Decision Time: Beneath, Between, Behind

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: Beneath, Between, Behind

Postby Brian Lovett » October 2nd, 2012, 3:37 pm

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.

Beneath, Between, Behind

I love the old Split-Road Farm. Honestly, I haven't killed that many turkeys there through the years, but I always have adventures and close encounters.

The place, as the name implies, is split by a county road, and it seems like turkeys are on one side or the other, but never in both spots. One morning in 2012, I listened from the road but didn't hear anything on either side. Then I flipped a coin and chose the western end. Sure enough, as I walked in, a bird gobbled from deep in the property. I hot-footed to get closer.

When I got about parallel with the gobbler, I found a decent tree, sat and yelped. He climbed all over it and then began frenzied gobbling on his own. That's when I realized my dilemma. He was only 120 yards away but on the other side of a deep glacial kettle that stretched almost the entire length of the property.

"That old logging trail on the southern end leads right from the paved road to his tree," I thought. "That's where I should be."

True, and had I heard him from the county road, that's the path I would have taken. But I didn't, so I'd taken the easy walk on the northern side of the timber, across the blasted ditch. Could he fly across the ditch to me? Sure. Could he walk across it? Yes, considering it was a very dry spring. But would he do either, or would he go all "turkey" on me and sit on his ridge and gobble his fool head off? There was no way to know.

I had to try him from across the ditch or walk all the way back to the road and toward him on the trail. Fly-down time loomed, so I had about a minute to decide.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.


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ylpnfol
 
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Re: Decision Time: Beneath, Between, Behind

Postby ylpnfol » October 3rd, 2012, 8:07 am

since it was time to do battle, and the bird appeared to be in the right frame of mind, i would stay put to see how things progressed, while getting them to come across obstacles is not the best scenario, it's not out of the realm of possibility, if he's w/out hens, he'll come.....and if he doesn't, most likely he'll be close by the next day and you can go in the other way then.....
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Gobblerman
 
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Re: Decision Time: Beneath, Between, Behind

Postby Gobblerman » October 3rd, 2012, 8:15 am

Personally, I would try him from where I was set up. If he is of he proper frame of mind, he will come. If he is not, you can always move on him later anyhow. We all know turkeys do weird, unexplainable stuff. To assume that any bird will or will not come,...based on the terrain between you and him,... is often over-thinking the situation. Give it a shot. If he won't come for whatever reason, then go to plan B.

However, if I am understanding the scenario correctly, I would consider moving up closer to the obstacle if I can get there without risking being seen. Just as you suspect the gobbler might not cross the ditch,...he might think the same of the hen he hears approaching. If the ditch is not too wide to shoot across, he might move close enough to it to shoot him,...even if he has no plans on actually crossing it to come to you.
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