Turkey Hunting Tips Articles
With all the different types of turkey decoys on the market, how can we know what to use and when. Does it really make a difference if it’s a male or female? Will they run the other way if the head is up and not down? Will a gobbler really come in and try to kick the tail off a strutting decoy? These are just a few of the questions that you may be thinking about when looking to buy a decoy, or maybe when you’re looking to pick one to bring into the field the next morning.
This would be our second stop of the morning. We had hunted a bird off the roost at first light, but were unable to get the tom to leave the hens that he had flown down with, so we regrouped and headed to a second area.
While not every hunter swears by turkey decoys, they can be a great asset in many situations. For one, they give a suspicious tom looking for the source of the calls he heard a turkey to see. And, if the turkey decoy is set in an open area such as a mature oak bottom or along a field edge, those decoys can act as a visual call to birds who may spot them from a distance, but has yet to hear you call—especially when you are calling sporadically (or like many hunters are prone to do on a slow day, napping).
You blew it. You were in the woods the first two weeks of turkey season but for one reason or another, you failed to fill all of your tags—or worse, you didn’t fill any! You had a couple of longbeards scouted out, took several days off work to figure out and capitalize on their daily patterns and you even had a few working to your calls, but still, no prize.
With the efficiency of today’s turkey guns and their capability of throwing super tight patterns, shot placement is becoming more and more crucial. The turkey hunter is beginning to move into a realm similar to that of a target shooter. Going to the range with my friends to pattern our guns prior to season brings out the same competitive qualities as if we were shooting rifle at 100+ yards. Each of us boast of having the tightest pattern and the highest percentage of shot in the vitals. Our patterns have evolved to a point were it is easier to miss a bird between ten to twenty yards than it is to miss between twenty and thirty.
Each year my friends and I get together before turkey season to swap old stories. We talk about those huge longbeards we saw from our stands during whitetail season, and our flawless plans to harvest them this spring. The stories fly about those state record gobblers that always hang up just out of range. We talk about proven techniques and the newest innovations that make us all such great hunters, and each year we pick fun at the old muzzleloader over the fireplace. Discussing how outdated it is and how impossible it would be to down one of today’s wily ol’ gobblers with it.
The morning was quickly passing me by as I drove away from the rising sun. I was late to the roost and was sick thinking about the consequences. It was my only day of hunting alone this season and it was already in the favor of Mother Nature. Upon my arrival to the site I had an incurable case of the fumbles. My shells were falling on the ground, my calls weren’t in the correct pockets, and I was doing everything in the loudest form of quiet imaginable. It reached the point where I just had to grab my gear and go. As I locked the truck and walked off, I thought of decoys. “I don’t need them; I’ve got to get goin’.” I immediately turned back knowing that if I didn’t have them I would most certainly need them. So I grabbed dekes and took to the woods.