Conclusion: Swamp Ding-a-Ling

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: Swamp Ding-a-Ling

Postby Brian Lovett » July 7th, 2010, 9:07 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, and then see how things actually turned out.

Conclusion: Swamp Ding-a-Ling

I wasn't confident that I could twist my body around the tree and shoot one of the gobblers before being busted, so I decided to wait.

The hens quickly walked into the swamp, but the gobblers didn't follow them. Instead, they stayed in the road for a minute before slowly walking into a palmetto flat to my left. When I was sure they couldn't see me, I whirled around and yelped on a mouth call. Two gobbles boomed back from 50 yards away, and soon, the familiar shadowy forms were headed toward me. It was going to work.

Or maybe not. Sure, the gobblers came back -- to within 20 steps at one point. However, the palmettos were so thick that I only caught glimpses of the turkeys. And somehow, trying a body shot through the thick undergrowth didn't seem like a good play.

Seconds later, the gobblers were gone. Had I made the right decision not to twist around the tree? Perhaps. Still, tag soup is tag soup.

What decision did you make?

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Bobbyparks
 
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RE: Conclusion: Swamp Ding-a-Ling

Postby Bobbyparks » July 7th, 2010, 11:38 am

I think you did exactly the right thing in all regards and only because of the foilage did those bad boys get to walk away.
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Cut N Run
 
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Location: central North Carolina

RE: Conclusion: Swamp Ding-a-Ling

Postby Cut N Run » July 9th, 2010, 5:37 am

I would have played it the same way. Busted birds are not as easy to hunt as those that never knew you were there in the first place. If it was that thick, they probably didn't see you well either. That lends itself well to hunting there in the future.

I'd be curious to hear if you followed up that hunt near the same location where you might have gotten a better chance.

Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

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Brian Lovett
 
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RE: Conclusion: Swamp Ding-a-Ling

Postby Brian Lovett » July 9th, 2010, 8:33 am

Yes, actually. Minutes after the two swamp ghosts slipped away through the palmettos, I yelped on a glass call, and two birds gobbled to my left. I whirled around the tree, and about 15 seconds later, they stepped out into the logging road. Then I shot right over the top of the lead bird.
The next morning, I went back to the same spot and got two birds to gobble a bit. However, they walked off with hens, and that was that.
Let's just say that South Carolina trip wasn't one of my better showings.


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