Sitka Mountain Gear
Decoy improvements
Turkey
Contributors to this thread:
Paul@thefort 17-Mar-16
HUNT MAN 17-Mar-16
greg simon 17-Mar-16
tacklebox 17-Mar-16
sbschindler 17-Mar-16
Mad_Angler 17-Mar-16
Ermine 17-Mar-16
otcWill 17-Mar-16
'Ike' (Phone) 17-Mar-16
Brotsky 17-Mar-16
DEC 17-Mar-16
Rock 17-Mar-16
sitO 17-Mar-16
writer 17-Mar-16
drycreek 17-Mar-16
Tracker12 17-Mar-16
shortbeard 17-Mar-16
Animal Killer 18-Mar-16
weekender21 18-Mar-16
Tracker12 18-Mar-16
Timbrhuntr 18-Mar-16
Timbrhuntr 18-Mar-16
Paul@thefort 18-Mar-16
Timbrhuntr 18-Mar-16
Dave Smith 18-Mar-16
jims 18-Mar-16
Paul@thefort 18-Mar-16
Paul@thefort 18-Mar-16
weekender21 18-Mar-16
Paul@thefort 18-Mar-16
jims 18-Mar-16
writer 18-Mar-16
jims 19-Mar-16
writer 19-Mar-16
Timbrhuntr 19-Mar-16
Paul@thefort 19-Mar-16
jims 19-Mar-16
Rock 19-Mar-16
writer 19-Mar-16
Timbrhuntr 20-Mar-16
jims 20-Mar-16
Dan Mallia 21-Mar-16
writer 21-Mar-16
DEC 21-Mar-16
mikesohm/magnus 21-Mar-16
Shug 22-Mar-16
From: Paul@thefort
17-Mar-16

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Compared to what was available 15 years ago, decoys have surely taken on the "real" look.

The new rage seems to be the submissive jake decoy and rightly so as it is not threatening and really pisses of the dominate tom and in some cases to lose it's head.

What jake decoy are you using today?

my best, Paul

From: HUNT MAN
17-Mar-16

HUNT MAN's embedded Photo
HUNT MAN's embedded Photo
DSD jake and a Dakota jake. They have changed the game for me!

From: greg simon
17-Mar-16
Dakota jake. No fuss with a fan and excellent results!

From: tacklebox
17-Mar-16
Avian X Jake

From: sbschindler
17-Mar-16
I have been using the DSD Jake for a few years and I love it, A friend bought the Dakota Jake and I got to see it today, The paint job looks more realistic to me ????

From: Mad_Angler
17-Mar-16
DSD jake.

Also have a DSD hen.

Also have an older Pretty Boy full strut decoy with submissive hen.

Also have a Heads-Up decoy.

I have the most confidence in the DSD jake paired with the pretty boy submissive hen.

I am most excited about the Heads up decoy. I used it a bit last year with okay succces. I really want to give it a good workout this year.

From: Ermine
17-Mar-16
Heads up decoy! Real fan!

Nothing like having a bird come in trying to fight you!

From: otcWill
17-Mar-16

otcWill's embedded Photo
otcWill's embedded Photo
DSDs have served me well

17-Mar-16
Like Hunt said, they've come a long way...From hard plastic to today's!

From: Brotsky
17-Mar-16

Brotsky's embedded Photo
Brotsky's embedded Photo
DSD Jake....50% of the time it works every time!

From: DEC
17-Mar-16

DEC's embedded Photo
DEC's embedded Photo
Is it live or is it DSD?

From: Rock
17-Mar-16
Nothing like the newer decoy's it is almost unfair as the Turkey's just march right into them. I have 5 DSD decoy's plus an unknown brand Strutter that looks really good with the real tail on it and the remote control pivoting stake under it. Thinking about selling off a couple of the DSD and the Strutter as I just can not pack all of them in at one time, it does not do any good to have things you do not use much.

From: sitO
17-Mar-16
Buy a "stuffer" Paul if you can find one for $200 or less...they are real ;)

I have DSD's too, but the stuffer wins hands down as you'd expect.

From: writer
17-Mar-16
Someday, Hurt, I'd love to shoot an elk as big as your ego, but such a critter hasn't been born yet.

This morning I had a herd of toms hit my Dakota jake so hard, and often, they bent the stell stake...and that's not easy to do.

I like the Dakota because the head is tucked down, in a more submissive pose. Killed strutting birds off it every month of our spring,fall and winter seasons.

Lots of other decoys will work as well.

From: drycreek
17-Mar-16
Avian X for me.

Ron, I'm glad you said " almost unfair ". I would hate to think I was taking unfair advantage of them pore ol' turkeys. :)

From: Tracker12
17-Mar-16
DSD Jake for me last year with great success. Thinking of adding a DSD hen this year.

