It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time not too long ago when it was pretty rare to hear about a turkey hunter using decoys. Not only were the old-school foam or hard-plastic replicas a pain to carry around in the woods, their use was downright controversial—some thought them to be unsafe to use while others felt them to be an unfair advantage.

Desperately needing all the help I could get out in the spring woods, I avoided setting foot in either camp. I was all about dekes and used them every chance I could get. Back then (early ’80s), my buddies and I would talk about decoys for hours. We’d repaint them, glue on feathers and even hooked them up to push-button box calls via a length of string—all in the name of realism. Some experiments worked, but most scared the spurs off all but the most lovesick gobblers.

Thankfully, there are no such worries these days. Both hen and gobbler decoys are more lifelike than ever and are available in folding, collapsible, inflatable and generally user-friendlier configurations.

Okay, so I might be a deke freak. I admit that my hands shook just a little when I got the new Cabela’s catalog. But check out some of the awesome new turkey decoys that have been introduced. Have you seen any awesome new decoys for this spring? We’d love to know.

—Gerry Bethge

1. Flambeau’s King Strut is made from heavy-duty foam and comes with a realistic fan or (and here’s the part I really like) you can easily attach a cured fan of your own as shown here.Flambeaukingstrut

2. Leave it to Will Primos to provide us with “The Truth” in turkey decoys. The Swingin’ Hen can be deployed or stored in an instant and the lightest wind results in realistic head motion. Primosswinginhen

3. The DSD Hen Decoy from Dave Smith decoys just might be the most realistic-looking turkey hen deke I’ve ever seen—at least in photos. It might look like a stuffer deke, but it isn’t and it also isn’t bargain-basement cheap at $119.95. But I’m sold. This puppy is awesome looking. Davesmithdecoys

4. Here’s another fake that I’m going to fool with this spring. Why? Years ago, someone gave me the first generation turkey fan mount. I never had much luck with it, but that’s only because I didn’t use very much—it looked awful. I like the Hunter’s Edge Transfan Decoy a bunch more. Transfandecoy

5. Check this one out—A-Way Hunting’s Turkey Skinz is basically a slip-on turkey suit for your collapsible decoy. You can almost own a stuffer without the price.Turkeyskinz