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. Game of Inches
Every year, I experience a number of turkey hunts that go precisely as planned.
Hey, one or two are numbers, right?
OK, let's face it; usually, even successful turkey hunts take perilous twists and turns that test our mettle and make us think on the run.
Three years ago, a friend and I drove past a Missouri pasture and saw two strutters with some hens on the hillside. We parked the truck and then sneaked along a wood line, looking and listening for the birds. When we yelped, a gobbler responded just 70 yards away, so we quickly set up and prepared for a wham-bam hunt.
However, the next gobble was farther, and subsequent ones were downright distant. We crept to the crest and peered over. Nothing. There was another rise about 80 yards away, and we figured the birds must have dropped over that. It was risky, but we decided to crawl to the hilltop and take a peek.
Soon, we reached the top, and I crawled ahead to get a visual on the birds. Sure enough, I peered through the grass to see two strutters, five hens and a trailing gobbler near a small garbage dump. However, the birds were 80 yards distant, and there was nothing but pasture and air between us.
I hunkered down, and my friend yelped on a mouth call. Immediately, the gobblers raised their heads and looked. And just as quickly, the hens began to walk away. No wonder the flock had moved away from us initially. The hens must have been in peak breeding mode, and they weren't about to share the gobblers with some intrusive loud-mouthed hussy.
As my friend yelped and cutt, one gobbler strutted, but the other actually came about five yards closer. However, the hens continued to depart, and there was no doubt the longbeards would eventually follow.
I had to make a quick, daring move toward the birds or drop back, sneak around the hill and hope we could intercept the flock again. Being patient and circling around seemed like the wise choice, but it held no guarantees. The birds might stick to the open pasture, which would let us keep tabs on them, but that would also restrict our movements. The flock could also slip into the timber to their left, which would quickly lead them off the property.
And with Missouri's 1 p.m. closing time looming, I had to decide quickly. What would you have done? Post your decision below.
Click here for Lovett's decision.
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