Carbon Express Arrows
Premium decoys worth the $$$?
Turkey
Contributors to this thread:
Jasper 27-Dec-17
HUNT MAN 27-Dec-17
Brotsky 27-Dec-17
Duke 27-Dec-17
Scoot 27-Dec-17
Rock 27-Dec-17
Scoot 27-Dec-17
t-roy 27-Dec-17
Brotsky 27-Dec-17
Bowfreak 27-Dec-17
drycreek 27-Dec-17
Paul@thefort 27-Dec-17
pointingdogs 27-Dec-17
Pat Lefemine 27-Dec-17
SBH 27-Dec-17
lewis 27-Dec-17
jims 27-Dec-17
trkyslr 27-Dec-17
Old School 27-Dec-17
oldgoat 28-Dec-17
Lone Wolf 28-Dec-17
4beards 28-Dec-17
Bowfreak 28-Dec-17
trkyslr 28-Dec-17
DL 28-Dec-17
Copey 28-Dec-17
skipmaster1 28-Dec-17
skipmaster1 28-Dec-17
trkyslr 28-Dec-17
Genesis 28-Dec-17
DL 28-Dec-17
Scoot 29-Dec-17
Bowfreak 29-Dec-17
SBH 29-Dec-17
Bowfreak 29-Dec-17
Julius Koenig 29-Dec-17
stick n string 29-Dec-17
longbeard 29-Dec-17
skipmaster1 29-Dec-17
trkyslr 29-Dec-17
Too Many Bows Bob 29-Dec-17
kadbow 30-Dec-17
Backpack Hunter 30-Dec-17
smarba 05-Jan-18
VogieMN 05-Jan-18
Old School 05-Jan-18
smarba 05-Jan-18
HUNT MAN 05-Jan-18
t-roy 06-Jan-18
Brknarrow1970 08-Jan-18
smarba 08-Jan-18
Brotsky 08-Jan-18
smarba 08-Jan-18
Dan Mallia 07-Apr-18
From: Jasper
27-Dec-17
I've killed gobblers over cheap decoys a number of times. I have a buddy who has the sorriest looking decoys I've ever seen and he kills his limit every year. That being said, I know some hunters who swear the quality decoys make a big difference in getting birds in bow range. Avian-X, DSDs, etc. Would like to hear your opinions and experiences. Thanks'

From: HUNT MAN
27-Dec-17
I grew up using cheap decoys. Had birds come in and killed plenty. Fast forward to 2009 . First hunt with DSDs . I was sold. Bird would break and run when they saw them. Never had a bad reaction since. Worth every penny.

From: Brotsky
27-Dec-17
Yes, they are worth the money.

From: Duke
27-Dec-17
I agree that the premium decoys are worth it. -I used several different cheap decoys over the years and have killed plenty of birds using them, however a good percentage of those were with shotgun. If you want birds to finish, see a show, and put in a place where you can get a clean shot with an arrow there's no question that the premium group of decoys is worth every cent.

From: Scoot
27-Dec-17
Yep! Twice I've had buddies sitting within about 100 yards of each other and had the exact same scenario play out: first the birds go to buddy with cheapo deeks and putt and get weird at 30 yards, birds head over to buddy with good deeks, biggest tom dies.

From: Rock
27-Dec-17
Like other have said I have killed lots of birds with various Decoy's and put off buy the expensive decoy's (DSD in my case) for several years figuring I was doing fine with the cheap ones. Finally broke down and purchased 1 hen could not believe when every Turkey that came in went to that decoy. So ended up buying more (currently have 1 upright and 2 feeding hens and a Jake) and got rid of all my other decoys. Also had the submissive hen for a while but did not get the reaction to it that I thought I would so I sold it. Well worth the money IMHO.

From: Scoot
27-Dec-17

Scoot's embedded Photo
1/2 second before my daughter lopped his head off with a Bullhead!
Scoot's embedded Photo
1/2 second before my daughter lopped his head off with a Bullhead!
Instead of taking pics at 30 yards, I take more pictures with the bird this far from the decoys (and closer).

From: t-roy
27-Dec-17
Yeah, but do they work on Alabama birds?

I got some DSD dekes on sale after the spring season. Looking forward to getting them beat up next spring.

From: Brotsky
27-Dec-17
Only the highest quality Cherokee Sports inflatables work on those AL birds Troy!

