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Up to date Jan 12, 2023 4:26 PM

To be trustworthy, I don’t know what number of turkeys I’d killed earlier than I set my first turkey decoys; most likely a dozen or extra. The best way I used to be taught, the hunter made the yelps and the clucks and the purrs, after which let the gobbler search me out. If all the things went as deliberate, whereas he was snooping round searching for that fairly little hen he’d heard, 1-3/4 ounces of #6 shot ruined his morning. He was rewarded not with a mate, however a experience at the back of my Grandpa’s pickup truck.

However issues, as they’re wont to do, have modified on this planet of turkey looking. Right this moment, a decoy of some variety is nearly as integral part of the method as is our calls, shotguns, shotshells, and turkey vest. And, like every of those items of important looking gear, turkey decoys are virtually with out quantity and variation. Arduous high-tech composition decoys. Foldable plastics. Inflatables. Stand-still. Movement. Ten {dollars} apiece, and ultra-realistic true-to-life fake hens costing $130 or extra.

It may be a problem, significantly must you be new to the game, to reply the questions: Which decoy is greatest? What do I want? Properly, Subject & Stream offers perception as to a few of the greatest turkey decoys obtainable right this moment, and solutions these questions after which some.

How I Picked The Greatest Turkey Decoys

I are usually very arduous on gear, particularly my turkey and waterfowl stuff. On the finish of a six-week season, a few of this gear continues to be in my vest. To make sure they stand as much as tough use, these are the standards I take advantage of after I’m wanting so as to add one other turkey decoy to my already current flock:

  • Value Level: Can I afford it, plain and easy? Is the worth level in keeping with how I anticipate this turkey decoy to carry out afield? And does the worth mirror the years of service I ought to get out of it?
  • Realism/Naturalism: Sure, I’ve killed turkeys over decoys that regarded nothing like turkeys, or solely vaguely so. Nonetheless, I’d actually like a turkey decoy to seem as very similar to the true factor as potential given my monetary parameters.
  • Building: Turkey decoys are like anything crafted by the hands of Man. There’s good, and there’s not-so-good. Seams can cut up on foldable decoys. Stakes break. Paint flakes and chips. Nylon bristle ‘beards’ crumble. I look fairly fastidiously at how a decoy is put collectively and make sure that the standard lives as much as the worth tag.
  • Stake System: I don’t need to need to carry out gymnastic actions to get a stake prepared to make use of, stick mentioned stake securely within the floor, and the decoy atop the stake. And as soon as secured, I don’t want to see my decoy blowing throughout the sphere. I would like it easy, and I would like it safe. And I would like to have the ability to purchase a second stake, simply the stake, as a result of I’m going to lose the primary one. 
  • Movement vs. Stationary: I imagine movement can clinch the deal relating to seducing a reluctant gobbler. Nevertheless, it’s potential to have an excessive amount of of this good factor. It’s additionally potential to need to depend on tugging a string, pushing a button, or carrying additional batteries to ensure that movement. So, I’m taking a look at two issues. Does the decoy transfer, and in that case, how? Is it easy to function? And if the decoy doesn’t transfer, can I modify it and make it transfer?
  • Ease of Transportation: Decoys are sometimes cumbersome, huge, and awkward to hold. So, I gave factors to people who are straightforward to pack into the sphere. I’m primarily a run and gun hunter, so I would like my decoys to be very straightforward to take with me as I cowl floor.

The Greatest Turkey Decoys: Evaluations & Suggestions

Greatest General: Avian-X LCD Hen

Greatest General

Why It Made the Lower: This one has all of it. It seems plum actual. It may be folded up or carried prepared to make use of. It’s sturdy and rugged. And it flat out fools turkeys.

Key Options

  • Taller profile works effectively in late season foliage
  • Collapsible however inflates up in seconds
  • Dura-Rubber building is quiet
  • Pure however not over-exaggerated movement

Professionals

  • Extremely-realistic feather and paint element
  • Smaller than an actual hen, so it’s straightforward to hold
  • Foldable one-piece light-weight carbon stake
  • Sturdy sufficient to resist a wholesome dose of #5 shot

Cons 

I’ve hunted over quite a lot of completely different turkey decoys. For the cash, I don’t imagine I’ve ever had any work as effectively, nor final as lengthy, as have my Avian-X LCRs. Right this moment, my ‘flock’ consists of 4 hens in numerous postures and a half-strut jake. That jake took a proper good pounding from my stepson’s Mossberg M835 at lower than 25 yards a number of years in the past. Oh, he nonetheless rattles all proper, however there’s no downside along with his functioning in any respect.

