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Secret Turkey Hunting Weapon: The $300 "Decoy"

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May 24, 2011

Secret Turkey Hunting Weapon: The $300 "Decoy"

By Phil Bourjaily

When I was in Texas in April, my friend Chris Paradise of Mossy Oak he showed me his secret weapon. This has to be the ultimate strutter decoy, as it’s made from a real gobbler he shot and had mounted. Obviously this is not a decoy I would set up in my home public turkey woods, but Paradise uses this it on secure private land. It’s very light, and as you can sort of see in the picture, the feathers move naturally in the wind. Real feathers have a sheen that no plastic or vinyl decoy can match.

Gobblers attack this decoy and it is kind of fragile. Therefore if you hunt with Chris you have to follow one rule: the shooter has the decoy’s back. There is no sitting and watching the show when a gobbler comes in looking to fight. You pull the trigger before the tom starts pecking, spurring and beating on the stuffer so it can survive to fool another turkey on another day.

Comments (18)

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from jjas wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I've seen these before. But $300.00 for a decoy to tear up dragging it in and out of the woods and shooting over...

Nope.....

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from 2Poppa wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

It would be hard not to sit and watch all of the action taking place! My buddy did the same thing and it is a testament to "The Real McCoy," "decoy."

The story says "ultimate strutter decoy," is it mechanized Phil?

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from pete5645 wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I've hunted over one of these a number of times and it works like a charm.

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from NorCal Cazadora wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

That's awesome! I've met a goose guide/taxidermist here in Northern California who puts a bunch of mounted snow geese in the field. I suppose if you can do your own taxidermy, it wouldn't cause you too much heartburn.

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from shane wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Almost makes it too easy.

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from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

No thanks!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bellringer wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Sorta seems like cheating, but I would like to see the show when a boss tom comes in.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Makes sense to me. Perhaps judiciously adding a few turkey feathers to a decoy will give it a more appealing look.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from z41 wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

What ever happened to just hunting? No decoys, no blind, no special turkey gun or shells. You do you own calling and shooting? Just old fashioned get up early, go into the woods to watch the world wake up? You and the turkeys?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

To Z41,

Nah, never happen anymore. We all need hi-tech materials, hand-made guns, electronics, trail cameras, night vision, computer guided bullets/arrows (in case you can't hit anything because you can't shoot worth a darn)a spy-in-the-sky satellite to tell us where we and the the game are exactly, and finally someone to clean, dress, pack and eventually cook our hard-gotten game!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from oldgene wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Had the same problem this spring couldn't let the tom attack the jake decoy, of coarse the decoy was an inflatable that was purchased as a group of three for $12.

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from MReeder wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Re. a couple of other comments, I don't see how it's "not hunting" to make use of a decoy. Follow that to its logical conclusion and it's not hunting unless you chase one down in an open field, leap on it as it takes flight and strangle it. Decoys have been around as long as there have been hunters and turkeys. Indians used to use them, too, just as they made waterfowl decoys out of mud and a few feathers and the ducks they had already killed. I've hunted with decoys and without them and you're going to do a lot better with them. It gives the bird visual confirmation of what it's hearing and draws attention away from the source of the sound, which is you. Even with good calling and proper use of decoys you're only going to succeed 10 to 20 percent of the time most places you hunt, and not much more than 50% of the time hunting turkey nirvana. Do you have to fail 100% of the time to make it sporting?
As for the mounted tom, I'm not sure it would be as effective or any more effective than a good artificial decoy, esp. one with a moving tail, and it would be a genuine pain in the rear to tote around. It would also be nearly useless in the rain, and it rains a lot in the spring turkey woods. I also think you have to be a little judicious in the use of tom decoys. Sometimes they bring in a territorial gobbler, and sometimes they frighten one away. I usually go with a couple of hen decoys, then deploy a jake decoy if the hens don't seem to be doing the trick.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

MReeder is right. There is nothing unsportsmanlike about using decoys, and the more lifelike the better.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

i use decoys but i don't go over the top in how much i pay for them. the basics work for me. this one is a little over the top for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

To each his own. I personally am not much on decoys but I am slowly being won over. The limited (very) experience I have with decoys is that a strutter works best in the early season when toms may still be trying to establish pecking order and up pops a new guy. The two gobblers that have fallen to us while using B-mobile provided some very interesting hunts. As far as using a full body stuffer, well, that does not match my style of hunting, way too big of a pain to transport. In the deep south, good woodsmanship skills and knowing the land contribute more to the equation than decoys and calling.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BMCummins26 wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

I couldn't see any justified reason in paying $300 for a turkey decoy or any decoy for that matter. I pay $75 for a Pretty Boy decoy and was terribly disappointed as it seemed to scare turkeys off instead of making them come charging in as the instructional video showed lol.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ga hunter wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

