I've done it. I am planning on doing it again next week while bowhunting in Kansas. At least during that week, there are no shotguns.
I try to only do it in wide open fields. So that another hunter can clearly see that I not a real turkey.
But while doing it, I often think "this is really dangerous. I hope there are no shotgunners around"
Now, narrow fields with timber within gun shot range, or in timber ... no way.
I don't see how this is like shooting one off of a limb.
But still I don't see anything wrong with it. Engaging an aggressive bird at mere feet away would be a heck of a rush and hunt, in my opinion.
Turkey decoys were not legal in Alabama for a long, long time and you had to learn to call them in. As long as a tactic is legal, I have no problem with hunters using them, I just personally find the "creeping" thing distasteful.
That's curious coming from someone who evidently doesn't have a problem shooting game out of a waterhole blind in an area where they HAVE to come to water, and who's success confirms that it is virtually a sure thing.
ALL hunting, especially bowhunting, is about exploiting a particular weakness of the game being hunted. So you think hunting from a blind without calls or decoys would be unsporting? Is it a combination of tactics? Of course you're entitled to your opinion no matter how absurd it is.
Bet the injuns did it.
I won't comment on whether it is sporting or not until I have tried it.
Want something that isn't sporting?- hiding in a hub style blind/tent and shooting turkeys out of it.
You're mistaken if you don't think it greatly increases your chance of getting shot. I'd be far less worried about a shot gunner than someone with a rife. Just because shooting turkeys with a rifle isn't legal in most states doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Even in an open field you could be mistaken for a real bird at several hundred yards from the right angle.
I'm not saying I wouldn't try it but the only person I'd blame if I got shot would be me!
Hunting from hub blinds for turkeys is not sporting ... LOL.
So is baiting a deer to a dirt lane and shooting it with a 300 win mag at 250 yards "sporting"?
Is shooting African game from a hut blind over a water hole sporting?
Is hunting with a compound bow out of a tree stand sporting?
If we are going define what is "sporting" vs what isn't, then let's just say that we are all guilty of not being sporting hunters ... unless you are hunting in a loin cloth with a spear and stalking up on your game.
"Not Sporting" ... what a joke. It is no wonder we as hunters canalize our own good.
Hunt your way ... I will hunt mine ...
I just prefer the challenge of calling birds in, that's all. I'm not bashing others. If you want to use blinds & decoys go for it. While I'm sure this "creeping" thing is exciting and makes good video, I personally have no desire to do it.
Better stay home then. Once I was laying in a picked corn field waiting for geese that had been feeding there without any decoys out, when two yahoos started shooting at me with their .22s, fortunately at long distance. When I got up to confront them they said they couldn't tell I was a person. In fact they couldn't tell what I was. I guess that's all the excuse they needed to start firing away.
While safety is always a concern, hunting behind a decoy on private property, and/or during an archery only season is relatively safe. As safe as, for instance, hunting during archery seasons in camo, while ML and other rifle seasons are in progress. Something we ALL do in Colorado.
Are you shotgunning turkeys?
"during that week, ther are no shotguns" ....where do all the shotguns go that week?
I remember when turkey hunting first became popular. Folks were very concerned about getting shot. There were all kinds of "rules": sit with your back to a big tree; don't move; don't wear any blue, red or white; if you see another hunter, call out; etc.
Those are all still probably good rules. But we are all adults. We can chose to follow them all or not...
I don't have an issue whatsoever with hunting water, just the thought that a comment like "not sporting" would come from the same person hunting huts over water!!!
Not what turkey hunting is about? Sure. How's that spear working out for you? Reminds me of fly fishermen who only cast a dry fly at an actively feeding fish, while putting down everyone who doesn't do it that way. "Might as well snag them.."
I understand the safety concern in some places, I guess. But it must be tough walking everywhere, because driving is the most dangerous part of hunting. I get that namby-pamby scaredy-cat nonsense about sometimes using a deer or elk hat too, from people who've never tried it and think I walk around on all fours in a deerskin during gun season, or something. Or that it, too is unsporting. Life is scary. Boo!