Legendary goose caller and carver, Fred Zink, was the mastermind behind the Avian-X line of decoys, waterfowl and turkeys each, and that turns into apparent when you’ve taken a very good take a look at the LCD decoy. LCD, by the way in which, stands for Lifelike Collapsible Decoy, and its each lifelike and collapsible. Feather element, physique posture, paint scheme; it’s all there, and it’s all wonderful. As for the collapsible a part of the equation, every LCD decoy makes use of a small ‘pop’ valve underneath the tail to inflate/deflate. Pull it out, and the decoy may be compressed, folded, and secured with an included strap. In place, two or three breaths into the valve, push it closed, and she or he’s prepared for motion. Easy, and belief me, you received’t faint blowing it up.

Most Lifelike: Dave Smith

Most Lifelike

Best_Turkey_Decoys_Dave_Smith_Decoys

Why It Made the Lower: I do know the thrill is all about how a lot Dave Smith’s decoys price, however these are, with out query, the ’58 Corvette of turkey decoys. Actual turkeys don’t look this good. Reality.

Key Options

  • Unmatched realism
  • Superior Crosslink Elastomer (ACE) know-how building is self-healing with minimal injury if shot with shotgun/bow
  • Extraordinarily quiet materials retains its form underneath wide selection of temperature circumstances
  • Made within the USA

Professionals

  • Head up posture attracts gobblers in addition to dominant hens
  • Taller peak reveals up effectively in greater foliage
  • Light-weight and straightforward to pack round
  • Wonderful customer support, the homeowners stand behind their merchandise

Cons 

Don’t confuse this with a shameless plug; I don’t personal Dave Smith Decoys (DSD), however I’ve hunted over them many instances through the years. In need of a taxidermy hen, you’re not going to discover a extra practical wanting turkey decoy. Sure, all this realism and know-how and, I’ll guess, that DSD proof-mark include a value, as in $140 for Smith’s upright hen and virtually $600 for a four-pack (3 hens/half-strut jake). Nevertheless, that is an funding, bear in mind? You’re capturing a $1,000 shotgun with an $80 choke tube. And people tungsten super-shot shotshells? They price $13 every! So, is that this one-time funding actually that a lot?

Cash behind us now, Smith’s decoys are what turkey decoys needs to be. Light-weight, but, attributable to their ACE building, rugged, in order that they’re going to final your lifetime. The stake is straightforward however safe, and provides virtually nothing to the general three-pound weight of the hens. No, they don’t collapse and fold, so when you don’t thoughts packing a ready-to-go full-size hen or jake or gobbler, then this one’s in your wheelhouse.

Greatest Hen: Dakota X-Treme Twin Objective Hen

Greatest Hen

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Why It Made the Lower: Invoice Willroth, the person behind Dakota Decoys, has been making convincing waterfowl fakes for years upon years now. He is aware of what he’s doing, and his resume consists of turkey decoys.

Key Options

  • Rugged EVA (Ethylene vinyl acetate) building with wonderful paint retention
  • Safe staking system housed contained in the decoy 
  • Pure raised feather detailing
  • Space for storing contained in the decoy

Professionals

  • Wonderful value level
  • Nice element for a manufacturing decoy
  • Spare stakes obtainable individually 
  • Twin posture (lookout and receptive hen)

Cons 

  • Non-collapsible design means one-piece carry

I’ve labored intently with Invoice and the oldsters at Dakota Decoys (DD) for a number of years now on numerous tasks. Other than their wonderful merchandise, I’ve at all times been impressed along with his willingness to are inclined to his clients and shoppers personally—even through the peak of the spring snow goose season. Now that’s one thing!

Honestly, there’s little that may be mentioned negatively about Dakota’s Twin Objective Hen. You might be packing a non-collapsible decoy; nonetheless, DD does provide a single decoy bag that makes carrying the hen a bit simpler. I’m not huge on the purple emblem on the bag from a security standpoint, however there are different baggage on the market.

You’re getting quite a lot of decoy to your cash with this one. The feather element and paint scheme are spot on. And the staking system does provide the selection of hooked (very slight movement) and unhooked (better movement), relying on the circumstances and your needs.

