What’s the best state to use to turkey decoys in?
The question is really ‘what is the best or easiest state to kill a turkey in?’ Some purists will suggest if it’s not an eastern wild turkey, than it’s not really turkey hunting. They say the birds of the west are too easy, and that it’s not the same game. Stick out a turkey decoy in Nebraska and they come on a run. There are some major differences we will go through, but for me, a turkey is a turkey, and I don’t care where I am at in the country, there had better be enough birds to put on a good show.
Using turkey decoys in the south
Until you actually stick a turkey decoy in the dirt in Alabama or Mississippi, it’s hard to comprehend some of the differences between hunting there and in South Dakota or Nebraska. Turkeys in the south receive a lot more pressure on average than the rest of the country, and pressure is everything. I have heard horror stories of guys spending all season on leased land (they pay to hunt the birds in a lot of areas, or the birds come with the deer lease), and they are afraid to use a cal of any sort as the birds are so educated. The neighbors are all baiting and to catch a glimpse of a mature tom is a treat. This kind of pressure is a game changer, and in my eyes its the only difference between the subspecies and states you can hunt. Human pressure changes the game, and in states where they have been hunting turkeys for 100 plus years, the birds get more pressure. Turkey decoy use in areas like this is almost non-existant.
I like to use turkey decoys anywhere the hunting pressure is low
States like Nebraska, South Dakota, and Kansas are top picks for me. These 3 states offer some of the highest bird densities and lowest hunting pressure in the country. Birds are routinely killed over turkey decoys of every kind here, and they should be top destinations for chasing the big black birds spring or fall. Yeah, you can tell your buddies you went to Florida to kill a bird, but you will have a lot more fun in the west chasing bunches of birds with your turkey decoys. Fresh birds with no bad hunter experiences.
I like to stake my turkey decoys in front of less pressured birds
Hunting pressured turkeys is like hunting pressured deer, minus the nocturnal part. Turkey decoys are not a big part of the game when you hunt pressured turkeys, and if you are going to use turkey decoys, they damn sure better be top of the line, fool a human type turkey decoys like a Dave Smith Decoy or our best turkey decoys, the Dakota xtreme jake. To find areas that hold non hunted birds that like to crash your turkey decoys, you seek out places where people are few. If a city of 2 million is 2 hours away you are getting closer. If the closest big town is 3 hours away, you are where I like to be with my hen and jake turkey decoys. These are the spots where the birds get to live their lives without being stalked, called to and chased with the pickup truck all season long. These are the spots stick your turkey decoys and try become part of the day. These are the spots You will find me every spring, hunkered down in my ground blind with a thermos of coffee, waiting for a big tom to come visit my turkey decoys.