Decision Time: The Green Quarter-Mile

In this interactive feature, Editor Brian Lovett shares a scenario from his 20+ years of turkey hunting, asking "What would you do?"
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Brian Lovett
 
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Decision Time: The Green Quarter-Mile

Postby Brian Lovett » November 10th, 2010, 9:06 am

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.

The Green Quarter-Mile

It's great to know something about a turkey's tendencies and preferences, but that can also get you in trouble. Often, there's a fine line between using that knowledge to score and wasting time by hunting memories. And you usually can't discern the difference until it's too late.

One spring morning, I walked swiftly along a field road toward a familiar point of Wisconsin woods. Two friends had seen a pile of gobblers at the farm the previous evening, and I had a good idea where the birds might have roosted -- just off the southern property line or on a point of woods near a creek. I'd hunted the latter frequently, and it was a great fly-down setup.

After reaching the woods across from the point, I placed two hen decoys in the alfalfa field and sat down to wait. Daylight broke through the clouds and light rain, and several birds began gobbling at the southeastern edge of the farm. I waited until I was sure nothing was nearby and then abandoned my setup to chase the gobbling turkeys.

Minutes later, I crept into a thin line of woods that separated two hayfields and cutt on an aluminum call. Two birds responded immediately, followed by a third. They were just off the property, probably 300 yards across the easternmost alfalfa field. I had to get closer.

Using the tree line for cover, I walked about 150 yards to the southern property line and called again. The gobblers roared back. They weren't far from the edge of the hayfield.

That posed an interesting dilemma. I'd hunted the farm for several years, and I knew birds loved to follow a thickly wooded creek bottom that ran east and west just south of the property line. If I set up where I was, the gobblers would likely drift west, and I'd be in fair position to lure them in.

But that seemed like a mighty big assumption. The turkeys had given no indication of moving, and I was still 250 steps from them. I strongly considered cutting the distance, but because the timber was just over the property line, I'd have to walk in the open along the field edge.

Both options seemed risky, but I knew I couldn't wait.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.


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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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RE: Decision Time: The Green Quarter-Mile

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » November 13th, 2010, 1:49 pm

Myself, I would set up where you are in that thin tree line and along the hayfield. Being that it is a cloudy morning with light rain, and that thin tree line separates two hayfields chances are those birds will come to one of those hayfields because of the rain?
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