Avian-X HDR Jake Turkey Decoy Review

   05.28.19

Avian-X HDR Jake Turkey Decoy Review

The HDR Jake turkey decoy from Avian-X is the most realistic-looking decoy I’ve ever used or seen in person. It looks like the young male turkey it’s supposed to portray, and that’s its job. It’s also bulky and heavy, so there’s a trade-off. But the quality is certainly there, and the handy-dandy tote bag can double as a turkey-totin’ sack when you finally clobber that gobbler.

Avian-X offers quite a few turkey decoys, all of them with impressive details and easy setup. The HDR Jake is designed to represent a young male that’s just coming into its own. The idea is that an old boss gobbler will spot the jake, possibly with a hen if you add another decoy, and hustle on in to kick the jake’s butt. That’s where you come in, hopefully whomping that big longbeard to give you bragging rights back at camp.

The detail on the HDR Jake decoy is very impressive.
The detail on the HDR Jake decoy is very impressive.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Manufacturer Specs

Avian-X says:

Introducing the Heavy-Duty Realism (HDR) line of turkey decoys. Blow-molded into reality from hand-carved designs, these decoys harness unbeatable detail and durability.

  • Quarter-Strut jake decoy has relaxed body posture
  • Carbon stake included, stores inside decoy body
  • Carry bag with drawstring closure and shoulder strap
  • Blow-molded design that should last
  • Rubber molded leg stumps with authentic spur detail
  • Customize setups with two removable heads: aggressive and submissive
  • Pre-attached synthetic beard
  • True-to-life paint scheme and feather detail
  • Pairs well with any hen to mimic breeding pair
  • Realistic movement without unnatural spin
  • MSRP: $149.99
The HDR Jake has two heads for aggressive (curled neck) or submissive (straight neck) postures.
The HDR Jake has two heads for aggressive (curled neck) or submissive (straight neck) postures.
(Image: Avian-X)

I saw no weight in the specs, but I weighed mine and came up with a total of 3.6 pounds for the decoy body, stake, both heads, and bag.

In the Field

The first time I used this decoy, I was impressed at the ease of setup. I set my Miss Purr-Fect hen decoy on the ground in front of the jake so any approaching gobbler would think the jake was about to get lucky, therefore the big bird would hustle in to break them up to show his dominance. No gobblers showed up, but I was impressed by the ease of setup and realistic appearance of the HDR Jake.

Avian-X HDR Jake turkey decoy with Miss Purr-Fect hen decoy.
Avian-X HDR Jake turkey decoy with Miss Purr-Fect hen decoy.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The specs say the HDR Jake is “sized slightly smaller than a real turkey, but just big enough that he’ll make a tempting target.” You won’t think it’s small when you’re carrying it around, and once it’s set up it looks plenty realistic.

The HDR Jake looked pretty realistic out there.
The HDR Jake looked pretty realistic out there.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

They also say, “His quarter-strut posture and subdominant feathers signal he’s content but ready to fight if an opportunity presents itself. Choose from two included removable head designs -– one with a curled, aggressive posture, the other straight and submissive.” Swapping heads is easy to do.

Each head has a socket in the neck to match the fixture screwed to the decoy body.
Each head has a socket in the neck to match the fixture screwed to the decoy body.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)
Slip the head over the fixture...
Slip the head over the fixture…
(Photo © Russ Chastain)
...then twist the head clockwise to lock it in place.
…then twist the head clockwise to lock it in place.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Other Features

The tote bag that comes with this decoy is big — and it has to be. The decoy will fit inside with a head on, as long as it’s the aggressive “curled neck” head. Length of the headless body is about 25 inches.

The large green tote bag has an elastic drawstring and shoulder/hand strap.
The large green tote bag has an elastic drawstring and shoulder/hand strap.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)
The shoulder strap is adjustable and the small loop helps when stowing the decoy.
The shoulder strap is adjustable and the small loop helps when stowing the decoy.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The HDR Jake’s beard is sized right for a young male, but mine is a bit more “erect” than most.

The small beard pokes out and is easy to see from a distance.
The small beard pokes out and is easy to see from a distance.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The beard’s bristles are in a sort of plastic cup, which is then secured to the decoy.

The beard is made almost like a narrow paintbrush.
The beard is made almost like a narrow paintbrush.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I don’t think the upturned beard will bother a real turkey, but if I was concerned I’d simply tape or tie the beard down and leave it that way for a while.

The legs are stumps with the little nubbin spurs you'd expect on a jake.
The legs are stumps with the little nubbin spurs you’d expect on a jake.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Even the legs look good on this decoy… and they are not mounted rigidly, so they have some “give” when stowing, deploying, and carrying the decoy.

Legs are spring-loaded with elastic cords.
Legs are spring-loaded with elastic cords.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The stake is simple, which is good. It also stores well, which is not always the case. For the HDR Jake, the stake slips into a hole under the tail and is retained there by friction.

The stake stores conveniently in his, ahem... posterior.
The stake stores conveniently in his, ahem… posterior.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The carbon-fiber stake is pointed at the bottom and has a larger cylindrical portion up top. The larger part makes it easier to stick into the ground, and fits well in its hole.

Bottom (left) and top (right) ends of stake, shown next to stake hold in decoy.
Bottom (left) and top (right) ends of stake, shown next to stake hold in decoy.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)
This screw apparently anchors the top end of the sleeve for the stake.
This screw apparently anchors the top end of the sleeve for the stake.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Conclusion

If you want a realistic turkey decoy, you should take a look at Avian-X. Yes they’re bulky and have some heft, but they’re really good-looking and the shoulder strap can be adjusted for a diagonal shoulder carry that isn’t bad.

The more-aggressive head position.
The more-aggressive head position.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

This decoy is tough, the build quality is great, and I fully expect this decoy to last for many seasons.

I appreciate how the HDR Jake is non-threatening to the mature gobblers that I pursue. I found the Avian-X HDR Jake decoy here for $139.04 shipped.

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