I wouldn't use it in states that can rifle hunt, and I wouldn't crawl through thick cover on public land with the decoy in front of me.
You are usually in the open and see people approaching so you can signal them or just lower the decoy so they can't see it.
DSD and other decoys are extremely realistic these days. Someone could just as easily take a shot at one of these as they would a person using a decoy like the HUD.
Use your brain and you will be fine.
I say that because I know of a guy who shot another Hunter in the head and shoulder while he was wearing a hunter ORANGE hat. 40yd shot through the woods and he said the sunshine through the the trees made it look like a red turkey head, if you can believe it.
Now it didn't help that the other guy was stalking in on the gobbler that was answering this guy, but you get my drift. Wearing orange in turkey season still doesn't keep you safe.
Biggest danger I've found is getting run over by a danged turkey, or getting t-boned on the highway by someone texting on a cell phone.
I think it's a helluva rush to use fans, though I've mostly done it by just getting out enough to be seen...usually don't have to do much more than that. I've called a few train car loads of birds in the past 36 seasons. Now I'm more interested in seeing them come in and whip up on a decoy.
They used to say never use a tom or jake decoy, too, now it's common practice.
When we ran this photo in the newspaper some guy called my boss, ranting and raving because these people weren't wearing orange and that somebody might drive down the road, see the turkeys on their backs and take a shot at them. (Oops, there's my 'one time...' story...but mine's true.) :-)
It's amazing what people can find to worry about. A little common sense goes a long ways.
As far as the dangerous part if its so dangerous where are all the news stories of all the guys getting shot. Its probably safer than hiding in the woods in camo calling at least most people can see that fat guy crawling along behind that little decoy its just the poor tom that is too blinded by rage to see an otherwise plain threat the fat guy golding the decoy.
I have no doubt he would have hit the fan had the big guy not come to his knees.
(Sorry...another "...one time..." but that one is true, too.
Everyone should hunt the way they want. I just prefer the traditional method of calling in birds without blinds or decoys. It is all about the call and manipulating a wild bird to react. This tradition is more important to me than killing a turkey.
In response to comments and questions above:
Yes, I hunt turkeys with a shotgun. That is why you don't see my turkey photos in the Bowsite Meat Pole thread.
I have no problem with sitting an African waterhole with a bow, or one in America for deer & elk.
You are aware that native Americans used decoys of all types, including for turkeys? And they didn't use shotguns. So what "tradition" are you referring to? What you seem to really be saying is YOU didn't learn that way, so it must be "not sporting and distasteful." Who's "panties are in a wad?" Some of us just feel that your opinion is narrow minded and self serving, especially given your other choices.
Well, to tell you the truth, I started this thread in the hopes that what I was seeing on these tv shows were isolated instances of ignorance and/or lack of any self preservation instincts.
After reading the comments, I see it is not isolated and seems to be a common practice among many. I find it very unsafe and because of that, I will not use this tactic no matter how well it may work. I am only saying (reiterating) this because you mentioned it. If others want to do it, more power to them, I really do not care, I was just curious.
And Jealousy? What? To hide behind a turkey fan is something to be jealous of?
Not specifically directed at you JFP, but in general. If you think it unsafe, then just don't do it. I personally don't do it for the same reason. The thing you see in this thread though is that people seem to be questioning others for reasons why they do what they do. Isn't it obvious? Because they enjoy it and it works for them! That should be reason enough for anyone! Calling someone "ignorant or basically suicidal" for using a proven turkey tactic in a situation they feel is safe has to have some motivation somewhere?
The tradition I speak of is "hunting turkeys by calling turkeys". If you can't call a gobbler in, he lives another day. Some of you will never understand. If you are over 50 years old and from a southern state you might.
Sounds like a Lipitor commercial.
I can't begin to get my brain around someone who shotguns turkeys coming on the Bowsite to criticize other people's tactics. If it were me, I'd put my opinions on bowhunting turkeys side by side with my trophy pictures of scattergunned turkeys...
All good conversation nonetheless.
Thanks to everyone for participating.
All this about turkey hunting ethics? Where do you stand on using bait for bluegills and crappie?
