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Decoy tactics as season progresses?
Do you guys change up your decoy spreads and hunting tactics as season progresses? If so, explain. I am 100% confident in a single Jake for the first 3 weeks of April but by the last week of April I seem to get much less response or reaction with the single jake. Thoughts?
I start the season with a single jake set at 10 yards from my blind, and one or two hens a few yards closer to my blind. And I stay with that through the season, however that set up usually ends my season pretty early.
I guess that depends on what you mean by "response". I hunt Florida swamps and waterways. In the mornings, I will put out a single hen with a single jake facing the hen. Jakes seem to come on in and mingle with my decoys. My experience has been that the older birds never go into the set. They appear to pay attention to the decoys but hang up and just look or strut about 20 yards out from the decoys. I don't know if they would have eventually come in because I shoot when they're at around 40 yards or less. I don't know if the decoys stopped them or not, but probably since they're looking or strutting. Twice in the last 3 years, they didn't like the decoys at all and left, like right now. Because of the hangups, I started setting my decoys closer at 15-20 yards. I used to set them at 25 or 30 yards. Of the last 4 birds that I've killed 3 were in the morning with decoys, but I believe they initially came to my calls and not the decoys. After the morning hunt (10 or after), I tend to move to other locations and not put out decoys. The 4th bird I killed was at 11 without decoys. He came straight to my calls. All hunts where in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of April. I honestly can't definitively say that the decoys made much difference in my circumstances. I primarily hunt around the edges of cypress swamps and adjacent uplands.
Jake strutter with two hens all season long. It's money.
I don’t claim to be any turkey hunting guru. And probably kinda suck at it. But i basically use a 1/2 strut Jake w/breeder hen, and 2 hen decoys (upright/feeder) all season.
I never set them more than 10 yards from the blind. I don’t understand when guys are setting them at 25 and complaining the birds hang up at 40. I guess gun hunting that is fine.
Usually use 3 decoys; submissive hen, tending jake, and either upright hen or feeding hen (we have two set-ups for separate blinds. One for Cindy & one for me). If we don't finish early, and the birds seem to be getting wary, I change them around a bit. Sometimes I add a bird or two. Sometimes I move a blind to where they seem to be moving more. I NEVER set decoys more than 10 yards from blind for bow hunting. I've even set a decoy designed to be mounted on a bow with a real fan, against the front of my blind. Many times calling is not necessary when they're in sight. They come right in. Most of our hunting is within sight, a couple hundred yards from an active roost. We try to intercept them coming and going.
I start with a full strut Gobbler. When they start breeding, I switch to a semi strut jake with hen. Then when they start nesting, I put the hen on the ground and move the jake over behind in the breeding position. Late season I go with just a single hen. I will add a feeder hen to any of the above scenarios.
I do half strut Jake at 6-7 yards. Part of the reason I haven’t put out hens too as I don’t like to carry them. Lol. I already look like I’m going on a 7 day backcountry excursion with all of my gear.
I guess I should probably break down and get a few hens for the spread.
Dang, Lawdog, 40 yds is a poke on a turkey.
I put out a half strut Jake decoy 8 1/2 to 9 yds from the blind at a hard right hand quartering away position, with the breeding hen decoy facing the opposite direction, like she’s giving him the cold shoulder, which I believe gives the approaching toms the false impression that they still have a chance with the hen. They seem to come in more quickly that way.
Later in the season, I’ll switch things up and go with a hard left hand quartering away position, with the hen facing the jake, like she’s more open to his advances. This way, the approaching toms seem to come in more quickly, because they don’t want to miss out on the party. Scattering a few cigarette butts around the decoys will oftentimes bring in the ones that hang up just out of bow range.
A couple of used condoms in the spread and play some cheesy porn music on your phone to bring in those pressured public land birds.
Lol. This might be time for classic porn stache pic Nick? It can’t compete with Pat’s but it is still nice.
Lol ! We’ve shot some Tom’s and Jake’s with this setup. The wife calls it the humper decoy.
For early season, I like to put it in the carry bag and haul it around. Late season, I opt for leaving it in the truck.
This worked this morning Good luck all Lewis
Yesterday, KS Unit 6 with deke spread. I always use the dekes that I bought in the early 90’s (2 jakes and 2 hens) all season long. The jake over my right shoulder is an old one from Hunters Specialties that I have to blow air into to (like an inner tube) to inflate. Over the years, he has taken a couple of good licks and beat downs but is still holding air by golly….and still fool’in those dummies, LOL!
I have 4 decoy's 2 feeding hens an upright alert hen and a submissive Jake. Have used many different variations from 1 hen or jake to all 4 and have killed Turkey's no matter what the setup is. Usually I use a feeder, upright and the jake, Toms always go to the Jake first even circling around my hens. The 2 decoy's that get the most action (getting beat up) are the Jake and the upright hen. Also usually set the Jake up where I want the shot to be facing the Blind at around 5 yards and never over 10 yards.