First bird down, $37.62 lb and counting. Looking for rec on decoys

MojitoMojito Posts: 222 Officer
When I add up all that I have spent on my one Turkey hunt: % of lease for turkeys, new to me gun, chair, shells, etc. I come up with about $40 per pound which is a very conservative estimate. It does not factor in the expense of my wife's shopping in retaliation for me hunting. Even with that, having the ability to relive Sunday's moment is priceless. I have ordered a slate call and some single reed mouth calls along with other "stuff". Looking for guidance on what kind of decoys to use? I will need to carry them with me so I'm guessing some kind of foam or folding plastic decoy? How many do you deploy at once? Do you buy bulk packs or singletons? What brand do you use and where do you get them? I have read there is no substitute for a real full body mount hen, but that is not an option for this season.

Thinking I got a full blown case of turkey fever,
Bob

Replies

  • awayaway Posts: 328 Deckhand
    In years past I had never had much luck with decoys. The birds almost always hesitated or worked they way around the decoy. A buddy of mine turned me on to DSD and Avian-X. I went with the DSD decoys b/c they are plastic (instead of inflatable Avian-X) and can probably handle a stray pellet better than the Avian-X. Plus I like the look of the DSD better. It's amazing how much of a difference the decoys make. They are a bit of pain to carry around so I haven't used them unless I know I'm going to be setup for a while. Also they are expensive (~$100 each). But they are worth every bit of it when you get to watch a gobbler work them.
  • mossyhorn9mossyhorn9 Posts: 321 Deckhand
    Yep, DS decoys for sure. I bought a hen and jake and used them for the first time this year. I am amazed at what a difference they make. We have killed 3 gobblers using them already this year and every one of them came RUNNING in to the decoys as soon as they see them. They run right to the jake and start kicking the crap out of it. Worth every penny IMO.
    You can blame it on my rebel raisin'...
  • flydownflydown Posts: 6,464 Admiral
    First question you need to ask yourself is, "how do I like to hunt?"
    If you like sitting for long stretches and consider yourself a "patient hunter", then you may want to invest in a DS decoy. They sure are purty!

    But if you are not especially patient, and like to move on birds, then a simple FeatherFlex decoy, that you can quickly fold up and throw in your vest, my be the ticket.
    DYING for me was the most HE could do. LIVING for HIM is the least I can do
  • WildLinesWildLines Posts: 551 Officer
    I am new to Turkey hunting, but this Sat we had 2 Hen decoys setup in an opening. I hit the Yelp a few times and in 5 Min Hens FLEW in and landed amongst the decoys. They must have clucked to those decoys for 10-15min and then wondered up the road. Never did they get nervous around them. There was a breeze that day so the decoys were moving slightly...I think that helped as well. No Toms came in nor any gobbles.

    Later in the AM we moved and we setup on a Hot Tom and put the decoys in the opening. I purred a few times and he raised his head and saw them as he came closer....for the next hour he would come a few yards go into full strut and go in circles...come a little farther do it again. We worked the bird our from 150yds to 50...almost in range and about that time a hen ran across the logging road between the decoys and him and like a ghost he was gone after her.

    I say this all because in my limited experience I felt the decoys helped and maybe took focus of us possibly being seen as the bird was focused on the decoys. The are a pain in the **** to carry....my back packs has stuff hanging all over it for these turkey hunts.

    Turkey hunting is new to me and I can see why it is so addicting. Sat working that strutting Tom was some of the most exhilarating hunting I have done in years. I am leaving work early tomorrow to get in a few hours and see if I can kill my first bird.
  • cracker4112cracker4112 Posts: 697 Officer
    WildLines wrote: »
    ....for the next hour he would come a few yards go into full strut and go in circles...come a little farther do it again. We worked the bird our from 150yds to 50...almost in range

    I know it was fun but had you not had any decoys out he may well have come on in looking for the hen he couldn't see. In my experience, decoys, even full strut decoys, are a 50/50 deal, sometimes they help, sometimes they hurt.

    That being said if you're gonna use decoys, I say use the most realistic you can afford.
  • MojitoMojito Posts: 222 Officer
    flydown wrote: »
    First question you need to ask yourself is, "how do I like to hunt?"
    If you like sitting for long stretches and consider yourself a "patient hunter", then you may want to invest in a DS decoy. They sure are purty!

