Decision Time: The Diceman Cometh

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 Diceman Cometh

Postby Brian Lovett » February 8th, 2012, 10:11 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 Diceman Cometh

It had already been a good day. I’d killed a dandy longbeard right after flydown, and then some friends invited me to share a hunt with them at another property. And when two gobblers choked themselves at my first run of yelps, the day looked even better.

However — there’s always a however in turkey hunting, isn’t there? — I’d made a critical error. I’d called after we’d stopped at the crest of a wide-open field, and the gobblers appeared to be near the edge of a distant woods, with nothing but air between us. Obviously, we had to duck down, reposition and find some cover. By the time we did, the birds were in the field, heading toward where I’d called.

Our setup wasn’t great. I would have preferred to duck into cover on some high ground and pull the turkeys up toward us, but the birds would have seen that move and busted us. Instead, we went downhill about 150 yards from the gobblers, into one of those deep hollows that are so prevalent in southwestern Wisconsin. And we had quite a bit of open field in front of us — with no decoys.

Then came the roll of the dice: Play it soft and coy with the call, or get on the gobblers to coax them into that questionable setup?

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

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Cut N Run
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Re: Decision Time: The Diceman Cometh

Postby Cut N Run » February 8th, 2012, 12:56 pm

Since you already had them coming your way, I might call with an excited cutting & yelping series before they could see over to your side of the ridge. I'd also have the shooter set up closer to the field edge and position the caller farther back in the cover so the gobblers would keep moving toward the gun. Calling sparingly once the birds were in sight, but just giving them enough of a tease to steer them your general direction might work.

Just how I'd play it.

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Re: Decision Time: The Diceman Cometh

Postby tracebusta39 » February 10th, 2012, 11:25 pm

I like the idea of making the birds think I'm a hot hen leaving them, so I would have had the shooter sit closer to the incoming birds andI would have moved back, then probably only called once more but not very aggressively since they had already committed to coming.

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Re: Decision Time: The Diceman Cometh

Postby Gobblerman » February 15th, 2012, 10:29 pm

In these kinds of situations, I always apply the old adage of "dance with the one what brung ya'". That is, if I do something that brings an immediate positive response from a gobbler, I am going to stick with that until he is either floppin' in the dirt or has given me clues that he is not as enamored with what he is hearing as he first indicated he was.

In this case, after repositioning to a more suitable set-up, the first call I would elicit would be something very similar to what got those gobblers fired up to begin with. Changing from a calling strategy that is working is never a wise move, in my opinion.

My guess is that you stuck to something very similar to what you started off with that got the birds headed your way,...and from the way it sounds it was going, those birds came on in and one or more of them went to meet the great turkey fryer in the sky...

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Re: Decision Time: The Diceman Cometh

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » February 16th, 2012, 10:59 am

In a situation like this, where you have no cover to duck behind and your forced to use only an open field with a hollow in it. I would of left the shooter laying belly down, just over the crest of that raise and had the caller head into that hollow. If those birds were headed to your first responce area where you first struck them up. As soon as I reached that hollow, I would have cut loose with some more excited yelps and cutts, followed up by some aggressive excited gobbling and keep hammering back and forth between the hen and Tom talk, since you were in a open field. A lot of times that will get a bird to move a little faster across an open field if they were headed toward you in the first place, and now they have to get there before that hen meets another gobbler, and most times they will go to where they first heard you in the field to see if you are still there.

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