Hunting Washington Forum

Other Hunting => Turkey Hunting => Topic started by: shorthair15 on December 04, 2019, 03:19:04 PM

Title: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: shorthair15 on December 04, 2019, 03:19:04 PM
Have a hen and jake decoy probably 18 yrs old was thinking of getting a better decoy if needed. Wanted to see if there needed. Thanks
Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: linxx77 on December 04, 2019, 04:00:09 PM
This is a question Iíve been asking myself too. Hope some gobbler vets chime in.

I hunt a farm and have seen hens eating feed right along side donkeys, when all of a sudden 3 more hens come running up because they looked over and saw the other one feeding.

Just based on that alone I am going to buy a couple hen decoys. Maybe just for the Fall.

Iíve had Toms attack my Jake decoy in the spring so I know for sure that gets their attention.

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Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: Dan-o on December 04, 2019, 04:25:23 PM
I have some of those cheap foam decoys - hens and jakes.

I chase turkeys for 1 or 2 weekends a year.

Going back t least 6 straight years, turkeys have come into my decoys every year without exception.   They also help turkeys stick around long enough for a shot.

Heck, I've fallen asleep and woken up with a strutting tom in my decoys.   Multiple times I've had turkeys in my dekes without calling.

They are very useful for my style of hunting.   

My cheap ones work every year,so I see no reason to upgrade to expensive ones.
Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: Gobble Doc on December 04, 2019, 04:28:22 PM
Overall I have got more without the decoy.

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Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: 270Shooter on December 04, 2019, 04:34:23 PM
I prefer to not pack one around, I have a strutter and I think itís cost me more birds than anything. A single can work if you sit and wait in a strut zone but I typically try to run and gun
Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: jeffro on December 04, 2019, 05:07:10 PM
Where are you looking to hunt?

Where Iíve gotten all of mine for the last 3 years, its not necessary to buy decoys or even camo.
Park truck, get out, start walking, load gun, boom...
Back to truck in 5-10 minutes

Save your money and go meet a farmer in the north central Wa area
Buy him a cup of coffee and your set for life.
Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: EWUeagles on December 05, 2019, 08:24:39 AM
Here is why I won't turkey hunt with out one and I'll only use DSD.

First they are just plan fun to use. Nothing is better than calling at a big Tom to have them run in and attack your jake decoy or hump your hen decoy. I used to hunt with foam decoys and had very mixed results. This year I hunted with DSD and I noticed quite a big difference. On one hunt a turkey was shot off the back of a jake decoy.

Second I believe they work even though sometimes you don't need them. In the spring I was part of 4 harvests and 3 missed shots (all within 30 yards) for 4 hunt days. Out of those opportunities 2 were taken without a decoy. The closest shot we had was at 6 yards and we actually didn't have the decoy out at the time but the rest were all decoyed bird. One bird got very spooky at 25-30 yards from a jake decoy and wouldn't get any closer to that. I believe they work because years ago I was hunting and called a big tom in at 50 yards (sorry guys I don't take those shots) and the bird locked up right at the end of a tree line and sat there gobbling. We had the caller 15 yards behind us and still the tom wouldn't move. I believe if we would of had a decoy that bird would of came in.

Third it's about what YOU want out of a hunt. Can you set up a stand in some dudes back yard and shoot a turkey? Yep. Can you just walk out a shoot a turkey? Of course. That's not what I'm looking for in a hunt and maybe it's the duck hunter in me but I love working the bird. I could care less about pulling the trigger and I get more enjoyment about finishing a bird and decoys have helped that.

Why DSD? They are the best and their's no debate about that. Now they are heavier than foam so I wouldn't pack a flock around but I have no problem packing around 2 for the day.
Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: Henrydog on December 05, 2019, 08:38:02 AM
I agree with EWU.   I would add that I firmly believe my crew has killed a couple more birds because of a decoy.  It gives the Tom something to focus instead on looking for where the call is coming from. 
Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: syoungs on December 05, 2019, 09:15:02 AM
I like to run hen or jake decoys. I think a big tom decoy can be deadly, but after getting whipped up on for a few weeks, the smaller toms and jakes may get intimidated by a big tom, and not come in.
A small jake next to a hen, is not nearly as intimidating to most birds.

