Decision Time: Manifest Destiny

In this interactive feature, Editor Brian Lovett shares a scenario from his 20+ years of turkey hunting, asking "What would you do?"
User avatar
Brian Lovett
Posts: 344
Joined: December 19th, 2008, 10:32 am

Decision Time: Manifest Destiny

Postby Brian Lovett » March 2nd, 2011, 7:55 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.

Manifest Destiny

The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota might lack many things, but it has no shortage of turkeys.

In fact, four years ago, a buddy and I were standing over a still-flopping longbeard when a distant gobble caught our attention. Sure enough, the bird was pacing back and forth along a wide-open canyon rim about a quarter-mile away.

"Brian, go kill that turkey," my friend instructed.

So off we went. I had to cross through two or three deep, timbered hollows to reach the edge of canyon, but the turkey was gobbling steadily, letting me keep precise tabs on his location.

Well, until I reached the edge of the timber below the rim, of course. Then he shut up.

"Geez," I thought. "Did I bump him?"

No way. I'd been well hidden. The gobbler was still up there, probably just over the apex of the canyon rim. I crow-called. Nothing. I crowed again. Zip. Reluctantly, I yelped on my mouth call. Silence.

Crap. If the bird was over the rim, he was likely more than 120 yards away. I could probably yelp him in somewhat, but I didn't have a decoy, so the turkey might hang up well out of range. However, if I tried to move closer, I'd stand out like the proverbial you-know-what in a punchbowl if the longbeard crested the hilltop.

Time for a decision, Pine Ridge style.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

Click here to get great deals on all the new turkey gear you'll need for Spring 2011

Posts: 133
Joined: January 13th, 2011, 4:32 pm

RE: Decision Time: Manifest Destiny

Postby TeocTom » March 3rd, 2011, 7:22 am

If I knew for sure that I was really close to where he was or had been, I would not risk moving much more.
I would look for any available cover and start to try to coax him in.
Team 4
Turkeys on a Plane


User avatar
Posts: 938
Joined: April 8th, 2008, 12:47 pm

RE: Decision Time: Manifest Destiny

Postby Gobblerman » March 10th, 2011, 3:51 am

You either bumped him or you didn't.  If you didn't, he will probably gobble again at some point and let you know where he is at,....or he might show up silently, which from my experience is kind of unusual for Merriams. 
I think I would sit and wait a bit to see if he gobbles again or shows himself,...both of which I think are somewhat likely in this scenario.  If neither occurred in about fifteen minutes, I would cutt sharply at him to see if that makes him respond.  If it didn't, I would sit another fifteen minutes,...all the while presuming that I had bumped the bird,...and then ease carefully up to the edge and peak over to see if he is still around. 
Really, I don't think it would come to that, though. 
My prediction as to what happened in reality is that, if you really think you had no chance of bumping the bird in your approach, he at some point popped over the ridge and sauntered over to you....the end.

Posts: 57
Joined: March 27th, 2011, 7:35 am

RE: Decision Time: Manifest Destiny

Postby TRapper » March 27th, 2011, 8:28 am

go into a prone position and crawl to an edge by a clearing and mouth call with soft yelps, or even just a cluck or 2, turkeys that gobble mid day by themselves like that are usually lonely and looking to join up with another turkey. be that turkey
Joshua "TRapper" Jones
Dream Sportsman Trips at Dream Prices ... /tripslist

Return to Decision Time

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests