Lucky for me the skunk, 10 feet up wind, didn’t smell or see me, lying prone on the ground patiently waiting in ambush between a small turkey roost and a freshly plowed field. Hoping that both the skunk would move on, which it did, and some turkeys would move our way, which, minutes later, 4 hens did, made this apparent foolishness worthwhile. Lucky the skunk missed Rick Haney too, who was in ambush about 40 yards to my right.

We were enjoying the opening morning of spring turkey season on Rick’s ranch, near Abilene, Texas. We had scouted the roost the previous evening and guessed it held about a dozen birds. It had been eerie, in the pitch dark, walking along a ranch road and listening to the night sounds and then hearing the unmistakable sounds of the turkey’s “snoring”, a peculiar sawing or sighing sound, difficult to describe.

Lucky, because the hens, as we lay still as rocks, walked within 30 feet of us! We hoped they would draw a tom, or 2, close enough for us to get a shot. They walked on to the edge of the plowed ground and began nibbling away, and always, at least one would have its head up alertly scanning for danger or maybe a boyfriend, and they all were making soft, purring, hen sounds. Sure enough, from our right oblique we heard the gobbles of several toms announcing they were off the roost, and soon, still gobbling, we saw them and they were an exciting sight, gobbling and strutting, wings dragging and tension building in us!

They came to within 60 yards of us and stopped for a moment, then came on and about, 40 to 50 yards, laying down, it was hard to tell exactly, Rick jumped up and boom, boom, his 12 gauge barked twice as the turkeys took wing, luckily, right over me. Picking one out, swinging and covering the bird’s head, boom and it crumpled. Then acquiring another, putting the bead on its nose, boom and down it went a double on turkeys, both of them flying! Having hunted for a long time and many times, having doubled on doves, quail, ducks and geese, this was a first, and probably, a last for me too, a thrilling, unusual situation!

Rick scored once and we got a lot of mind pictures, but of course, no cameras or pictures of this feat, but at least, I didn’t lead the big, birds too far!