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Longbeard's Bluff: South Dakota Part Two

The Keefer Brothers and longtime friend Jason Brown continue their streak as they hunt Merriam’s wild turkeys in South Dakota.

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.

Longbeard's Bluff: South Dakota Part Two

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.

Watch the related Winchester Life episode.

Casey Keefer
Casey Keefer
Casey lives off of the adrenaline and the solitude he finds in the most remote corners of the world. Essentially, this charges his batteries. For him, it’s not about the end game, it’s about the journey. He considers it his duty to “pass it on,” so that hopefully you can experience the same in your very own way – wherever that may be, chasing whatever you may chase. Casey is co-host of Winchester Life. He and brother Chris find themselves pursuing big game a large amount of time in Alaska.
Chris Keefer
Chris Keefer
Chris loves to chase big game in Alaska with brother Casey and spends a ton of time doing just that. When not there or in the planning stages of the next hunt, he enjoys a sunny day round of golf back home in his native Michigan.

As co-host of Winchester Life, he feels it his responsibility to help you find your own definition of the outdoors. He takes this responsibility very seriously and will take the rest of his working life fulfilling this quest. He can go from adventurous woodsman to sharp-dressed dinner guest in no time at all.