The best turkey decoy is not magic
The best turkey decoy is a tool to be used as part of a larger plan, and a solid plan is what you need to consistently score on mature toms. I am going to dumb it way down to try help as many people as I can punch a tag this spring.
Where do I set my turkey decoy?
You set it where the turkeys want to be. You find that spot with ears and eyes, and you find it a day or two before you hunt. Notice I did not say your own eyes and ears. The telephone gives you access to many sets of eyes, and you should use it. Someone needs to see the birds in the same spot a couple days in a row. When you pattern the birds you can kill them without decoys and calls, but pack your turkey decoy for the best show in the woods. Don’t be running all hilly-nilly in the woods to find the birds either, you need to observe them from a distance to be effective. This first tip is the best one I can give you. Find where the birds want to be, and then slide in and kill them on the first set.
Why did the bird answer and not come in to my turkey decoy?
How would I know? Why does a teenage girl act like she does? Some questions are better left unanswered. What I can tell you is that is just was not his day to die. You need to find a bird that does not have tomorrow on his calendar, and you will never know if he is that bird until he is dead on the ground. Point is that some days it will happen and some days it will not, and you can not make it happen. If you try to force the issue, I consider that major pressure. Excessive calling or aggressive pursuit can bugger a tom for many days. If you have a ton of spots to hunt, you can go mach 50 and not worry about it, but if you are hunting a small flock on limited acreage, let them go. Rethink your plan and try agin tomorrow in a different spot, or different time of day. They will only come to your turkey decoy when they want to.
Is today a good day to take my turkey decoy hunting?
Weather is one of the least talked about variables in decoying turkeys. You can kill turkeys in the rain, but the amount you can work the birds depends heavily on the weather. My best days afield always happen on third consecutive day of nice weather. The third day of sun, average temps, and low winds are the days I hit the field with my turkey decoy. The toms are more likely to ‘finish’, and smack my fakes on the third nice day. You catch them in a better mood, and they are just plain more fired up. If you only have a couple kitchen passes for this spring, or want to pick one day to introduce someone new to the sport, pick that 3rd nice day.
There is nothing magic about calling or decoying turkeys. If you can scout the birds immediately before your season, wait for the some nice weather, and have some patience, your success will go way up. Obviously there is a lot more to it, but if you only change your plans to factor in these few tips, you will bag more birds.