The turkey was still roosting in a tree behind Jimmy Crescini’s right shoulder.

So the Elizabeth City resident decided to pull a special trick out of his bag to get the bird in front of him and hunting partner Andy McCoy.

Instead of using some special call, he took an old turkey feather out of his bag and start fluttering in the air and scratching the ground with it.

The gobbler swooped down from across a small creek and landed in front of the hunters a few yards away. Crescini made a few more calls to get the bird a little closer and McCoy finished the job.

No wonder friends call Crescini the Turkey Whisperer.

“People say I can get a turkey to break dance right in front of me,” the 1985 graduate of Princess Ann High School said with a laugh.

The telecommunications IT serviceman who turns 54 in July started hunting turkey on the Eastern Shore in 1995 and didn’t get his first bird until 1998.

“I was about to give up,” he said. “But when I got one to gobble, I got the feeling and that was it. I studied and talked to some of the top turkey hunters and learned all the tricks. Turkey communicate a lot with their wings and not a lot of people know that.”

Crescini also fishes and hunts deer. Lately he’s grown a keen fondness for duck hunting.

But turkey is his passion and calling a bird in for someone else his what he loves to do the most.

“Not about me anymore,” he said. “Turning people onto turkey hunting is the important thing.

“I get the thrill from getting them to come to me and watching the excitement of kids and friends when they get one. When they are up close and you can feel them gobbling in your chest, my heart starts pounding and I can almost feel the person that’s with me pounding.

“It’s a rush that is hard to explain, but you’ll know it when it happens.”

Picture is of Andy McCoy (L) and Jimmy Crescini (R) with a beautiful North Carolina turkey.

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