Once the turkey hunter fired a shot, he ran toward what he thought was the wild turkey he had been calling and stocking.

A turkey hunter using a tail fan (photo via Kansas.com) But that hunter, Kenneth Dienst, discovered that he had shot his brother, Gary, and a friend, Justin Wiles. 

“Right after he shot, he thought he saw a turkey flopping on the ground, but when he hurried up there, he saw two guys rolling on the ground. He’d shot (both) in the face,” said Jim Bussone, a Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism game warden who investigated the April 12 incident in Crawford County.

“The shooter swore he’d seen strutting toms and some other turkeys right up until then.”

Kenneth had started his hunt at a different location than the other two men. And what Kenneth had been watching was a gobbler’s tail fan, which Gary and Justin had been using to sneak around with, trying to attract their own turkey.

Kenneth had his own tail fan that he’d been using for the same reasons.

So the hunters were hunting each other.

Fortunately, the turkeys, er — the men — are going to live.

So, all you turkey hunters out there, don’t try this hunting tactic at home or you might actually get shot.

“When I teach hunter ed classes, I tell them even some good people can become undone by a big deer or a turkey and make mistakes,” Bussone said. “You always have to be thinking, be careful and stay under control.”

Bussone said the problem was that someone had switched hunting locations without alerting the other hunters, which is “one of the cardinal sins we teach against in hunter ed.”

“They were calling to each other and sneaking up on each other like two toms coming at each other,” Bussone said. “Both swore they were sneaking on real turkeys.”

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