Decision Time: Disconnect at Dead Dog Ridge

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: Disconnect at Dead Dog Ridge

Postby Brian Lovett » June 27th, 2012, 10:55 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.

Disconnect at Dead Dog Ridge

During Missouri's heyday, it seemed like you could walk along any hardwood ridge and at least strike a turkey. That even held true for spots like Dead Dog Ridge, a winding, oak-studded spine that received its name, cleverly enough, because the odorous remains of a dead canine lay at its base.

Of course, striking is one thing. Working is another. And closing the deal is quite another.

And that's where two buddies and I found ourselves late one pretty April morning — set up on Dead Dog Ridge, trying not to think about the smell and attempting to do something with a gobbler we'd located down in a hollow. I was set up about 20 yards behind my friends, trying to float-call. At first, the gobbler had responded pretty well. After 10 minutes, however, he'd cooled off somewhat and hadn't moved closer.

Typically, I would have assumed that the bird had hens or was just being obstinate, and I'd have given him a heavy dose of silence. But every time I shut up, my buddy would start yelping like mad. Sure, the turkey gobbled, but it was apparent he wasn't coming.

That could have gone on forever, but Missouri closes at 1 p.m., and the clock was pushing noon. I had to make something happen, and I figured I had two choices: I could crawl to my friends and suggest that we shut the heck up for 30 minutes, or I could walk away from my buddies, calling all the while to sound like the hot little hen was leaving the area.

Which path would it be? Time and turkeys wait for no one.


What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.


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Last edited by Brian Lovett on July 6th, 2012, 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bobbyparks
 
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Re: Decision Time: Disconnect at Dead Dog Ridge

Postby Bobbyparks » June 27th, 2012, 5:17 pm

Glad we're not under the pressure of a 1:00 hunting curfew here in Georgia.

Assuming theres no chance for advancement on the bird so Both options you mention likely have a calculatable chance......but.....seems to me confiscating your buddies call and call while walking away offers as good of chance as any and might break the gobbler loose.

you could always go quiet after walking away but sounds like time is tight.

So...my behind the computer guess (where hunches don't occur) :) is leave the shooters and call making him think you're leaving
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kygobbler
 
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Re: Decision Time: Disconnect at Dead Dog Ridge

Postby kygobbler » June 28th, 2012, 6:01 am

I believe I would do a quail whistle to get your friends attention and silently tell him to shut up. Then I would wait about 15 mins and if the bird hasnt gobbled or moved within range I would start walking away while calling. Hopefully the gobbler will notice his girlfriend is leaving and come within range for your friends.

Knowing my luck on these you probably did the opposite. Ya crawled up 20 yds gave a couple of hard cutts and he came charging in. :D
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Gobblerman
 
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Re: Decision Time: Disconnect at Dead Dog Ridge

Postby Gobblerman » June 30th, 2012, 6:28 pm

I agree with my esteemed colleagues above. Somehow relay the message to your compadres to stop calling and then you slowly start working away, calling some as you go. You might even grab the mad yelper and take him with you, letting him call a bit as the two of you work away. Multiple callers moving away, giving the illusion of two or more hens becoming disinterested, is sometimes more than any gobbler can take.

Another method that has worked well for me when hunting with buddies, and having a gobbler that will let you know he is there but won't come, is to have the guy that is best at getting the bird to gobble stay at the set-up and keep the bird fired up. The other hunter(s) can then carefully move toward the bird, or around him, and approach from a different angle, calling when he/they get in close. We have had a number of birds fall for that tactic.

Finally, all of us "really experienced" guys need to realize that we are not always the "turkey gurus" that we imagine ourselves to be. I often take less experienced hunters out to teach them "the proper way" to hunt gobblers. I always want them to call so I can give them pointers on what they should do in certain situations, but I often also let them "do their thing" with their calling so I can get a feel for what they might be doing wrong.

I can't tell you how many times I have set up with a guy on a gobbler, let him call while all the time saying to myself..."There is no way in hell this bird is going to come to us",...only to have a dead gobbler on the ground in a few minutes, coming to calling that I would never have thought would bring him in. The moral of the story is that sometimes us self-proclaimed gurus can learn a lot by letting the beginners,...and the gobblers,... remind us that turkey hunting and calling tactics are never set in stone!
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