You won't regret your purchase. I almost feel guilty using the DSD's, almost:)

From: Bowfreak
27-Dec-17
I have great luck with the Dakota Jake. This is blasphemous to some of the DSD crowd but I can't imagine the DSD working better than the Dakota. When I bought mine it was a fraction of the cost of a DSD. I'm not sure of the cost difference now.

From: drycreek
27-Dec-17
I used some no-names for years, but IMO, I've had much better luck from the Avian-X dekes that I own now. I've only used them two seasons, but I've had good results.

From: Paul@thefort
27-Dec-17

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
but i really liked the way the toms responded to the less aggressive tom and have been using it for the past two years.
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
but i really liked the way the toms responded to the less aggressive tom and have been using it for the past two years.
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
second hunt set up in Nebraska
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
second hunt set up in Nebraska
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and the end results. Three year old tom that had been around for a while but could not resist
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
and the end results. Three year old tom that had been around for a while but could not resist
Jasper, I have had good luck with the full strut tom decoy as well as the less aggressive tom decoy, both were set up over a breeding hen. Around 50-60$ for each

From: pointingdogs
27-Dec-17
Yep, old dekes work ok. DSD are a step up.

From: Pat Lefemine
27-Dec-17
They are pricey but it’s just an initial investment then you have them for life. They work on mature toms. Any decoy will work on a Jake.

From: SBH
27-Dec-17

SBH's embedded Photo
SBH's embedded Photo
Pony up for the goods. HUNTMAN taught us that this year. Doesn't hurt to have him calling in the blind for ya either :) If memory serves me right, he had DSDs. I'll own some before spring. Think of it this way......If in the moment of truth, that big tom pulls out, what would you pay, in that moment, to get him to come in and close the deal? Priceless right? My cheap ass learned a lesson. Buy good stuff, buy it once and be done.

From: lewis
27-Dec-17
No not to me learn to call and stay aggressive but if it works for others that’s great but after a bunch of birds over 50 years with both gun and bow sometimes with a deke and sometimes not cannot see the high priced dekes making that much difference you are not hunting rocket scientists good luck Lewis

From: jims
27-Dec-17
If you are just starting out and cash is no option you may have an advantage going with the best decoys available. I have a feeling an expert caller using mediocre decoys with lots of experience knowing what calls to use, how often to call, whether to call lightly or more aggressively, proper set up of decoys for that particular time of year, etc will do just as well as someone next to him with DSD's that doesn't know squat about calling.

For heavily hunted birds on public land it may take both great looking decoys plus expert calling!

From: trkyslr
27-Dec-17

trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
Yup worth every penny! I as well killed birds over cheap flambo deeks years ago but only once had a tom back then attack the crappy decoy... switched to DSD deeks when they first came out and the number of deek attacks increased from under 10% to way above 90% on committed birds. For the bowhunter having a bird so occupied on the deeks in a fighting or loving frenzy really gives him/her the advantage of a quality shot with the bow. And that pic was from last month so that shows you how quality deeks can even work well even in the fall ;-)

From: Old School
27-Dec-17
I have no idea how many birds I’ve killed but it’s a bunch. Like many others, I used cheap foam decoys up until a couple years ago and then I sprung for a DSD Jake and hen. In my opinion and experience they are worth it, but are heavier and bulkier to carry around. If you have the money - go buy the DSD’s as you won’t regret it. With the cheap foam ones, anytime a bird didn’t fully commit I always wondered “what if I had better decoys”. I’ve now eliminated that question.

—Mitch

From: oldgoat
28-Dec-17
Yes!

From: Lone Wolf
28-Dec-17
Without a doubt. Avian X are worth the price!!!!!!!!

From: 4beards
28-Dec-17
Avian LCD 1/2 strut Jake / Hen Combo on sale now at Cabelas. $120.

From: Bowfreak
28-Dec-17
Trkyslr,

I've read before where you have posted that turkeys come to your decoys 90% of the time with DSDs. Turkeys east of the Mississippi don't come to live turkeys 90% of the time.

From: trkyslr
28-Dec-17
Bowfreak, I did say “committed” so anyways... maybe thats do to poor setup positioning and poor calling ... imo there’s a lot that goes into a turkey hunt more then just throwing decoys out anywhere and yelping twice and waiting an hour.. you want the entire setup position (based upon where the tom is and the route he will come from), decoy location setup, and knowing turkey language of what and when to say it to make a call-in/setup effective and real, which will help in his commitment to decoys. Either I’m just that obsessive and methodical with all of the above to have success or just lucky ;-) ... and I’ve hunted east of the Mississippi and had the same results.

