Turkey hunt turns dangerous for the hunter

turkey hunt
Roger Rumley killed this turkey during a hunt in Wilkes County, N.C. on April 21, 2020.

Hunter called turkey with homemade wingbone call

Roger Rumley of Browns Summit, N.C. killed a 20.6-pound gobbler on April 21 during a hunt in Wilkes County. And for a while, he thought the turkey hunt might kill him too. The bird had an 11-inch beard and 1 3/8-inch spurs. While retrieving the turkey, Rumley knew he was in trouble when he felt his heart jump out of rhythm.

Aside from the medical problems, Rumley said it was an awesome hunt. He was using a wingbone turkey call that he’d made from a gobbler he’d previously harvested from the same farm.

“I was frustrated with the turkeys around home,” Rumley said. “So I decided to head for the foothills in Wilkes County. After a mile or so walk downhill, I got situated around 1 p.m. in my hunting spot. Within 15 minutes, I heard a turkey gobble, and I perked up quickly. I called to the gobbler, and got no response at first.

“Five minutes later, he gobbled again. So I got up and moved toward him, calling along the way as he gobbled back. I knew where he was, and I worked toward him carefully, in a slow manner.”

Hunter’s heart jumped out of rhythm during hunt

Rumley realized the gobbler was heading his way. So he settled in on a good ambush spot, turned his wingbone call around, and yelped four times. Then he got ready.

“He rounded the corner of the pasture, head up, looking for the hen that was saying sweet nothings to him. I shot him with my Remington 20-gauge loaded with Federal TSS. My heart pounding, I jumped up to run to him,” he said.

And that’s when Rumley realized he was in some trouble of his own.

“My heart had jumped out of rhythm. The middle part of my heart was trying to control the beating instead of the top part of my heart. I had a mile or so walk uphill to my truck and best friend’s house. It took me over an hour to get there. My heart was going crazy the whole time. But I knew I couldn’t stop, or I would be in even more trouble,” he said.

His friend’s wife was home, and she took him to the hospital where he was met by his wife, sister, and daughter. Luckily, after several hours, he was released with his heart back in rhythm.

“I finally made it home as the sun was setting to take a picture with the turkey. For a 54-year-old man, it was an eventful day!” he said.

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Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1651 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of CarolinaSportsman.com. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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