Placing decoys

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Placing decoys

Postby dmcianfa » March 1st, 2009, 3:22 pm

I am curious to see what types of strategies people take and how each of you setup your decoys if you use them.
How far away?
Decoy(s) facing away or towards you?  Quartering?
Do you place yourself between the decoy and gobbler?  Off to the side (right or left of your position)?  Do you setup behind the decoy?  Has setting up behind a decoy ever prevented you from getting a bird that hung up out of range?
What type of decoys do you put out?  Hen? Jake? Tom?
Do you place one or more than one out?
In the middle of a field?  Edge?  Wooded area just inside of a field?  How far back?  Heavily wooded with no fields?
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RE: Placing decoys

Postby tinker » March 1st, 2009, 7:08 pm

I use only hen dekes. Usually one, no more than two. I tend to only use them in the open, in the woods, I try to rely on the slight-of-hand and play the natural echos of the woods against the tom.
I set the hens off to my left (I am right handed) at about the 10-11 o'clock positions, about 15-20 paces from my blind in the hedgerow or field edge. Face the dekes quartering slightly,(face them to the 9 or 10 o'clock)  This will make the tom circle behind the hens and afford you time to get your gun up while he is fanned , facing away.
 This is the method I have used and have had pretty good sucess with it.


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RE: Placing decoys

Postby silvestris » March 2nd, 2009, 3:30 am

Please ignore my reply if it offends, but isn't that a lot to fill your head with when you should be thinking about what to say to the gobbler to cause him to march in to his death.

It reminds me of a schoolboy who worries and worries about what to do and say to the little girl who has caught his eye and becomes speechless.  All she wants to hear is that her eyes are pretty.
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RE: Placing decoys

Postby shaman » March 2nd, 2009, 6:10 am

If I'm going to use them, I usually put dekes on my back door or off to the side somewhere, with the idea that the gob is going to be paying attention to the deke spread instead of to me.  My main concern is to give the gobbler a bit more confidence as he's coming in; he sees something that looks like a hen and he stops being concerned that he showed up to dance and there does not seem to be a partner. A hit of hen in the weeds is all it takes.

I acquired a Transfan last year and had mixed results.  I know guys like those full-bodied gobbler decoys, but they give me the willies. I have a neighbor that is infamous for shooting at a another guy's dekes.

I have one setup that has produced several gobblers over the years.  The turkeys cross from one side to the other of a narrow fenceline between pastures at the highest spot.  I setup just off the top of the hill in some denser trees.  I will put a deke or two near the top, to show it's okay to cross. I used the Transfan in this location so that just the tip of the fan showed above the grass.  The Transfan did not attract any gobblers, but it did bring in a few hens. 

The one thing I don't do is put a spread out in the middle of the pasture and let the turkeys get a good look at them.  That's inviting a hang-up. 
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RE: Placing decoys

Postby Snedley » March 3rd, 2009, 11:09 am

I got one the first year AL made them legal. I usually placed it between the tree I was set up on and the small of my back. But occasionally I would place it a little farther up my back depending on the shape of the tree and where it was putting pressure on my back.  Then when everything quietened down I would place it under my head while I took a little nap and waited for the hens to leave the gobblers.

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RE: Placing decoys

Postby tracebusta32 » March 3rd, 2009, 11:18 am

I like to put the foam one's between my back and the tree, and from time to time I will sit on it.
They do work pretty well when used that way.[:)]
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RE: Placing decoys

Postby dabirdbuster » March 3rd, 2009, 12:43 pm

i have had mixed results with decoy use.some good some bad.
one hen deke set-up helped a friend bag a nice bird. it was his first hunt of ANY kind. my wife had a hot 2 y old racing in that spooked upon seeing a jake/hen set-up.point is a deke is a tool like a call . winnin combos are as varied and unpredictable in results as u and i tootin on a crow or hen call. i use em when i need 2 not cause i like 2.

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RE: Placing decoys

Postby dewey » March 4th, 2009, 6:13 am

I have the Pretty boy and pretty girl decoys and after reading in T&TH magazine my plan for this spring is to have the hen quartering away from me and the tom decoy quartering towards me at about 20-30 yards away.  From what I have read the reason that the hen is quartered away is so that toms approach hens from behind for breeding and they approach other toms from the front as more of a confrontation.  Of course there are a lot of opinions out there on this subject and I am really new at turkey hunting so take my advie for what it is.  I used a pretty boy decoy last spring and the gobbler that I called in, you could almost tell exactly when he saw my decoy.  I would like to hear about what other people have learned in their own experiences also.
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RE: Placing decoys

Postby webfoot » March 4th, 2009, 11:16 am

-Usually 15-25 yards away.
-If I think I know which direction the tom will come from, I'll face the decoy away from that direction.  When he sees it, it seems as though the hen is not paying attention to him and is headed away. 
-I set up with the thought that another hunter may mistake my decoy for the real thing and shoot.   Keep a tree behind me and the decoy off to the side so I can see if another person approaches.  Don't be inline with the decoy.  I do try to get myself between the tom and the decoy so that even if he hangs up 40-50 yards from the decoy, he still will be close enough to me. 
-I've had success with a single hen decoy and a hen/jake combo.  I've had toms run to both.  I've also had toms turn and leave when they saw the hen/jake combo.  Maybe a dominance issue or maybe they just didn't like the set-up-I'll never know.  Never tried the tom decoys and probably won't due to the risk of turning birds. 
-Mainly a hen only for reasons above. 
-I place the decoy in the area that will allow the most visibility for the tom and myself. 
I can't stress the importance of safety enough.  Always keep an eye out for others and be SURE of your target.  I don't use decoys on public land due to all the horror stories about "mistaken identity".  Be safe.

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RE: Placing decoys

Postby Cut N Run » March 4th, 2009, 1:19 pm

In the past, I had success by using a jake and hen, with the hen facing me about 12-15 yards in front of me usually near the edge of an opening/ taller weeds and then the jake about 5 yards beyond that also facing me.  I took a few birds with that set up, but when I had birds shy away from them, I quit using decoys.  The feeling of taking Gobblers with calls only is supreme.  I don't miss having to lug them around either.
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