He is correct there are 2 rule books- the legal and the unwritten. The "unwritten" book contains the ethics we as hunters have kind of agreed to over the years in order to conduct hunts safely, roughly defines fair chase and is enforced via peer pressure rather than by law.
Mr. Carpenter writes:
"I'm not much for rule books. And to be honest, there's nothing wrong with the second kind of rule book, if those traditional methods of hunting make you happy and produce satisfactory results."
Does this mean if you are having trouble bagging a turkey anything goes so long as there is no law to stop you?
I hope not.
One of the seven tactics he promotes raises an eyebrow; a “Turkey Push” really?
Two others, caused the serious heartburn: “Walk ‘Em Up” and “Dog It” according to the description you hunt turkeys like pheasants. In the first the hunter attempts to flush and in the second a dog is used both with instructions to shoot fast at flushing turkeys. This is a joke, right? These tactics could result in accidental shootings and wounded birds. Not to mention the loss of prestige and goodwill turkey hunters have spent generations building.
About 5 years in Eau Galle, WI a fellow was hunting fall turkeys using a walk em up method, he shot 2 teenage boys in the face who were setup according to the second rule book. One kid lost his sight the other was “lucky” and only lost one eye.
The author advises safety;
OK good for the guy moving what about the hunter setup per second rule book?“wear a blaze-orange hat when on-the-move techniques”
He continues the safety advice-
“Take special care at the moment of truth… especially moving ones, to be sure that what you are shooting is actually a turkey. Double-check while lining up your sights and before pulling the trigger-and then triple check.”
When I taught hunter education we taught you do all this checking before you line up your sights.
My concern for the loss of goodwill; If it becomes common practice for dogs to be used as they are in pheasant hunting there will likely be a backlash to outlaw turkey dogs. When WI was debating legalizing the turkey dog this was one of the one concerns brought up. Turkey doggers assured that no hunter would use them in this manner.
The over all message I took away from “Fall Free-For-All” is; anything goes if you can’t bag the turkey for Thanksgiving.
Part of the fall deal is accepting it is harder, much harder than spring hunting but like spring hunting there is that second rule book that I do not think wise to throw out in order to just get your bird. If you feel that much pressure go buy one at the grocery store, they are about the same price as turkey license.