As a followup to my first response I'd add this.
Counting a friends, Mary's, my dads, and mine, I've been involved in 17 Merriams kills in the past 6 years. All have been high praire birds and most involved some type of puirsuits. Some have been flat out cross country treks. Merriams like to go places when they get out of a tree.
The bird I mentioned recently regarding Mary's first kill was a quick game of leap frog in which we moved a couple of times on a group of birds and lastly up over a rise , crawled up and called the birds back in for a shot. We had actually gotten within a hundred yards after the first advance and called a gobbler away from the group. He came within range but too far over for Mary to swing around. We had to let him go back to the group. the second previously mentioned effort paid off.
Looking back I realize that it's mostly been the mutiple birds that I've actually had to make the last ditch aggressive move on similar to whats mentioned in the original thread, to get withing shooting range. This is largely due to they mostly keep gobbling and walking away. Sometimes I could get one to drop off and come back buy sometimes I'd get up on the whole group and take a bird.
In the instances where I caught up with an got within a reasonably close to a single bird , he would turn around or angle back over pretty easily and quickly. I call more to them than Easterns which has worked well for me.
My point is now that I've thought about this and based on some pretty successful hunts, I'd have more than likely have tried to first call the subject bird back if he was alone before I'd have made the charging crawl up the rise. If I knew he was with some compadres, it would have been the "Charge of the Light Brigade" all over again
I will say that what Mr Lovett did takes nerve and skill and he's obviously made out of the right stuff. Attempting this is unbelievably exciting and frightening at the same time. You know it's a now or never situation and you're Taking a calcualted risk.
. The first time I did it I had to run across 70 yards of open space (because my ditch had run out ) and then get down and duck walk and then crawl. I peaked up and just as I saw the fan the gobbler picked his head up. I eased back down, pulled the gun to my shoudler, and raised up again and fired on him. As I jumped up and ran towards the bird I realized there was another gobbler in full strutt facing away from me at 35 yards that somehow didn't have a clue I was there. Before I knew what I was happening I busted him too. I normally don't shoot more than one bird out of a group but this was early on and I was more challenged, and I wanted Merriams fans.
The attached photos are birds from this season that required the type of approach we're discussing. Mary's was quick and easy compared to my dad's who required quite an effort. The bird he's with was taken up on a ridge after a number of uphill assaults.
It didn't help matters that a coyote came onto the scene and flushed the gobbler into a tree the first time we thought we had him where we wanted him.
PS: I like you guys. You make me think.