Decision Time: The Hilltop Hole

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 Hilltop Hole

Postby Brian Lovett » May 23rd, 2012, 11:36 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 Hilltop Hole

So there I was at Temptation Corner, almost not wanting to touch a call.

The spot is so named because it marks the boundary between property I have permission to hunt and two properties I cannot hunt. The turkeys, of course, are usually on the properties I cannot hunt, but they’ll usually gobble at you from Temptation Corner, and they’ll often come to check you out. That’s where the temptation part comes in. If they top the rise and come out of the neighbors’ woods into the open ground I can hunt, there’s no problem. But of course, they often stop inside the timber at the top of the rise, just inside the property line. And shooting across the line ain’t an option.

But I had nowhere else to go that day, so I walked to the corner and yelped on an aluminum call. Sure enough, two raucous gobbles fired back. A minute later, more yelping brought frenzied gobbling. They were coming.

I had about 30 seconds to make a play. There was enough roll to the terrain on my property to let me back off, get out of sight and hopefully draw the birds onto the legal ground, searching for the unseen hen. Or, I could stake a decoy out, find a quick setup and hope the fake pulled the gobblers across the line.

By even mulling those options, I’d wasted 10 seconds. It was time to act.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

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Re: Decision Time: The Hilltop Hole

Postby Bobbyparks » May 25th, 2012, 4:33 pm

Interesting situation and place Brian and I suspect many of us have had similar scenerious...or at least a bird that hangs on an off property location that somehow knows hes on safe ground?

In this case because I don't normally carry decoys I'd use the rolling terrain with hopes they'd come peeking over the top on legal ground and in doubt the decoy might be the ticket...but might not be..often a 50-50 proposition.

We had a truly maddening situation just last week in Idaho where we saw the only 6 gobblers left in Idaho :) ..all grouped up... and they would not leave the mans property.

We easily could have set up near the fence and probably taken out a couple a piece but no way we would have done it...a long story but we did get one to come under the fence

Anyway..not to get off track....

I'd go for using the terrain with calling to pull them in
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Re: Decision Time: The Hilltop Hole

Postby Quinnsolo12 » May 25th, 2012, 7:15 pm

Hard choice. I'd go with the decoy. Moving back is risky. But, it all comes down to instinct for whatever the situation.

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Re: Decision Time: The Hilltop Hole

Postby Cut N Run » May 30th, 2012, 3:43 pm

With gobblers coming hot and fast, there's not time to mess with decoys and risk getting busted. They're already heading your way. Maybe competition between the two birds might help seal their fate. I'm easing back into whatever cover is available and hoping they get careless enough to cross the property line.

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Re: Decision Time: The Hilltop Hole

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » June 2nd, 2012, 12:22 am

I agree with Jim, unless you already have the decoy in your hand and can set it up quick, there is no time to waste.

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Re: Decision Time: The Hilltop Hole

Postby dewey » June 3rd, 2012, 10:52 pm

Seems like you would spend time you may not have setting up a decoy then finding cover versus sliding back and setting up again. I vote slide back into a new spot and get the gun up.

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