I've have many second thoughts, concerns, as to the "be the decoy" tactics on game.... all of them about getting shot, certainly not about if it was ethical to use them to kill something with a sharp stick....
Having read the posts of some "world famous" turkey hunters... I wouldn't trust em as far as I could throw em.... some others.... antelope, deer, elk... I could see it in archery season and in remote areas. I'd certainly use a female deke though.... I know what just a glimpse of antlers and horns do to some....
Good grief.... people use SHOTGUNS on turkeys??? heheheheh....
People get shot doing all kind of simple and accepted tactics. We take all kinds of risks every day. The risk is obvious in this, just like riding a motorcycle.
I do not see this as a debate. Of course it is a risk. I would certainly try it to see what it is like. I would do so knowing that I was taking a risk.
Turkey hunting, to me, is primarily about deception.
Deer hunting (to me) is primarily about an ambush.
A high school friend shot and killed another of our schoolmates with a rifle (illegal)when he was out in a field picking up goose decoys. A former Special Ops sniper my hunting partner was guiding for elk tried to shoot a horse that a guy wearing orange was riding. He was stopped before he could get the shot lined up.
I guess we could conclude from that that goose hunting with decoys and riding horses while wearing blaze orange are dangerous and shouldn't be attempted. Never mind the dangers inherent with climbing into a treestand...
What if somebody crosses the centerline and hits you head on when you're driving to your safe hunting spot?
I wouldn't consider any of those folks "true experts" on dynamic decoying unless they've done it extensively. Otherwise they're just speculative armchair quarterbacks.
Matt Palmquist is a "true expert" and he weighed in on this thread already.
Again, how about some real-world examples?
Or should we shift the discussion to the dangers of hunting out of treestands, no matter how diligent and safety-minded the hunter is?
...and I still contend that at least half of the "...one time when I was," or "a buddy of mine was..." are bogus or greatly exaggerated.
TrapperKayak - that man's wife was pretty sharp if she recognized the sound of a grunt call. And why in the hell were you blowing on a grunt call a HALF HOUR BEFORE legal shooting time.
Ding, ding, ding, ding, BS meter going off...whoop, whooop, whoooooop!
Wonder what the so-called "safety experts" would say about that?
I don't hunt out of treestands. Way too dangerous hanging and taking them down, which is when most injuries occur. Documented fact.
I feel much safer on the ground with my Heads Up decoy on the bow, behind an Elk Mountain slip, while wearing my elk and deer hat. When the timing is right, I won't hesitate to fan turkeys, either. My fan is in my turkey camp right now.
Statistics don't lie. Treestands kill and maim. This other stuff is all "what if".
^^^I was with you 100% until this post ^^^
Your THREAD on BOWsite with your rifle killed buck (and no warning) last year gave me the same feelings you had with folk using decoys.
I may be scarred for life...:)
A great young man was shot, with a high-powered rifle, while hiding in goose decoys in Kansas several years ago.
His killer got several years in prison, among other penalties, even though the killer didn't see the young man there.
As mentioned earlier, research Beau Arndt.
In yet one more instance a hunter shot his own son 8-10 years old just because he didn't stay put and was mistaken as a turkey by Dad while walking around. In all three the question is: Where the ___ was the beard? (the requirement for turkey hunting in MN).
These are real cases about as real as it gets. My hunting buddy was shot in CA about 30 years ago by someone firing a high powered rifle at his duck decoys.
Add poachers and people using high powered rifle (legal or not) in the turkey mix its really a bad idea to be prompting use of a fan for hunting when a lot of other methods are safer and just as effective.
Can you have a car accident getting to and from the hunt area, yes but you have protective measures like seatbelts, air bags and insurance system to cover your losses. No such thing for hunting and pretending to be game. Beside what the __ are the promoters teaching other hunters , OK to put yourself at unnecessary risk just to harvest a turkey?? Would you lay down in the road just waiting for a car to come by and hit you, play chicken???
Yeah being dumb about safety on purpose offends us safety guys..
There are stupid people everywhere, doing things that could kill you, they aren't going to keep me from hunting. I'm beginning to think some of y'all should just get in a plastic bubble and stay inside watching after school specials?
