Decision Time: Got You Covered

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: Got You Covered

Postby Brian Lovett » June 8th, 2011, 4:00 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.

Got You Covered

Man, if you find good cover in Texas, you'd better make use of it.

We had, and we did. In fact, my buddy had found and doctored a cedar grove to such an extent that it seemed better and more comfortable than a portable blind. And it was near the intersection of two ranch roads that led to roost sites -- a perfect shady ambush spot for a hot Lone Star evening.

However, you experienced turkey hunters know that good cover also holds some drawbacks. Sure, if you're ultra-concealed, a turkey can't see you. But you can have trouble seeing and shooting the turkey.

And that's just what happened. About an hour into our hunt, two smoking-hot longbeards responded to my calling and minced slow steps toward our decoys. They came up through a small creek bed, and before I knew it, they were 25 steps away. Perfect, right? Nope. The maze of cedar branches in front of my barrel prevented me from shooting. Within seconds, the gobblers were about five steps away -- still mostly concealed by cedars.

Of course, they weren't going to stick around forever, and there was no guarantee they'd walk off in a direction that would give me a clear shot. If I made a quick move, I'd probably still have plenty of time to shoot one of the spooked longbeards. But if I remained patient, they might give me an open shot at a more desirable range.

Suddenly, the cedars didn't feel as comfortable.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

Click here to get the jump on pressured bucks this fall!

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RE: Decision Time: Got You Covered

Postby maineute » June 8th, 2011, 5:46 am

I had a similar situation this year and after a long time thinking about it I made the wrong decision. I chose to make a quick move and shoot. I did not take the time to aim very well and missed the bird as it was running. The next time this happens to me I have allready decided to hold tight and wait for a better opurtunity to get a good shot. I had been scared by the head bob that I wsa seeing thinking he was going to run off. When this may have been a head bob. Patience is hard to have when you have been calling and he is gobbling back.

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RE: Decision Time: Got You Covered

Postby simpzenith » June 8th, 2011, 7:28 am

I would first attempt to very slowly move my gun into a position and shoot through an opening. Often times, if you move very slowly, then the birds won't spook too much and may just start easing off and you can get your gun into position before they are out of range. With that being said, if they start to trot off quickly and if you have a opening that you can quickly move your gun to and if you are experienced at it, then I would attempt the quick shot. For example, an experienced wing-shooter shouldn't have a problem with this method. 
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RE: Decision Time: Got You Covered

Postby eddie234 » June 8th, 2011, 1:57 pm

With only a few years under my belt, I'd probably sit tight and wait for the bird to turn or start to move away before I tried to move. I'd lean back enough to be able to move my gun and when he wasn't facing me I'd get it into position for a clean shot.
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RE: Decision Time: Got You Covered

Postby Gobblerman » June 10th, 2011, 3:33 pm

Hunting Rios in this situation, I would not try to quick-draw a gobbler that was so close in heavy cover.  The odds are that he would depart with much haste and probably not offer a clear shot opportunity. My experience in hunting the different subspecies is that you can do that with Merriams and Goulds, but not with any of the other three subspecies,....generally speaking.

I would wait until the birds had moved off a bit and try to get an opportunity to move undetected and hope for a shot.  If that didn't happen, I would reposition just enough to get a better angle in the direction they departed and try to call them back.  It sounds like the birds were anxious to play, and I am guessing that they would turn around and come back, at least a ways, for a second look.

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RE: Decision Time: Got You Covered

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » June 13th, 2011, 6:47 pm

Normally I would try the quick shot, but you said they were coming in fairly smooth and weren't showing signs of holding up any. So I think with this sinario I would hold tight on them and hammer him at the first good open head shot.

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RE: Decision Time: Got You Covered

Postby Bobbyparks » June 15th, 2011, 9:10 am

Short of it being the last day with the sun fading I'd hold tight and not make a quick move...can fast forward thru that scenerio knowing it'll likely result inshooting at a running bird. missing or wounding... and kicking myself for trying it.

I'd hope they walked off giving me a shot or..... because ..up to this's a good undisturbed / un-boogered spot, that the birds will come back thru either that same day or the next...I'd play it safe

And ......Like the honorable Mr Bates might could call em back after they walk off...
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