Full Version: Tom Decoy - When To Use?
Primos Cabin Chat > Primos® Cabin Chat > Turkey Hunting
Randy B
I purchased a Primos tom decoy a few seasons ago. A noted "expert" claimed at a turkey seminar that tom decoys should be "thrown out, and only use hen decoys!" He claims they will scare away other birds.... What do you hunters think? I can possibly see if you were hunting an area with mostly jakes that this could happen, but if you were in an area with big toms, the tom decoy would be an asset to bring in a nice bird!
bmobile has worked great for me for a few years now, but i did watch a satelite bird spook because of it last year. In my opinion I think they work great on the dominate birds, but once their gone I would put it away.

The Dr.

I wouldn't bother using a strutter decoy after say, the first 2 weeks of the season. By then, the birds have established a pecking order and breeding rights and won't be looking for a fight as they did back when the season was new and they weren't pressured by hunters.

I've had mixed results with strutter decoys, I've had jakes charge them in anger and jealousy and I've had lone longbeards drop strut and runh for the hills and come in on a string. Bottom line is, every turkey is different on different days. Don;t be afraid to try it, but think before you do and always use caution, especially when you know others hunters are in the area.
I've had far more birds come to it than spook. I have had tremendous success with the b-mobile and two hens as my spread. I use a feeding hen and a upright hen in the breeding position. I use a real fan but I cut the feathers to look like a jake and pull in the beard. I have had all kinds of birds come to it.

I am trying to think but I don't recall a bird every seeing it and going the other way.

I have also used it all the way from youth season to the last day and had success. A pretty memorable hunt was in 2008 on Memorial Day. We set up on some roosted birds we'd been watching. I put out the usually spread. I was sitting against the tree that the tom I shot was roosted in. At least 6 hens, 4 toms and 3 jakes all pitched down and my buddy and I doubled on two toms as they and a hen were kicking the crap out of my b-mobile.

So all I can say is try it....

Back in the spring of 09' Clark(b-mobile) brought in 3 long beards. The First one stood on top of him at 5 yards when the 5's went flying. The 2nd came from about 200 yds to fall to my wife and the 3rd fell to me when him and a jake would gobble to every call i made but kept walking away. I crept to the edge of the field and hid beind "Clark" and watched them turn 180 and came straight back. All 3 setups were with no hen dekes, only B-Mobile. The hunts took place early, mid and late season.

That was one of the best properties I have ever hunted. All three birds had spurs that were at least 1 3/8.
I have had good luck with b mobile when hunting pasture birds. But I also have seen bmobile scare 1 bird off
Eric Baker
My usual set up is B-Mobile with a full fan (usually a real fan) and one feeding hen. I place the hen at approximately 15 yards and B-Mobile around 20 yards with B-Mobile facing directly at my set up position.

With that set up I haven't had any birds spook from B-Mobile during the 5 years that I've used him, but I am certainly willing to admit there are always exceptions. Nothing works 100%. I've had jakes and longbeards run to my set up as well as take their time coming in. Occassionally I have birds slowly make their way in, especially older longbeards but usually the response and approach is pretty quick once the turkeys see B-Mobile. I like to use a feeding hen because I think that is the most natural scenario you see in the woods; usually you see a longbeard strutting along behind a feeding hen, or group of feeding hens. Its a relaxed set up and realistic. Sometimes I've seen gobblers hang back a little from the decoys but by putting the decoys within 15-20 yards of your setup even a bird that hangs back 10-20 yards is still usually within shooting distance.

I've had the best luck with B-Mobile early-mid season, with limited luck later in the season. I use this set up a lot on youth hunts as well as the limited amount of time I hunt private ground. I hunt a lot of public land in a number of states and other than youth days I personally don't like to use a strutting or adult gobbler decoy for safety reasons; thats just me. I'm overly cautious. Its sad that you have to worry about things like that but you do.

On public ground I personally have not had good luck when using hen decoys only (no gobbler decoy); in fact I usually don't even use a decoy on public ground. I have had many gobblers run from hen decoy set ups, especially here in PA. That's not to say it won't work, and I'm not discouraging anyone from using them, even strutting decoys if you practice safety and use them correctly, but I just prefer to hunt public ground without them.

Finally, late in the season if I do use decoys I will use a standing/alert jake and a feeding hen, even on public ground. I have had good luck with that set up for older birds. The strutting decoy has not worked well for me late in the season; it doesn't scare them but they don't seem interested in it. The jake with the feeding hen again sends a realistic scenario because if a longbeard were to approach a jake with a hen the jake would be alert and trying to determine whether to stand tight or leave and the hen would be feeding.

That's just my experience; some may disagree and that's fine but I can only speak to what I've seen on my hunts in my area.

Rajun Cajun
For years I always used jake decoys with my hens.

Last year I used the full strut and had numerous birds come in to it.

I had one old gobbler in Texas that popped out in a sundero and stood watching my decoy for 15 minutes with that "one eye stare"

Then he slipped through the brush up to my set up and I dropped him at 12 yards.

Had a group of super jakes with six inch beards come running in, quit counting at 42 jakes in the bunch.

Some days it can scare a bird, but most days paek his interest because a strutting gobbler is strutting because there is hens around, so that peaks the interest of othe rgobblers......... they all looking for some loving!
Randolph Cox
I always had my best luck early in the season..especially if it was slowed down due to cold weather,and they had not fully established pecking orders..If you can roost hunt in your state I would set up in there 2 hours before dark atleast,and you may be suprised when he comes running in to fight this guy who is strutting in his have had that happen several times..

It kind of gets mixed up after that..I have seen toms shy away from strutters but I have seen them charge in mid season...

Late season it doesnt seem to do as good for me.
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