A smart, safe hunter wouldn't think of hunting from a treestand. The dangers of putting it up and taking it down, falling even with a harness, trees falling, steps pulling out or breaking, feet slipping off frosty ladder steps. I was peppered with birdshot in a treestand once by a quail hunter.
No matter what precautions a treestand hunter takes, there are a hundred ways to get hurt, crippled, or killed.
It used to be one in three or four, in a hunting career. I've had five buddies I can think of with anywhere from big bruises to broken arms, broken legs, broken spines.
So, we're not supposed to hunt ducks, geese, deer, pronghorns, with decoys?
Sometimes me thinks safety-guys just want to show how much they know. The ones who have blown up at a photo, or something written, in the newspaper, by and large, don't have one-fourth the hunting experience I do, having written about it for 35 years. But they sure like to pick at little bitty scabs whenever they find them.
You know, with that logic, maybe we should ban all kinds of guns because somebody might use one, be an idiotic, and hurt someone.
Y'all stay inside...I'm going hunting. If you don't want to use fan decoys, don't...go ahead and cell chat while driving, smoke, drink and eat unhealthy diets.
I have been deer hunting about 35 years now and have yet to have any injuries due to treestand hunting. It is an invalid argument anyway. The issue with hunting with a fan over ones face has not been shown to be any more effective than other proven and much safer methods. By all means, hunt the way you want. You will just have a very hard time trying to convince anyone that it isn't unnecessarily dangerous. Most hunters do things to mitigate risks since they want to have a safe hobby, way of life, whatever. Fan-facing invites disaster and does the opposite of mitigating risk, it raises it. This cannot be logically refuted. So, it will all be fun and games until someone gets their face blasted off and then let the outrage begin.
In open country this method is more effective than any other method I have used. Yes, other methods work, but if you are willing to crawl and work on birds you will eventually get a shot.
You run the risk of getting shot anytime you are afield with other hunters. Yes, this method has more risk if you aren't smart about it yourself as I pointed out above.
Don't fan birds if you think you are at risk, but please quit insinuating that anyone that does is an idiot and going to get killed.
Hunt the way you want and be safe. Have fun this spring.
...and you probably haven't hunted with fans enough to know what they can do to your success.
I've turkey hunted longer than you've deer hunted, and probably in more states. Doing anything that gets into the pecking order of toms is more productive, and dependable, then hen calls and decoys.
I do not fear hunting with them where I do, and it's my choice. My choice might well be different if I was hunting in other parts of the country.
Plain and simple unjustified homicide
Would you call this safe?
So what is the problem with the statement from the expert about the 19 year old getting killed? That it says he was hiding in a goose decoy instead of the factual he was hiding amongst goose decoys?
The "I'm not going to put my life in danger" excuse is laughable from guys who wear camo, sit 10 yards behind a couple decoys and call.
My daughter and I risked life and limb this morning walking the edge of a clear cut. I caught myself on some briers and popped a limb towards my head. Nearly broke my neck. Hate to think what would've happened if I had been carrying a decoy!
Two toms came to that set-up, that's a re-creation, her dad killed one and she missed as it ran by at about 8 yards.
Very private property.
Hey, that is pretty cool. Nice picture.
Two days later, after the celebrity hunt, she went out and called in a bird for herself, and killed it.
Has anyone heard of someone getting shot while doing this?
I fully understand there's always a first time for everything and it initially sounds like it may be dangerous but is there any proof that it is?
Not taking sides one way or another, just wondering.
Getting shot with almost every other method, sure. IMO it would be a lot easier for an idiot to discern a 200 lb guy crawling across an open field behind a fan than spotting a guy in camo hiding 10 yards behind a couple super-realistic decoys in the woods and calling.
I have been bowhunting for 40+ years so don't try to tell me I don't have any experience. Hunting from a tree stand can be plenty safe when using fall protection religiously, tied in from the time you leave the ground until you return.
As far as hunting while sitting on the ground with decoys out, your backside needs to be protected by a big tree, boulder, etc., warn anyone approaching with loud but deliberate voice w/o moving.
