Last summer, Justin, my 7 year old, fabricated a gobbler out of an old hen decoy, sharpie marker, turkey fan and beard and shot his own hunting video in our backyard. Jump ahead to the first week of Wisconsin's turkey season. Spent Weds. evening watching the local boss Tom chase off another gobbler and two jakes while ignoring our jake and hen decoys. Reading "Deadly Dekes" on the T&TH website convinced me to at least carry Justin's gobbler decoy with us the rest of the week but couldn't quite convince myself to put it out. Saturday evening we set up at 5:00 P.M. and by 5:15 had two gobblers, a couple jakes and several hens feeding in the corn stubble in front of us. At 7:00 the birds were still in the field but never came closer than 75 yards and pretty much ignored us. I finally had an opportunity to belly crawl and get the gobbler deke set up about 5 yards in front our blind. The first gobbler was well over 100 yards out when he saw our decoy and started heading our way in full strut. A second gobbler came over the hill and we suddenly had two Toms racing our way. Shot the first one to get within 25 yards right over the top of the decoy. Check out the photo of the decoy. He isn't as pretty as the ones in the articles but he worked. I will be adding a gobbler deke to my arsenal before next season. Justin will be happy to send anyone instructions on how to build your own gobbler.
My buddy here in Ohio did the same thing and had the same outcome. He put a fan and side wings on a small upright Jake deke and it looks like a rat! He had a bird come out and saw his "deke" at 150 yds, he said he came in so fast he hardly had time to get on him as he was turned toward bird and not his dekes. I think the Pretty Boy strutter is sometimes just too big and intimidating that unless he is the boss(and sometimes not even that) they don't want to mess. I had 3 big toms walk the other way at 100 yds from my pretty boy first week of the season. I may have to use my buddy's rat -- I mean "deke" before the season is out yet. Good Hunting Mike