Turkey Decoy Tips for Success
Bob McNally 04.13.15
If a sportsman follows a few simple turkey rules of engagement, his success with decoys soars. The following tips help when using decoys.
Put decoys in places where turkeys can spot fake birds from long range. Hill tops are choice, especially in low-vegetation areas like agricultural fields, food plots, clear cuts, easements for power lines and gas pipelines, old logging roads, and fire breaks. Sometimes toms spot decoys from hundreds of yards, and they may take an hour or longer to draw close. Patience is key for this type decoy hunting in open terrain.
Use the very best and most lifelike decoys you can get. Some hard-charging turkey hunters are so adamant about realistic decoys that they use high-price taxidermy turkey mounts. Many modern decoys have very realistic and durable painting. Some models even allow using real turkey tail fans to dupe toms, and they work well.
Blind Position for Decoys
Place decoys well within shooting range of your hide, with many hunters setting decoys no more than 30 yards from their blind. With decoys placed at a 30 yard maximum, they work well as range finders when birds approach. Avoid hiding in a blind where incoming turkeys look directly at you. It’s better to make a blind to one side of in-coming birds so they are focused on decoys, not scrutinizing a hunter.
Employ a jake decoy, preferably in conjunction with a hen decoy or two. A mature tom often becomes aggressive when it sees a jake, confident he can dominate the younger gobbler and win over nearby hens. A jake decoy with a real jake fan is a realistic look that can trigger a mature tom into attack mode, making him race in to do battle with a young interloper.
Try using a “mating” pair of decoys, depicting a squatting hen with a standing gobbler decoy behind her. Another hen or two also can be used in a spread, standing near a love-struck decoy couple. This fake matting spectacle is sure to get the attention of mature gobblers, often enraging them, and they come running.