What are the Most Realistic Turkey Decoys for Turkey Hunting?
A stick and string or a gun might not be everything you need to capture as many turkeys when spring comes. You need to be a bit more clever and innovative, or these birds will out-do you in your own game!
For starters, your gobbler friends are gifted with impressive eyesight. Furthermore, they have a pretty sharp hearing and are very agile. If think that you are going to lure them into your traps easily just by using your locator call, you are wrong.
All it takes is for them to sense something fishy and voila, you won’t be seeing them anymore. Anything can be a red flag. Maybe it will be the vibrations from your hunting bow. Or maybe they will spot you.
So how can you take your hunting game a notch higher? Giving the gobblers a false sense of security might go a long way.
For a long time now, turkey hunting decoys have worked excellently for many hunters.
You just have to find an imposter that resembles a real turkey. Since not all of them are of quality, we have reviewed the best decoys you can purchase from the many options.
If you are looking for a life-like decoy, this is your best option. Avian-X has been meticulously constructed such that it can convince other hunters for a real turkey. They might shoot at your decoy!
The construction features top-notch feather details that have been given a touch of a real-like painting scheme. The color depicts the feathers of a real hen and is very reflective. Thus, you can count on this decoy to attract the male gobblers and other wild hens alike.
For convenience, the decoy is collapsible so you can shrink it and fit it into your hunting gear pack. It is also lightweight to make your hunting expedition comfortable.
When you are ready, you just have to adjust the decoy and use the folding stake to give the imposter life by making it move. That depends on whether you choose the feeding posture or the remaining two.
You can be sure that Avian-X will serve you for ages, thanks to the Dura-rubber that has been used to manufacture the decoy.
- The decoy can be collapsed
- It is durable
- It is light
- It is pricey
- It is still susceptible to creases and dents
2. Montana Miss purr-FECT
In the second slot, we have this ‘Miss purr-FECT’ imposter turkey made by Montana Decoys. Just so you know, this is the lightest decoy that you are going to find in the saturated market. It will be an excellent buy if you don’t want heavy hunting packs.
Just like our first pick, this decoy can be deflated to fit into your luggage. That means you have the freedom to carry as many decoys as you want as they can all fit into one pack.
Montana decoys feature a 3-dimension construction design, with a touch of real-turkey colors to give it some realism. On top of that, it features some feather cuts which improve this realism.
Also, Montana has a one-decoy-fits-all type of design, making it more an economical move to invest here. This is thanks to its adjustable positions, which can be made to depict either a breeder, looker, or feeder pose.
You don’t have to purchase different decoys for each. Plus, the head and neck can also be moved to the position of your liking.
- It is light
- It features adjustable set-ups
- It can be deflated to fit into your vest
- Has less realism
- Not durable
For an economical yet high-quality turkey hunting imposter, this Thunder Jake decoy by Flextone is a go-to option. It goes for only 50 US dollars on Amazon.
These decoys come in an excellent color scheme and feather detail that makes them life-like and real. You can be sure that all gobblers within your hunting area will be lured into your trap, and you will go home with some wild game.
Thanks to the single stake that gives the Thunder Jake an upright posture, you can make the decoy to mimic the turkey movement. This works to your advantage in case the turkeys are overly cautious, as it shows some realism.
As though that is not enough, the decoy is designed with an adjustable head and neck. You get to choose the stance that you want your imposter friend to portray.
However, this decoy has some disadvantages when it comes to portability. To begin with, the model cannot be shrunk or deflated to fit into your hunting vest or backpack. Also, the decoys are bulky as they come in a solid form (this makes them durable).
- It’s durable
- It’s affordable
- It’s adjustable
- It’s bulky
- It’s less realistic
As a general turkey hunting rule, you need to find a hiding spot if your hunting expedition is going to turn out successful. No turkey would be stupid enough to knowingly walk into a kill zone.
This Shake N Jake decoy by Mojo steps in to give you an exceptional experience.
Right from the construction, the decoy’s design is unrivaled. Well, what would you expect when the Mojo Company partners with a renowned turkey hunting expert (Pittman Preston)?
Nothing short of first-class.
Thanks to its design, you can hide right behind the decoy, gaining more accuracy by shooting from a close range. The body is so realistic that no gobbler wouldn’t be tempted to approach.
This is made even more possible by the removable tail which can be made to move up and down by a remote controller. Also, it features an attachable hub where you can stick a real tail to enhance the decoy’s realism.