Behind a antelope decoy, ummm risky as well. I talked to a guy a season or two ago who got drilled by a speed goat while he was doing that. Didn't see it until it was on top of him. Good thing he had a hard decoy he used as protection. Showed me the scars on his palm and arm.
The point is you can be safe and effective on an enjoyable hunt w/o putting yourself and teaching others to themselves in a high risk position.
Not sue though how effective it would be to try and hunt out of a rolling bubble or Zorba ball-yeah my kid has been inside one.
By the time someone is shot its already too late from a preventative standpoint which is what the safety community is all about, prevention not reactionary-geeze yah kinda, shoulda not thought about doin dat...
Surely the "safety community" (whatever that is, sounds like a bunch of moms who bring orange slices to soccer games) can find some statistics, considering there must be hundreds of dead hunters flopping around in fields behind fans, pronghorn decoys, Heads Up deer and elk decoys, and BeTheDecoy animal suits.
Meanwhile, hunters wearing camo and orange are being shot mistakenly while NOT dynamically decoying.
I hear what you are saying but I don't see how anyone can say they were unaware that a human was holding that fan or decoy when they shot them and if the Police go with that that is poor investigative work !!
I am sorry to here about your incident getting shot that sounds like my worst nightmare. The thing is I have done this fanning many times and only use it in a very narrow set of circumstances. However I have done the sit with your back to a tree wider than your shoulders and set decoy on an angle so you are not in direct line of fire but I have still had 4 seperate times that hunters have stalked up to my decoy to shoot it. One guy came directly across a field holding his gun at shoulder point and walking 200 yards I yelled at him but he didn't hear me I finally did what they said not to and stood up which thankfully got his attention. Last year I was bowhunting and had my decoy out in front of me at about 5 yards. I had 5 jakes in the decoys but was waiting for the tom. Suddenly there was a bang and I heard and felt myself being struck by something small. A hunter had snuck into the woods on the field edge 80 yards away and took a shot at the jakes and my decoys. I tried to run after him but he got away ! On the other hand not once have I been concerned while hunting behind my fan setup !
I did not post about these incidents because I didn't want to be another so called story teller but can a ssure you they are not made up.
I tried to avoid the obvious idiots but it never kept me from dove hunting.
When it comes to other "hunters" posing a safety threat, maybe that's the best one can do, if they actually want to keep hunting.
What state? and most people are smart enough to use a fan or jake decoy during a fall or winter season.
Lawdy, READ the link I posted. The guy got pretty serious jail time for shooting at a goose decoy, with a guy hiding in the spread.
It's a fact. It happened. Too bad it's not taken as seriously in your state. Too bad it wasn't taken more seriously in Kansas, even with his punishments.
This thread reminds me of one of my favorite quotes of all time -
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet, because some of it is blatantly false" - Abraham Lincoln
I'm done arguing with people who use fiction for facts.
Have a good turkey season.
If I am to be dissed for being careful with kids, making sure they are hydrated, wear the helmet, mouth guard or other PPE and take them out of a game for signs of concussion so be it. Rather that then not being able to walk by the time they are 35 of not be able to finish high school or get a good job because of a brain injury.
I also have carried my birds out of the woods with a orange safety pack. Its plastic lined and keeps turkey blood and juices off of me while I pack out.
Too bad folks have a hard time believing the testimonials I have provided from my own experience, family members, friends, co-workers neighbors and fellow hunting education instructors. When it comes to safety sometimes we have to rely on those because issues are not uniformly reported or published. The merits of the case dictate how long it takes before it is even reported, sometimes many years.
Hunting is a relatively safe sport so I am not dissing that in general. Compared to football which has 3,200 serious injuries and death per 100,000 participants annually, it rarely gets into the double digits. Of the dozen or so cases most often its a self-inflicted injury. Archery accidents while hunting (mistaking for game) are super rare. I have only head of a handful in my whole life time.
Jaquomo and others who use the fanning technique I wish you the best and hope you don't encounter the foolish hunters who don't identify the target before shooting. I will take your points into account when I discuss hunter safety at future course I teach.
