Stories from the Woodman: When One Gun Is Not Enough

by Scotty Wood

photography by Scotty Wood

September 29th, 2020

Over four decades of hunting with my ole' friend Bob Cassaday has provided me with many unforgettable experiences.

This particular adventure landed us North of Fort Griffin on the Brazos River for a spring turkey hunt. With sunrise less than an hour away, we found a thicket of scrub brush and settled in for the hunt. As it started getting lighter, we could hear the flapping of their wings as the birds started leaving their roosts up and down the river.

At first light a small group of Toms responded to the call and approached us from the right. Seated on the right meant I had first shot; unable to turn for fear of spooking them, I switched to my left shoulder, picked out a big Gobbler, fired and he went down. The remaining birds flushed in all directions with one flying right over us and Bob shot him out of the air with his 870 dropping him with a loud thump as he hit the ground. We both jumped up and headed in opposite directions to retrieve our kill.

That foggy morning hunt yielded a nice Tom to Bob's slate call, and a life lesson to myself. The difference in line of sight, and line of bore, on the early model Colt Car-15 handle mounted scopes is significant enough to leave me with a mere handful of feathers on the ground. As Bob cleaned his turkey I compared my feathers to the belly feathers of his bird explaining why mine didn't stay down. 

Once we had his harvest on ice, we decided to slow-roll down the ranch roads and see some countryside. We eased up on what sounded like a very agitated rattlesnake. I turned off the key of the K 5 and proceeded to try and pinpoint the location of the buzzing. Suddenly, Bob spotted a bobcat at our 3 o'clock. I had switched guns to a cut down Mini-14 and being the man on the glass, Bob insisted I take the shot. I told him, if I take the shot from the driver's seat out the passenger window, the muzzle blast would blow his moustache off! "Get that cat!" he said. I squeezed off a round, and the cat disappeared. Not knowing the outcome, I got out of the Blazer and proceeded towards the sound. I told Bob if he didn't want to accompany me he could stay in the truck, and he assured me that would not be a problem! 

Slinging the rifle over my shoulder and drawing my Colt Ace, I carefully advanced towards the location of the last sighting of the cat . The muzzle blast inside the cab had my bells ringing, causing me to cautiously advance step by step, checking out every bush, and clump of weeds. The cat had dropped dead in his tracks, but I continued to hear the rattling. I noticed a small blood trail leading away from the cat and got down on my hands and knees to follow the trail. The trail led to a short cedar bush and parting the limbs brought me face to face with the coiled snake. A desperate point shot dispatched the rattler. Dragging him out from the bush, I noticed he had been sliced open by the cat. While skinning the cat I saw where the snake had hit him twice. 

In the accompanying picture, you can spot the rattlesnake at the tip of my machete.

Scotty Wood

Click Picture for a Larger Version

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