Trick Them with Turkeys

Have you ever thought about using a turkey decoy while hunting whitetails? NAH Contributor Gary Clancy explains how it can help you shoot a deer.

One of the great things about bowhunting is you get to really see and enjoy what’s going on around you in the woods. For example,one of the things I’ve noticed is if there are turkeys already out in a field when deer arrive, they tend to march right out and start feeding, instead of waiting for last light before entering the field as they typically do. The deer seem to realize if turkeys are in the field, the coast is clear. Somehow deer know that turkeys, with their finely tuned senses of sight and hearing, as well as their natural nervousness, won’t be out in a field if danger is lurking. (It seems to work the other way as well: If deer are out in a field or pasture first, turkeys assume all is well and come marching out of the woods to join them.)

Based on these observations, I began putting out a couple of turkey decoys with my deer decoys, and the results have been positive. The deer, especially those superhyper old does, come out into the field more relaxed than usual and seem to stay relaxed longer when I put out a couple of turkey decoys in the mix.

I tend to use the turkey decoys during the early archery season, early pre-rut and again during the late season. During late pre-rut and the rut itself, bucks are keyed on the deer decoys and don’t seem to even notice the turkey decoys.