How close should you put your turkey decoy?
Many people tend to over think how close or how far away you should place your turkey decoy. They worry “the tom won’t see my turkey decoy if he comes from over here,” or ”if I put it too close the tom will see me.” Hopefully I can make you rethink how to answer the question so you don’t make a mistake I have seen over and over again.
How close you put the turkey decoy is a weapons question
How close your put your turkey decoy is completely dependent on your weapon limitations. When I set up to kill a tom in the spring or fall, the shooting is the easy part. You place your turkey decoy at a distance you are comfortable you can hit it at 10 out of 10 times. If you are shooting a longbow, the decoy may be 15 feet from your blind (I set them that close most of the time). If the pattern on your new 12 gauge is most effective at 35 yards, you set the decoy at 35 yards. With a top-quality turkey decoy, you have confidence the toms will confront him, so put the decoy where you are comfortable shooting, and you will make the shot.
How close you put the turkey decoy should dictate the spot you set up
Since how close you put the turkey decoy is a factor of the range at which you are comfortable shooting, it will dictate where you set up. If your shotgun performs best at 35 yards, don’t set up where the farthest shot will be 15 yards. Your group will be so tight you can easily miss the tom’s head and neck. He only has to bob his head slightly as you squeeze the trigger for a complete miss. A 35 yard optimum shot means you need to set up in a more open area to best use your choke’s pattern. If you are shooting a self bow with a 5 yard comfort zone, you may pick tighter spots where the bird really needs to come looking for your turkey decoy. You don’t have to set up in thick cover, but it is a good option, as the toms may not close the whole way in wide open areas where they know that their strutting antics are easily seen. Our Best Turkey Decoy helps solve this open field issue, but if you run low quality fakes, it is a concern.
Our Best Turkey Decoy maximizes success by placing birds in your comfort zone
Many toms are missed each spring because of how close the toms come to the turkey decoy. If your turkey decoy is not top of the line, you can’t predict how close the tom will approach. If you put the turkey decoy at 35 and the bird hangs up at 50, you may miss the shot. By using top quality decoys, like our Dakota jake, the toms are much more likely to come all the way to the decoy. That means you decide how far the shot is, and having that control over shot distance means you know you can make the shot.