Decision Time: Feelin' Minnesota

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: Feelin' Minnesota

Postby Brian Lovett » April 6th, 2011, 4:23 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.

Feelin' Minnesota

I'm not sure if it's the Packers-Vikings thing, but Minnesota typically beats me up. Tough hunts? Had 'em. Stupid mistakes? Plenty. Misses? Numerous. It's just my Minnesota state of mind.

That's pretty much where I was mired late one May afternoon. I'd heard a bird gobble atop a bluff from almost a half-mile away, so I'd driven to the pasture adjoining the ridge and was attempting to find the culprit. The gobbler, of course, had gone silent.

Groan. Now what? With nothing to lose, I kept calling to see if I could strike something. Unbelievably, a tepid gobble echoed from far across the pasture. Almost giddy with excitement, I set up at the field edge and hit the call.


I waited a few minutes and then called again.


Hmm. The pasture was probably 200 yards wide with a crest at its center, so it was possible the turkey was strutting unseen on the other side of the field. However, the gobble sounded like it had come from the timber -- a steep, open swath of pastured hardwoods through which you could throw a baseball.

Pulling a luke-warm turkey across a huge field would be tough. However, slipping around the pasture edge and getting in the same woods with the bird was a bump waiting to happen. But with daylight burning, something had to happen -- soon.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

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RE: Decision Time: Feelin' Minnesota

Postby simpzenith » April 6th, 2011, 4:43 am

Brian, it sounds almost exactly like the events of my hunt last May at the Whitewater WMA in southeast MN. I held my position and the gobbler eventually showed himself as he slowly fed in my direction. About 200 yards out, he stopped and stared in my decoy's direction. At this point, I decided to let out a few soft yelps. I don't think I'm too bad of a caller but this Tom did and promptly headed for the next county. If I had it to do again, as in your scenario, I would have simply waited him out silently. If he chose not to come to my lone decoy that evening then at least I could have watched where he entered the woods right before fly up time and been back in there before first light the next morning.
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RE: Decision Time: Feelin' Minnesota

Postby dewey » April 6th, 2011, 7:59 am

I agree with simpzenith in that I would hold my ground silently and hope that he comes in quietly and get a shot at him or set up in the area he was the next morning in hopes of intercepting him off the roost.

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." --Mahatma Gandhi

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RE: Decision Time: Feelin' Minnesota

Postby Fan Club » April 7th, 2011, 1:22 am

This brings up an interesting point. In an open field situation, it's probably best not to call if the gobbler can already see your decoys. No hen would call to a tom if she had her head down feeding or was facing in the opposite direction.
In the woods it's probably a different story.
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it." Teddy Roosevelt

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