Good article I found on turkey decoys
Selling novices on gobbler hunting
No matter if the gobbler being called into shotgun range is for a youngster in the Mentored Youth Hunting Program or a friend who has never tagged a spring bird, once that hunter has experienced hearing the sound of morning thunder and seeing a longbeard in full strut they’re sold.
Being sold on the sport, however, requires purchasing the accessories that are needed to hunt spring gobbler – and only spring gobbler.
Of all the products needed to hunt gobblers, calls are the most specialized, but shopping for them can send a potential recruit into sticker shock. Graybeards among today’s fraternity of longbeard hunters can recall the day when their call selection consisted of a Lynch box call and a Ben Rogers Lee tube call and – for those who were really lucky – a homemade wing bone call.
Be assured that almost all of the national manufacturers produce excellent calls, but there is no need to purchase those that push the limit with their pricing with some mass-produced boxes having retail prices of $90 or more. It is the same with friction calls that have slate, glass or aluminum surfaces and are known collectively as “pot” calls.
With so many choices, a wise choice for novice turkey hunters is to focus on the products made by companies who have been in the game since Day 1. Two such companies are Quaker Boy Game Calls of Orchard Park, N.Y., and Bass Pro Shops of Springfield, Mo.
Today, Chris Kirby is the face of Quaker Boy, which was founded by his father, the late Dick Kirby, in the early 1970s when manufacturing turkey calls was a business rather than an industry. Quaker Boy mouth calls debuted in 1974 and the company introduced its first double slate pot call in 1982.
That Quaker Boy has maintained its share of the market against some quality opposition can be attributed in part to the company giving back to the sport with its support of conservation groups, most notably the National Wild Turkey Federation. Now, it has teamed with Mossy Oak Turkey T.H.U.G.s with a line of quality calls at competitive pricing that allows a novice hunter to stock up without breaking the budget.
A portion of the profits from the T.H.U.G. line of calls is donated to the Outdoor Recreation Heritage Fund, which was founded to permanently fund support for wounded and disabled American service members and their families, including Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Depending on where one does his shopping, the call line includes a waterproof box call that retails for $14-$19, pot calls that retail for $15-$22 and a 3-pack of mouth calls that retails for $12.
When Johnny Morris founded Bass Pro Shops in 1971, it was to serve the needs of bass anglers, but the company burst on the national scene for good seven years later when he introduced the first fully rigged aluminum bass boat and trailer Bass Tracker package. Today, Bass Pro Shops serves the needs of both anglers and hunters, and turkey hunters represent a major portion of the company’s customers.
For those who are debating the merits of using turkey decoys, be assured they do the job when used correctly, Bass Pro Shops – like many manufacturers – have some that retail in the three-figure neighborhood. For those new to the game, however, there is no better choice than the RedHead Foam Turkey Decoy 3-Pack.
Comprised of two hens and a jake, these lightweight, collapsible molded foam decoys are full size and come with their own two-piece metal stakes. They have lifelike painted feather detailing, and the set retails for $30.
When shopping for a turkey vest, the best advice is to purchase one that provides versatility in a variety of hunting situations and has those extras such as pockets designed for specific calls. One of the very best in meeting those requirements is the RedHead Bucklick Creek Turkey Lounger Vest by Bass Pro Shops.
With a retail price of $90 this vest sells for twice the price of some models, but it is so superior in construction and features that it is worth the price. Most notable of these is the patented self-supporting lounger seat system that provides back support, if caught in the open without a tree to sit against, and adjustable padded shoulder straps.
In addition to loops for carrying extra shells, there is a mesh pocket for mouth calls, two pockets for pot calls, a pocket for a box call and is compatible for use with a hydration system. There are inside pockets for storing hats, gloves and face masks, and the large game pocket expands to handle those 20-pound-plus gobblers we all hope to bag with enough space to carry decoys.
These quality products will allow novice gobbler hunters to get started by staying within their budget without going cheap.