Turkey Hunting: Cool Photos of Gobblers Fooled by Decoys

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These Turkey Decoy Setups Show Gobblers Duped by Dekes

Enraged Gobbler

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1 | Enraged Gobbler

A jake decoy positioned close to a hen enraged this gobbler to the point it spent the better part of an hour relentlessly pecking the decoy’s head in the same spot.

 (© Tes Randle Jolly photo)

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Durable Decoys

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2 | Durable Decoys

Decoys must be durable to withstand the abuse a live turkey can dish out. This close up of the jake decoy’s head from the previous photo shows a gaping hole made by the gobbler’s sharp beak.

 (© Tes Randle Jolly photo)

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Pushovers

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3 | Pushovers

These jakes were full of youthful exuberance and the urges of their first breeding season. It made them pushovers for a single hen decoy in the squatted breeding pose. The rival romeos fought for breeding rights over the DSD hen. Set a hen in the squatted position as if ready to breed. It can be a deadly setup in early season.

 (© Tes Randle Jolly photo)

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Love is Blind

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4 | Love is Blind

There’s a saying, “Love is blind.” It seemed to be for this gobbler anyway. The decoy’s head broke off during one of the tom’s mounting efforts. A headless hen didn’t dampen the bird’s enthusiasm a bit.

 (© Tes Randle Jolly photo)

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Mounted Turkey

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5 | Mounted Turkey

A mounted turkey is a bit cumbersome but in the right situation it rarely fails to elicit a strong reaction from gobblers. Include a squatted hen decoy. Get ready to enjoy watching feathers fly. Don’t forget to aim for the live turkey!

 (© Tes Randle Jolly photo)

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Wrecked Setup

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6 | Wrecked Setup

Gobblers sometimes wreck a good setup. This pair of tough guys had time to gain speed crossing the field to address the fakes. The double body slam was followed with a double victory gobble.

 (© Tes Randle Jolly photo)

 

 

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Frustrated Bird

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7 | Frustrated Bird

Hello, may I have your attention? This gobbler strutted his best stuff for 15 minutes with no response from the hen. It was comical watching the frustrated bird finally give up, lower to sit eye to eye and beak tap the hen’s head.

 (© Tes Randle Jolly photo)

 

 

 

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Lover Boy

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8 | Lover Boy

Lover Boy lives! Not quite, but the photo printed on this Montana Decoy gobbler is actually one of a longbeard nicknamed Lover Boy that dominated the area several years prior. Foldable, packable decoys are great for running-and-gunning style turkey hunting.

More: 14 Memorable Photos of a Wild Turkey Named Lover Boy

 (© Tes Randle Jolly photo)

 

 

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Treading

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9 | Treading

A decoy can be convincing enough for a gobbler to attempt to actually breed it. This hardbody decoy withstood several minutes of treading after the longbeard mounted it.

 (© Tes Randle Jolly photo)

 

 

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Boss Hens

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10 | Boss Hens

Boss hens will fan with dropped wings in a show of authority over other hens. Dominant hens don’t take kindly to intruders, including fake ones, often aiming their beak for the rival’s head and eyes.

(© Tes Randle Jolly photo)

 

 

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Decoy Snood

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11 | Decoy Snood

Enjoy the show. Interestingly, behavior varies with individual turkeys in how they address a decoy, if given the time. This hen fixated on the decoy’s snood making every effort to remove it over a 15-minute period.

(© Tes Randle Jolly photo)

 

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Strutting Hen

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12 | Strutting Hen


Outnumbered. It’s easy to identify the boss hen in a flock by the one with the most extreme reaction to a decoy. The other hens joined in, but took their cues from the boss.

(© Tes Randle Jolly photo)

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Editor's note: This evergreen Realtree.com photo gallery was first published March 22, 2018.

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Turkey decoys are all the rage. The designs are endless including mounted real birds, hardbody, softbody, photo-realistic, silk-screened and inflatables. Fakes are a key tool in a turkey hunter’s bag of tricks. They can deceive the wariest of wild turkeys. Some gobbler and hen fakes are so realistic that attacks from live turkeys can be violent and destructive. Hens can be triggered into attack mode too, thinking a feathered Jezebel has entered their domain. Any gobbler in tow is usually doomed to wear a harvest tag.

Decoy setups can be overused, however. Birds may become decoy shy or simply ignore them. Motion decoys are a good choice for obvious reasons. Visibility is key for fakes to be effective. Open-field situations allow turkeys to see them from long distances. Used sparingly when conditions warrant, decoys can add much enjoyment and more filled tags to your hunting adventures, not to mention some laughs at seldom-seen turkey behavior.

Click through the photo gallery below for examples of extreme ”turkey-foolery” using counterfeits.