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#7150352 - 04/24/18 01:53 PM Times have changed on decoys
gary roberson Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 1538
I began calling turkeys when there were no decoys and then in the late '80s, began hunting with the boys from Mossy Oak and others that were "hard core" turkey hunting purists. If you used a decoy, you would be teased out of camp as it was considered cheating, or even worse, your hunting skills and calling were in question. The only time that they were considered ethical was when you were bowhunting.
Today, it seems that decoys are as much a part of calling turkeys as a box call. I can't help but notice when watching some of the TV shows with Mossy Oak and some of the other big name turkey hunters, most are using decoys. I am wondering if they employ the decoys to make videoing easier, keep sponsors happy or help with a hunter that is somewhat inexperienced???? I have noticed one thing, the decoys being used today are far superior to those that I saw 30 years ago.
While using decoys does not fit my turkey hunting style, I certainly see where they can be help on many occasions and think that a hunter should employ all legal tactics to make him more successful. If a hunter is successful, he/she is more likely to enjoy the hunting experience and I feel that that is much more important than being "politically correct".
Adios,
Gary

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#7150372 - 04/24/18 02:13 PM Re: Times have changed on decoys [Re: gary roberson]
quackiller Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 103
I've killed more without decoys than with and feel that one can be just as if not more successful without decoys making the bird work to find you.

For me i like to watch the interaction of a bird with the decoys and i feel that you get more out of the experience when a bird comes in and puts on a show with the decoys versus when otherwise they will only continue to search the area for the hen. From a tv standpoint this makes filming easier and more content to put together a good show.

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#7150386 - 04/24/18 02:29 PM Re: Times have changed on decoys [Re: quackiller]
LarryCopper Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 11/16/07
Posts: 4320
Loc: The Great State
Originally Posted By: quackiller
I've killed more without decoys than with and feel that one can be just as if not more successful without decoys making the bird work to find you.

For me i like to watch the interaction of a bird with the decoys and i feel that you get more out of the experience when a bird comes in and puts on a show with the decoys versus when otherwise they will only continue to search the area for the hen. From a tv standpoint this makes filming easier and more content to put together a good show.

Agreed. And I also think Gary is right about selling product. Almost all outdoor shows are trying to sell something.

I really think it's funny when waterfowl hunting shows are filming on a pond or small wetland and they are blasting away on their kazoos like it really made a difference. Those dux were coming anyway LOL.

Turkeys dekes are a bit different. I do like that they get focused on something and that allows you to make your move. But I've had them scare away non-dominant birds, too, so there are cons to it.
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#7151023 - 04/25/18 12:05 AM Re: Times have changed on decoys [Re: gary roberson]
thedoveshooter Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 1232
Loc: Tomball, TX
Not saying I haven't tried, but I've never killed a bird over a decoy.

Every time I seem to get everything set up "just perfect" either nothing materializes or I have felt the need to move quick and was not able to use it.

I may be too aggressive and not patient enough though!
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#7151873 - 04/25/18 04:17 PM Re: Times have changed on decoys [Re: gary roberson]
Bald Eagle Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 12/06/10
Posts: 32
This is my first year turkey hunting, so I am no expert. Opening weekend I put out a hen decoy. We had about 10 hens come up to a corn feeder. The decoy was about 30 yards away. Two Toms followed the hens. The first one left the hens and tried to show off in front of my hen decoy. He left after about 3 minutes as he was getting no attention. The second Tom came in strutting, he got blast by my son.

That afternoon I put up a hen and Jake decoy just to see what would happen. Three Toms came in with some hens. The dominant Tom came over to the Jake decoy and WHOOPED HIS A$$. After two spur strikes from the Tom, the Jake decoy went down. Then the Tom started pecking the decoys head about 20 times. Then he went back to his hens. I didn't shoot him, he was too big of a BAD A$$.

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#7153398 - 04/27/18 09:19 AM Re: Times have changed on decoys [Re: gary roberson]
gary roberson Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 1538
My hunting style is "cutting and running" like some of you. I want to travel light and move to a gobbling bird if he is far enough away to allow it. If I move to a gobbling bird and get him fired up, he can sometimes come on a run and the last thing I want to do in sneak out a decoy and then try to back up and sit down. This is a good way to spook an aggressive bird. I like to move to the bird and set up in scattered cover so that the bird has to come looking for me.
I, too have seen non-dominate birds spook from decoys and I have seen gusts of wind send my decoys flying, spooking every bird in the ranch. If you know that I am not a fan of decoys, you know dang well that I am not a fan of pop up blinds. The best application for a pop up is when sitting around a feeder and I am too much a turkey calling purist to do that. I know that is weird but that's the way I am.
Adios,
Gary

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#7153615 - 04/27/18 01:51 PM Re: Times have changed on decoys [Re: gary roberson]
quackiller Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 103
Run N Gun is probably the most effective method...and one of my favorites if not my favorite..there is something about the mobility factor that when a tom knows a hen is coming to him if you can get within 100 yards its a done deal...he will find you and try to breed you...key is just knowing your cover/geography and be able to discern the distance and position of a fired up tom

i guess im just getting a little fatter and lazier now with decoys...that and literally every turkey hunting tip or show recommends the sit and wait method and i have busted my fair share of toms

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#7153675 - 04/27/18 03:30 PM Re: Times have changed on decoys [Re: gary roberson]
kmon1 Online   content
junior

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 22874
Loc: Texas
Run and gun is fun and for that I like an inflatable decoy if I even use a decoy. It is truly amazing how well a gobbler an tell where calls are coming from. I have had them come in from well over half mile away and walk up to the tree I am at.
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#7154911 - 04/29/18 02:36 PM Re: Times have changed on decoys [Re: gary roberson]
nocknload Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/01/13
Posts: 204
Loc: DFW
I luv my funky chicken

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#7163658 - 05/08/18 07:56 AM Re: Times have changed on decoys [Re: quackiller]
Deerhunter61 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 7668
Loc: DFW
Originally Posted By: quackiller
I've killed more without decoys than with and feel that one can be just as if not more successful without decoys making the bird work to find you.

For me i like to watch the interaction of a bird with the decoys and i feel that you get more out of the experience when a bird comes in and puts on a show with the decoys versus when otherwise they will only continue to search the area for the hen. From a tv standpoint this makes filming easier and more content to put together a good show.


I agree, the interaction between the gobblers and the decoys, Jake and hen, are a hoot! I videoed four gobblers going after my Jake last year for twenty minutes. Frankly it's hilarious! And this year after the initial attack on the Jake one would address the hen while the others took turn beating up the Jake. They were so intense this year they bent the poles on both and jumped on the Jake hard enough to cause it to go flying. This is just my second year to turkey hunt and I've used them on most of my hunts. I don't always shoot the corn buzzards, passed on quite a few this year but I do enjoy watching them!

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#7169698 - 05/14/18 03:23 PM Re: Times have changed on decoys [Re: gary roberson]
westtexaswatkins Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 7274
Loc: Anton, TX, and Stonewall Count...
Too me it's not any different than using a stuffed rabbit when predator hunting. If it works for you use it, if not don't. I have some really good turkey decoys but to be honest, I very rarely use them.

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