Whether you are an avid gobbler hunter or just a beginner, you will need some clever turkey decoy set ups to have success.
Coaxing a turkey into a prime position for the purpose of accurate shooting is important; we all know that.
A skilled hunter will usually have several favorite decoy set ups that they’ll use. The key to a successful set up and achieving the best possible shot lies in the tactical advantages that can be set up to increase hits and fill tags.
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Turkeys have excellent eyesight, so it pays to equip yourself with high-quality, workable decoys. Of course, a decoy arrangement will only be effective if it is placed in the right setting. Seasonal factors can also influence the effectiveness of some of the following decoy concepts.
The first turkey decoy set up is particularly useful and designed especially for the early part of the season, before breeding begins. During this time the main targets are itching to find some females and do the “natural” thing. Calling a gobbler into the range of your gun with hen sounds is a handy tip to incorporate into this type of set up.
This particular decoy set up is called ‘The New Boy in Town.’ For the duration of this early spring period, the males are especially protective over females, allowing decoys to be set up in a way that will take advantage of this protectiveness.
It involves the placement of a decoy male seen to be breeding with a belly-down hen, surrounded by a small group of other hens with their head down in a feeding position. This positioning strongly attracts other males in the near vicinity to defend their hens from other breeds.
Second in line is another very cunning entrapment method helpful in mid-season we will call ‘The Lonesome Hen.’ In these peak breeding months, you should place a very realistic single hen decoy among plenty of male ones.
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This set up pretense is thought to entice wandering gobblers in to join the potential mating situation. Once the intrigued turkey decides to investigate the group, if it has been strategically located, it should be quickly guided into your line of fire.
A final highly recommended move for the end of the season comes in the form of the third decoy set up, known as ‘Gobbler Crowd.’ This involves situating numerous feeding decoys and revolves around the offer and temptation of food rather than the potentiality of securing a mate.
Towards the close of the season, a turkey seems to focus less on producing plenty of offspring and more on filling their stomachs in preparation for the cooler weather.
Aside from brushing up on these fairly standard suggested tactics for turkey decoy planning, it could be worthwhile experiment with others. Turkeys are strange, incredible creatures, and you never know what their going to react to.
What decoy set ups have you found to work in your area? Leave your tactic in the comments below, and consider writing about it and more turkey hunting through our contributor program.