So what exactly is turkey reaping? Well, if you don’t know, you’re not alone. I had to Google it. What I found raised my excitement to a level I didn’t think existed on my turkey-hunting spectrum.
Turkey reaping is the art of concealing yourself behind a decoy and crawling to the bird, rather than trying to get a big tom to come to you. The theory behind it assumes that a mature gobbler will react with aggression toward any unfamiliar gobbler in his space. And while it may look strange to you, the turkeys will be focused on the fan of the intruder, not the human mass behind it. The goal is to get close, real close, as in you might as well reach out and touch them close. With the decoy blocking his face and body, a hunter can literally walk and/or crawl right up to a flock without causing them to spook.
The Scoot & Shoot turkey decoy form Mojo Outdoors was designed with the reaper in mind. It’s what I would call a semi-full-body gobbler decoy, the turkey equivalent of a shoulder mount, if you will. As a stand-alone decoy, it’s fantastic. It's ultra-detailed with vibrant colors sure to make a tom crazy. But when used as a reaper decoy, the stake becomes a handle and the large fan—which looks real enough to ruffle the feathers of even the wariest toms—acts as a focal point for suspicious birds and gives you a place from which to peak your head.
On the box it reads: "WARNING—Do Not use on public land, leases, or anywhere other hunters might be present and could mistake you for a real turkey."
While I initially chuckled at this seemingly unnecessary warning, the reality of it eventually hit me, so the hunter orange safety strips Mojo Outdoors placed on the outstretched wings of the Scoot & Shoot turkey decoy are a welcome sight.
My new goal for the spring: Test out the Scoot & Shoot and be ready to “reap” the rewards.
Still doubting? Take a cue from Jeremiah Johnson and know that turkeys are no smarter than elk.
Jeremiah Johnson: Wind's right, but he'll just run soon as we step out of these trees.
Bear Claw: Trick to it. Walk out on this side of your horse.
Jeremiah Johnson: What if he sees our feet?
Bear Claw: Elk don't know how many feet a horse has!