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Turkey Decoys

Turkey Creek

5 year old buck +
Has anyone just used a mounted bird as a decoy?

Put a couple together for a buddy of mine. The cost on one wont be any cheaper than a good plastic decoy if your time is worth anything to you. Then you have to baby the heck out of it just to get it to last 2-3 years. A pain in the arse, I m a taxidemist and you will never see me using one!
 

wildfire

5 year old buck +
I pattern turkeys, just as you would pattern deer. Unpressured deer and turkeys have a time table as to where and when they will be at a given place. Trail cameras are what I use.
 

Mortenson

5 year old buck +
Let's give this thread a bump. What's everyone using nowadays? I'm ready to up my decoy game and most likely will get a hen and jake (partial strut) and I'm looking at some of the better quality decoys. The Dave Smith brand seems to lead the pack. Slightly below those are the Avians. I see B.P. sells a combo of the Avian for $240. It's the X-HDR version. Does anyone know if those are solid plastic and not the inflatable type? I don't want inflatable. That option would get me into premium decoys, but I wonder if making the jump to the DSD brand is worth the buy once cry once mentality.
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
AvianX...a jake and a hen. If I'm walking a long way just the hen.
 

J B

A good 3 year old buck
I got DSD decoys a few years ago. It hurt at first and the wife was pissed. We’ve shot a bunch of turkeys over them since. Before DSDs my decoy success was very low. Now they commit and it leads to a very exciting hunt with close shots. They are great for hunting with kids!
 

ruskbucks

5 year old buck +
Avian X - I got one last year and we shot a gobbler as his girlfriend was flogging my decoy. It was an awesome hunt that would not have worked out that way (high-pressured birds) with an inferior decoy.
We had the exact same experience with the avian x. We had a hen come in all the way across the field right in front of us 3 yards in front of blind. She moved back out by our decoy. We then had a big Tom come from behind us starring at the real hen and decoy. My 10 year son bagged his first bird.
 

Mortenson

5 year old buck +
Ended up ordering the DSD 3/4 strut Jake with red face and the DSD upright hen. They should last many years for myself and the kids. Unfortunately they won't be here for at least a week, so I'll see if the old worn out decoys can get it done one last time on tomorrow's opener.
 

Gator

5 year old buck +
Ended up ordering the DSD 3/4 strut Jake with red face and the DSD upright hen. They should last many years for myself and the kids. Unfortunately they won't be here for at least a week, so I'll see if the old worn out decoys can get it done one last time on tomorrow's opener.

Good choice. My exact setup!


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ghilliehunter

5 year old buck +
Let's give this thread a bump. What's everyone using nowadays? I'm ready to up my decoy game and most likely will get a hen and jake (partial strut) and I'm looking at some of the better quality decoys. The Dave Smith brand seems to lead the pack. Slightly below those are the Avians. I see B.P. sells a combo of the Avian for $240. It's the X-HDR version. Does anyone know if those are solid plastic and not the inflatable type? I don't want inflatable. That option would get me into premium decoys, but I wonder if making the jump to the DSD brand is worth the buy once cry once mentality.
DSD 3/4 jake over feeding hen, upright hen on lookout.
 

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ruskbucks

5 year old buck +
DSD 3/4 jake over feeding hen, upright hen on lookout.
I read a article a few years back that the author said to never use a upright hen. He said that when they are upright/alert that something is wrong. He said he always uses feeding hens. The birds come in easier if the Tom thinks they look calm and feeding. It made sense to me and I have not used my alert decoys since. We have had a lot better action.
 

ghilliehunter

5 year old buck +
I read a article a few years back that the author said to never use a upright hen. He said that when they are upright/alert that something is wrong. He said he always uses feeding hens. The birds come in easier if the Tom thinks they look calm and feeding. It made sense to me and I have not used my alert decoys since. We have had a lot better action.
That does make sense. But, I've killed multiple birds over this set up. And over cheap rubber decoys many years ago. And with no decoys at all. Sometimes they skirt just hen decoys. It all depends on what the tom wants.
 

