Conclusion: Through the Looking Glass

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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Conclusion: Through the Looking Glass

Postby Brian Lovett » February 22nd, 2012, 11:19 am

In "Decision Time," Editor Brian Lovett shares 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.

Conclusion: Through the Looking Glass

The turkey tracks were so fresh that we opted for the safe play. The gobbler had to be nearby. If the bird answered our calling from the cornfield, we could slip through the woods to a better setup. If he were closer, however, we’d still be in position to kill him.

Turns out he was closer. In fact, I actually saw him gobble during our first series of yelps. He then trotted directly down my gun barrel and took a load of No. 6 shot in the head at about 12 steps.

Wow, we’d been right and had enjoyed a great hunt for what was undoubtedly a lonely 2-year-old gobbler.

Well, we’d been right about the hunt, but that was it. The bird’s 17/8-inch hooks clued us in that he was slightly older than 2. And that was a sign so obvious that even we couldn’t ignore it.

What decision did you make?

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Cut N Run
 
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Re: Conclusion: Through the Looking Glass

Postby Cut N Run » February 22nd, 2012, 1:03 pm

Well, that wouldn't be the first bird I ever bumped... Congratulations.

Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

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Steve_In
 
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Re: Conclusion: Through the Looking Glass

Postby Steve_In » February 23rd, 2012, 11:49 am

Brian, why didn't you try a locator?
Steve, I love "smoked" turkey

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Brian Lovett
 
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Re: Conclusion: Through the Looking Glass

Postby Brian Lovett » February 23rd, 2012, 1:18 pm

Because we figured we were pretty darn close to him. Had we set up and called for a bit with no response, I would have run a locator before slipping through the woods toward the stubble field.

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dewey
 
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Re: Conclusion: Through the Looking Glass

Postby dewey » February 23rd, 2012, 4:25 pm

Brian Lovett wrote:Because we figured we were pretty darn close to him. Had we set up and called for a bit with no response, I would have run a locator before slipping through the woods toward the stubble field.


Ahhh! Makes sense to me. Call to him to see if he is close enough to answer and come into a face full of #6. Then if he doesn't answer then use the locator to try and figure out where he is. Another day for me and another lesson learned. :D

1 7/8" spurs that is one very old gobbler you guys got. How old do you think he was? 4-6 years? Older? Do you use any other methods beyond spur length to help you determine age? The information compiled by R. Kelly would almost suggest you harvested a great grandpa in the turkey world almost 7-9 years old. Congratulations on the gobbler by the way.

I came across this website talking about age in relationship to spur length.
http://www.wildturkeyzone.com/articles/aging4.htm

Length of Spurs and Beards and Body Weights of Gobblers in Known Age Classes
Source - R. Kelly - "Indexes for Aging Eastern Turkeys" (1975)
Third National Wild Turkey Symposium, p. 207


Thanks

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

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."--F. Scott Fitzgerald, American writer

       

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Brian Lovett
 
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Re: Conclusion: Through the Looking Glass

Postby Brian Lovett » February 23rd, 2012, 5:58 pm

Certainly 5-plus years old. Conventional wisdom and Lovett Williams suggest that any gobbler with 1.5-inch hooks is 5 or older. Guessing he was certainly older than that.
The bird also had a legitimate 12-inch beard and weighed 21.8 pounds on a certified scale. I'll never kill another like him!
Thanks much for that link, too. I had not seen that. Very interesting stuff.

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dewey
 
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Re: Conclusion: Through the Looking Glass

Postby dewey » February 23rd, 2012, 11:08 pm

Did you do anything special with that gobblers spurs since they were so impressive? Do you have any pictures of that gobbler?

Thanks again for all of the decision time experiences.

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

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."--F. Scott Fitzgerald, American writer

       

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stankyolgobbler
 
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Re: Conclusion: Through the Looking Glass

Postby stankyolgobbler » February 24th, 2012, 12:47 am

i like the idea of using the locator after a call sequence. awesome hunt and a very mature bird
-Sage Morris

I like 'em close.....I mean REAL close.

Image

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Steve_In
 
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Re: Conclusion: Through the Looking Glass

Postby Steve_In » February 24th, 2012, 3:27 am

Thanks Brian. Makes sense to me now. Sometimes it is hard to picture a particular scenario.
Steve, I love "smoked" turkey

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Brian Lovett
 
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Re: Conclusion: Through the Looking Glass

Postby Brian Lovett » February 24th, 2012, 5:14 pm

Yep, you're right, Steve. It is difficult to picture a scenario based on a brief description. I hindsight, we probably could have used a crow call before we set up without blowing the bird out of there, but at the time, we just didn't know how close we were.
Dewey, the bird now resides in my basement. The spurs still look awesome!

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