Decision Time: Mexican Standoff

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: Mexican Standoff

Postby Brian Lovett » July 14th, 2010, 5:03 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.

Mexican Standoff


Remember The Nashville Network, which used to run all kinds of great hunting shows?

Remember the promotional footage that network used in the late 1990s; the clip of a guy staring down a shotgun barrel at a big Gould's gobbler while heat waves rose from the rocks between them?

That was me. (The guy, not the turkey.) How did my friend Mitch get such great footage? Well, we had nothing else to do while that gobbler and two of his friends strutted endlessly for umpteen hens 80 yards away.

We were stuck on that Sonora flat for a couple of hours. The birds weren't coming closer, and we couldn't move toward them. Something had to happen.

It did. Eventually, the breeding flock began drifting to our left, toward the timbered ridge from which they'd come. It was hot, so I surmised the birds might be heading to some shade. Still, they were in no hurry, so I wondered if they weren't just drifting around the flat in one of those lazy, random turkey movements.

That begged a question: Should we slip around to the timbered ridge, hoping the turkeys would eventually end up where they started? Or, should we sneak forward 50 yards in hopes that the birds would drift back that way?

It was the final day of our hunt, and the pressure was on.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

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Gobblerman
 
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RE: Decision Time: Mexican Standoff

Postby Gobblerman » July 14th, 2010, 1:13 pm

Having hunted Goulds a few times, and knowing how tolerant they can be to movement, I would have been sneaking towards them as soon as they started moving.  Staying low to the ground (crawling and/or slithering), I would have moved carefully and slowly in their direction.  Chances are, they would see the movement, not recognize it as something dangerous but more of a curiosity, and probably venture closer to see what it was that was moving towards them.  Even if they spooked, they probably wouldn't stay that way for long.  The bottom line is, most Goulds turkeys have not been hunted enough to become fully cognizant of the dangers of human proximity.  I'm sure there are exceptions in areas where they have been hunted more than others, but I haven't seen that yet   
 
 .....And Oh yeah,...another thing,....really aggressive calling can change a Goulds lackadaisical attitude about coming to your calling very quickly.  I might have tried that before sneaking on them. 
 
Jim

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Cut N Run
 
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RE: Decision Time: Mexican Standoff

Postby Cut N Run » July 14th, 2010, 4:57 pm

Speaking as one who has zero experience hunting anything but Eastern turkeys, I tend to go with what I feel might work based on that species' actions. I might expect the birds to go to where they have already traveled and wait them out in the shade. If you need to move on them again, the shade might help cover your movements.

I really hope to get the chance to hunt Gould's one day to see where & how they live.

Jim
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RE: Decision Time: Mexican Standoff

Postby Bobbyparks » July 15th, 2010, 6:30 am

ORIGINAL: Gobblerman

Having hunted Goulds a few times, and knowing how tolerant they can be to movement, I would have been sneaking towards them as soon as they started moving.  Staying low to the ground (crawling and/or slithering), I would have moved carefully and slowly in their direction.  Chances are, they would see the movement, not recognize it as something dangerous but more of a curiosity, and probably venture closer to see what it was that was moving towards them.  Even if they spooked, they probably wouldn't stay that way for long.  The bottom line is, most Goulds turkeys have not been hunted enough to become fully cognizant of the dangers of human proximity.  I'm sure there are exceptions in areas where they have been hunted more than others, but I haven't seen that yet   

.....And Oh yeah,...another thing,....really aggressive calling can change a Goulds lackadaisical attitude about coming to your calling very quickly.  I might have tried that before sneaking on them. 

Jim



I know Mr Bates knows these birds so I'm paying attention in case I ever get to go to Mexico to hunt and make it back with my head still attached to my shoulders....I want to hunt a bird that moves towards movement[:)]

Serioulsy I might have tried either move, but it would have depended on what I felt the terrain would allow me to do best and if I really thought I knew what the birds were going to do

Going to the shade makes sense to me and that seems like the logical tactic although I don't like to give up ground and move away from birds in anticpation of what they'll do. If it looked like they were actually going that way though and the terrain seemed doable, I'd sprint and wait.

If the birds were moving back and forth in a way I thought they would hang around long enough and it looked like the terrian was favorable., I'd go for cutting the distance and move to them instead of away.

I know I'm supposed to provide one answer but I really wouldn't know unless I was there and had a feel or hunch as to what was happening.
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TRapper
 
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RE: Decision Time: Mexican Standoff

Postby TRapper » April 3rd, 2011, 4:34 pm

i think your first thought to move to where they came from,  those birds know that was a safe area when they left it,  they would likely move back to it
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