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.
A Bench Too Far
Is it better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all? Who knows? However, it might be better to not hear a gobble than to be thwarted by a seemingly sure thing.
Four years ago, a friend and I stood atop a high Minnesota ridge when a bird sounded off from what seemed like a mile across a deep ravine. I wasn't thrilled about going up or down those slippery, multiflora rose-filled slopes, but the bird was hammering, so I couldn't resist.
We made the hike, and as we neared the crest, the turkey gobbled close -- almost too close -- blowing our hats off. Immediately, we dug into some oaks and assessed the situation. It was almost too perfect. The bird was strutting and gobbling on an open hardwood bench atop the ridge. We were just below the lip of the ridge, probably about 60 steps from the gobbler. If we could just lure the bird 20 to 25 steps to the crest of the hill, he'd be in easy shotgun range when he poked his head up.
I hit the slate call, and the longbeard triple-gobbled. My buddy's eyes lit up as he leveled his shotgun across his knee.
But after several tense minutes, it became apparent the bird wasn't coming. The gobbler honored all of my calls with booming responses, and his loud drumming indicated he was almost within range. However, he remained in the same spot, strutting, gobbling and drumming in the early-morning sunlight.
After 20 minutes, the situation hadn't changed. I sighed and pondered whether to remain patient or have my buddy attempt a bushwhack. The ridge was wide open, so a sneak would be risky. Further, we were at a good setup, and the bird was hotter than a pepper. Surely he'd come eventually -- right? What would you have done?
Post your decision below. Click here for Lovett's decision.
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