Decision Time: A Hard Road

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: A Hard Road

Postby Brian Lovett » June 29th, 2011, 10:15 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.

A Hard Road

It had been an action-packed day in the turkey woods, yet by 5 p.m., my friend and I still didn't have a gobbler.

With evening approaching, we decided to check a large hayfield where my buddy had seen some strutters the previous week. The field ran north and south, and we wanted to approach from the west. However, a large swamp was in our way, so we'd have to angle south along some sparse woods on high ground that bordered a county highway and then cut back to the northeast to reach the field. Along the way, we'd call and glass for turkeys.

Of course, we hadn't counted on the traffic. Apparently, the day shift at a local plant had just ended, and vehicles cruised by regularly. And sure enough, just as we got close to the busy highway, a gobbler answered my yelps. He wasn't close, but he wasn't that far, either.

The turkey was in the field, which usually wouldn't have bothered me too much. However, with cars streaming steadily behind us on the road, I wanted to move closer to the bird, fearing a vehicle would spook him if he approached. But our path to the hay was fairly open, so even a 100-yard dash to the sparse cover of some field-side pines would be dicey.

What a choice: Risk moving toward the bird and spooking him, or stay put and potentially have the gobbler booger from a passing truck. It was poison-picking time.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.


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simpzenith
 
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RE: Decision Time: A Hard Road

Postby simpzenith » June 29th, 2011, 12:12 pm

If there is a chance of being seen while changing locations then I would likely opt for staying put. Maybe the traffic will have subsided by the time the tom comes to my calls.
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SpitnDrum
 
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RE: Decision Time: A Hard Road

Postby SpitnDrum » June 29th, 2011, 12:16 pm

Normally I wouldn't respond with this answer but in this circumstance I would move on that tom.You can't control traffic so the best results in my opinion would be to take the chance and conceal at the edge of the hay Field if you didn't want to come back another day for him and set up on the field early.
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Gobblerman
 
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RE: Decision Time: A Hard Road

Postby Gobblerman » June 29th, 2011, 12:24 pm

If I really thought I would get busted trying to move closer to the gobbler, I would stay put.  Obviously, the highway traffic is a regular occurrence and perhaps, the gobbler is used to it enough so that he would approach your calling anyway.  Also, unless this is a very busy highway, the traffic flow would likely decrease in a short while and not present a problem.
 
On the other hand, if I was confident in moving toward the bird and away from the road without a real risk of being seen, I would rather do that than set up next to the thoroughfare,...if for no other reason than aesthetics.  My idea of an enjoyable hunt does not include hunting next to a busy highway. 
 
My guess on the outcome of this hunt is this:  If you really did not think you could move towards the bird, you stayed put, set-up, called,...and if he was really interested, he came, regardless of the traffic.  ...Now to see what really happened.....
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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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RE: Decision Time: A Hard Road

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » July 1st, 2011, 3:20 pm

If a move proved to be a risk, I'd be setting up and working the bird. Birds that live close to highways useally aren't bothered by traffic noise.
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joeturkey
 
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RE: Decision Time: A Hard Road

Postby joeturkey » July 3rd, 2011, 10:29 pm

I AGREE WITH GOBBLEMAN, I REALLY WOULD LIKE TO GET FARTHER AWAY FROM THE ROAD. I WOULD MOVE ONLY WHEN THERE WAS TRAFFIC NOISE HOPEFULLY DISTRACTING THE TURKEYS AND MUFFLING THE SOUND OF MY APPROACH.A SNEAK FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TURKEYS WITH THEM IN BETWEEN YOU AND THE ROAD WOULD BE MUCH MORE ADVANTAGEOUS AS THE PASSING TRAFFIC WOULD GET THEIR ATTENTION FROM TIME TO TIME! ALSO IT'S HARD TO HEAR A TOM SPIT AND DRUM IF YOU SET UP TO CLOSE TO NOISY TRAFFIC!!
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Bobbyparks
 
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RE: Decision Time: A Hard Road

Postby Bobbyparks » July 6th, 2011, 12:56 am

The gobbler is probably used to the vehicles on the road and the flow of traffic from the shift change would likely slow within a 10 -15 minute period....so if an approach across the field seemed too risky ....I'd opt for the best and closest set up that I could get and see what happens
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