Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Evolution Of Turkey Decoys

© By Othmar Vohringer

When I started turkey hunting some 20 years ago, we had few decoy options available to use that were easy portable and realistic. Today turkey decoys are offered in a vast variety of materials and configurations to suit any hunters need and wants. Some of the decoy models are so lifelike your heart would skip a beat each time you look at it in the field. The available decoys range from the regular resting hen, attentive hen and Jake we had back then to a large variety of decoys depicting every imaginable situation, including decoys with adjustable heads to mimic just about every position a real bird could take. While the first decoys where painted in simple colors that resembled somewhat the real colors we now have decoys that are, right down to every feather, realistically painted with iridescent paint. You even can purchase decoys that are colored to mimic a specific sub-species of turkeys.

My choice of turkey decoys have to be easy to transport, meaning, they are collapsible and be stuffed into a pocket of my turkey hunting vest without taking up much space. I also look for quality materials that are not likely to crack, like some of the older models did, or had paint jobs that easily chipped off.

Here are some of the current decoys on the market that hunters can use to fool gobblers and fit my criteria of a quality decoy.

The Lifelike Collapsible Decoy (LCD) line of turkey decoys with incredible natural feather detailing and many true-to –life body postures it hard to tell the decoy from the real birds.

Crafted from Dura-Rubber the decoy folds tightly and springs back to its original form. A unique stake design that is 24-inch high assures that the decoy stands higher and better visible to approach birds while at the same time allows for natural decoy movement without the unnatural spinning in the wind common some other decoy models. Avian-X decoys sell at over 100 Dollars which makes them a little pricy but in my opinion are worth every bit of the price for the avid turkey hunter.

For more information visit Avian-X Turkey Decoys.

Montana Decoys
Montana Decoys have been a favorite of mine for many. I started with their photo-realistic deer decoys and then began to use their turkey decoys too. What I particularly like about the Montana decoys that they are photos of actual animals, in this case turkeys, which are printed life-size onto a lightweight fabric. The spring wire frame lets you fold the decoy to such a small size that it will fit into a small pocket on your parka or pants. To give the decoy more realism Montana Decoys added feather cut fabric to the decoy that provides just the right amount of movement and 3-D realism.

The Montana Miss Purr-Fect™ 3-D Hen Decoy features PERFECT POSE TECHNOLOGY™ so you can match the pose of the decoy to the situation. Choosing one of two leg pole slots will change the position of the hen decoy to a feeding pose or looker pose. The head position of the turkey decoy can also be fine-tuned as its wire construction allows hunters to change the heads pose. I like to use these decoys by themselves or in conjunctions with other decoys to set up a flock of decoys.
With a suggested price tag of just under 50 Dollars every hunter can afford to purchase several decoys without breaking the bank.

To see the variety of turkey decoys Montana Decoys has on offer visit their website.

Flambeau Decoys
One of the first folding turkey decoy set I purchased was the Flambeau Master Series™ Breeding Flock™ set and I still use these decoys to this day in my decoy arsenal. The Master Series set includes an intruder Jake, attentive hen and feeding hen. With these three decoys you can create a decoy spread that is not likely ignored by approach toms. If you use the feeding hen and the Jake decoy you can perfectly mimic a breeding scene that will get every boss gobbler fired up with rage and anger.

The body shell of the decoy is made of soft rubber foam that won’t crack or tear even after years of relentless use. The decoy heads are crafted with molds form real turkeys for realistic impact. A unique stake system will make sure that these extremely lightweight decoys don’t move too much, or spin, even in high winds. At a suggested retail price for just under 100 Dollars for the set this is a very affordable starting kit for the beginning turkey hunter.

For more information on Flambeau decoys and other turkey hunting products visit their website.

Turkey Decoy Tip:
Most turkey decoys come with plastic stakes that can be difficult, or even break, when you try to push them into compacted or rocky soil. Many decoy manufacturers offer metal stakes for their decoys and it is well worth the extra cost. If you have basic welding skills, or know someone that can weld, you can make decoy stakes from metal rods very easily yourself at a fraction of the cost.

1 comment:

Jack Manton said...

Hi Othmar,

Very insightful post. I am fairly new to hunting and to be honest, most of the information in your article was entirely new to me. I found it amazing the level of detail that is available. For example, the Montana Decoys, being able to position it in a feeding or looker pose is something I never knew was possible.

Would these be beneficial at night? I have been doing most of my hunting so far in the evening or at night on weekends. I recently learned about night vision and the benefits it provides in terms of hunting. I recently purchased a new pair of night vision binoculars from Night Vision Experts, which has completely changed my view. Here is a link if you were interested: . Would these decoys be useful at night or is it mostly for during the day time?

Do you find that evening or day time hunting is easier? Would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Happy hunting and thanks for the post, I look forward to reading more in the future.

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