I like quality decoys, but the cheaper ones seem to work just fine most the time. This year I plan on investing in a DSD hen and jake. I am a gear *censored* though, and buying them because I like them, not because I don't think I can whack birds without em.
Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: Cab on December 05, 2019, 09:52:08 AM
I 100% believe decoys help if you properly use them. The #1 reason, it gives the birds something to focus on! Toms get hammered during mating season from hunters, yotes, bears, wolves and cougars. This makes them cautious in general but as the season progresses they have heard every hunters call under the sun. I notice that Toms without something like a visual of another bird can sometimes be very slow to come in and always looking for the hen. Think about it, if they don't see a bird they are looking for one and that means if you move at the wrong time they will bust you. I run a cheap foam single hen I can roll up and stuff in my bag. I find that Jakes will sometimes be nervous coming into Tom decoys especially late in season since they've got their butts kicked and a single hen has always worked for me. I've shot all but 1 of my birds(run and gunned one this year) over a single hen and every time the Tom was focused on the decoy and not looking around allowing me to set up my shot. I've even read that Toms like to come in from the east in the morning if they can as the sun shows off their tail feathers so I have my decoy facing west making him have to commit. Do what works for you but for the $15 for a foam decoy that rolls up and takes very little space in my pack I don't see why you wouldn't.
Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on December 05, 2019, 07:11:41 PM
I bring decoys spring and fall. Some days I use them, some days I don't. I like having the option to set them up. Yes they are helpful. After 18 years I'm sure you got your money's worth. You can spend as little or as much as you want on new ones. They have some great options. I'm a run and gun guy so I prefer the packable options.
Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: Russ McDonald on December 06, 2019, 12:20:51 AM
A couple of the posters here said the right thing about decoys.  They take the focus off of you or the caller.  I havebused all different kinds of decoys.  Right now I have Flextone life like decoys.  Like Avian but half the price.  It also depends on what time of the season you out out decoys and what setup.  A hens is always your safe bet.  You can use a strutting tom early in the spring season but as the season progresses you may want to eother go a hen only or a jake and hen.  Fall I have yet to use a decoy.  Another person posted that if you find a farmer that will let you hunt his farm you won't need camo or decoys.  This fall I found that if you had camo on and the turkeys saw you they were gone.  Watched the land owner run around the property and almost ealk up to the birds and kick them.  Put my blaze organge vest on and they didn't have a care in the world that I was there.  I alao still have foam decoys.

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Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: EWUeagles on December 06, 2019, 07:34:24 AM
Russ. I feel like some fall flocks of turkeys almost become domesticated. Years ago my uncle had a hen problem. 100+ turkeys on his property and 90 were hens. He asked if we would go fill all of our tags and shoot the hens. I was in college and it was right around Thanksgiving so I thought it would be fun to bring back some food for the dorms. Me and my buddy got out of the truck spotted them on the hill side grabbed our guns and were heading towards his blind. Before we could make it to the blind they were on top of us. I swear we shot in self defense more than anything haha. They got so used to my uncle always being out there they didn't care about people at all but they loved eating is grass so they thought were just heading for dinner.
Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: Machias on January 23, 2020, 01:43:46 PM
I always carry at least a hen decoy, but very seldom ever use one now.  Used to always set one out if I had time to.  In the Midwest I have had gobblers strut in, see the decoy, spin around and leave from there.  That has not happened to me in WA or ID yet.  Most of the time now I try to set up so that once the gobbler and I can see each other, they are already in range.
Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: kevinlisa06 on January 23, 2020, 08:57:59 PM
I have carried 2 different hen dekes around for 17 seasons. I have yet to kill a bird using one. For the most part the way I hunt it doesnít work, I am in the timber and can not stand hunting fields.

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Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: lokidog on January 23, 2020, 11:01:34 PM
Half and half....

Russ, I had a flock walk right up to me, 15 yards, while I was deer hunting in blaze orange.
Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: Skyvalhunter on January 24, 2020, 05:12:29 AM
How many did you get?
Title: Re: Are turkey decoys helpful?
Post by: DOUBLELUNG on January 24, 2020, 12:11:33 PM
Useful but not necessary.  I've killed more without than with, but I've killed at least one that had me pinned (ran in and stopped about 8', was staring at me until he saw the hen decoy and went into a strut).