I made it back from Nebraska and am already getting some great questions concerning my turkey setup. I really appreciate the emails and hope you all keep them coming. As I’m between hunts, I figured this a good time to tackle those questions.
Question: How far do you put your decoys from your blind?
Answer: One of the biggest mistakes I see turkey hunters make is placing the fakes too far from the blind. Turkey hunting is meant to be up close and personal, and when you factor in the small-sized kill zone of a bird, this close placement really makes sense. I place my decoys between 8 and 12 yards from my ground blind. Yes, I want them close. If you’re wearing black to blend in with the back of the blind, you will have no trouble skewering birds at this range.
Question: What broadhead do you use for turkey?
Answer: Turkeys are light-boned, thin-skinned birds. You don’t need to worry too much about kinetic energy. What you do need to worry about is cutting a big hole, especially if your shot placement is marginal. Personally, I run at least a 2-inch-cut expandable broadhead for turkeys. They fly like darts and cut huge holes. My broadhead for this particular hunt was the Rage X-treme 100-grain. This head was designed to produce a 2.3-inch cutting diameter. On my next hunt, I will be using Wac ’Em’s 100-grain 2-Blade Expandable and NAP’s KillZone.
Question: Do you use a jake or a full-strut tom decoy?
Answer: Most of the time, especially early in the season when a lot of toms are running together, I like to use a jake positioned over a laydown hen. To approaching toms, this setup suggests a jake is about to breed a hen. Note: Leave just enough space between the jake and the laydown hen to allow the tom to walk between them. This gives you a good broadside shot if you face the jake toward your ground blind. I also stick an upright hen about 3 or 4 yards to the right or left of the breeding pair. For this hunt I used Avian-X decoys, and, as they always do, the trio of fakes performed flawlessly.