From: DL
28-Dec-17
They are until you fool a coyote that decides it looks good enough to eat. I used two turkey mounts of mine for decoys. In doing I put them outside my shop to take a picture. Some time latter I heard a commotion outside. Three toms were beating the crap out of my Jake mount. I came out the door and they are 10 yds from me and won’t stop. I tried yelling but finally had to walk over and pick them out. Took them out on a hunt. It was dead and a Tom was spotted a half mile away and my partner decided to go after him. We were using shot guns so he said not to shoot until he’s shot if anything came in. 15 minutes latter a live sick Tom spotted the decoys and came in. He mounted my hen decoy and had his way with her for 10 minutes until she fell over. When that happened he musta had an Orgasm because his wings went out and shook all over. He next went over to the Jake mount and proceeded to try and take its head off. He finally got so exhausted he laid down next to the decoy. He was spent. Some time latter I heard my partner shoot and the Tom looked up and I popped him.

From: Copey
28-Dec-17
I bought an Avian X last year. I had a Tom walk within yards of it and not even act like it existed.....

From: skipmaster1
28-Dec-17

skipmaster1's embedded Photo
skipmaster1's embedded Photo
I kill a lot of birds under 5 yards with my stick bows. I love my Avian X decoys. The jake gets beat up and the gen jumped on

From: skipmaster1
28-Dec-17

skipmaster1's embedded Photo
skipmaster1's embedded Photo

From: trkyslr
28-Dec-17

trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
Since guys are commenting towards reactions or lack thereof, I will add this for a little tip. Compared to most I’m an aggressive caller majority of the time.. my style of calling usually brings birds in with some fury of love and or hate. Do to this I believe it makes a difference with how a bird(s) responds to a decoy after they come in. Call in a bird with aggression he comes in fired up. I have found most times he will attack or love the decoys ... call sparingly and not aggressive the birds attitude will be more cautious coming in so his response to the decoys will vary from a cautious approach to sometimes aggressive interaction. With this style of calling with setup positions and super detailed DSD decoys results in a lot of awesome decoy action.

From: Genesis
28-Dec-17
I got hosed on Avian X not standing behind a defective decoy....Consider other companies

From: DL
28-Dec-17
Good information Chris.

From: Scoot
29-Dec-17
Chris that second from the top pic in your last post sure looks familiar! To say that bird was aggressive is an understatement!

From: Bowfreak
29-Dec-17
Ok Chris but I just can't fathom 9 out of 10 turkeys coming into a setup. Obviously I am in the minority since nobody else seems to think this is odd. If I had those percentages I would be tagged out with a bow every year in 2 days in KY.

As far as aggression, I can't remember one come into my Dakota that wasn't on Defcon 5. When they come to it they aren't planning on playing footsie that's for sure. When I have killed them over a strutter, they are way more cautious and are actually much easier to shoot.

From: SBH
29-Dec-17
Bow freak- I think he said that 9 out of 10 "Committed" birds will attack his decoy. Not that he would call in 9 out of every 10. Correct me if I am reading that wrong. He's talking about the birds that are actually already coming in and how they react to the decoys.

From: Bowfreak
29-Dec-17
OK.....NOW I am following.

That makes more sense. I didn't read the original post close enough. As I said...I can't remember one not attacking my Dakota once they came in.

Sorry Chris for not reading. I can definitely agree on that.

29-Dec-17
Yes, they change the game.

29-Dec-17
Someone should breed a dsd gobbler with a dakota hen. I bet a dsdakota would be a killer deke...

I used a b-mobile for years, had good luck but a lot of hangups. Last year i bought a dsd jake and have done better with it than the b-mobile, but still, turkeys are turkeys and you gotta have a lot else right. I am not an aggresdive caller most of the time, so maybe thats part too. But whether its luck or not, the dsd has been worth every penny. Any bird ive had inside 60 has come to the deke with intention. As someone said above, i feel as if ive eliminated the "what if" when they dont come in.

Having said that, i hunt PA and MD and though i dont intend to be a "snob", i do agree, our birds are a completely different thing than the merriams and rios i see getting hunted out west on tv and youtube....