However, the decoy is quite bulky as it can’t be shrunk. This makes it less portable.
- Has an adjustable tail
- Can be used as a hiding spot
- You can attach a real tail
- It is bulky
- Needs some batteries to function
5. Montana Purr-Fect Pair
While you can get the Montana Miss Purr-Fect and the Montana Jake Purr-Fect independently, the company also presents the two decoys as a pair. This is the best deal by far.
The Montana Purr-Fect pair is highly durable and won’t give you a hard time getting them to the hunting site or taking them off. Wondering why? The decoys are collapsible and you can deflate them to fit into your hunting gear pack.
Also, the duo features a realistic look thanks to the excellent color choices used in their design. The feathers are also light and nicely cut to move when the wind blows. As such it would be so easy to get the other toms running your way.
Did you know that you can use the two to create a set up that gives you an advantage? Try putting the Miss Purr-Fect decoy in front and the Jake Purr-Fect a distance behind.
You can then make them move, as though the Jake is pursuing the hen. More dominant toms will follow the duo.
- Life-like and real
- Not durable
- They take some time to inflate
What are the types of turkey decoys?
For your hunt to be successful, you need to be conversant with the types of decoys that are available and when you can use them. Some decoys are meant for specific purposes and ignoring this fact will make your hunting horrible.
Here is a list of available decoys.
These are examples of decoys that are use-specific. If you want to attract another big and dominant turkey that you have noticed in your hunting area, using a tom decoy will work like a charm.
Here is the logic. Tom decoys usually tend to portray an aggressive stance. If there are other dominant toms around, they will feel threatened and will come running, ready for a fight.
They are best when used during mating seasons like spring.
These can be used both during spring and fall. Beginning with spring, the jake decoy acts as a breeding competition for other toms and jakes alike. They won’t allow your decoy to ‘mate’ with the hens in their territory, so they will come out in numbers.
During fall, the toms and jakes around will not allow your decoy to feed on their food. Thus, they will come out ready for combat, and you will have your shot.
These are the most versatile decoys available. Thanks to their many poses that can be adjusted, a hen decoy can serve very many purposes.
During spring, for instance, you can adjust your decoy to a mating position. Obviously, this will attract many toms and jakes who want to breed your decoy. During the fall, you can give the decoy a feeding pose.
That will lure the turkeys around who don’t want food competition. The more hen decoys you have, the better.
These are by far the most popular decoys in the market. The fact that they can be collapsed to fit your hunting backpack or for storage makes them very effective and common among hunters.
For enhanced portability, you can settle for one.
Like the collapsible ones, these are portable as they can be deflated to fit into your hunting vest’s pocket.
However, they may not durable as their balloon-like structure can be punctured at the slightest mistake.
Buying Guide; Features to Consider Before Purchasing a Decoy
Needless to point out, there are very many turkey decoys that are already flooding our markets. While this looks like a good thing, it can work to your disadvantage. It only makes finding the best choice a hard task.
To make it easier, it will be wise to know some of the key features that must exist in a given decoy to make it a nice buy. Whether you want to buy a decoy for the first time or you just want a replacement for your existing decoy, this section is for you.
We discuss some of the important factors that you should have in mind.
As a general rule of thumb, good things usually come at an extra cost. This applies across all areas, and decoys are no exception to the rule.
However, it is not uncommon to find a quality product that has all the features of those high-end decoys at a fraction of the price. So then this makes it important to work with a budget.
You should know how much you want to spend on a decoy. Proceed to consider the individual characteristics of each decoy and group them in terms of their features. You can then purchase that which falls within your budget.
Remember, you can save on the costs but you should never compromise on the quality.
Having in mind the type of activities you have to engage your turkey decoy in, it is absolutely necessary to ensure that they are built to last. Always consider the type of material that has been used to design the decoy.
The material should be strong enough to stand the test of time and quality enough to survive creases and dents. I don’t think you want to invest your money in a product that will be useless after two weeks, forcing you to spend a lot more money on another.
Do your due diligence to see to it that the small fights with the wild gobblers will not destroy your imposter friend.
Durability also translates to the type of stake that comes with the decoy. It ought to be very stable and strong, to withstand harsh weather conditions like strong winds. To be on the safe side, you should go for one that is made from metal as opposed to plastic.
