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Oklahoma Turkeys Win Against Chauncey Wesner of Double E Outdoors and Outdoor Writer John E. Phillips

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John’s Note: The Wesner Ranch/Double E Outdoors in Reydon, Oklahoma, with holdings in both Texas and Oklahoma, homes plenty of turkeys, as well as a wealth of history.

Oklahoma Turkeys Win Against Chauncey Wesner of Double E Outdoors and Outdoor Writer John E. Phillips - 4Chauncey Wesner and I had spotted two gobblers with four hens. After showing them a decoy and calling to them, they started moving away from us and into a canyon.

We circled the birds to try and get in front of them. After searching for them in the first canyon, we moved to the second.

We’ll need to belly crawl up to the edge of the canyon.

Wesner advised, “Otherwise the turkeys will see us.” Knowing that one hunter would less likely to be spotted when he was moving than two hunters, I suggested that Wesner crawl first, peek over the edge of the canyon and see if he could spot the birds. Like a sniper, Wesner laid flat on the ground and used his knees and his elbows to pull himself along the ground, until he was about 50 yards in front of me at the lip of the canyon beside a yucca bush. I saw Wesner slowly pick up his binoculars and bring them to his eyes.

Oklahoma Turkeys Win Against Chauncey Wesner of Double E Outdoors and Outdoor Writer John E. Phillips - 1After looking through his binoculars for 2 or 3 minutes, he looked back at me and pointed down, indicating that the turkeys were below him. Next he turned his palm down and slowly pumped it up and down, telling me that he wanted me to lay flat on the ground. I followed his instructions, and then he signaled for me to move forward. Many people who haven’t hunted in the Southwest don’t know that everything on the ground there will poke you, stick you or bite you. As I crawled across that rocky terrain, I felt needle sharp spines piercing my Mossy Oak TrekLite pants and going through my Under Armour ( base layer to find a resting place about 1/8-inch deep in my spine. But when you’re crawling on turkeys, the pain is worth the gain.

When I arrived at the yucca plant where Wesner was waiting, he moved around the plant and motioned me to come beside him. I laid my gun down, picked up my binoculars and spotted the turkeys in some brush about 40 yards below us.

“I think you can make that shot, but you have to take one of dictionary1-3those gobblers before they reach that fence,” Wesner said. As I reached for my gun, I saw the lead hen duck and go under the fence. Before I could get my gun to my shoulder, the other five hens had ducked and gone under the fence.

When I finally got my gun to my shoulder, the first gobbler had gone under the fence, but I thought I could get a shot on the second bird. As fate would have it, he moved to some brush and went out of sight. The next time I saw him, he was on the other side of the fence. I knew I could’ve made the shot with my Mossy Oak camouflaged Mossberg 930 ( The gobbler only was 2 feet on the other side of the wire, but he might as well have been 10 miles away, since I couldn’t take the shot.

“I’m sorry I didn’t get you to the turkey in time to take the shot before he crossed the line,” Chauncey said. “There’s nothing to be sorry about,” I told him. “We had a great hunt. We fought this bird for 2-1/2 hours. I was about a minute away from being able to bag that longbeard, but he beat us. I had a great hunt that I’ll remember for a long time. I don’t feel defeated, because those two gobblers won. I don’t determine a great hunt by the squeezing of a trigger. A great turkey hunt is when you put in the time, and you have an opportunity to take a bird – even if you don’t squeeze the trigger and don’t bag the bird. Thanks for letting me spend the morning with you.” Our hunt at the Wesners’ Ranch with Double E Outdoors provided an opportunity to take four gobblers during a 5 day hunt. However, we were hunting wild turkeys. Every day I had an opportunity to take a turkey, however, on some days the gobblers won. On other days, we won.

For more information on hunting with the Wesners, go to, or call 806-565-4679.

To learn more about turkey hunting, get John E. Phillips’ new eBook “How to Hunt Turkeys with World Champion Preston Pittman.” Click here to get this book.

About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors.

Next: Outdoor Writer John E. Phillips Tells the History of the Wesner Ranch Where He Hunted Turkeys

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