Decision Time: Roundup at Rope Ridge

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: Roundup at Rope Ridge

Postby Brian Lovett » May 10th, 2011, 10:33 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.

Roundup at Rope Ridge

After two days of getting drubbed, I was finally in the game at my old Wisconsin stomping grounds.

A pair of longbeards had flown off the roost 150 yards away and were gobbling themselves hoarse at a nearby field edge. Sure, they had hens with them, but it was quite a show. Meanwhile, a turkey that had roosted 200-plus yards to the west hit the ground and squeaked out one timid gobble. Heck, there was even a bird lighting it up on the ridge behind me. I was surrounded.

But after a while, that didn't seem to be enough. The henned-up birds at the field edge in front of me continued to hammer every call I made, but they'd probably only moved 10 steps in an hour. The timid-sounding bird on my ridge had shut up, which probably indicated that he was coming or ... well, that he'd shut up. And the gobbler on the ridge behind me seemed like he was heading west off the property.

Of course, I wanted to kill one of the vocal turkeys at the field edge, but that was the problem. I was on the ridge, and they were on a field edge, with little but air between us. I figured I could slip 20 to 40 yards closer without being busted -- at best. The timid gobbler offered a nice option, but I had no idea where he was. And the back-ridge gobbler was going away, so he was pretty much off the board.

How did I go from being surrounded to being stumped? And, more important, how could I save my hunt?

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

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RE: Decision Time: Roundup at Rope Ridge

Postby simpzenith » May 10th, 2011, 7:07 pm

That timid gobbler was most likely silently working toward the field to join the others. Although it would be a gutsy call, and one I doubt I would do myself, would be bust the flock up that's in the field and wait for the timid gobbler to show or some of the others to return. Who says busting a flock has to be a fall technique? Not me!
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RE: Decision Time: Roundup at Rope Ridge

Postby educote » May 11th, 2011, 8:01 am

I would say hang tight. The timid bird may slip in there and there probably isn't much you can do with the pasture edge birds until the hens start scattering or the flock travels through a vulerable spot. Once you conclude the timid bird isn't coming I would probably try to keep tabs on the flock until i could get into position or call the pair up. Depending on the time of the year, i would probably make a loop on the bird heading west in t he meantime.


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RE: Decision Time: Roundup at Rope Ridge

Postby Gobblerman » May 13th, 2011, 1:33 pm

I agree with Ed that the best plan at this point would just be to hold tight for a while. Moving forty yards closer to birds that are 150 yards away is not going to appreciably aid in the situation. They would still have to break and come a good ways to get into range at some point. Moving also is a good recipe for getting busted by any birds that might be in the vicinity.

Shane's idea of busting the flock has merit, but scattering a flock from 100+ yards is an iffy proposition,...and not getting it right would likely ruin the hunt, and possibly push the birds out of the area for who-knows-how-long.

Yep, I think I would sit and enjoy the show for a while and see what transpires. A little strategic calling might result in the arrival of a likely candidate for turkey nuggets. Plus, you can always go to "Plan B" at any time your patience flatlines.


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