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, then see how things actually turned out. Sour Grapes
Gobblers don't always follow rules laid out in hallowed journals such as Turkey & Turkey Hunting
. After all, they have a brain the size of a grape. However, things get tougher when birds actually follow the textbook but you're absent for the lesson.
One crisp April morning, I joined a friend at a central-Wisconsin farm. As the sky brightened, several birds began gobbling from the western edge of a narrow timbered ravine. We slipped through the woods on a logging road, skirted a small marsh and stopped where the western wood line met an old pasture. The open, rock-studded area didn't provide a good setup, but with fly-down time nearing, we couldn't go any farther without bumping the birds.
After a brief sneak, I plopped down against a fence post and scratched out some quiet tree-yelps on a slate. The nearest gobbler -- probably 120 steps from my friend -- hammered back, followed by three that were roosted farther south.
The closest longbeard soon pitched straight down and gobbled at the pasture edge beneath his roost tree. The distant turkeys hit the ground and clammed up, but no matter. I was focused on the pasture bird. But then, a hen pitched down into the pasture, and I heard several yelps from the gobbler's vicinity. Of course, he went silent.
A half-hour later, I called five hens to the fence, but the gobbler never showed. When I cutt hard five minutes later, the longbeard gobbled perhaps 10 steps from his original location. He hadn't moved. To make matters worse, he then quit gobbling.
I agonized for the next 45 minutes. That rat was probably still there in the pasture. Should we grit our teeth and stay put or force the issue by circling around the woods and trying the bird from a new angle? What would you have done?
Post your decision below. Click here for Lovett's decision
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