Decision Time: Col. Kurtz and the Heart of Darkness

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: Col. Kurtz and the Heart of Darkness

Postby Brian Lovett » April 20th, 2011, 5:12 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.

Col. Kurtz and the Heart of Darkness

I first saw him from the road; a large black blob among smaller black blobs scattered about a hayfield.

Forty-five minutes and a long belly-crawl later, I was within 80 yards of the strutter. I yelped at him, expecting a booming gobble in response. Instead, he dropped out of strut and started to feed. In fact, I watched the longbeard and his hens feed back and forth across that field for three hours, and came within a few yards of killing the gobbler when he eventually entered the woods.

I went back at the turkey the next weekend and found him in the neighbor's woodlot to the west, again with hens. That day, he eagerly answered my calling yet refused to march one footstep closer toward me. After three more wasted hours, I left in frustration.

The next week, I struck the gobbler at midmorning and approached him from the south, opposite the large field. After a briefly exciting setup, when the bird gobbled at me from 60 steps away on a brushy logging road, I thought I'd struck gold. A half-hour later, the gobbler and his hens were 200 yards away, near the field where I'd seen him the first day but headed west.

That's when I named the turkey Col. Kurtz, after the rogue Army Green Beret general in Apocalypse Now. I vowed to slip into Kurtz's "compound" and, as the movie said, "terminate the Colonel's command ... with extreme prejudice."

But how? The gobbler was always with hens and hadn't shown any inclination to come to calling. Further, he seemed to be at a different place every day: the field to the north, the neighbor's place to the west and then the logging road to the south. The neighbor's land was off limits, and the logging road offered few good setups.

"I basically have two choices," I thought. "I can set up near the northern field at flydown and see if he heads that way, or I can try the southwestern edge of the farm, which is the one place I've never seen him."

One option made sense. The other? Hmm.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.


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turk2di
 
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RE: Decision Time: Col. Kurtz and the Heart of Darkness

Postby turk2di » April 20th, 2011, 5:46 am

Got up & ran towards them clapping & a hollerin, effecting a scatter! Tends to level the playing field when he get's separated from his harem!

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dewey
 
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RE: Decision Time: Col. Kurtz and the Heart of Darkness

Postby dewey » April 20th, 2011, 6:11 am

turk2di that sound like a good idea. Never tried it but I have read about it for fall hutning. After you scatter them in a field where do you set up then? I would try to intercept him after flydown and then just keep after him because when those hens go to nest and leave him alone he will be looking for some new loving.

That's when I named the turkey Col. Kurtz, after the rogue Army Green Beret general in Apocalypse Now. I vowed to slip into Kurtz's "compound" and, as the movie said, "terminate the Colonel's command ... with extreme prejudice."

LOL!!! I hope I can remember to use the line of using extremee predjudice on a turkey this spring.

Dewey
"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

       

bstrickler
 
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RE: Decision Time: Col. Kurtz and the Heart of Darkness

Postby bstrickler » April 20th, 2011, 8:12 am

I might challenge his dominance. The next time I would make contact with him I would not hen call but would use gobbler yelps and clucks, maybe even do some fighting purrs on a mouth call if it seemed prudent, gobble....maybe. He sounds like the local stud and he might not appreciate wounded pride.


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