From: longbeard
29-Dec-17
Depends on your definition of "premium". JMO so take it for what it is worth, but Like many of you, I have killed a pile of turkeys through the years. 90% of those are Easterns, some in the North East and Some in the South East. The other 10% are from out West in various states. First and foremost there is a big difference in the type/location of the birds you are hunting. I know you guys on the left side of the Mississippi don't want to hear this, but in my experience there is no comparison in hunting difficulty. I have killed many of those Easterns with nothing more than a fan tail tacked to a paint stick stuck in the ground. So I guess you would have to define premium to rationalize the amount of $$ spent to make the determination of if it was worth the $$. With that said, if you want to make the biggest leap in the realism of your decoy(s) figure out a way to add motion and your success rate will jump tremendously.

From: skipmaster1
29-Dec-17
I'm hunting NY and CT. I have a few places that don't receive much pressure, but it's rare for me to set up in a place where they often travel and not have them commit to my new decoys. I hunted 3 mornings this spring. I killed two longbeards. One at 18 yards, one at 5 yards. I rushed a shot at 3 yards when the bird saw me move to draw. I missed. I also passed 6 jakes at less than 5 yards.

From: trkyslr
29-Dec-17
SBH is correct... Scoot when you have hooks like that bird did he has no choice then to be a bully! :-)

29-Dec-17
You're hunting a bird with 8x eyes and 10x ears. The odds are stacked against you when you set foot out the door, and then you are trying to use a bow instead of a shotgun. You do the math.

TMBB

From: kadbow
30-Dec-17
Yes but something else to consider are the ultimate predator wind drifter decoys. Their movement really helps. I have used them in combination with my avian x decoys and alone. Very effective and much cheaper.

30-Dec-17
Yes, they are not magic but they have worked much better for me.

From: smarba
05-Jan-18
Question for you all. Based on a previous thread and my bank account I decided to jump onto the Cabela's Avian X sale.

Received the decoys yesterday and they look great - much, much better than my old-school decoys. But they weigh a TON. 10-pounds on digital bathroom scale for both decoys (granted that includes their packaging cardboard box). Methinks that's more than I want to lug around the country here in NM because the areas I hunt turkeys can mean all-day hikes and lots of vertical just to locate birds.

Are the DSD substantially lighter? I searched online but couldn't seem to find published weights. Anyone have an actual weight for 3/4 strut Jake & breeding hen? Or any of the DSD decoys for comparison?

Thx

From: VogieMN
05-Jan-18
I've used the cheap foam decoys and had tom's come in to them, but after upgrading to the high end decoys, i've had hens hang out around the decoys for 15+ minutes and not be spooked at all. I've never had that type of response with the foam ones.

From: Old School
05-Jan-18
Carl - I just went out and weighed my DSD’s and their combined weight is 7.8 lbs for the hen and Jake with bags/stakes and all.

-Mitch

From: smarba
05-Jan-18
Thx Old School, that's exactly what I was looking for! So a little weight savings, and by all accounts a little more realistic. I'll stick with the Avian and try them out simply because I can't afford to go with DSD at this point.

From: HUNT MAN
05-Jan-18
I use carbon arrows for my stakes to save a little more weight . Hunt

From: t-roy
06-Jan-18
DL....if you had added that the tom fired up a cigarette when he got done, I was gonna have to call BS!

08-Jan-18
Convinced me I need better dekes. Thanks guys.

08-Jan-18
Looks like DSD has a new mating Jake decoy different posture entirely but added benefit of movement to the decoy thoughts? and agree - better decoys changed my results when bowhunting turks

From: smarba
08-Jan-18
For hunting turkey in NM it's virtually all Merriam's. I see that Cabela's Avian X has a Merriam's-specific, which includes a lot more white/cream coloration to the feather tips and looks a lot more like our birds. But they aren't on sale like the combo pack mentioned previously.

How important is it to have a Merriam's specific decoy for Merriam's turkeys?

Thx

From: Brotsky
08-Jan-18
Carl, it makes no difference at all. We have Rio's, Eastern's, and Merriam's turkey here in SD depending upon what part of the state you hunt. I have chased them all with the same DSD Jake and hen combo. All species have reacted the same (positively). I think that coloration matters more to the hunter than the turkey!

From: smarba
08-Jan-18
Thanks Brotsky, I assumed that was the case, although here we don't have a mix of species so all have the cream/white accents.

From: Dan Mallia
07-Apr-18

Dan Mallia's Link
In my humble opinion, when bowhunting turkeys, using premium decoys is key. I use DSD’s and I’m a firm believer in their effectiveness at bringing birds in close and then holding them close for the high percentage shot we all enjoy. I’ve killed a lot of birds with my bow at spitting distance over my DSD’s.

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