The best way to be certain of the durability of a given product especially if you are making an online purchase is by looking at customer reviews. If too many people are complaining about a given decoy, don’t go near it.
Invest your money wisely.
As a hunter, you will always be in constant motion. That means you will be moving with your hunting gear as there is nothing you can do without your bow or gun or decoy. So the question is, how much weight are you able to carry on your person?
For decoys, some are made from solid materials, making them a tad heavy. In addition to the other gear, you might become exhausted pretty fast and this will distract you from your hunting objective.
So then, you want to go for a decoy that is light such that you could move about with it all day without getting tired.
Also, it is important to consider whether the decoy you are purchasing is collapsible. By this, we mean that some decoys can be deflated and shrunk to fit into your backpack or hunting vest. Others can be collapsed to achieve the same thing.
Likewise, some can’t be inflated or collapsed. They come in a solid form and they have to be carried the way they are to and from the hunting ground? What works best for you?
We would recommend going for a collapsible decoy to enhance their portability. Given there might be some that perform better but can’t be collapsed, the decision lies squarely with you.
This is another important factor that can go a long way in helping you save money, as you don’t have to buy different decoys to serve different purposes. All you have to do is to go for the one-decoy-serves-all type of model.
For your hunt to be anywhere near successful, you need to portray different poses. The most common ones are feeding, breeding, and looking. Instead of buying separate decoys for each of these poses, some companies have made your work easier.
You can now buy a product that allows you to adjust it into any of these poses.
Likewise, the stance being portrayed by your decoy can be very effective in attracting other gobblers your way. The stances can either be aggressive, submissive, or dominant.
Buying a decoy that has an adjustable neck and head can step in to make this possible. As an example, you can adjust the head of a hen decoy to be aggressive. This will attract other aggressive hens who want competition from their hide-outs.
Also, the aggressive stance will attract mating toms who might be interested.
Finally, on versatility, check to ensure that the stake of the decoy has an adjustable height. This will improve its visibility.
Depending on what you want to achieve, you can play with this adjustable options without having to buy separate decoys.
In as much as turkeys might be having small brains compared to human beings, you should not confuse this with stupidity. The birds are very clever with and they have sharp eyesight and hearing.
As such, you need to be more careful about the type of decoy you want to use as a trap. The imposters should be very identical to real turkeys such that it is difficult to set them apart from far.
To check whether a decoy is realistic, you need to pay attention to features such as the painting scheme that has been used. To make the lifeless thing seem lifelike, the color should be accurate.
Besides, you should also look at the feathers used to design the product. Their features should be similar to those of a real turkey. For instance, they should be able to reflect some light.
Alternatively, you can go for those that have cuts. This enables the feathers to move when they are exposed to the slightest blowing wind. Some decoys come with a mounting hub that allows you to attach a real turkey tail. This improves realism.
Further, you should look at the movement of the decoy. It should be realistic enough to convince the wild gobblers that it is a real turkey.
Ease of use
It is very unlikely that you will be willing to invest your money in a product that is very difficult to set up. This covers both the time taken and the technique. If a decoy requires you to go an extra mile to find out how it can be used correctly, don’t buy it.
Likewise, if a decoy takes too much time to set up, it might not be the correct option. As an example, there are inflatable decoys that need too much air to fill them. This might not blend well with people who are say, asthmatic.
Although you don’t have to invest money in a brand, the reputation of a given company can come in handy in determining whether a given product is worth a buy.
Go for brands that have existed for a while, if not popular.
Having done extensive research and review, we recommend the Avian-X Lookout Hen as the perfect decoy for your next hunting expedition. It has everything it takes to attract big toms to your shot range.
First, the decoy is life-like. The Avian-X company took all the precautions to make sure that the color scheme used to design the imposter looks real. Even the feather details used for the model are impressive. They reflect UV rays just like real turkeys.
Just be careful or else another hunter will shoot at your decoy.
Also, the decoy is very portable and lightweight. It can be collapsed to fit into the pocket of your hunting vest. In case you are using a backpack, you have the freedom to carry as many decoys for your hunt.
To make the decoy even more realistic, the package comes with a single folding stick which you can adjust to give your imposter realistic movements and attract the gobblers from their hide-outs.
Finally, you can be sure that this decoy will serve you for a very long duration. It has been made from Dura-rubber to ensure that it is durable.
Grab this decoy from your nearest shop and enjoy your turkey hunt.