5 Great Turkey Decoys That You Will Absolutely Love To Have
Turkeys are a wily lot, and you will find that you need a decoy to go turkey bow hunting. The market is flooded with a variety of decoys, so you could get confused in your quest for the best turkey decoy. Here we will attempt to make your job easier by offering you a bit of guidance in choosing a suitable one.
**Below, you find more detailed reviews but you can also click links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.
Choosing The Best Turkey Decoy
Let me begin with by saying that there is no ‘best’ turkey decoy. There are many variables involved, like difference in terrain, weather conditions, and time of the season and so on. If you add specific user preferences to the equation, it becomes obvious that the definition of ‘best’ can vary from one individual to another. Having said that however, we CAN make a few generalizations, which should put you on the right track.
You are the best judge for actually defining the type of decoy that you will need – here are a few of the important considerations that you need to define:
- Whether you are on foot or driving around
- If you are hunting in the open or (using a blind)
- Type of terrain – you don’t want to be lugging around heavy decoys in mountainous areas
- Soil composition – you will need a sturdy stake for rocky area
What To Look For
Once you have an idea what to look for, you will make better progress in finding the best turkey decoy for your purposes. A lot of the selection criteria boils down to common sense, but then again, a certain amount of knowledge on the subject helps.
The primary consideration is that your turkey decoy should be realistic. You may have to shell out a bit more for a really life-like decoy, but then, you will be getting what you pay for. In fact, I would go as far as saying that investing in a good turkey decoy is about as important as choosing suitable archery equipment.
Your turkey decoy should be easy to install and dismantle. Once you have tracked down the possible location of gobblers, you will want to place your decoy strategically as soon as possible. However, turkeys are a fickle lot and will suddenly move on without any warning, so you may need to dismantle and relocate at short notice.
Using Different Decoy Types
When you shop for decoys, you need to keep in mind that different scenarios may require different presentations. Here are a few of the most common scenarios you can expect:
Head Up or Alert Position
Here, the hen is looking out for the other birds that are with her. So, you can use this decoy if there are many birds. But if the bird is alone, it could signify a spooked bird. If you continue to call, it can work in your favor however, as it may look as if a yelping hen is looking for a gobbler that is answering her.
The Relaxed Position
This represents a more relaxed bird, but is good for using in high grass, which may lure a gobbler to venture within shooting range.
The Head Down (Feeding Position)
This can be used throughout the season, but preferable to use later on in the season. It is useful for attracting shy gobblers, and a few clucks, purrs and an occasional yelp may be all that is required to attract a gobbler.
You could also use a ‘mix and match’ combination, by say, putting three or four of feeding hens with a jake decoy, which would present a more realistic picture to an unsuspecting gobbler.
Full Strut Decoy
This is like entering the pool in the deep end. A gobbler will consider a full strut decoy as a direct intrusion into its home turf, and you will be able to reap the harvest of the battle of hierarchy.
Of ‘Ifs’ and ‘Buts’
There is always a downside, and here it is. Place yourself in a position where you are well into the season, maybe even the last day, and you put out your full strut decoy. Your gobbler appears and closes in with a full fan in view, but suddenly takes about turn and ‘poof!’ – He’s gone, never to appear again. It is most probably the fact that you picked a less-dominant bird who approached, thinking that the boss was away, but on suddenly seeing him (your decoy), he just got cold feet and fled.
So, here’s the thing. You can spend a lot of time and energy selecting what you think is a suitable decoy, but sometimes, be ready for the unexpected. These gobblers are a smart bunch of cookies!
Top 5 Of The Best Turkey Decoys
Here are some of the best turkey decoys available on the market:
The Scoot and Shoot decoy enables you to engage more effectively in the hunt. This boss gobbler decoy has a built in handle and sturdy ground stake. If you cover your face with this decoy, the charging gobbler does not seem to notice the rest of your body. The flared wings of the decoy help to cover your body, and the silk fan is removable. This decoy is easily detachable and foldable, making it easy to transport. The detachable fan makes it possible to attach a real fan if you have one. It is extremely realistic and attracts jakes easily. You have the option to either use it as a stationary object or moving one, where you can hide behind it and advance towards the gobblers. You look like a real turkey, so be careful not to use it where other hunters are likely to be operating. Due to being so realistic, this decoy can at times intimidate jakes at close quarters, and they might withdraw.
