New turkey book is 'Jolly' good

“Memories of Spring” written by Ron Jolly, LA native and nationally known turkey hunter, videographer and author, is a “must have” for turkey hunters.(Glynn Harris photo)

My reluctant venture into the world of the wild turkey began on April 13, 1992 in Coosa County Alabama. On a hunt arranged by outdoor writer friend, John E. Phillips, I got my first taste of the mind-numbing narcotic of hunting wild turkeys when the first turkey I ever saw came strutting through the Alabama hardwoods to my gun.

My reluctance was the result of what April had always meant for me. The bluegills were bedded, crappie were moving to the shallows and sway-bellied bass were preparing to do their springtime thing. Why would I want to leave home, travel to Alabama to chase a bird I knew nothing about? Phillips is my friend and I didn’t want to disappoint him so I decided maybe the bluegills, crappie and bass could wait a week.

When my guide called on his box call and that Coosa County gobbler appeared, all puffed up slowly turning in shafts of sunlight to reveal a kaleidoscope of colors in his fan with a head looking for all the world like a soft ball, I was immediately hooked. In that moment, I knew this was something I had to learn how to do.

Since that morning in Alabama, I have been blessed to be able to chase gobblers around the country from Texas to Florida to S. Dakota, eventually collecting the four sub-species necessary to complete my Grand Slam.  

As I learned what turkey hunting is about, I relied on tips offered by friends and subscribed to every magazine that even hinted of turkey hunting. I watched videos and got my hands on books dedicated to these magnificent birds.

The mailman came with a package last week, one I had been expecting. The postmark was Tuskegee, AL and I knew what I was about to experience, a book by my friend, Ron Jolly, one of the country’s best known turkey hunters, award-winning author and videographer.

“Memories of Spring” is a collection of stories assembled by Ron Jolly, a son of northeast Louisiana. Graduating from high school in Newellton, he made his way to LA Tech. Eventually ending up in Tuskegee, AL with his beautiful and talented wife, Tes, whose breath-taking photos illustrate the book, Jolly became involved as a videographer with Will Primos in the production of his company’s hunting videos.

Introduced to turkey hunting in Tensas Parish, Jolly as a youngster, tagged along behind his dad who taught him, as he said in the book’s introduction, the “little things that would later in life give me the chance to live a dream.”

“Memories of Spring” allows the reader to sit next to Jolly in the spring woods, peering over his shoulder as he talks about his triumphs and failures; why some things worked and why some went bust and you’ll pick up the passion Ron Jolly has for chasing wild turkeys.

To be honest, when I sat down with the book, I found it hard to put down until I had completely read the 226 pages because the story I had just read was even more fascinating than the one before, and it went that way all the way through the book.

This is not a “how to” book but, in the words of Will Primos in the forward, “Jolly has a unique way through his writings and whether you realize it or not, you are learning how to be a better turkey hunter as you read his stories. He infuses his stories with turkey hunting wisdom. He had been there and done that, a lot!”

If you have even a casual interest in these magnificent birds, especially if you’re a turkey hunter, this book absolutely must find a cherished spot in your library. Keep it handy, though, because you’ll find yourself reading it again and again; I’m already on my second reading.

Search for “Memories of Spring” on Amazon to order. For an inscribed copy for $30 which includes shipping and handling, send a request to Jolly’s Outdoor Vision, 204 Fast Lane, Tuskegee,AL 36083. Include how you want the book inscribed.

It’s a bargain either way because rest assured, you’re going to love this book.

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