Tasmanian turkey dog

If you were near El Dorado or Emporia Tuesday afternoon you may have seen my Lab, Hank.

As fast as he was running up and down Flint Hills ridges in Chase County I wouldn’t be surprised if he made it by one or both towns.

All I could do was wait until he regained some of his senses and returned.

The scent of big flock of wild turkeys does that to him. The poor ol’ boy is seriously addicted to Kansas’ largest game bird.

Don't let the soft brown eyes fool you, Hank's a dog possessed once he gets the sight or scent of wild turkeys. He loves to flush and fetch them, like this hen he did both with last weekend.

Don't let the soft brown eyes fool you, Hank's a dog possessed once he gets the sight or scent of wild turkeys. He loves to flush and fetch them, like this hen he did both with last weekend.

I guess his addiction, and that’s what it is, really, is because the birds are so big and provide so much scent. That he often finds them in flocks of 100 or more probably adds to his excitement.

At home he’s been nicknamed Eeyore¬† because he’s so laid-back around the house. Hank’s easily controllable when hunting waterfowl or pheasants.

Tuesday afteroon I was trying to get some good pictures of Hank rushing and flushing a big flock of turkeys. We’d seen a bunch of about 60 or so cross a ridge and hustled that way.

When we popped over the ridge I released him from heal thinking he’d be into the birds within a few yards.

No turkeys were in that valley. Hank found their scent and was off at full-speed.

I watched him charge up one ridge then disappear down the otherside. Eventually he was up and over the next. In the distance, maybe a half-mile away, I’m pretty sure I saw turkeys flying in all directions.

A tiny black dot on that far ridge proved to be Hank when I checked it with binoculars. He was looking back in my direction, giving me a “Hey, where were you? I found them!” kind of look.

I met him half-way back and his eyes were still bulging from excitement and his tongue  flapping like line-hung laundry on a windy day as he ran. He took a long drink and cooled his body in a nearby spring.

Sunday’s outdoors page will have more tales of our dog that’s a turkaholic.