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Let' Help with Decoy Placement - Share you tips

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Let' Help with Decoy Placement - Share you tips

Old 03-29-2008, 05:48 AM
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Default Let' Help with Decoy Placement - Share you tips

I usually like to use three decoys if I use them.The last fews yrs and all the hype with those strutting Tom decoys I sacrificed my jake and use him insead of 3 hens.Heck he was brand new as I only used him once.

When I use three hens I like to place one fully on the ground, One at attention and one feeding. I like to place them off to me left as I am a right hand shooter - I position them about 10 yards out - with spacing of about 3 to 4 feet. I use this set-up if I am blind sitting. I tyr to make it look natural - I don't bunch them.

For long walks and to keep wt down I may use just one decoy in a feeding position and one at attention.

Lately I have been experiementing with a strutting tom I built myself. For that set-up - again to my left I place the Tom with a hen laying about 2 feet in front of him slightly sideways on the ground. I then use a feeding hen about 6 to 7 ft in front.

With all set-ups the abovehas worked and it has hurt. I have young jakes following hens that once they see a Tom or jake decoy they take the long way around and don't come in. I have hens that have totally ignored and stayed away. I have hens who have come in and wing beat a single hen set-up several times. Then at times they come and just feed through.

I have placed right in the open and then placed and sort of hid them. The reason for hiding them somewhat is I want the tom (if I can get him close more from callin) to stop and then see the decoy. Let him focus that. That set-up is more so from when I think they are decoy shy. By the time they see it - too late you are in range.
I have hens even though I was hen calling totally ignored me, I was sure they cold see the decoys but when they circled the whole field and wandered in back they had a hissy fit.

I have had A Tom zone in on my strutting Tom and come in like the videos I have seen but that has been only once.

I have had my struttin Tombring in a hen, two Jakes, which oneright next to my fake strutteraway from a big Tom they where with. That Tom tried every thing to get his harem back - but was extremely reluctant to march right in - though he was better
a 3 yr old based on his spurs once I had him in my hands.

I have had Toms hang up just out of range several times either singley or in 2 or more. I have had jakes put the brakes on and stay farther out.

I seem to find no ryhme or reason. Only thing I can say - if the Tom stops short - at your first chance analyze why - I have found it has been my tom or Jake decoy and not use it again that hunt.

I have found early season Tom decoys work better - late season they do not.

So if any of you have tips - I sure would like to hear them. An any observatiosn would be most helpful to me and others I am sure


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Old 03-29-2008, 06:45 AM
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Default RE: Let' Help with Decoy Placement - Share you tips

I simply set out two hens and one jake at 25 yards and slightly left (Right hander). I face the jake toward the shooter.

I like to decoy Tom's after they fly down from the roost, at the edge of fields and on old log roads.

The farther the decoys can be seen by the gobbler the better. I try to set with my back to a big tree and prefer to have obstacles on both sides of the approach to block the gobblers view for a short period of time to allow any final adjustments in aiming.
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Old 03-29-2008, 07:06 AM
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Default RE: Let' Help with Decoy Placement - Share you tips

i only have one jake, and 1 hen. i sit on the edge of a field with a huge fallen tree to my back. i set them like born to bow hunt, about 25 or 30 yds away to my left.
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Old 03-29-2008, 07:31 AM
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Default RE: Let' Help with Decoy Placement - Share you tips

when I use them I like to have the dekes facing away from the gobbler's expected route to come in.
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:06 AM
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Default RE: Let' Help with Decoy Placement - Share you tips

Me I dont like to use a jake. It seems like everytime I set the Jake out I can never get a turkey within shooting distance. But If I dont us a jake I get results. Kinda weird huh? I usually have 1 to 3 decoys I use. Depends on my set up and how much time I have to set them out...
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:05 AM
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Default RE: Let' Help with Decoy Placement - Share you tips

Try lowering the tom/jake to the ground. Should work as well and may not look quite as large/intimidating as being up on a stake.
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Old 03-29-2008, 06:24 PM
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Default RE: Let' Help with Decoy Placement - Share you tips

ok JW i want to know how you made your own strutting deacoy
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:16 PM
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Default RE: Let' Help with Decoy Placement - Share you tips

I hate using decoys early in the season. Turkeys can pinpoint your calling to within a few yards, and early in the season if they're interested --- they will search for that hen.

