We were prophetic. Next morning, after an unproductive sit in under the branches of a giant willow oak, we checked a big pasture and saw an Osceola gobbler strutting with four or five hens. Jimmy, who is a much more prudent turkey hunter than I, suggested we go to lunch and give the turkey time to leave the field, then set up a blind for the afternoon. I noticed the hens were leaving and the gobbler was sort of coming our way, and I thought we could stay and kill it. I would hide, I said, and Jimmy would slip down about 30 yards to my left where the cover ran out and put the strutter decoy at the very edge of the field, then call the turkey past me.
The plan might have worked, but we never had a chance to find out. Jimmy got me tucked into the palmettos on a little camp chair but hadn’t had time to set the decoy or make a call yet when the gobbler walked past me at 12 steps. I held a little off to one side (so its head would remain attached) and shot. Whether the turkey heard rustling in the bushes and thought we were turkeys or if it just wandered by in exactly the wrong direction, I’ll never know.