Well it has officially started! I heard my first turkey of the year gobble yesterday. I was out working at about 9am when a crow called and just a few seconds after that I heard that sweet music to my ears. They gobbled two or three more times before I headed out. On my way I saw three jakes cruising around by themselves. We had a break in rain for a few days and yesterday it was beautiful after the fog cleared, but with the rain and cold coming back in it should put a stop to the gobbling for a little while, hopefully. I hope they hold off for several more weeks so it won’t be like last year where they were doing their thing before the season started.
I have been getting a lot of questions lately on what kind of decoy I like the best, and when and how do I set them up. For the first week of the season I try to take a bird with my bow every year and the use of a decoy is the best way to make that happen. I love to use the Peepin’ Tom strutting tom decoy with the Pretty Penny submissive hen. I like this decoy better than the others because I use it as a mature bird early in the season and then later in the year it can be easily converted into a jake. That is a big advantage when the subordinate bird gets leery of a dominant bird later in the year. The Peepin’ Tom is also the most realistic of all of the other models that I have checked out. The Pretty Penny hen decoy that comes with the combo kit can be placed on the ground in the submissive position or it comes with a stake and it can be placed out in the feeding position.
I have had some success with the Peepin’ Tom while using it in the woods, but the best way I have found to use it is in open areas. When using it in food plots and fields get it out in the open where it can be seen from all areas of the field or food plot that you are hunting. If the birds can’t see the decoy it won’t be able to do its job. I normally set it out in the field that I am hunting before daylight so when the birds fly down they will be able to see the decoys. If the birds don’t head my direction and leave the field, I then will take the hen decoy and try to get in front of the birds once I figure out which way they are headed. That is the good thing about this pairs of decoys is that they do everything you need them to whether you are set up in a blind with a bow or running and gunning with a shotgun.
Turkey decoys help a lot when trying to get birds in range, but a hunter still needs to know the terrain of the property they are hunting. Also knowing where the birds normally roost and where they go to feed is a must. When you combine preparation, scouting, calling and the use of decoys it can be a deadly combination.