Editor's note: "The Turkey Hunters" is a blog that profiles notable folks in the turkey hunting industry. In this installment, we talk with legendary turkey caller and hunter Ray Eye.
T&TH: Ray, how long have you turkey hunted, and how did you start?
Eye: I've done it for 50 years. I grew up in a hunting family. My grandpa and dad took me hunting as a little boy.
T&TH: You've won quite a few calling titles and gained lots of recognition through the years. What are some of your accomplishments?
Eye: I was called "America's premier turkey hunter" by The Wall Street Journal and named a "great outdoor legend" by Outdoor Life. I was named conservation communicator of the year in 2010 and 2012 NWTF communicator of the year Feb. 11 at the 36th annual NWTF National Convention. I've won state, open, national, Grand National, All-American and World calling championships.
T&TH: What's the greatest thrill you get nowadays from being in the turkey woods?
Eye: I'm grateful for having the wonderful opportunity to enjoy another spring sunrise and to share the woods with new hunters, including kids, women, Wheelin' Sportsmen, our American warriors and especially the kids with Hunting For a Cure, the St. Jude's Hospital fund-raiser.
T&TH: What's the biggest calling mistake folks make?
Eye: Not calling enough or aggressively enough in some situations, or not calling like the turkeys they hear when hunting. Many hunters hold back and are afraid to call because of turkey hunting myths, like birds being "call shy." This costs them turkeys when all they really had to do was call.
Check out Ray's new book, Ray Eye's Turkey Hunting Bible: The Tips, Tactics, and Secrets of a Professional Turkey Hunter, at rayeye.com.