Decision Time: The Salient

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: The Salient

Postby Brian Lovett » February 28th, 2012, 9:37 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.

The Salient

When you’re taken to a place called Turkey Point, there’s a certain amount of pressure. I mean, you don’t want to be known as the guy who returned turkey-less from such an awesome-sounding place.

Turkey Point was … well, a point. Specifically, it was one of those gorgeous southwestern Wisconsin points that fall off quickly on the sides, form a distinct tip pointing toward the Mississippi River and then drop off into what locals call a coulee but what other folks might define as a really deep unglaciated ravine.

And, true to its name, Turkey Point held a hot-gobbling longbeard that late-May morning. Better, my buddy had put us within 60 yards of that lonely bird. When my first soft tree-yelps were interrupted by a savage gobble, I dumped my call in my lap and got my cheek down on the stock.

The turkey of Turkey Point flew straight down and started drumming, just out of sight over the crest of the terrain. I gave him one more series of yelps, tried not to jump when he hammered back and got ready for the kill.

However, the turkey of Turkey Point seemed content to strut around the narrow band of level ground on said point. In fact, he did that for about 15 minutes, always just out of sight.

Dang it. He wouldn’t do that forever, so I had to choose a course of action. Logic dictated that the pepper-hot bird would eventually poke his head up to look for the hen he’d heard, so a patient approach seemed prudent. Conversely, the gobbler likely didn’t spend all day on Turkey Point, and he’d eventually leave.

My time on Turkey Point was coming to a head.

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

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Re: Decision Time: The Salient

Postby Steve_In » February 28th, 2012, 10:06 am

I would try some leaf scratching, followed by a low volume cluck. After a couple of minutes I would do some more scratching with my other hand. I would wait for him to gobble on his own, then cut him off with some yelps. If I could hear him drum I do not think I could get up and move without making too much noise.
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Re: Decision Time: The Salient

Postby Bobbyparks » February 29th, 2012, 7:05 am

I'm kind of in line with Steve......

That close ....leaf scratching and just ONE more soft call and then shut down and wait him out..and hope his head pops up over the rise.....a little more leaf scratching if it goes on...but probably no more calling

The rise thing seems in your favor....

Not to say you could not crawl up to the rise and bust him...but trying that in my mind would require you being absolutely sure where he was....and that you could be quiet enough to maneuver up to the rise
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Re: Decision Time: The Salient

Postby dewey » February 29th, 2012, 8:32 am

I agree with Bobby and Steve and i would try and wait him out and let him come looking for the hen. If you go looking for him he already knows which direction you are but you might not know exactly where he is. Wait him out.

"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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