From: shortbeard
17-Mar-16

shortbeard's embedded Photo
shortbeard's embedded Photo
Yeah... and 13yrs ago during a South Dakota blizzard, hunting with ole one-eyed Willie, the 2nd best tail chaser I ever knew, I shot a turkeypekker off with my bow! (using one of them fancy SELF-INFLATING decoys) Here's a picture to prove it! ..... any u boys mount da pekker? :-)

18-Mar-16
I just picked up a DSD Jake and a Avian X Breeding hen. Cant wait to use a realistic decoy. Last time i picked up new decoys was the carrylite pair 10 years ago that seemed top of the line.

From: weekender21
18-Mar-16

weekender21's embedded Photo
weekender21's embedded Photo
Used a DSD for the first time last season. Very impressed.

From: Tracker12
18-Mar-16
Just order an Avian laydown hen.

From: Timbrhuntr
18-Mar-16
I remember when Dave Smith used to come on Taxinet and discuss the poses for his new turkey decoy and then update with photos of his carvings for the prototype. All I was thinking was man thats gonna really up the decoy game !

From: Timbrhuntr
18-Mar-16
DEC man that is one monster jake decoy ;)

From: Paul@thefort
18-Mar-16

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Just a few years ago, the Primos full strut tom was the big deal.

From: Timbrhuntr
18-Mar-16
I mount all my own turkeys and have been using a strutter for several years I cringed when the primos boys came out with that one but a buddy got one and it never worked in fact he let me cut the head off it to put on one of my stuffers :)

From: Dave Smith
18-Mar-16
Timbrhuntr I remember that! I remember people telling me to not bother making a realistic decoy for turkeys- they'd never sell because using no decoy at all is the way to go, and turkeys have pea-sized brains, etc. They said the same about Geese when we started in 1999, so we were pretty sure turkey hunters would eventually LOVE realistic decoys just like goose hunters did. So much fun! It's slightly painful to see guys loyally promoting a decoy that I practically killed myself to create and took forever, and then got quickly knocked-off and made in China, but everyone has their priorities, and as people are having fun hunting, that's all that counts!! DS

From: jims
18-Mar-16
Many decoys offer the option of adding real wings and fans to the decoy. That alone is a bonus for making decoys look more realistic!

From: Paul@thefort
18-Mar-16

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Interesting, the use of the Primos full stutter produced three toms that year.

The evolution of the tom decoy continued. We can all remember using the foam fold up decoys with good success . Have the turkeys become more educated or is it just like fishing lures, more catch the fisherman than the fish?

When I shotgunned them, I never used decoys. Just called them in close.

From: Paul@thefort
18-Mar-16

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
And then last year, in less that 7 days I killed three toms (1 nebraska and 2 in colorado) over the newer jake decoy with hen.

No doubt, like the Dave Smith Jake or tom decoys, the look and shape of these decoys have reached a new high and bow hunters are having good success.

I wonder what is next or will there be some "new fishing lures" come along that we will all have to have, ie bigger/better/improved?

Good luck to all. my best, Paul

From: weekender21
18-Mar-16

weekender21's embedded Photo
weekender21's embedded Photo
I've killed a few over the Primos strutter as well Paul, also very effective.

From: Paul@thefort
18-Mar-16
That is a good looking hen stuffer

From: jims
18-Mar-16
I noticed there is a new "robo-tom" decoy that came out this year. A tom decoy is more or less attached to a remote controlled motor and frame. I'm sure this is likely outlawed in some states. If you had a couple remote controlled toms and hens in a field it ought to get a tom's attention?

From: writer
18-Mar-16
Sent you a P.M. Dave Smith.

From: jims
19-Mar-16
Another high risk/reward tool is calls and calling! You may use the most realistic DSD or Dakota decoy but not call properly and it will likely turn smart ole gobblers and hens the opposite direction before they even see your decoys! Knowing when, what calls, and how much calling can make or break any setup. My guess is most new hunters call WAY to much! This can be just as bad or worse than having decoys that may not be realistic!

From: writer
19-Mar-16
A lot of birds live to gobble another morning because someone didn't call enough to get them really fired up.

Some of the best, and most successful, turkey hunters I've been afield with call a lot, most of the time, but they know how to read the many variables.

I do know that usually, when you have good decoys, in the right location, the fake does most of the work while the hunter kids himself into thinking it was his great calling. :-)

From: Timbrhuntr
19-Mar-16
Wow can't believe that Dave Smith actually commented on my post too cool. Your a better man than me Dave if I did all that work and took all that risk and then some dufus came along and just copied my idea i'd be royally pissed but thats just human nature I guess others just freeload off of more tallented peoples skills !

Writer when I first stated to hunt turkeys my calling sucked and even though I used decoys I had much trouble getting turkey to respond. I then hunted with an experienced turkey hunter and he gave me some tips on my calling. I then noticed that although I still used decoys as my calling got better I had many more encounters. Sure the decoys may have sealed the deal sometimes but without good calling I may never have got even a response to them.

