Conclusion: 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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Conclusion: Which Itch?

Postby Brian Lovett » October 6th, 2010, 4:42 am

In "Decision Time," Editor Brian Lovett shares 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.

Conclusion: Which Itch?

If we were to be safe and smart, I conceded that the boring "circle-around-and-wait-on-them" tactic would work best. After all, the birds were heading toward the woodlot, and even if we didn't kill one there, we might at least track their movements and formulate a Plan B.

We slowly backed out of sight and then wheeled around to the old barnyard. Then, we grabbed our gear and quietly walked north on the two-track field road, stopping after five minutes to glass the field. The coast was clear, so we crawled to the field edge, staked out a decoy and started calling. Within minutes, a warty head popped over the hill to survey the situation. The birds were coming right toward us.

But instead of continuing on course, the turkeys suddenly took a 90-degree right turn and marched north. Then, they turned 90 degrees left and hot-footed it to the top of the rise 100 yards in front of me. What the heck? They seemed wary of the decoy.

"I knew we should have gone right at them," I thought.

But we were pinned down, so we sat and waited. Every now and then, I threw out some soft yelps, or clucked and purred. And believe it or not, the gobblers slowly worked back to us, albeit at a snail's pace. Three hours into the hunt, I shot the closest longbeard and breathed a sigh of relief.

The hunt hadn't worked out entirely as planned, but when do they? I'll never argue with a gobbler in hand.

Oh, did I mention that my set-up tree was covered in poison ivy? Yeah, I remembered that hunt for a long time, friends.

What decision did you make?

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