Hunting > Turkeys

Are High-Priced Decoys Worth it?

For folks buying full-bodied strutting tom decoys dressed to the nines the question is, who is the real turkey: the gobbler or the hunter?


Serious turkey hunters will do anything and everything they can within the law to coax a gobbler in close. Lately the hip technique has been using full-bodied strutting tom decoys dressed to the nines with a real fan, beard and sometimes even real body feathers. These decoys are selling like hotcakes, and they aren’t cheap. But the question is, who is the real turkey—the gobbler or the hunter?

I've seen hot gobblers literally attack strutter decoys, running at them from a hundred yards away to pick a fight. Man, is that exiting or what? Then it's like shooting fish in a barrel. In fact, last spring I killed more than half my gobblers—I shot seven total, so that would be four—after they came running to one of these decoys. On the flip side, I've seen gobblers shy away from these dandified fakes like they had the worst case of buffalo breath on Earth. When that happens the hunt is ruined. And it happens more often than you might think.

Oh, I still carry one with me. It has the real fan and beard and I have even modified it so that it dances enticingly in the slightest breeze. Last spring I had to ask myself, instead of the four birds I shot over the decoy and the two that walked off, would I have killed all six relying solely on my hunting skills and not the decoy?

So the question I am asking myself this spring is, do I really need a strutting decoy? They may be marketed as about as guaranteed a technique as you can buy for the turkey woods, but truth be told, too many folks buy these things thinking they will help them overcome a lack of scouting, poor calling skills and lack of hunting experience. They can certainly be a part of your hunting plan, but not a backwoods sort of government bail-out plan that magically will solve all your problems.

What do you think?

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