    But if you are not especially patient, and like to move on birds, then a simple FeatherFlex decoy, that you can quickly fold up and throw in your vest, my be the ticket.

    I'm not much for sitting for long spells. I thought they were either there or they weren't, that's why you try to find their roost the night before. Clearly I have much to learn. The more I read the more I'm feeling like my 6 year old when his first hog ever was a 300lb trophy. Sunday's bird must have been a gift from the heavens. I'm sorry for the ignorance, just very excited about a new animal to chase. Just trying to play catch-up with a huge learning curve in front of me.
  • Fish AddictFish Addict Posts: 686 Officer
    I only use dave smith decoys.. used cheaper crap in the past and had terrible luck. Even with the DS decoys like others have said its usually 50/50. We had a monster bird come through some tall grass on sunday and spot our jake and hen decoys. As soon as he saw them he took off running. Other times its the opposite.. they see the decoys and come in running at full strut. I think it also depends on where you are hunting.. terrain, woods, cover ect. Usually hunting open pastures decoys can help because a bird can see them from a long ways away. Hunting in thicker woods I would prefer to not use them.. let that bird come looking for you.
  • flydownflydown Posts: 6,464 Admiral
    Mojito wrote: »
    I'm not much for sitting for long spells. I thought they were either there or they weren't, that's why you try to find their roost the night before. Clearly I have much to learn. The more I read the more I'm feeling like my 6 year old when his first hog ever was a 300lb trophy. Sunday's bird must have been a gift from the heavens. I'm sorry for the ignorance, just very excited about a new animal to chase. Just trying to play catch-up with a huge learning curve in front of me.

    As you journey down this yellow brick road fraught with feathered demons, you will learn that turkeys have an uncanny ability to stay alive (braindamaged long-spurred turkeys notwithstanding). For every bird you roost and kill him upon fly down, there will be 16,899 that you don't kill within minutes of his feet hitting terra firma.

    It is these evil birds that will require you to move and develop a strategy to get in front of them. The ladies, more often than not, are to blame. They will pull the Tom away from your setup no matter how sweet your calling, and how beautiful and lifelike your decoys are.

    This condition is known as being "henned up". Remember the ole, bird in the hand, theory. A hen withing punching distance will always draw more interest from a Tom than the loud mouthed one over by the fence.

    Ever heard the term, "Roosting ain't roasting"? I did the math not long ago and less than 2% of the birds I've been within 50 yards of their roost tree were killed before 7 AM. Sad statistics indeed.
    But it is telling.

    Adaptability is your friend. Don't get caught up in thinking what worked last time will work this time. Turkeys are capricious creatures that rarely do the exact thing twice.
    DYING for me was the most HE could do. LIVING for HIM is the least I can do
  • huntmstrhuntmstr Posts: 6,290 Admiral
    I seldom use decoys. But when I do, I like the realism, durability and packabilty of the Primos Gobbstopper series. They're relatively affordable and fast & easy to deploy. That said, patterning your birds and learning their behaviors will go a lot further in your success than any calling or decoying will ever accomplish. Spend lots of time looking, glassing and listening. You'll be amazed at how much you learn.
    Bushnell, Primos and Final Approach Pro Staff. Proud member of the Fab Five, Big Leaugers and Bobble Head 4.

    I had you pissed off at hello.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,642 Captain
    Like I've said in other threads, if you are going to decoy hunt and you're serious about turkey hunting, spend the money and get a mounted real hen. There is absolutely, positively, in no way, shape, or form, a comparison between how a turkey treats a stuffed hen vs. an artificial decoy. Somehow they can see the difference between the two. I think it mostly has to do with the feathers. Turkeys see into the UV spectrum and they likely can see colors on feathers we can't. I also think there's more too it though. It might even be the face. Often hens attack my stuffed hen, and when they do they always peck the snoot. Often they peck it off and I have to replace it with blue playdough. For some reason that snoot is very important to them. Its a behavior that I've never seen replicated on an artificial decoy.

    I won't link it here, but if you look around on my youtube channel (Florida Bullfrog) my turkey hunting video from last year shows a gobbler breeding my stuffed hen (and me screwing up the shot with a .22 mag). I have never had a gobbler try to breed a fake decoy. I know it happens, but I've never experienced it.

