy, John Tate was with me, and it was soaking wet when we shot the turkey. 1 ½ “ spurs on one side 1 9/16” on the other.”

Q: Now, tell us about the last turkey you killed.

 

Waddell’s Answer:

“Actually, it was with 2 of my turkey hunting heroes, in Nebraska, Harold Knight and David Hale. It was a decoy, aggressive style of hunting that I wouldn’t have even known about back in the day. Using the terrain and showing this ole Merriam, that was struttin’ with hens, a decoy. He came up and I shot him at about 4 steps and I had Harold and David to celebrate with.”

T-Bone’s Answer:

“The last turkey that I killed was with my good buddy Doug Stevens over in heard county GA. He’s a good turkey caller, he’s got some great land and he invited me to go with him. It was pretty much a textbook hunt. He walked in there to about 10 yards and we gave him a face full of lead!”

Q: What’s the craziest, most embarrassing, or weirdest thing that’s happened to you while turkey hunting?

 

Waddell’s Answer:

“It was actually captured on film, was getting really aggressive, moving in on a henned up gobbler, with a decoy, literally using this turkey decoy, that was between my legs, to try and get an up close, personal turkey hunt. Well, everything worked. The turkey broke, he runs wide open to 1 step… he sees me, and 3 shots later I ain’t knocked a feather off of this turkey and he fly’s off. That was embarrassing. Because, when you rewind the footage I missed this turkey 3 times before he got 10 yards.”

T-Bone’s Answer:

One that comes to mind is the time that I called a triple bearded gobbler across the road out of a neighbor’s front yard, to the property that I was hunting. So, that’s one of the craziest things.”

Q: If you could only take one thing turkey hunting with you (aside from clothes, boots, a shotgun, and shells), what would it be and why?

 

Waddell’s Answer:

“I only can take 1 thing? Outside of those things it would definitely be just a combo cut Knight & Hale, Chris Parrish made turkey call. That’s it. Just give me a mouth call and, as long as I’ve got something to kill them with, I’m good.”

Check out the NEW Bone Collector Series Turkey Calls here!

 T-Bone’s Answer:

“Well, most people would say a turkey call, but I would say a Bad Boy (Textron) buggy. Cover a whole lot more acreage!”

Q: What’s your go to shotgun shell and load for killing turkeys?

 

Waddell’s Answer:

“The last 3 or 4 years I’ve shot that Hornady 3 inch shot shell designed specifically for turkeys. I like a 3 inch better than a 3.5-inch shell, and I also shoot #6 shot. The reason I like 6 is because, with the turkey decoys and turkey calls that we have now, the turkeys sometimes get really close. I don’t know, maybe it’s just because I like 6 shot.”

T-Bone’s Answer:

“That’s easy…Hornady #6 in the 3-inch version.”

Q: If you could hunt turkeys with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

 

Waddell’s Answer:

“Alive would be Dale Rohm, Harold Knight, and Paul Butski. Those have all been some of my favorite turkey hunters. If I could hunt turkeys with anyone that’s not living it would definitely be Ben Rodger Lee. I think he was very innovative, a cool salesman, and pretty adventurous, and full of crap which is actually fun! And I mean that in a very positive way, coming from a southern guy and Ben was from Alabama. So I’d love to hunt turkeys with Ben Lee.”

T-Bone’s Answer:

“Michael Waddell! Besides being one of my best friends, he’s a great turkey hunter and to this day I’ve yet to kill a turkey with him. So, Michael Waddell!”

Q: What are you more afraid of while turkey hunting…snakes or spiders?

 

Waddell’s Answer:

“By far more afraid of spiders. A snake doesn’t bother me. I will not wear snake boots in the turkey woods. I don’t like it, it slows me down. I’m more looking for a spider when I’m raking back the leaves than a snake. They’re just small sneaky jokers and they bite and they hurt. I’ve been bitten by some poisonous spiders and it sucks. At least a rattlesnake rattles.”

T-Bone’s Answer:

“Probably about the same. Not really scared of either one of them. But, if they’re in close proximity or about to bite me I’m kind of a little antsy about both.”

Q: Have you ever shot a jake?

 

Waddell’s Answer:

“Well yes! I don’t know how many jakes I’ve shot.”

T-Bone’s Answer:

“I have never shot a jake. A hen now… JUST KIDDING. No, I have never shot a jake or a hen.”

Q: Any personal superstitions when turkey hunting (lucky shirt, rabbit’s foot, lucky hat etc…)?

 

Waddell’s Answer:

“Yes. I am superstitious. Thank goodness it’s not with socks or underwear because that wouldn’t be good, but I am on my guns. And it’s tough on me because we’ve had some different sponsors, but I have a gun I call “Grady.” This gun has been with me on over 100 turkey kills. Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Foxworthy, and a lot of other people have shot turkeys with this gun. It’s just kind of like a part of me. It’s like I’ve got my arm, my hand, and then I’ve got Grady. I’ve shot a lot of turkeys without Grady… but when hunts don’t go my way I’m thinking “man I wish I had Grady with me I bet I would have killed that turkey.”

T-Bone’s Answer:

“Not necessarily superstitions but I am kind of quirky or particular about my turkey hunting gear.”

Q: Will the flop ever be stopped?

 

Waddell’s Answer:

“In my personal opinion, unless the good lord brings his mighty hand and says either “there will be no, or there shall be no more turkey hunting,” or he comes down and readjust their spine and the nervous system of the wild turkey to where when you shoot them, in the appropriate place, that their nervous system don’t tell them to stop flopping. That’s the only thing. So, it will come from the hands of God that the flop is stopped.”

 

T-Bone’s Answer:

“You know, I think a lot of people are going to try to stop the flop, but, as Waddell has said so many times, the flop cannot be stopped, period! It’s a lot like a good daily bowel movement, it can’t be stopped! Between NWTF and all of the conservation efforts of all these great folks, the flop cannot be stopped.”

Q: In your words, what is the meaning of Cant Stop The Flop?

 

Waddell’s Answer:

Cant Stop The Flop, in the literal sense, when a turkey gets shot in the head he flops around. It’s a nervous system thing. It ain’t the way I made it, it’s just the way the good lord designed the turkey, a chicken, and a lot of fowl. But for me, it’s more than just a flopping turkey. You can’t stop hunting, you can’t stop turkey hunting. NWTF is putting all this money back in, we’ve got more turkeys than ever, we’re going to keep conserving, and we’re going to keep promoting our hunting heritage and making sure that we can hunt. So Cant Stop The Flop means, you ain’t going to stop us hunters.”

T-Bone’s Answer:

“When you hear Cant Stop The Flop, the first thing you think of is a turkey flopping on the ground, and you think well, eventually it’s going to stop flopping. Well yeah, it’s going to stop flopping because you just gave him a face full of lead. But Cant Stop The Flop, in my opinion, means you can’t stop this great nation of outdoorsman and hunters from turkey hunting. You can’t stop making turkeys flop.”

 

 

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