Turkey decoy or not? A turkey decoy can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Whether or not to use a turkey decoy and whether to use a hen or a jake decoy is a popular topic. There is no right or wrong answer. I always try to figure out how much pressure the birds have had before I pick my turkey decoy set up. Lots of hunting pressure means hens only or no decoys, and there are times I wish I could magically pop a decoy out there when I see a gobbler looking but he just will not come my way. Pro staffer Scott Cronin sent in a great idea to help solve the decoy or no turkey decoy dilemma. Read on.
Undercover turkey decoy tactic
Turkey decoys have a love/hate relationship with many turkey hunters. It’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario at certain times of the year. If you want to try to trick a gobbler with calls and no turkey decoys you can. How many times have your heard the story end “if I would have had a decoy out…,” or “I wish I would not have stuck my turkey decoy out there.” One solution is to cover your turkey decoy with a piece of burlap to hide it in front of your set up. You can also use a camo shirt or your blind’s carrying case. Tie a piece of string to your turkey decoy cover and then try the approach with only calls. If he hangs up give a gentle pull of your line and let the burlap fall off. Next thing you know, that hung up gobbler may just come right on in once he sees your turkey decoy. It’s best to remove the turkey decoy’s burlap when a bird’s vision is distracted from strutting, terrain, or vegetation. This trick also works great on pre-set blinds where you can set up before slipping into your area and just make a set up come alive without having to enter the open area where birds may already be out in the field.
Jake or no jake turkey decoy problem solved as well
As you sit in the field with your new Dakota Extreme Jake wondering if you should stick it out there or just run one hen or zero decoys, cover them all up. You can stick 2 or 3 turkey decoys out there and have them all under wraps for when the Big One shows up. If he won’t commit, give him the hen decoy behind curtain #1. If that does not do the trick, show him the hen decoy under curtain #2, and if he still won’t come, break out the jake turkey decoy. It may not get him killed, but it sure helped solve the question of whether or not having turkey decoys out made or broke the hunt. Some days nothing will work, and that’s why we have that whole “season” thing.
Turkey decoy in a field
One more scenario where the hidden decoy can work is a place where the turkeys sometimes show up before you can. Maybe it’s a big crop field or green field where they gather at 3 and hang until dark. When you work until 5, how are you gonna get your turkey out there? Stick it out on your way to work in a spot you can sneak in after work, and pull the cover back on your turkey decoy. You just need to find a spot where you can sneak in without the birds seeing you coming to try it.
I don’t think the debate over whether or not to stick decoys out will ever end, but I can tell you right now, the new realistic offerings from Zinc decoys, Dave Smith Decoys, and our own Dakota Extreme Jake will mean a lot more birds are being fooled into dying over these ultra realistic turkey decoys.