$300 for a decoy? I think ill save my money and buy some new camo. Thats a pretty good idea though! must be heavy also

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kwackr wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

It's not a matter of hunting with decoys making the hunt any less challenging or unethical, it's that using decoys will only teach you how to hunt turkeys with decoys instead of how to hunt turkeys. the latter brings much more satisfaction and enjoyment in its simplicity. i can't imagine toting that beach ball around the turkey woods every morning! good luck!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from NorCal Cazadora wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

That's awesome! I've met a goose guide/taxidermist here in Northern California who puts a bunch of mounted snow geese in the field. I suppose if you can do your own taxidermy, it wouldn't cause you too much heartburn.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

No thanks!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bellringer wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Sorta seems like cheating, but I would like to see the show when a boss tom comes in.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Makes sense to me. Perhaps judiciously adding a few turkey feathers to a decoy will give it a more appealing look.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

To Z41,

Nah, never happen anymore. We all need hi-tech materials, hand-made guns, electronics, trail cameras, night vision, computer guided bullets/arrows (in case you can't hit anything because you can't shoot worth a darn)a spy-in-the-sky satellite to tell us where we and the the game are exactly, and finally someone to clean, dress, pack and eventually cook our hard-gotten game!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Re. a couple of other comments, I don't see how it's "not hunting" to make use of a decoy. Follow that to its logical conclusion and it's not hunting unless you chase one down in an open field, leap on it as it takes flight and strangle it. Decoys have been around as long as there have been hunters and turkeys. Indians used to use them, too, just as they made waterfowl decoys out of mud and a few feathers and the ducks they had already killed. I've hunted with decoys and without them and you're going to do a lot better with them. It gives the bird visual confirmation of what it's hearing and draws attention away from the source of the sound, which is you. Even with good calling and proper use of decoys you're only going to succeed 10 to 20 percent of the time most places you hunt, and not much more than 50% of the time hunting turkey nirvana. Do you have to fail 100% of the time to make it sporting?
As for the mounted tom, I'm not sure it would be as effective or any more effective than a good artificial decoy, esp. one with a moving tail, and it would be a genuine pain in the rear to tote around. It would also be nearly useless in the rain, and it rains a lot in the spring turkey woods. I also think you have to be a little judicious in the use of tom decoys. Sometimes they bring in a territorial gobbler, and sometimes they frighten one away. I usually go with a couple of hen decoys, then deploy a jake decoy if the hens don't seem to be doing the trick.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I've seen these before. But $300.00 for a decoy to tear up dragging it in and out of the woods and shooting over...

Nope.....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

It would be hard not to sit and watch all of the action taking place! My buddy did the same thing and it is a testament to "The Real McCoy," "decoy."

The story says "ultimate strutter decoy," is it mechanized Phil?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pete5645 wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I've hunted over one of these a number of times and it works like a charm.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Almost makes it too easy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from z41 wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

What ever happened to just hunting? No decoys, no blind, no special turkey gun or shells. You do you own calling and shooting? Just old fashioned get up early, go into the woods to watch the world wake up? You and the turkeys?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from oldgene wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Had the same problem this spring couldn't let the tom attack the jake decoy, of coarse the decoy was an inflatable that was purchased as a group of three for $12.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

MReeder is right. There is nothing unsportsmanlike about using decoys, and the more lifelike the better.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

i use decoys but i don't go over the top in how much i pay for them. the basics work for me. this one is a little over the top for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

To each his own. I personally am not much on decoys but I am slowly being won over. The limited (very) experience I have with decoys is that a strutter works best in the early season when toms may still be trying to establish pecking order and up pops a new guy. The two gobblers that have fallen to us while using B-mobile provided some very interesting hunts. As far as using a full body stuffer, well, that does not match my style of hunting, way too big of a pain to transport. In the deep south, good woodsmanship skills and knowing the land contribute more to the equation than decoys and calling.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BMCummins26 wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

I couldn't see any justified reason in paying $300 for a turkey decoy or any decoy for that matter. I pay $75 for a Pretty Boy decoy and was terribly disappointed as it seemed to scare turkeys off instead of making them come charging in as the instructional video showed lol.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ga hunter wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

$300 for a decoy? I think ill save my money and buy some new camo. Thats a pretty good idea though! must be heavy also

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kwackr wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

It's not a matter of hunting with decoys making the hunt any less challenging or unethical, it's that using decoys will only teach you how to hunt turkeys with decoys instead of how to hunt turkeys. the latter brings much more satisfaction and enjoyment in its simplicity. i can't imagine toting that beach ball around the turkey woods every morning! good luck!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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