With the best decoys and an attractive setup, I used to be in a position to rating this double on Kansas gobblers.


I’m new to bowhunting turkeys and wish to use decoys to enhance my odds. What decoys work greatest, and does it matter how I set them up? — T. Sweeney, through e-mail


Bowhunting turkeys and utilizing decoys go hand in hand. Any decoy can work in the best state of affairs, particularly when the toms are actually fired-up. However that’s the exception relatively than the norm.

Decoys have developed over time, and there are such a lot of accessible choices today, it may be downright overwhelming, particularly for newbies. Hen and jake dekes are the norm, however strutting tom decoys, and those who mount to your bow, have grow to be the craze in recent times.

My decoy setup has tailored over time, and it’ll fluctuate all through the season. Which model you utilize is a private choice, however there are explicit decoy types and postures which have labored greatest for me.

My number-one setup when looking out of a floor blind or tucked into cowl is a submissive jake decoy with one to 3 hens. I’ve used this mix for so long as I can keep in mind; from the early days over foam-style decoys to the reasonable molded decoys of at this time. The ultra-realistic decoys do have a heftier price ticket, so I shunned splurging on them for fairly a while. However as soon as I spent the cash, I used to be glad I did, as a result of my success charge since doing so has by no means been higher. They appear so actual that turkeys readily settle for them.

I choose a extra submissive/subordinate posture of no matter jake decoy I’m utilizing. It triggers a response from toms that I hardly ever skilled with my cheaper decoys. As soon as they commit, there is no such thing as a hesitation, and you might even get to get pleasure from watching a longbeard give the submissive jake decoy a great flogging (for those who’re affected person sufficient), earlier than you shoot the aggressive tom.

Later within the season, I’ll lose the jake and go along with only a single hen. After confrontations all spring, male birds can grow to be shy to any competitors, however they’ll nonetheless examine a lone hen. Additionally, the extra aggressive birds will come operating to a lonely hen. I sometimes use an upright-posture, molded-plastic hen decoy that could be very reasonable.

On this picture, I’ve a number of hen decoys out in entrance of me, and I’m utilizing my bow-mounted tom as a blind.

The way you place your decoys is equally necessary, if no more so, than the model/model of decoy itself. No matter whether or not you’re looking out of a business floor blind or from a pure conceal, set your decoys near you. I set my decoys going through me, and fewer than 10 yards from my blind. If cowl is restricted in a pure conceal, setting them farther out could also be needed, however I’d chorus from going previous 15 yards. Turkeys have a small important space, so the nearer they’re, the higher your odds of creating that excellent shot. Additionally, cautious birds generally tend to not commit absolutely to the decoys. If you happen to place them shut, the tom will hopefully nonetheless be inside your vary, even when he hangs up brief.

A comparatively new idea entails a bow-mounted strutting tom decoy. Principally, the aim is to make use of this kind decoy to select a struggle with one other strutting tom. This run-and-bow model of looking will be a whole lot of enjoyable and yield some superb encounters. For greatest outcomes, use topography to maneuver in shut earlier than the tom sees the intruding decoy. If the fowl doesn’t get aggressive and cost in, you’ll be able to proceed to crawl towards him to impress a struggle. I’ve had a great deal of success utilizing this tactic.

I just lately began experimenting with a bow-mounted decoy at the side of different decoys. The bow deke serves as my “blind,” and I place the opposite decoys accordingly. It’s the better of each worlds, since you don’t have to hold a heavy blind round, and you’ll arrange nearly anyplace. I intend to proceed enjoying round with this setup much more this spring! Additionally, it goes with out saying, that security ought to be your first concern with bow-mounted decoys. Be sure there are not any different hunters round.

E-mail your ASK BOWHUNTER inquiries to bowhunter_magazine@outdoorsg.com.

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