Decision Time: Chain of Fools

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: Chain of Fools

Postby Brian Lovett » March 16th, 2011, 3:48 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.

Chain of Fools

It was my first hunting trip to Texas, and I was an awestruck rookie.

Every morning, Rio after Rio hammered from the river bottom that coursed through the property. And each evening, hundreds of coyotes rang songs from the hills. Oh, and I'd stepped right over a coiled rattlesnake.

To add to my confusion, my host was filming the hunt, so I could only shoot a turkey if everything was perfect. No matter. It was Texas, right? Everything would come together.

And it did, sort of, one hot afternoon. We walked to a small oak grove, set up our equipment and then floated some yelps through the warm air. A muffled gobble echoed back. Cool.

But before we could react, the turkey sprinted past our setup and started strutting directly behind us. There was no way I could turn around and shoot and definitely no way to film anything. We waited, still as stones, hoping the bird would see our decoys and drift in front of us.

I didn't even dare look, so I kept abreast of the situation by whispering to the guide. He, in turn, whispered to my host, who was on the far left, hiding by his video camera and watching the turkey. Most of the conversations sounded like this.

"Psst! Blah, blah, blah turkey blah, blah, blah."


"Blah, blah, unintelligible, turkey, blah, blah, blah."


Eventually, though, the gobbler drifted to the left and then slowly eased toward our setup, well within range but behind thick mesquite. I heard my host whisper something to the guide, who then relayed the instructions to me.

"Whisper, whisper, blah, blah, unintelligible gibberish, shoot."

Had he just told me to shoot? Maybe the bird was about to bolt, or perhaps my host had good video footage. However, the gobbler was still behind the mesquite, and I thought it didn't present a decent target. Still, I felt pressured that my host/videographer apparently wanted me to fire. Perhaps he thought I actually had a shot or saw something that I didn't. Either way, the gobbler wouldn't hang around forever.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

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RE: Decision Time: Chain of Fools

Postby dewey » March 16th, 2011, 5:36 am

It all comes down to the hunter/shooter and if he/she does not have a good shot in their opinion then you can't shoot. Seems fairly simple, I think.

"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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RE: Decision Time: Chain of Fools

Postby Cut N Run » March 17th, 2011, 7:52 am

^Same. If you don't have a good shot, don't even think about it.

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RE: Decision Time: Chain of Fools

Postby Duke0002 » March 17th, 2011, 8:08 am


^Same. If you don't have a good shot, don't even think about it.



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RE: Decision Time: Chain of Fools

Postby Gobblerman » March 17th, 2011, 8:18 am

I would have assumed that the last words from the guide were, "when he steps out where you have a good shot, and after you have heard the signal,....shoot."
At that point, the debate in my mind would be...."ummm, how badly do I want to shoot that gobbler versus how much crap will I have to take from these guys if I shoot when they are not ready?" 
I would hope I could come up with the answer to that question if the bird stepped out in the open.  If he did not, the question would be moot.

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RE: Decision Time: Chain of Fools

Postby Bobbyparks » March 17th, 2011, 2:58 pm of Turkey Hunters Paradise's

I'm new with the video thing but two things come to mind.

1: If it's not a shot I'd take under normal circumstances...I wouldn't shoot

2: Knowing the kind of trouble you're going thru to video.......If I wasn't sure he was on the bird...I wouldn't shoot.........figuring that at some point someone is going to say in no uncertain terms...shoot!!

watch...I'll do the exact opposite this'll be in Texas in 2 weeks and a day
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RE: Decision Time: Chain of Fools

Postby TeocTom » March 17th, 2011, 4:50 pm

Shoot what where would have been my response!
I couldn't shoot not knowing everything that is going on. I would have to wait until I was certain I had a clear shot.
Safety is a must.
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RE: Decision Time: Chain of Fools

Postby TRapper » March 27th, 2011, 8:41 am

i had a similar situation with one of my uncles who was calling, he could see the bird clear as day but i was the shooter, i could barely see parts of the bird in the thick vegetation, i kept hearing him say shoot, i kept saying i can't see his head, finally he said audibly, SHOOT, so i did, and i missed, he later sat down and looked through what i was looking at and said to me, i now understand why you didn't want to shoot, wow.
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