Turkey decoys have drastically changed the way we hunt. With all the new postures, brands, and paint schemes come a world of choices. Maybe it’s time to get back to the basics.
Hen calls are a turkey hunter’s bread and butter in the spring. Toms may come in searching for a hen and usually its best to give him what he wants-a hen decoy. Having the fake in place will draw the attention off of you and on to the decoy. It can be a low risk-high reward set up.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my strutting tom and jake decoys. They can trigger an aggressive response and bring toms in running. The downside is they can also alarm a gobbler and send him heading the opposite direction. If you come across a tom that stays clear of the strutter-try the lone hen. He probably won’t come in running but the lone hen may keep him from running away. She won’t pose a threat to a passive gobbler and could likely bring him in out of shear curiosity. The docile tom might think he has finally found a hen all to himself.
My favorite time to use a hen decoy is while running and gunning in heavy timber. You can fold up a single hen and place it in the turkey vest without adding much weight. This will make it fast and easy to set up if you strike a bird along the way. Toms that respond to your calling will be looking for the sound, so place the hen out front in a visible position. It could take the tom’s attention away from you while positioning for a shot.
The next dillema is deciding the appropriate decoy posture. Since we are using a lone hen, I would stay away from the alerted posture. I like using a relaxed or feeding hen decoy while calling in toms. The calm posture should signal no danger to the tom and bring him in strutting, trying to get her attention.
Don’t lose sleep over which decoy to use. They can all work at different times and nature rarely gives us a crystal ball. If your confidence is shaken-go the safe route. Try the lone hen.
The Lone Hen was last modified: January 29th, 2018 by Bill Winke