Turkey snood erect?
If you had to list the tools of communication a human male uses compared to a turkey, it would be close to 95% spoken or written, and 5% body language. A spring tom or jake turkey is the opposite. 95% of what they say is through body language. Every feather helps tell the story of the turkey mood, and there’s a reason turkey have no feathers on their head. Those skin colors indicate dominance, fear, aggression and subordination. Even that little dew snood on top of the turkey beaks offers clues to their demeanor.
Male turkeys are an open book, and they are an easy to read once you know what you are looking at. Lets run down the parts of their bodies a male turkey uses to tell every other bird what’s going through that pea sized brain of his, and how that effects your turkey decoy design.
Turkey snood erect speaks volumes
A relaxed or dangling snood is a sign of confidence. Turkey snood erect means nervous. There is not a drop of fear in turkey’s birds body. He is digging the scene and going nowhere fast. Sit tight and watch the show unfold. Let the turkey dance. If your turkey decoy sports a hanging snood, he will scare lesser toms and jakes off. Make sure your turkey decoy has an upright and tight snood. Turkey snood erect means nervous
Turkey Decoy Head Angle turkey snood erect or relaxed
Turkey snood erect means nervous. When a male turkey approaches your set with his head tilted up in the air, it’s an attempt to make him look taller and bigger. It’s a bluff, and the turkey may close the distance and assault your decoys, or he may turn tail and run out of fear. Watch the head colors and wing position to see if the turkey is staying to fight, or running to avoid confrontation. The slightly upward tilted head bluff is one of the poses we worked into our decoy that drives a mature bird to fight. Most (not all) mature toms will call this bluff. Turkey snood erect means nervous
Turkey Decoy Head Colors
The most dominant turkey in the group will sport an almost completely white head, neck and caruncles. Your jake turkey decoy should not.
While rare to see, it lets you pick out the dominant turkey, who coincidentally is not always the heaviest or biggest spurred. He the best fighter in the bunch hands down. If your toms head is red, he’s probably not staying long. A spooked, frightened or submissive tom or jake will have a completely red head, and odds are they wont be at the turkey decoys long, if they even get that far.
If you want to take turkey home, take the first good shot. Most of the bow killed turkey you encounter will have red caruncles or bases, with a white cap and shades of blue or purple around the eyes, ears and beak. These turkey are neither super confident nor frightened or nervous. Read the rest of their body signals to see if they are staying or leaving. Read the language to see how long they will be in your turkey decoy set up.
Turkey snood erect means nervous.
Turkey snood erect means nervous.
Amount of head skin exposed
If your toms and jakes come by with their feathers pulled all the way up to their ears, they have no interest in breeding. They are in survival mode, are cold and irritated, as are you for venturing out on such a piss poor day trying to fill a tag. Go home and wait for the 3rd nice day of weather and hunt them when they are cooperating, then set out your jake turkey decoy.
Turkey Decoy Head position
The position of your toms head in relation to his body says a lot. A head held high and constantly scanning the scene is a bad deal. The turkey is scanning for danger and feels something is not right. Take the first good shot if it presents itself.
The opposite end of the spectrum is a head pushed so far into his back feathers, he can hardly see 90 degrees.
He is feeling the day and thinks he owns it. Enjoy the show. Let the turkey do his thing. These turkey only come along every so often for most of us and will sometimes stick around for an hour or more. Soak it up before you let that arrow fly or squeeze the trigger.
The norm is somewhere in between, and the more he stands up and looks, the lower your odds of a kill. Keep doing whatever keeps the turkey in strut, and for gods sake quit doing that call that makes him stand up and scan the scene.
Be sure your jake turkey decoy is not in an upright, on alert, position.
One of our favorite scenes is the belly feathers of an adult turkey locked out so hard they shake like jello when he walks or runs. This turkey is on a mission and will not stop until he smacks your decoy. Let him bump your jake turkey decoy before you even think of taking the shot. You will be glad you waited.
To read more on a turkeys body language click this link and now you know why a turkey snood is erect.