Decoys can be a huge asset for turkey hunting, if used correctly. Not every turkey will respond to every decoy scenario, so make sure you’re using the proper combinations for your specific targets. If you use your decoys correctly, you could bring in curious turkeys and start filling your new set of tags. Here are some tips on how to attract each type.
Toms are turkeys that are at least two years old, so they are more mature. If you want to bag a tom, set up a tom decoy and a jake decoy facing each other to make it look like they are fighting or establishing pecking order. This will bring out a tom’s aggressive side and desire for dominance, so they will come over to see who is trying to be top bird.
Though toms like to establish dominance, it is still not a good idea to put out more than one jake decoy. More than one jake decoy might intimidate even mature toms. It’s also a good idea to wait and use a strutting tom decoy when you know there is a mature, dominant tom in the area. If you use the strutting decoy without knowing what’s out there, you could be pushing a lot of turkeys away because they’re too intimidated.
If you want to capitalize on the breeding cycle, set up hen (female) decoys to encourage the tom’s desire to mate. You could set up a scenario that makes it look like a jake and a hen are breeding. This will spark both the competitive nature and desire to breed from a mature tom.
Jakes are young, one-year-old turkeys. Jakes may be scared off by a fighting scenario, so use a single male decoy. Jakes have short beards and are very skinny. Choose a small, non-intimidating jake decoy to make sure you’re not scaring any turkeys away.
They can also be lured in by a mating scenario, so you can also use hens to attract a jake. They will be just as eager to try to breed as a tom.
You can use hens to lure in both toms and jakes. Hen decoys are going to be the most universal decoy in your collection. Hen decoys will attract toms, jakes, and possibly even other hens. Attracting real hens may increase your chances of the male turkeys coming to your area. Placing multiple hen decoys to look like they are feeding is a very safe way to attract turkeys.
Where Should You Place Them?
You want to set your turkey decoys close enough to your Stump blind to remain in range. You can position your decoys out in front of your blind or behind you. Either way, you’ll be able to make a clean shot from a blind like our Stump 3 ‘Vision Series’ with its silent, floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for a wide range of motion.
If you set your decoys up behind your blind, the turkeys will have to pass directly in front of you to get to the decoys. This strategy works if you know the turkeys will be appearing in front of you and there’s no risk of missing a turkey coming up from the other side.
Using turkey decoys is a great way to attract gobblers. The more realistic the decoys look, the better your chance that a turkey will walk your way. Consider these turkey decoy strategies for your upcoming spring turkey hunts.
What is your go-to decoy for turkey hunting? What scenarios do you find work the best? Let us know your turkey decoy strategies in the comments below!