By Hal Herring
It has always been my belief that every real and lasting conservation victory comes not from anger or a sense of loss but out of love for a place or a heritage, something powerful and positive. That kind of love is based in deep experience, and I wanted to make sure that Field and Stream readers are aware of a new (and free for viewing) movie made from one of my all-time favorite books, Illumination in the Flatwoods, by outdoorsman and wildlife biologist Joe Hutto. He grew up steeped in the turkey hunting traditions of the north Florida woods, and then, as a young man, embarked upon one of the most intense and unusual research projects ever undertaken.
In the first chapter of the book, he writes of a hunt taken when he was twelve-years-old, his first time alone in the pre-dawn springtime woods, of listening to the world as it awakens, and realizing that a lone gobbler is stalking and studying him. “I never saw that great bird on that cool spring morning, but he inadvertently shared something important with me, and I would ever be the same. A wild turkey had changed my life.” Indeed, it did. And that was just the very beginning.