Longbeard's Bluff: South Dakota Part Two
Chris and Casey Keefer and friend Jason Brown continue their hunt for Merriam’s wild turkeys in the western prairies of South Dakota. They use teamwork and tactics to coax the birds off the roost. With their Avian-X full strut turkey in place and their shotguns locked and loaded with Winchester Long Beard XR, the friends are ready to make some memories.
When wild turkey season arrives, the woods whirl with the melodies of turkey calls. Excited outdoorsmen employ several call tactics to encourage hearty toms to make a move.
Beckoning a bird with believable yelps, clucks and purrs can work as a solo tactic. But hunters don’t just stop at sound. They tempt the birds’ sights by giving them a realistic decoy to react to. An alluring turkey decoy can be an effective tactic to persuade a territorial tom to stake claim with his spurs.
In today’s expanding outdoors market, there are several types of wild turkey decoy options made to mimic jakes, hens and toms. So what type of turkey decoy should you use? Well, it depends on your preferences and set-up.
Turkeys develop a pecking order, and each decoy communicates a different message related to the turkeys’ behaviors. A 1/2 strut turkey, for example, is made to portray a subdominant young male turkey. This decoy’s head positioning, wing and feather placement, and body posture shows dominance, which can inspire a nearby tom to claim his territory.
A lifelike collapsible decoy laydown hen turkey decoy is an effective tactic to attract a lonesome gobbler looking to fan his feathers. The tom —too busy showing off his plumage to the hen decoy— won’t even notice a patient hunter locked and loaded with Winchester.
Your environment is an influential factor that helps determine what decoy will work best for you.
When selecting a decoy, consider its weight. A realistic tom decoy may look believable, but the extra weight could pose a problem when carrying the decoy up the mountains.
Same goes for soil. If the hunting land has rocky soil, make sure to use a steady stake to keep the decoy sturdy.
Tried and true tactics, and new and inventive ideas, can keep the wild turkeys guessing. When the birds leave the roost and strut your way, you will be ready. And so will Winchester.