Early season decoy strategy

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
Posts: 10
Joined: February 2nd, 2010, 6:44 am

Early season decoy strategy

Postby redleg06 » February 2nd, 2010, 7:01 am

New to the board here and seems like alot of good insight floating around so I thought i would get some feed back from the brain trust...

Ive been turkey hunting all my life in Texas for Rio's and the one problem Ive always ran into, particularly early in the season, is competing with a large number of hens roosted close to the toms.  There are a whole lot of turkey in the area but very few places they like to roost (not many large trees out here in a lot of places) so its not uncommon to be on a roosted bird or birds and have 10-15 plus hens either in the tree with the gobblers or within 100yds of him.  Generally we hunt along creek beds where the roost trees are and they usually along large wheat fields.  Obviously the gobblers choose to fly down with the large group of hens verse come to my 1-3 decoys... In these situations we are generally hoping to call away one of the less dominant birds and it works some of the time.

My thought is that (like in waterfowl hunting) early in the season while they are still together in groups fairly often, why not take and set out 4-5 hen decoys and a pair of jakes (one strutting and one not)?  The numbers would be realistic for the area and i feel like I would be giving myself a better chance to pull some of the gobbler off the roost to my decoys then I am right now.

thoughts or ideas or concerns please...


Posts: 589
Joined: July 24th, 2009, 5:53 am
Location: NE Ohio

RE: Early season decoy strategy

Postby Duke0002 » February 2nd, 2010, 8:55 am

Can't hurt trying to create your own flock of hens with the decoys.  I tried that once -set out 5 or 6 hens.  Some subordinate toms came running across the field, but hung up and didn't gobble.  They just looked nervous. 

The hang up could have been for several reasons, but one thought we had was these lesser toms weren't interested in getting beat up by hens looking for a big boy.  I could be all wet on this thought. 

Heck, give it a try!  More than likely you're not going to get a dominant bird away from those eager hens.  You can try later in the morning or afternoon when he's not with the girls.

User avatar
Posts: 580
Joined: April 9th, 2008, 7:25 am

RE: Early season decoy strategy

Postby tracebusta32 » February 2nd, 2010, 9:25 am

I don't use decoys, but my method would be to scout the birds I plan on hunting, scout them again, scout them some more to figure out what the daily routine consist of.

I would then set up somewhere I know they like to go, hide real well and call from there.

Good Luck
Malachi 4:5-6
My Brother: WMB

Posts: 81
Joined: December 6th, 2009, 4:28 pm

RE: Early season decoy strategy

Postby heinzc » February 2nd, 2010, 3:43 pm

I am not set against decoys I just have been denied by to many Toms that laid eyes on a decoy.  If I had a choice of a set up for early season I seemed to have the best luck with the breeding decoy set up.  It seemed to catch the Tom off guard and send him into a frenzy that caused them to come running in, by the time they figured out that it was dekes they were covered in a swarm of 5 shot.
Prov. 3:5,6

Posts: 64
Joined: July 14th, 2009, 1:32 pm

RE: Early season decoy strategy

Postby MzlHunter » February 2nd, 2010, 3:53 pm

I'd rely on woodsmanship and leave the decoys at home.

Posts: 56
Joined: January 27th, 2010, 10:31 am

RE: Early season decoy strategy

Postby dam3391 » February 3rd, 2010, 7:57 am

I am very new to turkey hunting, but I tend to agree with Traces' tactic.  Al Queda sneak attacks work relatively well. Vermont is pretty much the same way, its not uncommon to have up to 10 hens roosted next to or within 50 yards of a tom.  I have found decoys in an open field don't work, especially if he can see them from his roost.  I got two hens to fly right down to my deek's and he flew down in another part of the meadow away from my setup and called the hens his way.  I haven't seen a lot of success with decoy's but some stand by them.  If you get the right bird, who's all alone than its bound to work.

Being a novice I started to scout, scout, scout, and I patterned them just like I would for deer hunting.  I found the exact trees they were roosting in, watched which direction they went after fly down.  Patterning the birds last season, I setup in between and covered myself real well and let them walk by.

User avatar
mark hay
Posts: 2945
Joined: August 19th, 2008, 1:59 pm

RE: Early season decoy strategy

Postby mark hay » February 3rd, 2010, 12:53 pm

If I was in REDLEG'S place , I'd attempt to observe the birds at evening . If the hens aren't too close to the toms , I'd get between the two flocks afterl dark, dark dark,,,and spook the hens away from the gobblers . Then be in there llooonnnggg before sunup and set up on the hens side of the gobblers , call sparingly and forsake the dekes . Any tom that comes to your calls will probably stop as soon as he spots the hen deke, expecting her to do the walking .  Make him come looking for you .

User avatar
Posts: 938
Joined: April 8th, 2008, 12:47 pm

RE: Early season decoy strategy

Postby Gobblerman » February 3rd, 2010, 12:56 pm

Redleg, I don't have a lot of advice to give you on this problem other than that already expressed by others regarding just setting up in the right place.  I do know what you are talking about, though, because I hunt Texas Rios at the start of the season every year and have had the exact problem you describe.  I don't know if your multiple-decoy tactic might work...I don't generally hunt over decoys....but it is probably worth a try.  My best guess would be that a day or two of patterning the birds, and then setting up in the right location, is probably the most sure-fire way of killing one of those gobblers.

User avatar
Cut N Run
Posts: 2194
Joined: April 12th, 2008, 2:32 pm
Location: central North Carolina

RE: Early season decoy strategy

Postby Cut N Run » February 4th, 2010, 4:09 am

Keep scouting, especially with good binoculars or a spotting scope.  If you can find a favored strut zone the birds head to after fly down that has a place in range you can conceal yourself to hunt from, you should be in business.
I found a couple of these at my lease and you just have to be very quiet getting to them (well before light) and be prepared to wait, you will likely have a decent opportunity to notch your tag.
Luck Counts, good or bad

User avatar
Posts: 546
Joined: October 11th, 2008, 1:56 pm

RE: Early season decoy strategy

Postby turkeydoghunter » February 4th, 2010, 1:52 pm

when hunt N rios look for the water holes...the only time i used dacoys was when hunt N fields ...then i had them hang up so i dont use em much anymore....try a flock  of dacoys...have some motion ones and call like the devil it might work!!...i like cutt and runs advice too. ron
Break em at Night...Back at light


Return to Strategies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest