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Question by Timmy12. Uploaded on January 23, 2011
Hen and gobbler decoys together work, though every turkey I have ever shot has just come in to yelps. First year turkey hunting when I was eleven my pap called two toms in, standing side by side, i pulled up, shot, and killed a tree. Unfortunatly it was to heavy to haul outta the woods over my shoulder so I left it there.. feel bad lettin it go to waste. Anyhow, that was one of my first experiences with a scatter gun. Fours years of practice since then has got me three gobblers since, not to mention about 60 squirrel, 20 crows, and a couple rabbits and groundhogs. You live and learn.
Hen decoy with yelps. Gobbles tend to be a little dangerous, especially on public land. I would suggest using both hen and gobbler if you can swing it.
I use three hens and a primos B-Mobile. I call in sequences of clucks and puts and purs. When you get a tom cumming in he can hang up at anywhere between 70 to 30 yards if he decides he doesn't like your set up. When you use a pur you can get through the fear and the toughness of the tom and he will give in and come in head high. Plast him.
When you set up the decoys you need to put them into a pattern like the hens travel in. I know it sounds weird but it makes a difference. Put the hens in a triangle between 10 and 20-25 yards. Put the tom off to the right or left at about 10-15 yards. This will make the tom think he is being over thrown and will come in all puffed up and mad. If he comes in from the left he will walk through the hens in your shooting area or will go just around and come face to face with your tom decoy. The way the tom reacts is everything and using the pur to calm him down and bring him in and the decoys to reassure him you will have a successful hunt.
hen decoy mouth call
Last spring was my first turkey hunt, so my turkey hunting knowledge is limited. I think it was mostly luck, but I called in a tom on day 2 and took him home. I used two hens and a tom decoy from redhead along with a mouth call doing mostly yelps. Mostly because that's what I was best with after two weeks of practice. It just so happens that I used a similar setup as hunter described and when tom saw the decoys, he wasted no time walking toward them.
i usually just put out one hen decoy, though sometimes ill put a hen with a jake out. ive had succes with clucks and purrs going into a yelp. though sometimes i just like to go crazy and start using excited yelps with cuts thrown in, but thats only when clucks and yelps arent seeming to have any effect. i like a slate call for my clucks, purrs, and yelps. but when i start yelping and cutting i use a mouth diaphram.
if this is your first year dont get discouraged if you dont kill a turkey, in my opinion, its one of the hardest things out there to do, and there is no one thing that will always work. you just have to learn the "game". it will take you years and years of exprience to get good at knowing what USUALLY will work in certain situations. if this is your first year ill change my answer and say put out one hen decoy, this will help to not discourage jakes and smaller birds from coming in to the decoy, and it just might seal the deal for you on that first bird. dont try to do anything crazy on that call first year out there, stick with basic clucks, purrs, and yelps, and get very good at. if you know anyone thats a good or experienced turkey caller, have them call for you for the first few hunts, thats the best way to learn. and please listen when you hear hens sounding off in the woods, try to copy what they do. i hope some of this will help guide you to a spring turkey this year.
Get a copy of Tom Kelly's "A Fork in the Road". It is especially for beginning turkey hunters and comes with a DVD to supplement the book. It is entertaining and informative. I wish I'd had it when I started turkey hunting. Check Amazon.
I've used them all over the years, but anymore, I stick with a hen or 2 99% of the time. A tom isn't always looking for a fight, but in spring-time he's almost always looking for love. Plus, the tom decoys are a pain to pack around. Don't overlook the safety factor either, even on private land you can have tresspassers. I go light, that way if my morning sit doesn't pan out, I can cover ground looking for a lonely tom, and set up in a hurry if necessary. Humping around with a strutting tom decoy is something you'll probably only do once. For calls I use yelps, cuts, putts, and purrs. Once I know the tom's mood, I tailor my calling to him. If he's excited, I call excited, if he's not, I keep it quiet.
I dont use gobbler decoys because A) I hunt public land and thats asking for trouble and B)i think using a gobbler limits your appeal to birds. it can intimidate a mature bird because he may not be the dominant male and feel threatened, therefor doesnt come in. hens, jakes and certainly gobblers come into hen decoys. i employ atleast 3 hens. sense of security ( must be safe the gobbler thinks) and its like a buffet for the breeding tom. sometimes i throw in a jake to piss off a big tom. but i try not to if i think i can do without.
Hens work best
I use hens during the spring, it seems to work the best.
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