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Decoy For Stubborn Tom
I have a Tom I am hunting that is giving me fits. Won't come to a call and won't come closer than 50-60 yards. I'm in a blind but with a recurve so I need him close. He's been 4 hours out in the field as of now and I know he's seen my decoys. No other birds have been around so far. But he just won't come in.
I had a Jake, breeding hen and upright hen set within sight of the field edge. He's still out there now but am trying to make a plan for tomorrow.
I'm going to move the blind tonight to be right on the very edge of the field. There is one brush pile there that he seems to favor.
Just trying to decide the best decoy combo to try. Maybe just the breeding hen alone? What is your recipe for stubborn toms? I want to get this guy!
Breeding hen and Strutter.
One time we had a group that would hang in the middle of a winter wheat field while we were set up on the edge two mornings in a row. They could see the decoys and never spooked but wouldn't come in. We set up early the next morning in the middle of the field in 6" winter wheat 100 yards from any cover.
Can't be sure it was the same group but it appeared to be. They worked right in to us and my buddy tagged one. Same decoys, same calls.
Since then I have set up in a lot of places sticking out like a sore thumb and had luck.
Several years ago I had worked a big old Tom several times during the season and your Tom sounds just like him. Near the end of the season I took an old Lynch box that had got wet, and sounded terrible. I killed the tom at 15 yards. I don’t think he had ever heard anything that sounded so bad and he had to see what it was.
IMO change your deeks. Go to a strutter or just hens
He may have been called way too much this spring and has gotten smart.
kill him without decoys. move where he will walk by off the roost.
I would put my blind and decoys EXACTLY where he has been hanging out all day today. Get there early. In my experience the blinds don’t shy birds, regardless of how outmof place it seems to you or me.
Oh he's smart alright. I'm sure I'm not the first to hunt him. I do have a motion strutter decoy that I haven't tried thinking it's pretty late in the season. Have read in the past where stutters aren't as effective later. But I don't know, that might be the ticket. I like the idea of no decoys also but he roots in a couple of different woodlots not on my property. He enters the field from a few different directions. (I can watch it from my house) I could probably kill him with a shotgun by seeing up in his strut zone but I don't think there is one particular spot that I can count on him coming within the 10 yards I want with my bow.
Jim, I was typing as you posted. That is what I'm thinking as well. I don't think the blind will bother him at all. I can put it either right on the edge next to a bush that he stands by quite a bit. Or maybe better yet right smack in the middle of the bare field. What about decoys? Same as I've been using or??
Try the strutter decoy. Conventional wisdom says they won't like it later in the season but Gobblers are rarely conventional!
I personally am not a turkey guru, so a grain of salt may be warranted ;)
I don’t mind a blind smack in the middle of a cut corn/dirt field. Or a wide open pasture. I just don’t think they care. I actually sometimes prefer it because they seem to want to stay away from the timber (bad things happen when they can’t see and he knows it!) I personally would probably use the blind where he has been handing out in the middle (he obviously feels safe there) and the same deks you have been using. None of the decoys more than 7-8 yards from the blind. That is my 2 cents and maybe only worth a penny...
I'd vote either the blind in the middle as others have suggested or somewhere along his path too and/or from the field. Last year I could never get birds to commit and eventually gave up chasing them and let them come to me. I just put out a feeding hen and never called. They tend to be pretty habitual here until they're disturbed so I knew their routine. Sounds like you do too - good luck!
I set up in the middle of fields 95% of the time. It dont bother them. At all...
I'd be tempted to set up a blind in the exact same place with dekes exactly the same. The only change I'd make is having a buddy in that blind calling.
I'd be in another blind right where he always hangs up and stay silent.
Of course with my luck the gobbler would make a bee line for my buddy.
If you have a decoy with some movement I’d try it - turkeys hardly ever stand still - especially a hen. May be all you need.