Roger Rumley has been an avid turkey hunter for many years, but he’s already decided that this year has been his best turkey season yet, hands down. He doubled up on birds with his younger son on April 9, then duplicated the feat with his oldest son on April 14. It’s an experience he never imagined would happen.
“Family is important to me, and to my sons, and sharing outdoor experiences with them means a lot to me. To get two doubles with both boys has made this the best turkey season I’ve ever had,” said Rumley, who lives in Browns Summit where he operates Rumley Taxidermy.
On the 9th, Rumley’s oldest son had to cancel hunting with him because of work obligations, so his youngest son, Ethan, who is 16-years-old, joined his dad, who had roosted a group of turkeys the night before.
A little preplanning helped the two double up on this hunt.
“We talked about it before hand, and we both know that if two gobblers show up, the guy sitting on the right is going to take the lead turkey, and the guy sitting on the left is going to shoot the second turkey,” said Rumley, “and we know it will be time to shoot when I say ‘one, two,’ then we pull the trigger.”
And that’s just the way it happened not long after getting into the woods at first light. After Rumley called a few times, two turkeys came “running in like missiles” at 7 a.m., and when they were about twenty yards away, both hunters clicked their safeties off, Rumley asked his son if he was ready, then counted ‘one, two,’ and the report of both shotguns announced death for both gobblers.
And these weren’t just any gobblers. Ethan’s sported a double beard, and his dad’s had three beards.
As they were leaving the woods, Rumley made a mental note of some other turkeys he heard gobbling nearby, and the following Thursday, he brought his oldest son Josh to the same spot.
“Josh is 31-years-old, and he’s never been interested in hunting until the past few years, so it’s been very special having him involved. We set up just a few feet from where I sat with Ethan on the 9th, and this hunt went almost identical to that one. I called just a little bit, and the birds came in,” said Rumley.
Three turkeys came in this time, and as the first two got into range, Rumley asked his son if he was ready.
“He answered, but I didn’t understand what he said. Then I counted ‘one, two,’ and then boom, I shot, but he didn’t. As my turkey went down, the second one jumped straight up into the air, and I yelled ‘shoot him!’ and Josh pulled the trigger, laying that turkey out. Turns out, he told me he was not ready when I asked, so we laughed about that after the hunt,” Rumley said.
Both of these turkeys had 10-inch beards, and Rumley is going to make a special mount for all four turkeys to commemorate those two hunts.
"I’m not God’s gift to turkey hunting by any means. We did our homework on those turkeys, but we also got very lucky. You don’t double with two sons in the same season without being blessed and lucky. It’s already a season I will always cherish,” Rumley said.