8 Tips for Turkey Decoys
I once hunted in Alabama with a guide who called my decoys “rubber chickens.” After a gobbler made a bee-line across an open field toward the jake I’d mounted on top of a hen, he may not have changed his mind, but at least he was more open to the idea of using decoys while turkey hunting.
There’s more to successful use of decoys than simply sticking one out front. Here are eight tips on decoy use to make your turkey season more successful.
- Decoys must be seen to be effective. Open pastures or sparse woods are good spots for decoys.
- Place the decoy at least 15 to 20 yards away from your position. While the gobbler will focus on the decoy, if you’re too close he may pick you off as well.
- Realism matters. You know how well a gobbler’s eyesight is, and you’ll see better success with a decoy with the correct color scheme than a shiny blow-up bath toy.
- Movement is important. Carry-Lite’s decoys feature a stake that allows movement with the slightest breeze. If there’s too much breeze, stick a short limb into the ground on either side of the decoy to keep it from spinning.
- Never use mature gobbler decoys, like the Pretty Boy, on public ground or where you suspect other hunters might be in the area. The Pretty Boy is so realistic, especially with a real fan inserted, that other hunters will mistake it for the real thing.
- Even when hunting private land, place the Pretty Boy and Pretty Girl at least 20 yards from your location, and keep an eye out for other hunters stalking your deke.
- If your “rubberized” or foam decoy has dents and doesn’t look as good as you’d like, take a hair dryer and heat up the dent while pressing it out and back into shape.
- Open areas beg for decoys. If a gobbler continues hearing a hen but doesn’t see one, it’s unlikely to come within range.