Yamaha’s Steve Nessl (left) and outdoor writer Bob Humphrey with a pair of big Georgia gobblers. Bob Humphrey photo.
By Bob Humphrey
I couldn’t see the birds but I could hear them closing in. Instead of coming straight on however, they made a flanking maneuver and were approaching from the rear. Fortunately, my hunting partner, Steve Nessl was watching the back door. I figured the birds must be getting close, then I heard his shot. The flock rose en-masse, like a covey of giant quail and much to my delight, settled within range of my 12 gauge. I wasted little time reducing the nearest longbeard to possession. Steve had connected as well. It was our second double in two days, and both of the latest birds sported double beards. It was, as Steve later remarked, a double, double, double.
Turkey hunting with a partner has several advantages, not the least of which is, it’s more fun. It can also sometimes be the deciding factor in a successful hunt.
There are some distinct tactical advantages to pairing up. It offers an extra set of hands to operate friction calls, eliminating the need to switch from call to gun at the last second. It also allows the caller to call from a different location than the shooter, or to move away from the shooter in hopes a reluctant gobbler will follow.
Sometimes advantageous to have two guns. You can cover more area without moving, back up a poor shot or, as the opening passage illustrates, double up.
It’s also nice to have a second opinion sometimes. Uncooperative turkeys can really get into your head, and it helps to share ideas.
Perhaps most importantly though, having someone else along to share the hunt, whether it be a long-time hunting buddy, or a youngster just starting out, makes the experience more enjoyable. A veteran can help a novice hunter over the steepest parts of the learning curve. And watching the excitement, exhilaration and joy of someone taking their first bird is nearly as exciting as doing it yourself.