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Too many decoys?

Old 04-28-2010, 01:33 PM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Default Too many decoys?

I went out hunting this morning and we had 8 toms 100 to 200 yards out for 3 hours and they just wouldn't come any closer. Some were with hens and some were not, they responded to our calls every time and would not come any closer. I am starting to think we went over board on our decoys. We had 4 hens, 2 jakes, and 1 tom. I think there were too many males in it? Anyone have any experience with this?
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:50 PM
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In my experience, when the Toms are henned up, they will rarely leave their girls to come investigate. Even when there is more than one Tom with the hens. I can understand the dominant Tom staying put, but have never understood why the subordinate Toms will stay with the flock. I am sure there are those who have been able to call a Tom or two off a flock of hens, but I am just saying that in my experience it doesn't happen. However, when I know this is happening, I try to make aggressive and long , loud calls. What I am hoping to do it call the hen(s) to me. Sometimes an irritated dominant hen will come to your call to give you what for and she will lead the boys in. I had this happen twice opening morning. Once for my daughter and then once for me. It has happened a couple of other times in the past. But most of the time, I am not successful getting a hen to come in. By the way, the gobblers are responding to your call because they are calling for you to join the flock. That's just the way it is. You'd like to think they are responding and going to come in, but a lot of times, they are waiting for you. Try to figure where they are going and set up in their path if you can. That will sometimes work.
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:37 AM
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When gobblers get spoiled by lots of hens... decoys will more often than not hang them up.... even if they are by themselves. When the jake and now strutting decoys hit the scene of course, that wasn't the case as much. But what it has done is teach a lot of turkey hunters that all they need is one more decoy or one more thing and suddenly they will be the hottest thing going in the turkey woods. Doesn't work like that.

Hens go to gobblers. Almost always. And gobblers don't leave hens. Hens are typically the agressive ones. Right now in my part of the country if a hen and a gobbler enter a field and that hen sees another hen turkey... she will round up her man and seek entertainment elsewhere.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:00 AM
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Try to set up without decoys and get them coming closer to look for the hens rather than seeing them and trying to pull the hens to them. I kill 90% of my birds without the use of decoys, they just aren't needed in a majority of setups
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:44 AM
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I agree with Canuck33, 90% of the birds I have killed have been without decoys.

Another option you can try if you are in the same situation (multiple gobblers henned up). Do the fall tactic and run and flush the flock. Trust me, it won't be long and the gobblers will start gobbling and looking for their hens again. You might be that hen he comes after.. Good luck!!
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:33 AM
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50/50 chance every time. If you can tick off a hen or two to bring them closer to your set-up all the better. Most times I have seen the hens either take the gobbler in the other direction, or have came storming in. One thing to try is place a hen decoy on the ground without a stake, and then place a jake decoy on a stake right behind her, as if he was ready to mount her. This set-up works well, and should tick off that gobbler and make him run in providing he can see the two decoys.
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:49 PM
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A submissive Hen with a Jake decoy will most likely get the Tom or a couple of Jakes to leave the group to investigate and try to scare the Jake decoy away.
Call as if you are a hen in need of help to get rid of the pestering Jake decoy, with some soft pleading call.Some of those Toms can't refuse a fight with a smaller bird.
Although sometimes it can backfire, some birds weary of fighting will shy away from a fight, go away to enjoy the company of hens they've already got, and I can't blame them.
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