Decision Time: The Chariot of Helios

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 Chariot of Helios

Postby Brian Lovett » December 22nd, 2011, 10:45 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, and then see how things actually turned out.

The Chariot of Helios

Some turkey hunts reach a point when you realize you’ve screwed up so completely that you think, “Man, I hope no one is watching me.”

In Minnesota several years ago, I hit that point while crawling along a gravel road that bisected a large public area. I’d messed with a gobbler and several hens in a field at flydown, but they’d drifted away, leading me to try a long end-around maneuver. However, the turkeys threw me a curve when they walked right through the gravel parking lot — within yards of three vehicles — that connected with the road.

I first saw them when they cleared the shadow of a Suburban about 80 yards away. Of course, they stopped and craned their necks at the funny-looking object to the east.

“They’ll booger at any second,” I thought. “Wonder what’s taking so long?”

Then it hit me. The brilliant morning sun was rising directly behind me, and the turkeys couldn’t see anything but my obscured silhouette. I stayed frozen for several minutes, and the birds eventually walked off undisturbed.

I’d won that round, but it was decision time. Should I find a good setup just off the road and try to yelp the birds in? Or was I better off trying to continue my solar-assisted end-around to a better ambush point?

With the gravel digging into my elbows and the sun rising quickly, I had a few seconds to choose.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

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Re: Decision Time: The Chariot of Helios

Postby Bobbyparks » December 22nd, 2011, 12:35 pm


Every year I have one of those "I hope no one was watching me " moments.

Interesting story as always and I suppose an 80 yards shot and spraying SUVs was out of the question....LOL

Hard to answer this one othert than: Sounds like you were exposed and calling from that exact spot you were pinned down in might be risky and would depend on if I could get a gun up and would depend on whether I was having to call them back down their back-trail (sounds like it would not be the case) and if the terrain really looked like it would allow me to swing out and falnk them enough that I had a chance to call em over.

SO: If the terrain allowed I'd swing,flank, and go for a better set up................if not I'd call and hope I won the next round
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Re: Decision Time: The Chariot of Helios

Postby Gobblerman » December 22nd, 2011, 5:52 pm

I've had so many of the "hope no one was watching" moments that I have come to accept them as a featured part of my hunting strategy anymore. If I only had one a season, I would have to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming!

Mr. Parks has an uncanny ability to kill gobblers, so my guess is that whatever he decides to do is going to be a good strategy. I kind of like the 80 yard "spray and pray" theory he espouses, but my luck would be that one of the owners of the vehicles in question would be in the neighborhood and take exception to the free ventilation system I provided them with my five-round barrage. ...And my explanation that I was just giving them the opportunity to practice changing flat tires might not go over too well either.

So, good judgment being the better part of valor, as they say, I suppose I, too, would evaluate the "flank'em and spank'em" possibilities. If I pondered it long enough, I could probably convince myself that any turkeys that hang out around the parking lot of a public hunt area are probably not the sharpest tools in the shed, and with the sun at my back, heck, I might just get up and walk up there and see what happens.

...Of course, I would call a bit as I was walking up to them,...just so I could say that I had called 'em in before I slammed his snood in the dirt!

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