How To Handle Hens In The Decoys

Learn the best way to call a turkey that's in the dekes. It just might land you a big one.

How To Handle Hens In The Decoys

Most bowhunters tend to put the calls away when a hen walks into their decoy spread or feeds her way past their blinds. This is the natural reaction resulting from fear of spooking the bird. While there is some validity to that thought, it may not be the best course of action. Since you’ve got a live decoy at spitting distance, see if you can amp up the situation by calling to her.

The key is to start off softly and gauge her response. This might entail a few yelps, clucks or purrs. If she talks back, increase the volume and intensity of your calls. A lot of times you can get live hens to respond aggressively and stick around longer. In this case, you’ve now got a live decoy that is extremely vocal.

Nearby toms will hear this back and forth and can get excited enough to come in on a string. That’s not the only benefit to having a living hen squawking away in your spread, however. Other hens within hearing distance will take interest in the lively discussion and will often start heading in your direction. This is a great way to draw a henned-up longbeard into bow range, even if he wouldn’t commit earlier for fear of losing his girlfriend.

The next time you’re staring out your blind windows at a hen or two picking their way past your setup, call to them. You might just be surprised who shows up to join the conversation.

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