Decision Time: The Golden Horde

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: The Golden Horde

Postby Brian Lovett » September 27th, 2011, 1:43 pm

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, and then see how things actually turned out.

The Golden Horde


If you haven’t been to Texas, you really need to go.

Just don’t go during one of those years — you know, two springs after a bad drought. Bad droughts in Texas typically equate to very poor poult survival. Reproduction can be so bad, in fact, that entire year classes seem to be absent.

Of course, that’s when I took my first trip to Texas — during one of those missing year-class springs. Hens? Oh yeah, buddy, this ranch had hens. Old gobblers? Yes. Honestly, we saw one toad longbeard with 40-some ladies. And jakes? My gosh, there were jakes. But suicidal 2-year-olds? Not so much.

To make matters worse, if you encountered the rare 2-year-old, a band of jakes would inevitably swoop in and whip his tail feathers into the next county. In fact, that’s where a buddy and I found ourselves the second day of the hunt.

We’d coaxed a somewhat-hard-gobbling turkey to within 60 yards on an open flat only to see about 20 jakes rip down from a hillside and gang up on the poor longbeard. Aggressive purring, flailing spurs and general mayhem ensued for the next 10 minutes. The longbeard held his ground against the jakes, but he wouldn’t stick around for long.

Great. We’d struck the only gobbling turkey south of Oklahoma but our hunt would soon be ruined. There was no way we could slip closer to the wad of turkeys — not with 40-some eyeballs watching. Yet if we stayed put, the bird would be gone soon.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.


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Uncle Nicky2
 
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Re: Decision Time: The Golden Horde

Postby Uncle Nicky2 » September 30th, 2011, 8:11 am

I'd start calling softly, maybe even shake a gobbler tube if you have one, nothing to lose at this point, and you might get some birds within gun range.It's only your second day, and you get 4 tags in Texas (I believe), I'm not too proud to shoot a jake. It would take the pressure off a little.

If none of this works or if your ethics won't let you shoot a jake, I'd just let them do their thing, and see where the gobbler goes. You might be able to maneuver your way over the next rise & get ahead of him without being seen.
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