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The Old Pro Turkey Hunter

The Old Pro Turkey Hunter

By Gene Nunnery
Foreword by Michael O. Giles
Hardcover : 9781496819994, 152 pages, 29 b&w illustrations, October 2018

A classic gem of wisdom and lore from a master sportsman


During his life, Gene Nunnery was recognized as a master turkey hunter and an artisan who crafted unique, almost irresistible turkey calls. In The Old Pro Turkey Hunter, the vaunted sportsman shares over fifty years of personal experience in Mississippi and surrounding states, along with the decades-old wisdom of the huntsmen who taught him. Throughout the book, his stories make clear that turkey hunting is more than just killing the bird—it is about matching wits with a wild and savvy adversary. As Nunnery explains, “To me that’s what it’s all about: finding a wise old gobbler who will test your skill as a turkey hunter. ”

Through his stories, Nunnery reveals that the true reward for successful turkey hunting lies in winning the contest, not necessarily exterminating the foe. Real sportsmen know that every now and then the turkey should and will elude the hunter. As Nunnery looks back on his extensive career, he analyzes vast differences in practice, old and new. The shift, he decides, came during his last twenty years on the hunt, and that difference has only increased in the decades since this book was originally published.

Michael O. Giles, Bass Pro staff team member, master turkey hunter, and award-winning outdoors writer and author of Passion of the Wild, writes a new foreword that brings the practice of turkey hunting into the present day. Filled with a tested mixture of common sense and specific examples of how master turkey hunters honor their harvest and heritage, The Old Pro Turkey Hunter is the perfect companion for the novice or the adept.


"Gene Nunnery was one of the forerunners of the modern turkey hunting movement and one of the truly good guys. He learned the ways of the woods and turkeys from several old pro turkey hunters of the past. Nunnery was an avid turkey hunter and call maker who loved spreading his passion and teaching others about turkey hunting and calling gobblers. Nunnery saved his best for last by giving the world The Old Pro Turkey Hunter. You’ll be spellbound by some of the turkey tales in his book, and you just might learn a few things about how to call up a wild turkey gobbler and beat him at his own game. If you really want to learn a deep secret technique about hunting tough old birds, then read his story about monkeys, Tony McCleb, and how he outwitted a battle-worn old bird. I’ve tried it myself, but don’t take my word for it, read the book and find out for yourself, and let me know how it works for you!"

- Preston Pittman, five-time world champion turkey caller, founder of Pittman Game Calls, and national television personality

"Gene Nunnery was a rara avis, a true old-time turkey hunter who willingly shared his extensive knowledge of the sport in an era when most of those who avidly sought America’s big game bird were obsessively secretive. Writing in a wise, witty, and occasionally whimsical style, he conveyed tricks of the turkey hunting trade through offering insight into the tactics and techniques utilized by a number of highly skilled Nimrods of his acquaintance. This resulted in The Old Pro Turkey Hunter becoming a genuine classic, a blue-ribbon book on the sport which belongs on every serious sportsman’s shelves. Since it has become difficult to find in the original, this reprint is both welcome and timely. Reading Nunnery’s book will brighten your armchair days and lighten your outdoor ways."

- Jim Casada, recipient of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Communicator of the Year award and author of Innovative Turkey Hunting: Advanced Tactics from Brad Harris & Mark Drury and Remembering the Greats: Profiles of Turkey Hunting’s Old Masters

"Gene Nunnery was light-years ahead of his time and a real southern gentleman. This book is the best all-around book on turkey hunting that I have ever read. Nunnery was so articulate in the presentation of his knowledge and skills while spinning yarns about the wild turkey, including real-life hunting techniques. Gene believed in challenging the old toms without the use of decoys, bait, or blinds. He was the real Old Pro Turkey Hunter."

- Mark McPhail, nationally acclaimed custom turkey call maker and winner of over forty national awards for his calls