SHARE

Turkey decoys have changed turkey hunting forever. Under the right circumstances, a turkey decoy can literally bring birds running. You can use a decoy to position a bird in a particular place or for a close shot, which is especially important if you’re using a bow or guiding a new hunter. Knowing how and when to use a decoy, and knowing which types to use, boosts your chances in the woods. There are turkey decoys for every situation, every style of hunting, and every budget. You can buy super-realistic hunting decoys as well as collapsible, featherweight models that stuff easily into a vest pocket.

Best Turkey Decoy Pair: Primos Gobbstopper Combo

Best Full Strut Decoy: Avian X HDR Full Body Strutter Decoy

Best Reaping Turkey Decoy: Mojo Shoot-N-Scoot Max

Best Turkey Decoys for Hunting from a Blind: Dave Smith Decoys Turkey Flock

Best Cheap Turkey Decoys: RedHead Foam Turkey Decoy 3-pack

Shopping Tips for Finding the Best Turkey Decoy

Decoys are an essential piece turkey hunting equipment, but to get the most out of them, you have to choose wisely. It’s not enough just to put out any decoy and expect a gobbler to run to it. Decoys speak silently to toms and hens, because turkeys communicate through body language as well as through vocalizations. The pecking orders among toms and among hens change constantly, and turkeys are quick to notice another bird’s posture and attitude. The sight of a new turkey in a challenging or a submissive pose can prove irresistible, drawing birds close. A decoy can also make a bird shy away if it’s not in a confrontational mood.

Decoy makers have you covered. You can choose among hens, jakes, and gobblers in a variety of postures. They have also made decoys more realistic than ever before. While that realism isn’t always necessary, it can give you an edge with wary birds.

How you hunt plays into your choice of decoys as well. A mobile hunter wants light, packable decoys, whereas a bowhunter using a hunting blind might prefer the utmost in realism without any concern about bulk and weight.

Do you want to hunt with a pair of turkey decoys?

Two decoys are more to carry, but they are great for attracting birds. While it’s always dangerous to generalize, the decoy set up of a jake and a hen will prove most effective throughout the season. Seeing a jake with a hen will provoke most gobblers, because they will want to drive the jake away from their territory. They will approach the jake decoy, display to intimidate it, and sometimes attack it.

Best Turkey Decoy Pair: Primos Gobbstopper Combo

Tantalizing Tag Team

Well-detailed and affordable, this pair of decoys will see you all the way through the season. Primos

Check Price

The Gobbstopper combo consists of a jake decoy in quarter strut and a submissive hen decoy in breeding position. Lightweight and semi-collapsible, these plastic decoys aren’t a burden even if you walk long miles during a morning. They look good and come with a mesh carrying bag and stakes.

Do you want a turkey decoy to attract the boss tom?

The presence of an unknown gobbler strutting in a tom’s territory always provokes a reaction. A full strut gobbler decoy will bring an aggressive, dominant bird running, but may intimidate sub-dominant birds. Most full strut decoys come with beard, wings, and fans, but let you substitute the real things from a turkey that you bagged for added realism.

Best Full Strut Turkey Decoy: Avian X HDR Full Body Strutter Decoy

Versatile realism

Flocked and iridescent feathers make this full strut decoy look real. Avian-X

Check Price

Realistic right down to its spurs, this full strut decoy looks real. It also comes with interchangeable red and white heads to show differing levels of aggression, and a tail that can be set up as a full gobbler fan or a less-intimidating jake fan.

Are You “Reaping” Your Turkey?

Reaping, the tactic of crawling behind a full-strut decoy to challenge toms in open fields, is best done with a specialized decoy. It not only has to look like a strutting gobbler from the front, it needs a handle of some kind to make it easy to maneuver when you have a gun in one hand and the decoy in the other. Most reaping decoys can also be set up to use as stationary full strut decoys, too, although they are not as realistic as a full-body decoy.

Best Reaping Turkey Decoy: Mojo Shoot-N-Scoot Max

Mobile aggression

A handle, wings spread wide to hide you, and a window make this a user-friendly reaping decoy. MOJO Outdoors

Check Price

The Shoot-N-Scoot Max features a fan with a mesh window in the center so you can keep an eye on the birds as you sneak close. Removable blaze orange tabs on the wings help keep you safe, and you can replace the included wings with real ones.

Will you be hunting from a blind?

Hunting from a blind is one of the best ways to shoot a tom, especially if you are using archery gear. Since you won’t be moving, you can bring the most realistic decoys and as many as you want to attract birds, hold them close to the blind for a good shot, and distract them so you can draw a bow.

Best Turkey Decoys for Hunting from a Blind: Dave Smith Decoys Turkey Flock

The Gang’s All Here

This realistic mini-flock is perfect for setting up outside your shooting window. Dave Smith Decoys

Check Price

A jake in ¾ strut and three hens, including one crouching to be bred, should provoke territorial jealousy in any tom. Lifelike detail and accurate paint schemes make these decoys look real, while tough elastomer material handles any abuse, including stray pellets.

Best Budget Turkey Decoys: What You Get for Under $30

Are you on a budget? Collapsible turkey decoys made of foam were among the first to become popular among hunters, and they are still a great choice for hunters on a budget and for any run and gun hunter that wants the ultimate in portable decoys. What you give up in realism you get back in lightweight, packable portability. And, while realism always attracts hunters, it’s not always necessary for attracting turkeys.

Best Cheap Turkey Decoys: RedHead Foam Turkey Decoy 3-pack

Cheap turkey decoys

You get one upright hen, a lookback hen, and a relaxed jake. RedHead

Check Price

Roll these up, pack them in your vest, and you’ll forget you’re carrying these featherlight foam turkeys until you need them. One jake and two hens gives you plenty of turkey-attracting power at less than the price of a single plastic decoy. The foam holds paint surprisingly well, too.

FAQs

Q: How do you set up turkey decoys?

Turkey decoys work best in the open, where birds can see them. If you are using a strutter or jake decoy, put it exactly where you want to take the shot, because a gobbler will approach such a decoy or even attack it. Gun hunters should set decoys at 20 yards or so. Bowhunters should set them within ten yards of their blind.

Q: Do decoys scare turkeys?

Decoys can scare turkeys, because not every turkey wants to confront another bird. Strutter decoys can attract boss toms, but intimidate other gobblers. Late in the year, some toms don’t even want to fight jakes anymore. At the end of the season, you’ll often have better luck with a single hen decoy.

Q: What do you need for turkey hunting?

You can enjoy turkey hunting without much gear. One or two calls, one or two decoys and a vest to pack them in is all you need for hunting gear. Camo clothing including a facemask helps you hide. If you plan to bowhunt or want to sit in one place, a popup blind and chair will keep you dry and hidden.

The Takeaway on Finding the Best Turkey Decoys for You

The best turkey decoys depend on your hunting style, but it’s hard to go wrong with a jake and hen setup. Realism is the trend these days, and it helps with wary birds, but price and portability can be important concerns, too.

MORE TO READ