Decision Time: The Pugilist

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: The Pugilist

Postby Brian Lovett » April 12th, 2011, 9:40 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, then see how things actually turned out.

The Pugilist

I hate being under the gun and having limited time to chase a turkey. However, if I'm going to be handicapped, there's no time and place I'd rather do it than opening day in northern Missouri.

That's where I found myself seven springs ago. World-champion caller Steve Stoltz and I could only hunt the season's first day before other obligations made us quit. Oh, and a video guy was trying to film the hunt. However, it was the Missouri opener, and the weather was perfect.

Several gobblers sounded off on the large cattle farm we were hunting. One hit the ground and continued gobbling, coming perhaps a quarter-mile toward us before fading off. A quick move across the pasture put us right in his lap, and Stoltz immediately struck the bird again.

"He's coming this time," Stoltz whispered.

And he was. Soon, his gobbling rattled just 60 yards away, though the bird was hidden by a small crest in the field. Drumming filled the morning air, and my finger began creeping toward the safety.

And then the longbeard made his turkey move. Just as the tip of his fan peeked above the rise, the bird turned and started walking the other way. What? He'd been red hot, and he hadn't seen us. What happened?

There was no time to ponder that question. With the gobbler quickly striding out of range and still hidden by the small hill, we had a split-second decision to make. Should we abandon the camera, crawl to the hill's crest and bushwhack him? Or should we try some new calling tactics to change the bird's mind and bring him back to us?

I glanced nervously at Stoltz. Opening day was fading away.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

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RE: Decision Time: The Pugilist

Postby educote » April 13th, 2011, 9:00 am

I probably would have gotten real excited adn tried to sound like 2 hens barking it out.


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RE: Decision Time: The Pugilist

Postby TRapper » April 13th, 2011, 3:57 pm

go with alot of cutting and less yelping,  then turn your head around and start clucking slowly indicating you are going the other way too
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RE: Decision Time: The Pugilist

Postby bowebb » April 22nd, 2011, 2:50 am

I would try to circle, get in front of him, set up and try again, but this time if he responded I would have the caller walk away calling while the shooter stayed in position.   Short of that I would call it a day and try again tomorrow from a different set-up, being ready to move the caller back as soon as the bird hit the ground.    Or,  I could be fool enough to follow him around all morning.  

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RE: Decision Time: The Pugilist

Postby bowebb » April 22nd, 2011, 2:56 am

After reading Brian's solution I have hope to maybe get this bird that drove me nuts last year when he did almost the same thing.  I think I did about everything except start a fight. 

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