By Jill J Easton
Turkeys are Ron Jolly’s passion. He’s spent most of his adult life chasing the grand birds both as a hunter and as a videographer for several outdoor shows. He knows birds and like most rednecks, can tell a stemwinder story about nearly every hunt he’s ever made.
This book contains 44 stories about turkey hunts and hunting. Each story is great within itself, but there is much more to these tales. If you read carefully, each one will add to your knowledge of turkey hunting and give you new tools to take into the turkey woods.
Ron produced, shot and starred in many videos for Primos Game Calls, especially the “Truth About Spring” series. Running a camera and watching hunter after hunter succeed or fail gives a passionate turkey hunter a unique viewpoint and a lot of stories to draw on. Some of the events are about first-time novices in front of the camera and others are told on himself, his wife Tes and on the famous within the small fraternity of serious turkey hunters.
There are human heroes but frequently there are times when a canny gobbler beats out the hunter. No matter, each hunt has those intriguing snippets of information that can make anyone who studies the events a better turkey hunter.
Smart turkeys, or whatever passes for brains in gobblers, make for interesting days in the woods, several turkeys earned names because they taunted the hunter to come back again and again. Ron is frustrated, fascinated and challenged by these great hunts and probably spent a lot of dream time on the birds that trot and gobble through the pages of his book.
There was Rude Robert who eluded Ron on numerous occasions. It took Tes, his wife-to-be, to show him that a smart, educated turkey requires a new and unique approach that involved running and gunning. Another turkey foursome called The Brotherhood always exited away from Ron when they heard his sweetest hen yelps and clucks. He tried a Buttigieg maneuver using a gobbler call and the four compadres came right in. See, I told you there was learning in every chapter.
Tes Randle Jolly, Ron’s wife, is also a major part of this book. Tes is an amazing turkey hunter, former turkey hunting guide at fabled White Oak, contributor, and character in many of the stories. More importantly, she is one of the best outdoor photographers in the United States and her special passion is turkeys. If you don’t believe me about the exceptional quality of her photographs, look at the pictures in this book. The black and white photography inside brings out details that whizz by during an actual turkey encounter.
Then check the photo credits on the cover shots for Turkey and Turkey Hunting, Outdoor Life, Turkey Country, and Gamekeepers to name only a few, you will see how Tes’s great eye and incredible patience pay off.
Other well-known outdoorsmen have made contributions. Corky Pugh, former head honcho of Alabama’s Wildlife and Fresh Water Fisheries Division is another knowledgeable friend that shared his experiences for this book. His rules for turkey hunting help every turkey hunter maintain their self-respect and bring home more turkeys.
Ron learned gobbler chasing from his dad, but his father gave Ron the most important tools any turkey hunter can have. His dad started hunting after the Great Depression when there were almost no turkeys. He gave Ron rich advice when he joined the Primos operation that should pertain to everyone who calls the woods a second home. There is a time when you give up being a shooter and become a hunter.
“All the things I taught you about hunting turkeys I learned the hard way,” J.E. ‘Junior’ Jolly said. “If you take this job you will have to help others learn where to go and how to call. I hope you have learned enough, because I will not show you anything else.”
Ron never hunted with his father again and he mourns the loss of his dad’s wealth of experience. Thanks to “Memories of Spring,” there is a new tool to add to our turkey hunting lore. Enjoy, but learn, not many hunters give away secrets this generously. Even more important, pass along the new skills you learn.
For inscribed copies send check or money order for $30 to:
Jolly’s Outdoor Visions
204 Fast Lane
Tuskegee, AL 36083
Be sure to include how you want your book inscribed. The book can also be purchased by searching “Memories of Spring” on Amazon.