- Easy to Transport
- Simple to set up
- Dual mode use
- Extremely realistic
- Dangerous to use with other hunters around
- May spook jakes at close quarters
Here is another realistic-looking decoy which can be bought in variations of “looker” and “feeder” hens. The texture is smooth and the paintwork is of quite good quality, showing fine details of turkey feathers.
The decoy is easy to inflate in just a few breaths. A robust 24-inch stake ensures that the decoy is positioned high enough for clear visibility over a long distance, and it is pointed, making it easy to drive it deep into the ground. The stake can also be folded in half for easy mobility. As the stake is in one piece, the decoy does not have a tendency to spin in the wind as is the case with some decoys.
These decoys are rather heavy though, and deflation does not come easy. Another thing that you need to look for is leaks. Although the customer service is not very prompt, you can exchange a faulty product easily enough. This decoy is not cheap, but then once you start using it, you will see that you have got what you paid for.
- Good quality finish
- Easily inflatable
- Highly portable
- Good-quality stake
- Less tendency to spin in the wind
- Poor customer service
- Tendency to develop leaks
- Pricey, but justified by the good quality
This unique combo offer literally gives you two for the price of one. Initially you may be a bit put off with the price, but then considering that you are getting a couple of top quality turkey decoys at this price, it makes the deal more attractive. The design is made so that the combo of jake and hen are highly realistic, but at the same time easy to carry around.
These decoys are also easily foldable, so you can stash them away in your turkey vest until required. If you are not comfortable with carrying them in your vest, a mesh carry bag with shoulder straps is provided. Although the bubble wrap packing is quite good, on unpacking the decoys, you may find them a bit too crinkled, but a few minutes with a hairdryer usually straightens them out. The squashed-up condition is attributed to the box size which could be a bit bigger. A slight drawback is the stakes which have been observed to be noisy. Also, if you are hunting at night, then attaching the stakes to the body can be a bit tricky.
- A good price for two decoys
- Realistic appearance
- Easily foldable
- Comes with a mesh carry bag
- Well-packed in bubble wrap
- Stakes are noisy
- Crinkled appearance on unpacking
- Less convenient for using in the dark
This is an amazing hen decoy which has feathers all over the body, creating an effect of movement, as the feathers get ruffled in the breeze. You can place the decoy in different positions, thanks to the two leg poles. By adjusting the position of the leg poles, you can get at least three of the main hen positions, to gain the attention of a tom. Depending on the time of the season, you can make Miss Purr-fect exhibit the ‘breeder’, ‘looker’ or ‘feeder’ poses.
The head can be pointed in different directions due to the ‘Perfect Pose Technology’ moldable wire in the neck for engaging the target more effectively. You can easily stash the decoy away in your turkey hunting vest, as it folds almost flat. It is also easy to quickly set up, or move to another location at the shortest of notice.
- Truly realistic in appearance
- Portable for easy transportation
- Easy to set up
- Different poses possible by adjusting the leg poles
- Moveable neck allows you to face the head in different directions
- Blends in the background a bit too well
- Occasional manufacturing defects
- Red dot on the middle of the forehead
This turkey decoy of a breeding hen in a receptive posture is the ideal thing that you need to use in the peak of the turkey breeding season. The single folding stake is quite sturdy, and prevents the decoy from spinning unnaturally. The decoy is made of Dura-Rubber, which maintains its shape at all times. This decoy is rather pricey, but the general consensus is that it is worth the buy, once it goes into ‘action’.
The robust rubber material makes for a durable decoy, even though it is inflatable, but you should be careful to check the piece on delivery, as there have been reports of leaky decoys. However, full points to the manufacturer who replaced the faulty pieces immediately. Another downside is that over time, the air tends to deflate, so you have to inflate them at regular intervals. The manufacturer also gets full marks for delivery – even delivering before the estimated time, sometimes. A final note – this decoy works best in combination with other decoys.
- Realistic looking
- Easy to set up and dismantle
- Good customer service
- A bit on the expensive side
- Needs regular inflation
- Defective pieces noticed from time to time (quality control issues)
And The Winner Is...
We have identified five of the best products on the market. Competition is up, technology is high, and each manufacturer desperately wants to outdo the rest. But there is just on clear winner, and that is Miss Purr-fect!
Each of these products have similar features to offer. Good, but not really unique. However, with Miss Purr-fect, the highly adjustable neck is a great plus point. Also, the way the two leg poles create different poses is quite an added asset – it is rather like having a combination of different turkey decoys. And that is what we look for in a turkey decoy. What you need is a decoy that is easy to use, but has loads of useful features. So, you can count on many seasons of happy turkey hunting with Miss Purr-fect.