What makes decoy shy turkeys?
The decoy shy turkeys is a common statement. Outdoor television shows suggest that using decoys on your turkey hunt draws turkeys irresistibly to your setup. Reality sets in, however, when you actually set up your decoys, turkeys appear and seem to be spooked by them and won’t approach your set up at all. It happens to me a lot. Pressure can make decoy shy turkeys.
Realism. The first decoys on the market a couple decades ago were gray, bulky and nondescript. They don’t pass the test today. Decoys now move, talk, have actual tail fans attached, “feathers” that flutter in the wind, heads that bob up and down and such lifelike colors on the head that you can hardly tell them from the real thing. Realistic turkey decoys are less likely to make decoy shy turkeys.
It’s more than a marketing ploy, this push to produce more lifelike decoys each year; it’s because turkeys get decoy shy. Each week into the season they are fooled less and less. After they have had a few scary experiences around fake hens, like getting shot at or royally spooked, they learn to shy away from any turkey that doesn’t move toward them at all.
I don’t want decoy shy turkeys
I don’t blame you. When your turkeys become decoy shy, they get harder to kill. You have to spend more time practicing your calling, and your scouting has to be spot on. If you can’t use the decoys, your options are more limited. When you work a batch of decoy shy turkeys, the job gets rough.
To keep from making your decoy shy turkeys you need to keep the throttle pulled in, especially on smallish parcels of land. Turkeys rarely run screaming through the woods, and if you throw every thing but the kitchen sink at them every 10 minutes, they get suspicious. Keep it up and ‘my decoy shy turkeys’ will be a common statement. TV is not the real world, and unless you have 15 different properties and endless flocks of birds to chase, all you may accomplish is to make the decoy shy turkeys.
Many turkey hunters will set up and throw every trick in the book at the toms on day one. Cut cackle, moving tail fans, gobbling and whatever else they can try to get the bird to commit. I have seen guys try 20 different diaphragms in one sit trying to find one they will gobble to. This 150% attack is pressure, and prssure is the #1 way to make decoy shy turkeys. If they don’t come today it’s okay. Learn from the day and sneak in again with another subtle plan that will help keep your turkeys from getting decoy shy.
A realistic turkey decoy avoids making decoy shy turkeys
If you don’t think it looks a real turkey, they usually won’t either. Sure you can kill birds over a $12 foam decoy, but any suspect bird will not commit. A realistic turkey decoy is one solid way to avoid making your decoy shy turkeys. Our bestturkeydecoy is a slammer in the realism department, and if he looks real to you, odds are lower you will have decoy shy turkeys.