Greatest Jake: Avian X Half-Strut Jake

Greatest Jake

Best_Turkey_Decoys_CabelaS_2

Why It Made the Lower: You could have the most effective of each worlds right here: submissive jake and full strut gobbler. From one of the acknowledged names within the enterprise, Avian-X.

Key Options

  • Collapsible design makes for straightforward transport
  • Dura-Rubber building is hard but light-weight
  • Wonderful feather element and paint with true-to-life quick ‘jake’ beard
  • Lifelike physique posture infuriates dominant gobblers

Professionals

  • Subdominant posture works on jakes and gobblers each
  • Good staking system consists of breakdown stake
  • Large, but straightforward to hold with quiet arrange
  • Wonderful selection for archers and people sitting floor blinds

Cons 

  • An excessive amount of white on the top makes the decoy seem overly aggressive
  • Costly value

I’ve relied on Zink’s Avian-X half-strut jake because it was launched over a decade in the past. I can’t let you know what number of longbeards have earned a experience at the back of my Grandpa’s pickup just because they couldn’t resist attempting to beat this younger whippersnapper up. I’m satisfied it really works effectively when you run throughout the fitting gobbler. Attempt it with late season, drained grownup birds, and also you may encounter some reluctance. Nevertheless, it’s a unbelievable early season decoy virtually wherever within the nation.

It’s huge and ponderous to hold (It’s a life-size jake, bear in mind?), however the included tote bag makes issues simpler. The one level of order I seen proper out of the field was the quantity of white on the top. This may make the jake seem ‘offended’ and aggressive, presumably inflicting grownup subdominant toms to draw back. Julie, my spouse, remedied this with a purple marker, firming down the top roughly 50 %. Drawback solved.

As for the worth, you’re investing. Shopping for a well-made, practical turkey decoy ought to offer you years of service, to not point out a protracted tally of gobblers.

Greatest Full-Strut Gobbler: Higdon TruStrutter

Greatest Full-Strut Gobbler

Best_Turkey_Decoys_Higdon_Outdoors

Why It Made the Lower: Lifelike movement and unimaginable consideration to element make the TruStrutter wonderful for these wishing somewhat gobbler-on-gobbler motion.

Key Options

  • Facet-to-side motion attracts/holds consideration
  • Magnetic fan mount is fast and straightforward, appropriate with included artificial or pure followers
  • Raised feather element and iridescent paint patterns with black flocking on again and rump
  • Lengthy-run life from Lithium-ion battery

Professionals

  • Facet-to-side movement is eye-catching
  • Means to include pure fan is a plus
  • Handy deal with beneath tail makes carrying a breeze
  • Battery operation affords round the clock movement, if desired

Cons

  • Movement is determined by battery operation and use of handheld distant
  • Digital decoys prohibited in some states
  • Excessive price

There’s no denying the movement generated by a faux gobbler like Higdon’s TruStrutter may be the deciding issue relating to convincing that cautious previous longbeard to stroll or dash these remaining 50 yards into your set-up. Other than the worth tag, which is undeniably proper up there, there’s not a lot dangerous that may be mentioned in regards to the TruStrutter.

The colours are proper. The posture is correct. The movement is there. The flexibility to swap out the included artificial fan for a pure, i.e. actual fan, is a particular winner. You’ll need to substantiate digital decoys are certainly allowed in your hunt-state previous to staking the TruStrutter out. Apart from that, he could be a priceless asset.

You both love digital decoys, otherwise you hate digital decoys. They’ve their place, I reckon. Nevertheless, I’m of a thoughts that after you throw batteries into the equation, it creates the potential for a wholly new phase of potential issues. That’s simply me.

Greatest Price range: Primos Lil Gobstopper Jake/Hen Combo

Greatest Price range

Best_Turkey_Decoys_Primos_Hunting

Why It Made the Lower: Two handsome decoys, jake and hen, that ought to do the job simply tremendous. All for proper round $50.

