I tried using a gobbler tail fan as part of my hunting strategy for the first time last year on a limited basis,...mainly because I wanted to see for myself if it was the "magic bullet" I had been hearing that it was. My conclusion: fanning is an amazingly effective way to kill gobblers, especially dominate birds. It is not unlike using a full strut decoy,..but less cumbersome. I believe as soon as the word gets out about its effectiveness, everybody except the real "purists" will be carrying a fold-up fan in their vests.
Having hunted spring gobblers since the mid-60's, I am kind of a purist myself. I personally take the most satisfaction from killing a gobbler by using nothing but a turkey call (and shotgun) as my only "device" in hunting. However, I also like to have other options available in those cases where a gobbler is giving me fits and will not come to my calling.
Even with my semi-purist attitude, I will be carrying a gobbler tail fan with me from now on. It is that effective,...at least at this point in time where gobblers have not been subjected to the tactic long enough to figure out that approaching a tail fan being waved in the air might be dangerous to their health. It is also pretty fun to sit behind a fan and have a dominant gobbler come marching up to you in full strut, spitting and drumming, and fighting mad.
However, any hunter that decides to use this tactic should be aware that using a fan could potentially be just as dangerous to his own health as it is to any gobbler. It should be used discreetly and with a full measure of caution. I am sure there are plenty of places where nobody in his right mind should be waving a gobbler tailfan around, especially in those states where using rifles for turkey hunting is still legal.
There is no doubt in my mind that there will be an awful lot of mature, dominant gobblers that get their snoods slammed in the dirt by hunters that take up fanning in the next few years.