From: Paul@thefort
19-Mar-16

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Decoy movement can be an interesting topic. To move or not to move might be the question.

When I purchased the Primos Pretty Boy strutter a few years back, I attached two long strings fore and aft on the decoy and ran them back to the blind for control, and that allowed me to turn the decoy 180 degrees. Worked great and all three toms that year fell to the decoy and movement.

In prior years, with no wind or decoy movement, I had the same successful results; Dead toms. And last year, with the new and improved jake decoy, no movement, I also had good results with three killed toms and all shots were within a few feet of the decoy.

So does movement of the decoys help or is it even needed, or is it the decoy set up and calling that really draws them in?

I can understand that when a tom is really fired up and just can not help himself, he might come to anything that resembles a hen.

It might be that the really cautious/pressured toms might need everything that the hunter can muster up to bring him in and that includes, the best most realistic decoys, movement, and sexy calling.

my best, Paul

From: jims
19-Mar-16
I think Paul@thefort is on to something. It may take everything to work on pressured birds! If I had the choice between mediocre decoys and great calling vs mediocre calling and great decoys I'd take the great calling any day of the week! More times than not turkeys hear calls before they are close enough to see decoys. Once fired up and on their way great calling often seals the deal to weary ole toms!

As Paul also mentioned, decoy movement can also help. I'd take the movement of a mediocre decoy over a great decoy that doesn't move. How many times have you watched a smart ole tom waiting for movement and headed the opposite way when decoys remain solitary or calling didn't get them fired up?

From: Rock
19-Mar-16

Rock's embedded Photo
Rock's embedded Photo
This is my strutter that I have a remote control stake on that allows me to turn it on and off from inside the blind. It rotates one way about 270 degree or more the auto reverses back the other way. It has been the death of many Toms.

From: writer
19-Mar-16
Timbr, read back 30 or so years and you'll find I've always been a huge proponent of quality calling. :-)

Woodsmanship is most important, but a good woodsman who is also good with calls is the best turkey hunter, every time.

My point was, once the tom sees the decoys, the decoy does most of the work.

In areas with thick cover, like the eastern U.S., hunters have to rely more on calls because there's not as much open area for the decoys to work.

Glad you're having fun, and have probably learned some excited yelping and cutting can fire up birds that ignore the old "yelp three times and cluck twice, then shut-up for an hour," school of thinking.

From: Timbrhuntr
20-Mar-16
Writer I agree I was just saying that when my calling sucked i never could even get a turkey to come close enough to let the decoy seal the deal ;)

From: jims
20-Mar-16
There are obviously several ways to hunt turkeys. One is to set out decoys in a predetermined area. I consider calling to be critical for this set up to work. It's a matter of getting turkeys attention and getting them enticed into responding and coming to your decoys. It's a well known fact that flocked up turkeys/lead hens/toms can nearly be impossible to get fired up enough to head to decoys. Smart ole high pressured toms and lead hens pretty much know the difference between the same old calls they hear time after time from excited and lively cuts, purrs, and calls that many callers have no clue how to use.

A 2nd method is to stay mobile and not set up a decoy until turkeys are heard, spotted, or in an area known to hold turkeys. In this 2nd scenario calling is often used to locate toms. If tom's are quiet it makes this 2nd scenario a lot tougher. Experienced callers often know how to get responses from quiet toms and have the ability to call in toms that may come in silently to the right calls.

I'd say that calling is pretty darn important! Firing up toms, lead hens, silent or flocked up groups of turkeys is mighty important for getting them to turn and head towards hunters. In country with dense trees, brush, or tall vegetation, hilly terrain turkeys often don't even see decoys until they are within shooting range! If you can't get their attention and get them to head your direction they won't ever even see your decoys. Obviously in open country or areas with open fields decoys are seen from longer distance.

With that said, I would have to agree with having turkey "smarts" is as important as just about anything else. Being willing and able to change things up is often vital for success. To me, that's one reason hunting wise ole turkeys is so challenging.

From: Dan Mallia
21-Mar-16
DSD. Every day and twice on Sunday.

Jake and hen, strutter when I'm not on public.

From: writer
21-Mar-16
JIms...curious where all you've hunted turkeys?

From: DEC
21-Mar-16

DEC's embedded Photo
DEC's embedded Photo
More DSD goodness.

21-Mar-16

mikesohm/magnus's embedded Photo
mikesohm/magnus's embedded Photo
Love my Dave Smith Decoys. if there are turkeys in the area I am very confident with dave smith decoys I can get them to come in. set them at 5 to 7 yds from my blind and game on.

From: Shug
22-Mar-16

Shug's embedded Photo
Shug's embedded Photo
I'll let you know it works...

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