Decision Time: Infinity and Beyond

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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Decision Time: Infinity and Beyond

Postby Brian Lovett » September 1st, 2010, 8:13 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.

Infinity and Beyond

Faith is a wonderful thing, but blind faith is a hard sell -- especially in the turkey woods.

Several years ago, I joined friends Jerry and Curt in west-central Missouri. Jerry knew where some birds usually roosted, so he promised to get us in tight the first morning. At dark-thirty, he pulled his truck off the gravel path, slowly guided it across an old pasture and gently parked it near an oak-studded ridge. Then, we slipped out, walked to a field edge and waited for the first gobble.

Five minutes later, a longbeard roosted along the timbered ridge broke the silence, pounding out an ear-splitting greeting -- 70 yards from us but just 50 yards from where we'd parked the truck!

Soon, other gobblers and numerous hens chimed in, and everything seemed to be OK. Figuring we had nothing to lose, Jerry and I got aggressive, trying to sound like the first hot hen on the ground. That continued for about 10 minutes, until the birds pitched out directly away from us.

I?yelped. Nothing. Jerry yelped. Zip. I cutt. Nada.

Dang it. I wanted to get after the birds, but I didn't know the land well and had no clue where the turkeys were. We could stumble down the ridge and hope to locate the birds before they saw us, but that seemed like a bump-booger-and-spook proposition. Or, we could sit tight and hope against hope that something good would happen.

I didn't like either option. Where were the turkeys?

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

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RE: Decision Time: Infinity and Beyond

Postby Bobbyparks » September 1st, 2010, 9:35 am


I really enjoy these post. It helps fill in the off season.

If the terrain allowed me to move around in a manner that offered a chance at getting out and around in the direction the birds were moving, I might give it a shot. From what you said here though and not knowing the terrain that would not be my first choice.

Because you heard multiple gobblers and it's pretty clear that the hens led the gobblers away, I'd hang tight and call perodically.

In the past I've had good luck doing this and at some point one of the gobblers would come back to where he heard me calling from. Might be 20 minutes or it might be an hour or so. But I have killed a lot of birds this way.

So...I'd hang tight, call every 10-15 minutes....and hope blind faith produced.[:)]
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RE: Decision Time: Infinity and Beyond

Postby Kawboy888 » September 1st, 2010, 10:13 am

For me the key to this one is not knowing the terrain. If your buddy knew the terrain I would ask him to loop us around in front of where the birds are going to feed. Assuming he does not know the area that well, or have the birds patterned I would rely on luck and my calling skills. I would sit tight, put out a couple of decoys and start singing some seductive show tunes. If I get no action I eat my four sandwiches and take a nice long comfortable nap out in God's country.
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RE: Decision Time: Infinity and Beyond

Postby Cut N Run » September 1st, 2010, 4:43 pm

It sounds like the gobblers were still pretty busy with hens. If you don't know where they're going and they're being quiet, don't risk bumping them. I'd hold tight and hope the gobblers get lonesome later in the morning and cruised back through an area they were comfortable enough with to roost in.

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RE: Decision Time: Infinity and Beyond

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » September 1st, 2010, 6:45 pm

With not knowing the lay of the land and if where you at doesn't look promissing to you, I would probably ease my way back very slowly towards where the birds were roosted calling softly as you go. If you get close to where they roosted and don't get an answer I would set up and run some lost bird calls. Knowing how well a bird can pinpoint a caller moving back to where they roosted may sound like a bird that got left behind when the rest pitched out. Having heard other gobblers in that area and with them knowing that flock was roosted there, and hearing a lost bird calling may get one to sound off or come looking hoping to steal a hen away? The odds of calling that bird back are slim with having the truck parked that close to his roost, because he knew you were there and where you went before he ever said a word, but other birds roosted farther back in won't pay any attention to the truck parked there.

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