I hunt public land with Cargo Pants while some Private Land I need a Wheelbarrow
When I was a kid, we were still being told that playing with our weenies would cause blindness. I wear glasses now but can still see pretty well with them. So from that we might conclude that I just got lucky?
BTW, I'm not fanning because I'm hunting thick woods now. I'm hunting the super-dangerous way, calling with decoys. I'm terrified.
Next we'll have "hunting helmets" required in case somebody falls down or runs into a tree.
Amazing how often that happens to guys who had perfect eyes when they were dating and engaged... :-)
...and the PC terminology is wussification.
Years ago a box call got hammered by the safety patrol when they put, gasp, blue chalk on the under-lids of box calls. It was predicted hundreds would get shot. When other hunters mistook the blue for a gobbler's head.
And I am deliberately anti-PC as a lifestyle, ever since I quit the corporate world at 60.
To the OP... ^^ that is not meant to offend. :)
If people get offended when their style of hunting is questioned for safety issues and a discussion ensues, well, not really my problem. The intent was to discuss the safety of the tactic and whether or not it is a good idea to go against years and years of safety advice from safety professionals and just do our own thing because, gee, no one has been hurt doing it. I mean, it isn't on the internet so surely it cannot have ever happened. Right?
Was my intent to offend? No it wasn't. And I am offended that you stated it was.
Sorry, I should have said "this is not meant to offend" before my post!
The part where you offended a bunch of bowsiters is the following statements in your posts:
"Are they that dumb...."
"A Darwinian tool for sure..."
"..instances of ignorance.."
But you didn't mean to offend so that makes it okay!
Jaquomo. Life just isn't fair. You were endanger of going blind as a kid, and now you're cautioned about the possibility of the same thing if you suffer from LDS (limp dick syndrome) if you take the little blue pills.
Its ironic that you would complain about the internet on the internet. LOL. I just finished reading the Denver Post on the "internet" and will read the Wall Street Journal this afternoon. Newsflash - actual "news" and events are instantly available at our fingertips. Two bighorn sheep were found poached a couple days ago, and within hours it was reported on the "internet" via credible news sources. If somebody got shot fanning, a report would be available with the push of a button.
You Safety Marshals need to let this one go, and focus on real, documented dangers instead of worrying about the bogeyman. I'm going to strap on my camo hunting helmet, safety goggles and kevlar underpants and hang an orange sheet in the tree above my head, and go back to hunting.
It's kind of like you're saying, "look, I don't mean to offend you, d**khead, but you need to pull your head out of your azz, and do things exactly as I do, and listen to who I think are experts, but you're probably too f*&*ing stupid to understand them, anyway."
I'm pretty good at being a jerk sometimes, well, a lot of times...I recognize insulting language. :-)
To be honest with you writer, when I started the thread, I had absolutely no idea anyone on this board actually used this tactic. Seriously. I assumed, wrongly it appears, that others would see this method as,well, let's see here, I need to pick a non offensive word, how about, ill-advised, as I do. My bad all around I guess.
If you knew you had a spot to your self (truly private), it seems no different than a similar tactic for prong horn, or seeing guys hunt sitka deer with "deer hats" on.
I see grown men who can't ride a bicycle a city block without a helmet.
I feel sorry for the kids coming up in this culture. Strap that helmet on when you get out of bed. Take it off when you get back in. No fun allowed. Too dangerous. Oh, and participation trophies for all.
I've had enough.
I'm gonna go find some rugrats, give them bb guns and teach them how to shoot at each other. Two pump limit of course. Until you get shot, then all bets are off. No helmets allowed.
Here is a free one, "Don't take a stool softner and a sleeping aid at the same time." Yeah this one was shared at a safety convention with hundreds of attendees, so we have a sense of humor.
For those of you who think the safety profession is "pussifing" America, well bite me! If I save lives, allow people to enjoy their activity of choice a lot longer due to taking some precautions such as helmets, fall protection, nut cups, a properly set-up gun or archery range and staying off the phone, or not texting while driving-I can sleep a night. Reading loss files and assisting with death claims isn't fun but damn, I feel it in my core I have to do something to try and investigate, debate and find a solution, if possible. Apparently, my clients and colleagues appreciate it because I have won some significant awards for doing so, one of which helped me pay for most the cost of the bow I am now shooting.
