Decision Time: Walking Tall, Falling Short

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: Walking Tall, Falling Short

Postby Brian Lovett » February 4th, 2011, 5:40 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.

Walking Tall, Falling Short

It isn't every day that you stumble onto a willing gobbler in an open field. It's equally rare that when presented with such good fortune, you can't do anything with it.

Turkey bud Matt Egge and I were under pressure. Somehow, the alarm hadn't gone off, and we'd hit the southwestern Wisconsin woods late. Our initial setup produced nothing, so when a distant gobble beckoned from the west, we chased it.

Our path led to a huge high-top pasture. After glassing the area and running some calls, we felt confident there weren't any turkeys in the open, so we cut across the field toward a small woodlot. About two-thirds of the way there, an ear-splitting gobble made us hit the deck.

Crap. The gobbler was hidden by a small depression in the pasture. We were stuck, but the bird was right there. I told Egge that if we called softly and made the turkey raise its head, we could probably kill it instantly.

Or not. Our yelps and clucks produced several more gobbles and some excited cutting from the gobbler's harem. However, the longbeard didn't budge. In fact, he started to drift away.

"Let's stand up and shoot him," I whispered. "We'll get on our feet, and when he lifts his head, it'll be over."

That's where it got interesting. I was supposed to shoot first that morning, as an out-of-state commitment would soon take me away. However, Egge is taller than I am, so when we stood, he saw the gobbler, but I couldn't. I didn't know whether to inch toward the turkey in hopes of getting a shot or concede defeat.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

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RE: Decision Time: Walking Tall, Falling Short

Postby dewey » February 4th, 2011, 6:14 am

I think if the gobbler didn't see your friend duck back down and have you sneak up a little closer and then pop up and shoot the tom.

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." --Mahatma Gandhi

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


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RE: Decision Time: Walking Tall, Falling Short

Postby TeocTom » February 4th, 2011, 7:14 am

This one is tough.
I would have to hit the ground and inch as close as I could to get to where I could get a shot.  Also, popping up and shooting on the fly might take out a hen or two with him.
I would have to inch my way just a litte bit closer.
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RE: Decision Time: Walking Tall, Falling Short

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » February 4th, 2011, 6:19 pm

As long as Egge could see him and the birds didn't see Egge stand up and start puttin. I'd crouch lower and move up a bit, shoulder your gun and straighten up. Use Egge as your guide to tell you what the brid was doing and where he was.

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RE: Decision Time: Walking Tall, Falling Short

Postby TRapper » March 27th, 2011, 9:05 am

having only shot one turkey standing up, i am the tall one, at 6' 9" and i shot mine through the cedars while still puffed up. we had called a ridge and heard nothing, moved down the ridge in a stand of cedars, then a turkey sounded off where we were at before, we yelped and he flew in immediately and landed on the other side of the cedar that i was sitting in front of and gobbled, wow the hair stands up when that happens, my uncle told me to stand up slowly and pop him, talk about point blank
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