This happened to my daughter a few too many years ago. I think she was 17.
I had introduced her to Sandhill Crane hunting. She had a blast and wanted to hunt them again. So I capitulated and told her she could go, but, I wanted her to take someone along in case anything untoward would happen. So she takes her sister and sisters' boyfriend Billy.
I am at work and about 10:00 o'clock I get a call. Daughter calls bawling her eyes out.
I AM A MURDERER. Well I am dumbstruck and ask hows Billy. Still crying she says fine, I then ask about sis, "She's fine too. So next question 'What happened ?'
She and little sis had set out decoys and only called in three cranes. Little sis was in the perfect spot and took all three. Limit is only 3. So big sis has spotted a whole alfalfa field full of cranes. There is an irrigation ditch running parallel to the field. So she crawled ditch to within gun range and pops up to flush the birds. All the birds in the field take to the air at once. She estimates about 300 birds take off at once. She fires one shot at one bird and three drop. Still sniffling she explains she murdered those birds.
I let out a big sigh and tell her not to worry, she has her limit. She was well within the law and these things can happen. She hasn't been crane hunting since.
I don't really remember the first time I got a double- seems like I tend to get doubles more on sharpies than other prey. The most memorable flush of this season I was carrying my new 16 Citori and flushed three sharpies in tall grass at the edge of a pasture. Two flew upwind and I downed them with a double at about 20 yards. I spun on the downwind flyer while quickly dropping a shell in my gun. I drew bead on him and click. Wrong barrel. Almost a perfect triple.
Joined: 01 Dec 2005
Not a true double, but in 1969 or maybe it was '68, on Lake Coe, near home in ND -- one shot from my new 28 gauge 870, 3/4 oz of 6's, dropped 5 or 6 from a passing flock of bluebills - so says my trustworthy and sharp-eyed older brother. I only recoverd 4. I guess I didn't see them all. When it rains ducks, it's hard to count.
Divers offer so many chances for multiples per shot. They fly in close strings or packs. Sometimes you don't get the one you swing on - good way to learn how far you have to lead a full-bore canvasback, for instance. We had lots of multiples with Canvasbacks -- very dangerous when the limit was 1, as it is now, or even 2 with bluebills and ringnecks. In most of my highschool years the can limit was zero or 1 as I recall, and somedays cans were all we'd see -- and that is no shxt sherlock! We were/are pass-shooters. One of a pair I got was banded and turned out to be around 9 plus years old -- banded in Michigan in '59 if I recall correctly. I still have the certificate that came back from the Dept of the Interior in those days.
Got a Black Duck and a Mallard drake with one shot in that same era (the high school years). Unusual to see Black Ducks in ND.
A few years ago I got two mergansers with one shot of my 1882 vintage 10 gauge W&C Scott and Sons damascus double -- 1 1/4 oz. bismuth #4 handload. Geese are also certainly not immune to one-shot doubles.
Doubles on Hungarian Partridge and Sharptails were and are still common, as they tend to be "open field" opportunities. Got 4 sharptails out of a flock with Dad's big Model 12 when I was an 8th grader. I was so small I had to unmount the gun to jack in each shell. Got two, missed one, reloaded and got two more. They just kept getting up, some behind me. This is not atypical in early season. Last year (2016) I got 5 from one young bunch with RobP's Remington 11-48 .410. Had to re-load (3 shells for upland in ND, as always), of course. Woops! I'm over the limit. Dang me. Won't happen again, I promise.
But hats off to those here who've shot true 2-shot doubles with a double gun on ruffed grouse or woodcock, or some other upland birds. The opportunities are a lot more infrequent and often more difficult.
Joined: 19 Nov 2013
Location: NW Arkansas
Max Smoke mentions ducks, which stirs my memory. Actually, my brother mentioned this to me on a quail hunt recently, as in, "do you remember when. . . . . "
We were hunting Bayou Meto WMA in east Arkansas in flooded timber for mallards in the 1970s. Generally, one only kills mallards and wood ducks in flooded timber, but this day a flock of green wing teal went streaking over the tree tops. I gave a typical mallard call, they turned and headed our way, and then bombed in through a hole in the tree canopy. We both shot one time (probably with two 16 gauge M37 Ithacas as we both used them then) as the flock wadded up, coming down right in our faces. Seven teal hit the water. Raining ducks! We had a witness also!
Ruffed grouse are probably the hardest bird I've hunted to take a true double. The same brother and I got up a brood of grouse on the edge of a thicket in the UP of Michigan in the mid-90s. We double tapped at least one bird, but killed 3 out of the four grouse. The other bird flew off mortally wounded, but we never did find him as we didn't know how far he went into the thicket.
Most of the time, I'm pleased to kill one birds, whether it is a grouse, wood copter, quail of pheasant! True doubles get harder as the years pass, as reflexes slow!
_________________ 16 gauges:
1954 Win M12 IC
1952 Ithaca M37 Mod
1955 Browning Auto-5 Mod
1940 Ithaca NID M/F
1959 Beretta Silver Hawk
Ranger 103-II M/F
Browning A-5 Sweet 16
Browning Citori Invector
Browning BPS Upland Invector
Rem 870 Remchoke
Thereís a Woodcock Society in England whose membership consists of those who get verified left-rights on woodcock. They hold an annual black tie dinner. To qualify, the gun must remain mounted for both shots and the event needs to be verified by two reputable witnesses.
Itís been my goal, but I donít think Iíll achieve it-woodcock terrain is getting a bit tough for me.
