How to Set Up and Take Down Turkey Decoys

Midwest Whitetail • July 31, 2023

We'd like to share with you our turkey decoys sequence throughout the year from the time season starts to the time that season wraps up and we begin to store away our decoys for the next year.

Early on in the year, whether it be opening youth season or maybe the first week/week and a half of the season, we like to use the standard jake-and-hen decoy setup. We usually take the hen and separate her from the jake by about 3 feet. We place them so they're sort of facing us--maybe 60-70 degrees toward us. I like mine a bit to my left because I'm a right-handed shooter and ideally the birds will come in from right to left to give me a shot opportunity. We always want those toms to move in from the back side of the decoys, not the front side of the decoys. Just seems like any time they move in from the front side of the decoys, they're often a little more hesitant, a little more reserved.

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As we get into the middle of the season, we like to transition away from the jake decoy and put the strutter decoy out there with a hen or a group of hens. We have found that the mature bird is going to come in looking for a fight, going to try to take those girls away from that strutter.

As we end up towards the end of the season, we eliminate the decoys altogether. We also like to move back into the timber, say 30 or 40 yards, so that we can get the interest of that bird to come into that timber and give us a shot opportunity. Because if we're sitting on the field edge like we normally would with decoys, that bird comes out across that field. He's looking of course, but he doesn't see anything. Then he has a tendency to either hang up or just turn around and go back where he came from because of what he's seen over the past season.

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After the season is over, we'll take a very soft brush and a water hose. We'll squirt the decoys off and clean them up really well. Then we'll take something like Pledge, Armor All, or tire shine and put that on our decoys to protect them while they're in storage. That also allows them to maintain the shine that we want.

If you're looking for decoys, you're in the right place! MidwayUSA has everything you need for the upcoming turkey season. We wish you the best of luck as you hit the turkey woods!

We've used Avian-X decoys for about seven years now. I still use some of those original decoys and they still look brand new. Part of the credit goes to the care we take of those by washing them off and putting a protective coating on them so that when the next season rolls around, we're just pulling our decoys out of the bag and we're hitting the woods.

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--Midwest Whitetail