Key Options

  • Light-weight and straightforward to hold collapsible design with two-piece stake
  • Raised feather element with true-to-life duller end 
  • Smaller dimension doesn’t promote jake-to-gobbler intimidation
  • Product comes from a well-respected identify within the trade

Professionals

  • Hen options two-hole design providing ‘head up’ and ‘feeder’ postures
  • Wonderful head coloration on jake decoy
  • Fast and straightforward deployment afield
  • Restricted movement however it’s there; safe in windy circumstances

Cons 

  • Metallic stakes have to be carried individually for the sake of silence
  • Two-part stake system is a contact cumbersome
  • Collapsible however nonetheless a handful to hold when packing each jake and hen

I’ll be trustworthy. I assumed this pattern of constructing turkey decoys, significantly jakes and half-strut jakes, smaller to not intimidate longbeards was only a intelligent advertising and marketing ploy. Right this moment, although, I see it somewhat in a different way. Not solely are smaller decoys extra handy to hold, however I do additionally imagine there’s quite a lot of credence to the “Let’s choose on the small man” idea. The one caveat with these downsized (20-percent smaller) decoys is visibility through the late season when vegetation can show problematic. However in open fields, this wouldn’t be a problem.

Whether or not you’re a brand new turkey hunter or searching for one thing new, completely different, and transportable this Primos jake-hen combo is a good purchase. The general coloration of each jake and hen isn’t overly good or reflective, however it’s practical. Whereas I’d choose a one-piece stake, Primos’ two-parter, appears safe sufficient with the higher being static to the decoy. And, it does permit for restricted motion with somewhat wind.

Greatest for Reaping: MOJO Open air Scoot ‘N Shoot Gunner

Greatest for Reaping

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Why It Made the Lower: For many who make use of the ‘reaping’ or ‘fanning’ fashion of turkey looking, MOJO’s Scoot ‘n Shoot Gunner takes the effort out of each scooting and capturing.

Key Options

  • Utterly conceals hunter with out obstructing visibility
  • Lifelike wanting wing and fan mixture
  • Aggressive (white) and contented (purple) heads included
  • Handy to move; matches simply at the back of a turkey vest

Professionals

  • Constructed-in bipod permits for regular rested capturing (when potential)
  • Easy, straightforward to make use of design djusts to suit most single-barrel shotguns
  • Synthetic fan options see-thru mesh for good visibility whereas providing concealment
  • Fast deployment helps you to cover in plain sight

Cons 

  • Hunter questions of safety concerned
  • Could be unwieldy in some conditions
  • Tough to shoot at operating/flying hen with ‘fan’ hooked up

Let me get this out of the way in which first. When you determine to cover behind one thing that seems to be a full strut gobbler throughout turkey season, you might want to take some mighty severe precautions so that somebody isn’t going to misread what they’re seeing as the true deal and create a problem. I’d suppose this can be a non-public land state of affairs, however it really boils right down to a case-by-case state of affairs.

That mentioned, fanning or reaping may be an efficient tactic, significantly on cussed henned-up gobblers. And Mojo Open air, a well known identify within the decoy commerce, has put quite a lot of thought into making their Scoot ‘n Shoot Gunner as user-friendly as potential. It’s giant sufficient to cover behind, however not so huge and ponderous as to make seeing and, hopefully capturing, an issue. When you do miss that first shot, I’m afraid placing a success on a operating/flying gobbler with the Gunner in place would certainly be an achievement. 

The Scoot ‘n Shoot Gunner undoubtedly falls underneath the ‘Pulling Out All of the Stops’ class. However, with the fitting security measures in place, it may possibly assist rework a fickle gobbler into Thanksgiving’s visitor of honor briefly order.

For extra on reaping turkeys, take a look at our article crammed with reaping ideas. We even have some data on turkey reaping bans you ought to be conscious of.

Issues to Think about Earlier than Shopping for The Greatest Turkey Decoys

Doesn’t actually matter what you’re shopping for—new automotive, bowling ball, shotgun, or black lab pup—there are variables to be thought-about. All the pieces you buy, turkey decoys included, is an funding of each money and time. Why purchase a selected merchandise when you’re mainly unaware of whether or not that merchandise goes to serve your functions? Or, if it’s going to work as meant. 

In order that’s the place we’re at right here with turkey decoys. What ought to you realize earlier than pulling your pockets out of your pocket?

Value

The most effective turkey decoys on the planet do you no good when you can’t afford them. Earlier than you store, determine the low finish, in addition to the excessive finish, of your value vary. Are Dave Smith Decoys, unimaginable although they could be, out of your value vary? Is $30 or $40 extra in your ballpark? Face info. Test your funds and get the most effective turkey decoys you’ll be able to moderately afford.

Realism

I’m not mendacity after I say there are turkey decoys in the marketplace right this moment that look extra practical than the true factor. And I imagine realism does make a distinction relating to getting a gobbler shut and convincing him to stay round. A excessive stage of realism typically does include a bigger price ticket, so it’s a balancing act. How actual will your pockets permit?

