Posted by Jim Schlender, Editor
The 2002 turkey season was my first as editor of Turkey & Turkey Hunting. Hen decoys had been in use for quite some time, and a few jake decoys were on the market, but I had never even heard of anyone using a gobbler decoy. Today, every decoy manufacturer offers a gobbler model, and the trend has brought several new players into the market. Love ’em or hate ’em, gobbler decoys are here to stay.
In Florida in 2006 I shot a gobbler that was charging my Montana Decoy full strut silhouette decoy. The next day I shot another bird with the help of Michael Waddell’s “Road Trips Ralph” fake. But I’ve also seen toms spook at the sight of a full-strut deke. Then again, I’ve seen them spook at the sight of a hen decoy too, so it seems there are no guarantees.
Here are just a few of the gobbler decoys and accessories I saw at the NWTF convention in Atlanta in February.
The Spin-N-Strut decoy, displayed here by Ken Davis, imitates a bold jake. You can flip the tail up and down like a turkey popping in and out of strut, and the special stake system allows the decoy to rotate like a real displaying tom.
Ashley McPherson, daughter of Montana Decoys founder Jerry McPherson, shows off the company’s full strut silhouette, one of the first gobbler decoys on the market.
Tad Brown, product development manager for Flambeau, displays the new King Strut decoy. This one allows you to insert a real tail fan, wings and beard for extra realism.
Ol’ Tom, best known for its tactical turkey clothing, has also joined the gobbler decoy market with its Casanova full strut gobbler, shown here by Ol’ Tom’s marketing manager Clay White.
Brad Farris and his daughter Morgan of Team Primos sold a lot of B-Mobile gobbler decoys and She-Mobile decoys at the show. They are pictured here with the decoys and the new Primos Double Bull Dark Horse blind in the background.
Every new product spawns accessories. Chuck Younke, looking for a safe and convenient way to carry his gobbler decoy’s tail fan, came up with the Turkey Tail Saver.