In "Decision Time," Editor Brian Lovett will share a scenario from his 20-plus years hunting turkeys. Each hinges on a critical decision. Post what choice you would have made, then see how things actually turned out. Running Big
If I had been born a bird dog, I'd probably "run big," as trainers say. That is, I'd stretch my legs and cover lots of ground like a shorthair instead of using a plodding, methodical gait like a setter.
The fact I didn't come into the world as a shorthair hasn't stopped me from wanting to burn boot leather while hunting. Nope, I only break out of that mold via occasional bouts of common sense.
Three years ago, I crested a small hill and stepped onto the prettiest hardwood knob in central Wisconsin.
"You cannot tell me there won't be a turkey strutting here today," I said to myself.
It was that ideal. The mayapple-strewn knob rolled down to a swamp in the east and a large hayfield to the north. To the west and south, a large timbered finger ridges stretched for a half-mile. I had to hunt there.
The first morning, nothing gobbled within a half-mile, but I slipped into the honey hole and set up anyway. A silent bird slipped in from behind and busted me.
The next day, I started at another farm but returned to the honey hole by 8 a.m. I struck two gobblers on the knob, sat down and prepared for the kill. However, the birds took a different course, walking straight north down a hill, through thick brush and into the hayfield, where one gobbled his wattles off for a half-hour and eventually wandered off.
While examining the gobbler's travel route, I discovered a 25-yard-wide opening in a brushy fence line where the bird had entered the field. Better, a faint deer trail led directly from the opening to the hardwood knob. The next morning, I'd set up at the opening and wait for that rat to come into the alfalfa field.
As dawn broke the next day, two birds gobbled about 100 yards south of the knob. I started to call softly and vowed to be patient with a solid setup.
But by 8 a.m., the birds hadn't showed, and they weren't gobbling. Should I go to the knob? To complicate matters, I'd heard another bird earlier that morning gobbling just off the property. I was sure the ridge birds were in the area, but I just didn't know where. Somehow, a swift walk to another -- albeit distant -- turkey seemed awfully inviting.
What would you have done? Post your decision below.
Click here for Lovett's decision.
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