Sturdiness

Let’s face it. I don’t anticipate a $100 Pontiac Grand Am to present me 200,000 trouble-free miles. And I don’t anticipate a $15 turkey decoy to final 10 seasons. It would, however it doubtless received’t. Nonetheless, I need a decoy that, once more primarily based on the flexibleness of my pockets, will present me a number of years of service afield. Does it look sturdy? Does it really feel rugged and reliable? Is it going to final?

Portability

Among the best turkey decoys I’ve ever owned was additionally one of many worst. Totally flocked and practical as could possibly be, however it was arduous plastic and carried within the area like an unfolded hide-a-bed. Some are nonetheless like that; nonetheless, there are many decoys in the marketplace that checklist ‘portability’ as one of many predominant promoting factors. Would you like one thing that’s straightforward to hold? Foldable? Or do you not thoughts toting a sofa? The underside line is: how transportable is it?

Stake System

Easy is sweet. Light-weight and easy is even higher. Light-weight, easy, and permitting for some extent of movement is greatest. Some stake programs are a separate unit; others are built-in into the decoy itself. Some are paying homage to the tv antennas of previous. (GOOGLE a picture!) The flexibility to stake the decoy rapidly and securely can make-or-break the choice to buy. Study this variable intently.

Movement

A decoy that may “transfer,” per se, provides a wholly new dimension to the phantasm you’re attempting to create. Nevertheless, an excessive amount of movement, like a light-weight decoy that spins round madly like Linda Blair’s head in The Exorcist, could be a little intimidating to even the meanest gobbler. As for strings and batteries, they’re simply one other factor to go mistaken, die, or in any other case show problematic on the worst potential time. That each one mentioned, what kind of movement, if any, is the decoy able to?

Extra Information

If you’re a starting turkey hunter, or are simply searching for some further ideas and tips that will help you this season, make sure you learn the next articles. Take a look at our ideas for locating ignored turkey looking spots. Whereas there’s quite a lot of nice data on looking jap gobblers, the west is usually ignored. You should definitely take a look at our article on easy methods to hunt western turkeys if that’s the place you’ll be looking. When you additionally chase Toms within the autumn, check out our ideas for looking fall turkeys. And make sure you take a look at our roundup of the most effective new turkey looking gear.

FAQs

Q: Are decoys crucial for turkey looking?

Completely not. I’ve killed loads of gobblers with out decoys over the previous 30 years. Nevertheless, decoys could be a helpful addition to your turkey looking toolbox when used accurately.
 
Decoys work by finishing the phantasm you’re attempting to current along with your turkey name. You’ve given him one thing to listen to, now you’re giving him one thing to see. The state of affairs seems, to the gobbler, to be professional. Decoys can carry a hesitant tom nearer, generally inside ft of a floor blind, making them an amazing possibility for archers.

Q: How a lot do turkey decoys price?

You should purchase a foam hen decoy for as little as $10, and there’s a very good probability it’s going to work simply tremendous. Or you’ll be able to spend $150 for a single hen decoy, and she or he may work simply tremendous, or under no circumstances. Low cost doesn’t at all times imply poor high quality; costly isn’t at all times shopping for you the perfect. A good reply right here could be $10 to $150 for a single hen turkey decoy, and something in between.

Q: Do decoys scare turkeys?

Decoys can scare turkeys. A full-strut gobbler decoy can presumably intimidate a much less dominant, albeit mature tom, inflicting him to scurry away at excessive velocity. A jake decoy can frighten grownup gobblers, if there occurs to be a pack of mean-spirited jakes roaming your property and inflicting mayhem.
 
And sure, even hen decoys can create an issue ought to a longbeard low on the pecking order present up on-scene and be reluctant to method the dominant hen’s ‘lady.’ Does this imply you shouldn’t use them? No, however the higher you realize the birds you’re looking, the higher ready you’ll be to reply the query: Decoy, or no decoy?

Closing Ideas on the Greatest Turkey Decoys

Any time I step into the spring woods searching for that subsequent prepared gobbler, I’ve at the very least one hen decoy with me. Usually, it’s two hens and a jake. When you’re trying to find your subsequent faux turkey, be it gobbler or hen, you actually can’t go mistaken with any from the checklist above. Joyful looking.

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