This has been a very good thread. Alot of good shared info here.
JPH, thats interesting about John Maddens writings...and I would like to now add that ....I really never know what I'm going to do....it just happens...sometimes I don't even know when I'm going to hunt.... it just happens.[:)]
I'm just kidding for sure........ but I do believe theres something to this because I do believe instinctive hunches combined or maybe even based on past expereinece comes into play. Making quick reads followed by proper response and reactions make a difference. I believ good natural and instinctive woodsmanship abilities or gifts come into play as well.
Another factor I believe is that over time and with experinec you weed out some of the basic mistakes you might make such as not setting up in shadows and more inportantly not picking out good set up spots. This list of culled but often costly mistakes for lack of a better term, allow your chances to improve each year because you weed them out and you're combining this with things that work. The more birds you can encounter, the quicker you learn and gain the turkey wisdom
The generalities we all talk about here are efforts or general approaches that we often use because they've worked in the past. They may have not worked more than they have worked but at some point you cross it with the right situation or bird. That said , I believe the key is to keep adjusting , probing, THINKING, and trying to figure out the combination to what it takes to kill a bird on any given day. Presisitance is every bit as important as patience and I believe there really is something to trying to get a read (take his temp) on any bird you're interacting with.
There's also the all the decisons you make about set ups and commiting to an area on days you're not hearing birds. I've wrtiiten something about "Good Turkey Hunters are Good Decison makers" but not sure how to attcah a word document here. Maybe I'll write it because I believe all could relate.
Again , I really believe the John Madden theory because I know that's how it was to an extent in my baseball days. You just broke the right ways on ground balls , you never felt your legs, the ball seemed like it moved in slow motion, and the ball on your throws went where you looked, except when it slipped out of my sweaty hands at which time I hit both a kid and a lady on differnt occasions sitting in the bleachers just behind first base.
Jim Bates....... You never cease to amaze me with your perfectly put words of wisdom. Seriously, You should have a column in the T&TH magazine.