Later in the season, I like to use a pair of hens. I use an older collapsible foam decoy (I think it's a delta), which I set directly on the ground. I then add a bobble head to mimic a feeding hen, and set her about 5 yards from the other deke.

I place the dekes facing directly at me, about 15 paces from my position. I typically will place them either directly in front of me, or slightly to my right. I anticipate the gobbler coming from my left, which gives me plenty of time to zero in on his snowball...

I have stopped using dekes in the woods, and will only use them on pasture edges. In my opinion, well at least in NY and New England, the birds typically don't stop too often in the woods and therefore the hen dekes are just too unnatural. Most of the turkeys feeding/dusting areas and "lazy time" is spent on pasture edges, and I believe that's why the dekes actually work better on the field edge.

Two things I consider paramount to successfully using dekes:

1) Pattern the gobbler. Have an idea of which direction he comes from, and his general disposition. If he's got a harem of hens with him, a whole flock of hen dekes are going to be useless. You will need a jake or a tom deke to entice either him or his lead hen in your direction...

2) Very little calling ,and then very soft. Call only when he's within eyesight, or when you think he should be close (based on your patterning). In my experience, I've found that using dekes coupled with soft clucks/purrs will help you harvest that 3-4 year old nervous tom late in the season, when everyone else is either tagged out or watching the Indy 500

If you're after a 2yr old, leave the dekes at home and just keep switching calls/cadence until you get a bird excited. He WILL find you...

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Old 03-29-2008, 09:23 PM
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Default RE: Let' Help with Decoy Placement - Share you tips

I use decoys in different positions at different times of the season...
The big thing on decoys is the birds, if you have flocks of birds.. a number of decoys will be ok... explanation....
If you are hunting a large area, the birds come opening day are with hens or not...
If its a small area, your birds are with hens... period...
Now, if its a big area, the chances of catching a batchelor bird are pretty good..
Scouting will help you with your deek placement and numbers. If you have a large number of birds in a flock opening day, like 15 hens with 7 strutting gobblers or less, those birds will roost with those hens, gobble on the roost and fly down and shut up.. why? they have hens... they may give a gobble and tell you where they are but they are not gonna leave those hens.
Knowing the area is key.... scout dammit...
If you have a field, set up a number of deeks in that field, mimic a bunch of birds that won't get called away, call to the hens, piss one off, you'll have 30 friggin birds on your deeks(I've seen it)
I have feeding hens and a jake... a jake is good,
usig a deek with a full fan is sometimes not great. those birds don't know you and your hens, they will sit out and watch cautiously, not what you want, if its an evident jake, they will come running for a challenge.
If yoy have a large area... just set your hen deek up and call... put her in an area with a shooting lane at your dominate side with at least 25 yards of open shot lane on either side...
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:13 AM
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Default RE: Let' Help with Decoy Placement - Share you tips

Depends on the time of the year.
Early season I will use either a single or two hens. if you do use a jake you need to get in close to the roost area and use a dominant or aggresive jake.
usually with two hens one submissive sitting on the ground and one feeding off to the side.
Later in the season i tend not to use a jake simply cause a 2 year old is already tired of getting beat on by other birds and will most likely hang up.
Most of the time a single hen deke will get them interested enough in late season cause most hens will be on the nest. Therefore i keep them in a walking or feeding position. a hen on the ground could be mistaken for a nesting hen.

kinvjack hit it right on the head when he said to call to the hens. I have seen it time and time again. It works.
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