Decision Time: Deja Voodoo

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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Decision Time: Deja Voodoo

Postby Brian Lovett » January 9th, 2013, 11:41 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.

Deja Voodoo

Remember the almost perfect hunt I enjoyed one May morning in Wisconsin? Have you ever experienced one of those? If so, have you tried to repeat it? That usually doesn't work, does it? Turkeys being turkeys, scenarios and reactions change drastically from day to day and hunt to hunt. And don't even talk to me about variables.

But there I was, exactly a week after my perfect hunt, standing on the same spot along a timbered ridge, listening to a turkey gobble in the same spot I'd struck the other longbeard.

"Right," I thought. "How will I manage to mess this up?"

Cynical and pessimistic, sure. But I've had enough hours on my butt pad to be wary of deja vu hunts. Still, common sense told me to approach this bird as I had approached the gobbler a week earlier, and the terrain called for an almost identical setup. But doggone it, my "perfect" bird had presented me with some challenges. That turkey hadn't climbed all over calling but instead reacted better to long periods of silence. And then I'd let him get too close, albeit mostly because of an unseen terrain depression.

That just increased my quandary. Did I try to learn from the previous hunt and switch things up? Or, assuming the turkey was buying the program, should I simply let the hunt unfold and, if possible, let history repeat itself?

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

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Re: Decision Time: Deja Voodoo

Postby Gopherlongbeards » January 9th, 2013, 7:46 pm

In my opinion, a good turkey hunter (like a good quarterback) has to have a short memory. This applies equally when trying to chase past successes or forget a previous trouncing by a bad bird. That gobbling bird wasn't there for your previous hunt, he doesn't know what he's supposed to do. When i try to hunt a memory i usually end up over-thinking myself right out of a shot opportunity. I would let the hunt unfold and hunt that bird as the situation dictates. One small exception is your knowledge of the terrain, Use that to improve your setup selection.

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Re: Decision Time: Deja Voodoo

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » January 10th, 2013, 1:01 am

Having a new bird take that area over once you removed the last bird from it, might make this hunt a little easier? With that bird taking that area over, he has something to prove that he now owns it. With the knowledge you gained from that other bird should help you set up better on this one. If you change your calling tactics up a bit, because it's a week later in the season, and follow your first instinct and go work that bird the same way.

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Re: Decision Time: Deja Voodoo

Postby Steve_In » January 10th, 2013, 8:43 pm

I would go with history. Take the terrain feature out of the picture That gobbler may have been there all along but never opened up because of the vocal gobbler you killed. If that did not work then try a different tactic.
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Re: Decision Time: Deja Voodoo

Postby Gobblerman » January 11th, 2013, 8:33 am

There is always a balance to be had between setting up in a spot where a gobbler will have to be right on top of you before you see him,...and one where your set-up is so open that a gobbler thinks he should be able to see the hen long before he gets close enough to shoot, and consequently hangs up.

In this case, your general set-up location is obviously a good one due to the positive results of the previous week. There is something to be said, however, for the idea of relocating a bit so as to eliminate the overly-close encounter possibility from the prior hunt,...or worse yet, ending up with a gobbler that gets really close but escapes because he did not take those last few steps to expose himself. Too, there is something to be said for the adrenalin rush one gets from being able to see a gobbler approaching from a ways off rather than just imagining that one is on the way,...especially a silent bird.

Bottom line is,... I would have adjusted slightly from my set-up from the earlier hunt so I could possibly see an approaching bird better,...while at the same time not going overboard and trying an entirely different approach. As with any hunt, adjustments can be, and must be, made as the hunt unfolds. If this one ends up as a rewind of previous hunt, cool! If not, what you do differently in the second round will give you a chance to test your skills and your ability to adjust to a new situation. Regardless, it is all good!

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