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Memories of Dick Kirby

Everyone knows that Dick Kirby was a phenomenal turkey hunter and caller. I was fortunate to witness that firsthand years ago.

Kirby died Sept. 30 after a post-operative event had left him in a coma for several weeks. See the forum post “Very sad news.”

In April 2000, I joined Kirby and the rest of the Quaker Boy crew at the famed Ford Ranch near Brady, Texas. Kirby accompanied me the first morning of the hunt, and we got into turkeys immediately.

After a masterful calling performance, Kirby enticed a strutter across a quarter-mile of open country to within 15 steps of my gun barrel. I’d never killed a Rio before, and I was itching to seal the deal.

Trouble was, a mutual friend was filming the hunt, and I hadn’t heard her give me the kill signal. As I waited and strained my ears, the gobbler strutted and drummed even closer. Was there a problem?

Finally, Dick had seen enough. He cast me a sideways glance, raised his eyebrows and yelled, “Shoot him!”

I did, and then thanked Dick for my first Texas turkey. And then I watched him put on another virtuoso calling performance and kill a gobbler of his own.

The hunt will forever live as one of my all-time favorites. Thanks Dick, and God bless.

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