First Decoy, Hen or Gobbler?

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting' started by chieffan, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. chieffan

    chieffan Weekend Warrior

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    First shot at turkey hunting with a crossbow this spring. Looking at getting a decoy. For the first one which would be the best choice, hen or gobbler? Several on sale now but mostly hens.
     
  2. Excalibur

    Excalibur Weekend Warrior

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    This was a question I had to. Talked to some local Turkey hunters and they told me to get a hen if I could only get one as I'm imitating a hen when calling. Made sense to me.

    Your friendly neighborhood Bow Hunter
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  3. chieffan

    chieffan Weekend Warrior

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    Never thought of it that way but makes sense to me too. Thanks.
     
  4. tdk5525

    tdk5525 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    If you're only going to go with one, start with a hen.

    There are times when tom decoys will out perform jake decoys and vice versa. Depending on the set up, you may not even need a decoy.

    LEARN HOW TO CALL! If you're new, get a three pack of mouth calls and see what one you like the most. For beginners, a good slate call is a good place to start. Box calls can be an easy place to start also. Find what you're most comfortable with and practice. What some hunting program...pause it...imitate it, imitate it...practice...practice. Learn to cut, purr and yelp. Learn when to do which call.
     
  5. Hillbilly Jedi

    Hillbilly Jedi Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Hen for sure. Spring is breeding time and basically the toms just follow the hens around or are roaming looking for hens ready to breed.
     
  6. chieffan

    chieffan Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks a lot guy. Appreciate all the good information from seasoned hunters. I have 3 calls now. An 8-Ball box call, a tube Gobbler and a Primos slate call. I have audio recorded a couple basic/learning turkey call videos. Also have a cd & DVD on the way about turkey calling. Been practicing with the box call a lot and working some on the slate call. Have a month and a half before the season opens so hopefully I will have some fun turkey hunting. Using a cross bow as I can now legally do it now.
     
  7. DEC

    DEC Weekend Warrior

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    I am going to go against the crowd on this one.

    If you told me that I could take one and only one decoy to hunt then I would choose a DSD Jake every single time. It is the decoy that flat works and the one that the Tom's come right to.

    Buy a quality Jake decoy.
     
  8. BigDaddy

    BigDaddy Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I just watched a Facebook live thing the other night about this. Cant think of the guys name, but he was someone who knew his stuff. He said over and over that if you can only use one decoy, it should be a jake.
     
  9. happyhunter

    happyhunter Weekend Warrior

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    If I could only choose one it would be a small strutter that accepts a real fan. Interchange a Jake or Tom fan as situation demands.


    Sent from my iPhone using Bowhunting.com Forums
     
  10. Invisible man

    Invisible man Weekend Warrior

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    I don't understand why you can only have one. But you will get more draw back opportunities with a Jake. But since your not archery hunting I doubt it will matter. Pull out your credit card and order both.
     
  11. chieffan

    chieffan Weekend Warrior

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    The reason I can only have one is that is all I can afford at this time. Not on a 6 figure income and only use the credit card to buy what I can pay for. Who said I am not archery hunting ? ? Using a crossbow or don't that count as archery in your eyes?
     
  12. Shocker99

    Shocker99 Grizzled Veteran

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  13. tdk5525

    tdk5525 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    There are times in a season that toms will flat out avoid jakes...it happened to me last year.

    There is never a time toms don't want a piece of hen...hence my vote for hen.
     
  14. happyhunter

    happyhunter Weekend Warrior

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    I only hunt in Kentucky, so I don't know about other states or sub-species. But you setup in April with a hen in the same field with me and I have a strutter with a jake fan, I'll kill more birds than you by at least 3-1. In the first half of the season, a tom would rather fight than breed.

    Disclaimer, jakes don't count, lol. Like a 16 year old, they're going to the girl....
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  15. Trevor TFO

    Trevor TFO Weekend Warrior

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    If I could only bring one decoy with me in the early parts of the season I'd bring a jake decoy for sure. You're gonna be calling as the hen, that tom sees the jake sitting over in the area that you are are calling from, he's gonna haul *** to come in there and whoop that jake. Early in the season is when birds are sorting out dominance and looking for fights. If it is later in the season I'd bring a hen with. Later in the season some toms have already gotten beaten up pretty good by other toms or a group of jakes so I'd go with a lone hen in that situation.

    I know you already stated that you can only afford one right now but if I were you I'd try to get two, a hen and a jake. They don't have to be anything real fancy, even the foam ones do the trick sometimes. Good luck this year.
     
  16. Dubbya

    Dubbya Moderator

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    No doubt in mind, I'd take a jake strutter. I've had lots and lots of birds walk by hen decoys. In the turkey world, generally if there is a bird strutting, he's doing it for a reason, because there is someone in the area to impress. Even if there isn't you get lots of looks from tom's that don't know there isn't anything around. Sound like a hen, and show them that someone is already interested.
     
  17. TheHardWoods913

    TheHardWoods913 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    jake here as well if I could only bring one with me
     

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