That commitment moment from spring gobblers
I’ve watched a pair of Minnesota longbeards hit the dirt this year so far. Both toms came in on opening day. The first fell to one of my daughters early in the morning. The other fell to a well-placed arrow from yours truly much later in the day. Both birds committed to the decoys like they are supposed to, and more importantly, we let them approach, then settle into the spread.
Fast forward to the hunts with my other daughter. The count so far is four jakes and two toms in the spread, and every one of them is still out there. We rushed every shot opportunity when the birds were approaching and got busted every time. The jakes stung, of course, but the toms were worse.
They came in hot, ticked off, and ready to fight. Those birds would have settled into kicking my jake decoy’s butt, and we would have had all the time in the world. Instead we rushed it to get the gun up. They saw us moving on the approach. Game over.
It’s not a big issue for someone comfortable with a shotgun to dump a bird 30 or 40 yards away, but for a kid or a bowhunter, the toms need to be close. This means the ideal scenario is when they’ve been lulled into a decoy trance. It’s challenging, but absolutely worth it if you’ve got the patience.
So if you’re having trouble closing this spring, and finally get a bird to commit, let him really commit. Once a turkey gets into he decoys and starts working on them, you’ve got the green light to make a shot happen much easier than trying to rush it as the longbeard approaches.