Decision Time: Blasted Off the Bluff

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: Blasted Off the Bluff

Postby Brian Lovett » December 29th, 2010, 9:32 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.

Blasted Off the Bluff

It was one of those weird non-gobbling mornings. You know the type: clear, crisp and calm, yet no turkeys sounding off anywhere.

It was so quiet, in fact, that I questioned whether any turkeys inhabited the beautiful southern Minnesota bluff. That is, of course, until I heard my friend shoot. Turns out at least 20 turkeys lived on the farm, and most of them had visited my buddy that morning. He'd shot the lead strutter and scattered the remaining turkeys to the four winds.

"One longbeard flew toward the farmhouse," he said. "You might wait a bit, and then slip through the woods and see if he answers."

I did. The bird didn't answer, but I spotted him in a plowed field. He saw me at about the same time and rubber-necked away into a nearby ditch.

Great. Every turkey at the farm had been scared senseless earlier that morning, and now I'd double-boogered the only other likely candidate. Sure, the turkeys would likely calm down and gobble again, but when? Maybe it made more sense to hunt another spot with undisturbed birds.

The season closed at noon, and I had about three hours left to hunt. I was torn between sticking it out in an area rich with turkeys -- albeit spooked turkeys -- or looking elsewhere.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

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RE: Decision Time: Blasted Off the Bluff

Postby Bobbyparks » December 29th, 2010, 11:06 am

Not sure how many of the 20 turkeys were gobblers but if there were several I'd decide which one of the 4 winds I wanted to take a chance on.

The exception would be if you knew of another good area close by that should have birds then maybe go and see if they'll gobble.

If you didn't know the land there, I'd forget about the double boogered ditch bird and troll around to find one of the others that were scattered earlier
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RE: Decision Time: Blasted Off the Bluff

Postby Gobblerman » January 2nd, 2011, 4:28 am

I don't know about Minnesota birds, but around here it would be very unlikely that a gobbler spooked like that would come to a call anytime soon.  Not to say that it doesn't ever happen, but the odds are not good.  Again, in these parts, assuming I had additional places to hunt and a good idea of where other birds hang out, I would be headed to a different area.  I think I would be doing the same in Minnesota.

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RE: Decision Time: Blasted Off the Bluff

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » January 3rd, 2011, 10:41 am

I wouldn't be so quick on counting that bird out just yet. I'd back out and circle around in the direction that bird went and lay into him with some nasty old boss hen talk. They learn at a very young age that when mama talks you listen or your going to get your tail feather ruffled, and they still do no matter how old they are. As hunters we know that when you can compete with the boss hen and not let her get thhe better of you, you just upped your odds of taking a bird home by about 80% if there is Tom in the area. Medium pitched smooth soft calling will do you no good, you have to get nasty and raspy, and they will listen to you. Henned up birds are what I like to work the best, I like a good challenge.

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RE: Decision Time: Blasted Off the Bluff

Postby TeocTom » January 13th, 2011, 4:50 pm

I would have to call it a day, and if possible come back the next day.

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RE: Decision Time: Blasted Off the Bluff

Postby dewey » January 25th, 2011, 5:56 am

Personally I like Scott's idea given the limited time frame and the fact that there is a gobbler there and you don't know anything about the other location. If you can sneak around that gobbler and give him some good hen talk that might work. I think I would also try a new call since he may have associated your last call with him seeing you.

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"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."--F. Scott Fitzgerald, American writer


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