Turkey decoys are designed for two purposes:
1) To attract birds from a distance
2) To give the birds something to look at when turkeys hone in on your calls
Use these set-ups and tips to help you succeed in the field
- Face a big gobbler decoy toward where the opposing gobbler should approach
Why: The dominate bird will be angry when the approaching bird turns to face him. Place a hen a few feet away in a location visible to the incoming bird
- When hunting southern states, use a hen and a full-strut or half-strut jake
Why: Gobblers are grouped up and constantly fighting for pecking order, the jake decoy will make a dominant bird come in for a fight
- When the spring break-up begins, use a hen and a jake decoy
Why: Gobblers are moving around, mostly silent in search of hens, a gobbling jake will pull in a big boy who will come in to chase off the younger bird
Some turkeys have been whipped by other toms and won’t go near any gobbler, young or old. In situations like this, return in a few days with only hen decoys.
Figuring out your gobbler is the key to success. Read your birds and the hunt situations. Consider what may have happened in the weeks prior to your hunt.
Cautious late-season gobblers may have observed other birds being shot and become hesitant when approaching new sets. This is another good case for only using hen decoys.
Turkey hunting is a sport that requires you to learn something new every trip.