Decision Time: Which Itch?

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: Which Itch?

Postby Brian Lovett » October 6th, 2010, 4:39 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.

Which Itch?

Sometimes, you get an irresistible urge to try something, even if you know it's foolhardy.

Several years ago in Nebraska, two friends and I were driving along an abandoned farmstead road when we spied three longbeards with a hen slowly ambling down a grassy hillside. My buddy slammed on the brakes, and we grabbed our binoculars for a look. The birds were a half-mile away, so the truck didn't seem to bother them much. However, there was nothing but air between us, so we were stuck.

The birds seemed to be heading toward a slight drop-off that led to a small woodlot bisected by an old field road. If they continued on that course -- a big if in that open farmland -- it might open some options.

"We could back up, drop down to the farmhouse, sneak up that road and try to ambush them at the woodlot," my friend said.

That seemed sound, albeit dull. For some reason, I craved adventure.

"What if we waited till they got out of sight, hurried to the hilltop and then tried them from there?" I asked. "We could probably get pretty close."

My friend made a face and raised his binoculars. That option didn't seem to thrill him.

"Shoot, if we're gonna do that, we might as well sneak to the hilltop and bushwhack one," he said. "It's up to you."

Great. The gobblers were getting farther away, the sun was deep into the Western sky, and I had three options. Should I scratch my adventure itch or go by the book?

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

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RE: Decision Time: Which Itch?

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » October 6th, 2010, 9:30 am

I'd be scratchin that itch. I've been in your shoes plenty of times. I hunt mostly wide open farm land with small 7-15 acre wood lots on them, I spend a lot of time glassing birds crossing the open fields into the wood lots. I wait till they are in them then move in behind them and start calling. About 80% of the time it works in your favor.

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RE: Decision Time: Which Itch?

Postby Cut N Run » October 6th, 2010, 3:35 pm

I seldom hunt anything more open than a 1/2 acre field or a 20 yard wide powerline opening and tend to use whatever logging roads to get to the best cover available to make my set-up. Since the majority of my turkey hunting has been in timber, I don't possess good open country hunting skills, so my nature would be to go toward the where the road went into the woods and try to head them off there if possible. Limited experience & sticking with what I know are the only reasons I would play it that way. With three gobblers following only one hen, you may get one longbeard check out your calls.

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RE: Decision Time: Which Itch?

Postby Bobbyparks » October 7th, 2010, 12:05 pm

The move around to the farmhouse could certainly work........but if it's Merriams your chasing I'd be hauling a to catch up with them and try to call em back. I've had really good luck getting them to walk straight back down their back trail.

If you can cover the ground quickly (because they can) and work up to a point you can call from your chances would be good in my opinion.

They might walk a 1/4 mile back to you

The half mile jog would be tough though so I'd drive as close as I could once they got out of sight
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