Mortenson

5 year old buck +
Sometimes the challenge is pulling in the hens instead of the gobblers. Some of the more upright hen decoys can look bossy enough to tick off the hens enough to come investigate. Pulling gobblers off the hens is nearly impossible in my experience, so I wanted to try this route. Or I'll just push her short into the mud and make it look like she wants to bump uglies with the jake.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
My turkey decoys are over 20 years old and getting shabby looking and I was thinking of replacing them. Last year I had several Long beards hang up on me until I changed up on decoy. What is every one using?

Turkey have a variety of reactions to decoys, from turn tail and run, to ignore, to come charging in. This is with the exact same decoy. In general size and shape are the primary things you need. I've had gobblers strut for geese like they were hens. All the expensive life-like decoys provide no advantage. I even bought a taxidermy hen when I was young and foolish.

Depending on setup, movement can be beneficial. When a gobbler comes looking for a hen that has been calling, he expects to see her at a distance if the terrain and vegetation allow it. Her movement gets his attention at a distance and comforts him. If you use a fixed decoy and he comes looking for her and doesn't see her until she is right on top of him because the decoy is still, the surprise can spook him.

I generally don't use decoys unless I have to. I prefer a setup where terrain is such that a turkey doesn't expect to see the hen until he is in gun range. If I happen to be in a very open area where the gobbler expects to see the hen from a long distance, I'll use them.

Keep in mind, a turkey hanging for a decoy, or a hen for that matter is the norm. Hens go to gobblers in nature. When we call a gobbler in, we are reversing nature. So, having a gobbler either see a decoy or hear your call and hang at 50 yards or so and just strut back and forth and eventually leave is normal. He is doing what nature calls for to entice the hen to come to him and eventually gives up and goes off gobbling trying to find other interested hens. That is why I prefer a topography setup if one is available.

Best of luck,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Has anyone just used a mounted bird as a decoy?

Yep, don't waste your money. See my previous post.
 

ruskbucks

5 year old buck +
That does make sense. But, I've killed multiple birds over this set up. And over cheap rubber decoys many years ago. And with no decoys at all. Sometimes they skirt just hen decoys. It all depends on what the tom wants.
That looks like a good set up you have, and it shows it works. I was thinking about adding a Jake to our set. I didn't mean to make it sound like I didnt like your set with the alert hen. I think when turkey decoys first came out they were almost all alert, and they worked. I just never had luck with my old upright foam decoys. It could be the new feeding ones are so much more realistic. Idk what it is but the last 3 years we have birds in our sets multiple times a day. I would have to say it has to be the feeding pose or the more realistic decoys.
 

g squared 23

5 year old buck +
I’ve never not hunted with decoys, and I’ve been “successful” having killed a bird every year except one the last 6 or so. But the toms always seem leery of the decoys instead of committing. I’m always using an upright hen with a jake, I’m wondering if the decoys seeming alert is making the beards nervous? I’m going on Tuesday to the same spot I always have success, pinch point where a big field transitions to a smaller one. I will take the decoys but leave them in the bag and see what happens.


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Bassattackr

5 year old buck +
I have 2 Dave Smith Decoys (DSD). While they are of the highest quality and made in the USA they are not cheap. Wish I had more time to turkey hunt!

CameraZOOM-20130426074917052.jpg

Look great! Been wanting some DSD turkey decoys for a while..
 

Bassattackr

5 year old buck +
Something to keep in mind - A posturing or upright hen is more visible a ways off. If you're in slightly taller cover, the feeding hen can disappear quick.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Here is the decoy I used today:

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She hung around for 45 minutes feeding within 2 yards of me. Gobblers still hung up ....


I shot a 2 year old on Saturday, so I'm not complaining... :emoji_smile:

Thanks,

Jack
 

Mortenson

5 year old buck +
Wish my DSD were here already. Had a small flock of turkeys including two big gobblers in view for a couple hours this morning. Towards the end, two hens, one having a beard, came in close to my old junky decoys and bedded down with them for 15 minutes. The boss tom skirted just out of range, then he pushed the other tom out of field and directed his attention back at the hens near my setup. He was too nervous to come in. He got to 51.4 yards but didn't give a good shot. Wish I would've ordered from Prime instead of the company. Probably would be tagged out. Don't even have a shipping notice yet.
 
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