    There used to be a product out there called "Turkey Skinz" that was a $25-$30 feathered vest that slipped over and strapped around standard decoys. It worked decent. It wasn't as good as my stuffed hen but it worked better than a naked decoy. For the purposes of this post I just priced them and I think they've been discontinued but many sellers still have them at inflated prices. I wouldn't pay more that $40 for it, but its worth a try.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,642 Captain
    IMG_0206_zpshvzs1y2y.jpg

    This is Gertrude. She is my turkey hunting mistress. She appears to be a domestic turkey hen that's had her head artificially colored. Her snoot is missing in this picture, she lost it this past hunt with my buddy. Usually hens peck it off but this time I just bumped her too hard against my truck. I'll fix it before I put her out again Friday. I paid $350 for her on ebay three years ago. Tony' Taxidermy in Hawthorne quoted me $225-$250 for a decoy quality mounted hen if I supply the hen.
  • roachbusterroachbuster Posts: 553 Officer
    I take decoys with me but usually end up folding them under the small of my back as i sit against a tree..
  • DevodudDevodud Posts: 355 Deckhand
    I used the feather flex decoys in the past and had success, but the gobblers always seemed to get nervous when they got close and hang up. I have switched to Avian-X decoys, holy crap what a difference. The bird will stay with my decoys for extended periods of time and even attempt to breed them!
    "If you're gunna be stupid, you gotta be tough"
  • remington742userremington742user Posts: 51 Deckhand
    Genesis 27:3
    Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me,

    Genesis 9:3
    Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.
  • BowtechGen3BowtechGen3 Altoona, FlPosts: 778 Officer
    We use DSD Decoys and would Highly Recommend them as the are worth every penny in my opinion. I have not experienced turkeys spook from them like I have seen with the cheaper decoys
    Director - Central Florida Dog Hunters & Sportsmans Association
    https://www.facebook.com/CFDHSA

    1461718pb77ew55q8.gif
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 fort Meade FLPosts: 4,315 Captain
    high pressure birds no decoy . LOW PRESSURE BIRDS ALWAYS USE ONE . just the way I do it .
    living life as i like
  • If_it_flies_it_diesIf_it_flies_it_dies Posts: 1,133 Officer
    Have a dsd on the way to arrive just in time for my Fri hunt. Better than stuffed imo The first is the pic that sold me, close up of the detail they put into them....
  • MojitoMojito Posts: 222 Officer
    AllenR wrote: »

    What an awesome pic! Question for the group. I'm reading where several recommend a real stuffed hen as a decoy. If they are not legal to shoot, where does you get one? Are you using a farm raised hen? Saturday can't get here fast enough.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,642 Captain
    Mojito wrote: »
    What an awesome pic! Question for the group. I'm reading where several recommend a real stuffed hen as a decoy. If they are not legal to shoot, where does you get one? Are you using a farm raised hen? Saturday can't get here fast enough.

    I bought mine pre-mounted on ebay. In my opinion its a farm-raised hen that has a color pattern similar to a wild turkey. The turkeys don't seem to know the difference.

    Some management areas let you kill hens in bow season. Also, its legal to kill a bearded hen during regular turkey seasons. That counts towards your seasonal limit.
  • miamihurricane34miamihurricane34 Posts: 145 Deckhand
    There is one on ebay for $79 plus shipping for those interested in a real hen mount decoy http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mounted-Turkey-decoy-hen-stuffer-/261838064710?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cf6c3cc46
  • flydownflydown Posts: 6,464 Admiral
    I get the mounted decoy, DSD craze, but if I were the OP, I would think long and hard about how he prefers to hunt before investing in one.
    DYING for me was the most HE could do. LIVING for HIM is the least I can do
  • If_it_flies_it_diesIf_it_flies_it_dies Posts: 1,133 Officer
    There is one on ebay for $79 plus shipping for those interested in a real hen mount decoy http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mounted-Turkey-decoy-hen-stuffer-/261838064710?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cf6c3cc46

    Holy cow, thing looks more like a buzzard than a turkey LOL. Hope the tom you're hunting is pubescent or desperate!
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,642 Captain
    Holy cow, thing looks more like a buzzard than a turkey LOL. Hope the tom you're hunting is pubescent or desperate!

    I bet it will fool them. Mine is quite ugly but it gets the job done just about every time. What I'd be worried about that particular decoy is its stance. It looks alert. That might put your live turkeys on edge.
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