I'd better go now since its snowing again and Al Gore the inventor of the internet before Abraham Lincoln reviewed it is talking Global warming.We will all have to take the electric train to our hunting spot as we will soon run out of oil.. These must be true cause its on the internet!!!
Glad you and Aaron survived the deathtrap that is "fanning". I'm sure you wore orange suits, tactical vests, helmets and shatterproof goggles!
Where credibility suffers is when safety folk try to make something appear to be overly "dangerous" when there is no evidence that it actually is any riskier than any other common practice.
Texting while driving? Check. BB gun war? Check. Drinking and driving? Millions of checks. Playing dodgeball in middle school? Ummm... Not so much.
Back to my "going blind" analogy.
TBM...who is Aaron?
Actually, I just heard that someone had orange slices.......?
I hunt a couple of private spots that are very remote where I am the only turkey hunter around. There aren't very many total birds around and I have used this technique quite a bit in the open sandhill pastures adjacent to the timber I hunt in these spots. I just did it this afternoon as the turkeys were crossing a pasture and ignoring my calls. I crawled to a low spot, put the strutter decoy at the top of a rise as I rotated it a couple of times, spotted a few jakes starting to run in from 125 yards away, retreated lower, grabbed my recurve and got ready. The jakes ran to about 3 feet from the decoy, saw me about 8 feet behind and below the decoy, and took off the other way before I could get a shot. It was a very cool encounter.
I sort of accidentally stumbled across this method all the way back in 2006 and wrote about it on a Nebraska Hunting Forum the day it happened. Here is the link to that exhilarating and humorous hunt that also involved my then 13-year-old son: First Experience Story Link
I kept that experience in the back of my mind, but never really employed it on purpose until two years later. That time I was using the hen decoy I had converted to a strutter. (I called it Janet Reno since it was a hen that looked like a tom.) The homemade decoy was actually pretty good for this technique since it was very light. On the same Nebraska Forum, I wrote about that 2008 successful "fanning" hunt. Here is the link: 2008 Fanning Success Story Link
Do I think this method could be dangerous? Yes, of course, in some situations and in my 2008 write up I even made a bit of a warning disclaimer comment due to that. I have only done it in wide open fields and would never do it in timber. Do I think it can be done safely in some locations and scenarios? Without a doubt I believe so. Otherwise, I wouldn't do it. I don't employ this method a lot--maybe twice a season when there are birds in an open field that are being stubborn and the conditions allow for it to possibly be effective. It can be quite a rush! I have pulled in birds almost every time, but I have only been successful in making a bowkill a couple of times since it is tough to get to full draw undetected in that situation. I am sure I would have killed a bird or two every single time if I hunted with a shotgun.
I think some people have a different vision in their minds of how these hunts go down from what is reality. If you were there with me and knew the area where I have done this method, you would realize that it was actually safer than hunting on heavily timbered, highly pressured public land while hiding and calling with decoys nearby. I have no doubts about that.
I may sound like a goody two shoes here, but can we all just get along??? I hate seeing hunters go after each other. I may hunt another way than you wether it is a gun, using dogs, using bait or some other tactic. I don't do any of these things ( except use a gun sometimes ), but I have respect for those who do. If you are hunting legally , I see no issues. I want to respect all of my hunting brothers! I hope you all do the same! I love this site and reading most posts, I try to ignore when things get slanderous and mean. I let my daughter read and use this site. I would hate for her to get the wrong idea of how we treat each other. I have a bigger problem with people like the person who stole my blind and chair this week , so when I took my daughter out to hunt, we had no blind to sit in..... Just my two cents..... Love and respect to all hunters and their traditions!
My point is trying to fan technique on that place..private property which is posted and guys that could care less about safety and land ownership/trespassing will get you killed. What happened to sitting and calling?...imho it's harder to call them in than fan..run and gun etc...im lot coming down on people's rights to hunt...just making a point..i wouldn't try it where I hunt turkeys.