Know-How: Move and Shake That Deke!

by
posted on April 20, 2017
kh_move_shake_deke_f.jpg

Desperation oftentimes drives innovation. Years ago when several savvy gobblers gave my static decoy the cold shoulder, it incentivized me to tie a stout string to the deke so I could give it a tug from my hide. That slight movement, combined with my amateurish calls, later sealed the fate for a gobbler during that long-ago season. Today I incorporate decoy movement whenever possible for convincing setups. The safest and simplest way to add movement is to rely on Mother Nature, but if there’s no wind for your sail then it’s time to innovate.

String ’Em Up
String movement is affordable, easy and effective. Whether you opt for heavy monofilament fishing line or high-tensile string, secure one end to the decoy and unravel a length back to your ambush site. Male decoy action excels when the deke faces away and spins toward an approaching tom. For hen decoys, just simple bobs create the illusion of feeding.

Ground-blind hunters have a hidden advantage when tugging a string. If you set up against a tree you’ll have to minimize arm movement, but by the time a gobbler arrives it will be focused on the decoy and not your camouflaged form in the background.

Several companies make string accessories. The Decoy Sled includes a frame for your decoy that moves it toward you on the attached string. Timothy Creek’s Spin-N-Strut decoy (also offered by MAD) is designed to rotate when the string is tugged and to raise its tail feathers for a dominant challenge. The Avian-X Lifeline 360 portable pulley system works on many decoys to mimic faceoff movement.

Push Their Buttons
If you go electric, expect to spend a good bit more than for a spool of fishing line. You also need to research state regulations to determine if the use of mechanical or electronic decoys is legal during turkey season. For instance, Alabama does not allow such decoys.

If you get the green light, the standout choice is Mojo’s Shake’N Jake. Electronics cause the decoy to raise its tail while simultaneously turning its body. A remote allows you to activate movement from up to 150 feet away.

Companies like Custom Robotic Wildlife take it to the next level with mounted game animals integrated with robotic mechanisms. This is the same technology conservation officers use in sting setups to catch poachers. Sit down because these decoys cost as much as a high-end shotgun.

Hit the dirt Consider the strategy of fanning a gobbler. Take your pick from the dozen or more companies now producing turkey-fan decoys that operate in umbrella fashion, mount to your shotgun and even include the head of a strutting tom. You can also dry your own fan and attach it to a stick. Locate a gobbler and begin crawling toward the bird with the fan concealing your form. It’s deadly.

For more than two decades I’ve hit the dirt prone and put decoys on my hand for a turkey-targeted puppet trick. By slowly rotating the decoy and mimicking feeding I’ve been able to draw toms in close, or even inch closer. One memorable hunt involved a gobbler that nearly walked over my daughter before she sent it to the grill.

Latest

Winchester 6.8 Western Copper Impact Ammo Lead
Winchester 6.8 Western Copper Impact Ammo Lead

First Look: Winchester 6.8 Western Copper Impact Ammo

Winchester’s new 6.8 Western 162-grain solid copper load sports their Copper Impact bullet, boasting a muzzle velocity of 2875 fps. It shoots accurately, hits hard and penetrates deeply.

Indiana Artist Wins California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest

A painting of mountain quail has been chosen by a panel of judges as the winning entry in the 2021-2022 California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest. The painting was created by Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Indiana.

First Look: FORLOH Hunting Apparel

FORLOH is on a mission to design, source and manufacture world-class hunting apparel right here in the USA. Engineered with a ‘no concessions’ approach, every piece of gear is backed by a lifetime guarantee. 

New for 2022: Savage 110 Magpul Hunter

A hybrid hunting/target rifle, the newest Savage 110 translates deadly range accuracy into notched tags and a full freezer.

Oregon: ODFW announces 2023 annual wildlife art contest

The winning artist in each contest receives a $2,000 award and winning artwork is used to produce collector's stamps and other promotional items with sale proceeds benefitting Oregon's fish, wildlife and their habitats.

Primos Releases New Trigger Stick Gun Mounted Bipods

Primos hunting has announced its new line of Trigger Stick Gun Mounted Bipods, which come in short, medium and tall heights.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.