Best I ever did was a right barrel on a grouse my dog flushed. The noise of the shot flushed a woodcock. I swung around and left-barreled him. That was in the Maine north woods a few years ago.
Iíve gotten many left-right ptarmigans in the sub-arctic but theyíre easy.
I don't remember if this was my first double, I'm sure I had double more than once on doves before this; but, it is my most memorable double.
It happened during the 1982 grouse season.
There is a covert we call elderberry. It got its name because of where we park. You go down an old rough two track, logging road, now no longer accessible (thanks US Forest Service grrrrr). About 3 miles up and over the ridge you come to a large group of elderberry bushes. That is where we parked because it is one of the few places you can pull off the road.
Late one perfect Fall afternoon the wife and I drove the old Scout up that old and bumpy road up over the ridge. My little setter always got excited when ever we hit a dirt road so she was in that back all keyed up ready for the coming hunt. I kept my side by side 20 gauge cased with us up front ready to grab if we spotted a grouse as we drove into Elderberry.
We didn't see a bird on the bumpy drive into the covert. As always, i pulled off the little two track when I got to the large elderberries that were on both sides of the road. I slipped the little double out of its case as the wife and I got out the rig. We closed the doors, I dropped two yellow shells into my double and went to the back of the Scout to let my setter out. The wife opened the tailgate. Normally my setter would bound out of the rig, run around and find a place to pee and empty her bowels. That wasn't the case this day.
My setter got to the tail gate and froze. So there she stood on the tail gate locked solidly which had me confused. I took a few steps and called her but nope she wasn't budging. I'm kind of slow but the light bulb did go off. She was on point never leaving the tailgate of the Scout.
I took another step and several ruffed grouse busted out of the tall elderberry bush I was standing beside. Two made the fatal mistake of using the old dirt road as their escape route. It made for two pretty simple straight away shots. The others flew down the hill and we picked a couple of them up a bit later. Making for a full game bag.
I'll never forget that rock solid quivering point as my setter stood there on the tailgate. The double, well that was just the frosting on the cake. Here is photo taken that day.
Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Location: Williamsburg, VA
Dave in Maine wrote:
I never got a double on anything.
You and me both. I''m happy to get a clean shot at a single, moreso when I turn that clean shot into a clean kill.
I passed up a double on Huns during that Montana Trip in 2004. My friend was taking a break and I decided to hunt walk a grass waterway through a combined wheat field. 5 or 6 Huns flushed from the wheat field about 15 yards in front and to the left of me giving me a quartering left to right shot. I dropped got one with my first shot, and I didn't even try for a double because without a dog, I was so focused on marking where that first bird fell.
I actually have downed several 2fer's through the years on pheasant and ducks and geese. As I thought about it I recognized the common thread: just the right terrain and/or circumstances. The ducks were so thick in Manitoba that several shots on both divers and puddle ducks was a real possibility.
Geese, same deal. I was much younger and would literally run, and I mean sprint, through the corn rows to intercept a flock of Canadians flying low over a standing corn field. Toughest thing about the shot was trying to control breathing, lungs heaving like a bellows.
But I want to talk about my most memorable event. South Dakota, 10 years ago. I was armed, at various times, with a Beretta SXS 16; a Browning Sweet Sixteen, and a Beretta 686 Onyx 12 ga.
I went with a party of twelve, three good dogs. We had complete control over 1000 acres of private land, the owner was about 78-80yrs. old. and just asked for some birds for the pot. Get this- he even said you don't need to clean 'em, the wife needs something to do!
I saw birds escaping the horde of noise 300yds. ahead of the army I was with. I suggested a couple of guns run up ahead to a marsh abutted by a pond and gravel road. Nobody listened, so I ran ahead alone with the 686 O/U.
I dropped a couple birds trying to get to the marsh to set up. As I ran, I could see groups of pheasants getting up out of the corner. One group after another. Finally, getting to the marsh/pond/road corner, I collected myself, got control of my breathing, and started to shoot. I started dropping birds. This is the part I will always remember: unknown to me, about 100 yds behind a windbreak of scrub trees. there was a large party of hunters set up on the property line. Birds that flew due west from me, were shot at by this group and soon retreated right back across the trees directly to me. I was frustrated cuz I would drop two, need to reload and several birds flew right over my head as I struggled to get back in action. I found that if I dropped down to a knee in the marshgrass, I could reload and fire kneeling at birds that tracked towards me unseen. Believe it or not, I got several doubles that day because the birds were not difficult targets. That memory is so fresh in my memory that it seems like last nights technocolor dream!!
Quail in Kansas
I rode from PA to KS with a sporting clay bragger who talked the whole way out about how he couldn't wait to double up on some wild quail. Basically he was going to show us VA boys how it was done. We approached my pointed GSPs walking up a railroad line. When the quail flushed I dropped one between the rails and one on the stone bed before the brush next to the left rail with my 16ga Zoli o/u. The PA sporting clay fellow to my left emptied his 12ga semi and never drew a feather. When he asked if I got any it sure was easy to tell him that I had doubled up. LOL
Most of the places I hunt, the cover is thick so I don't even try to double because I hate to lose a pheasant. Even with good dogs a broken winged pheasant can get away quickly so I usually mark the spot and walk directly to that spot. It is surprising how all tall switch grass looks the same.
Two weeks ago I was walking back to the truck in short grass with four dogs when two roosters got up from the same clump of grass. I killed the right one first and then the left. I saw my old GSP on the first one and went after the second. The youngest GSP had that one. I got a double on a covey rise two weeks before that so it's been a good season!!
_________________ Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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