When spring rolls around it’s time to start thinking about hitting the woods. The sights, sounds, and even smells of the woods are like nostalgia for a grown man. There are just some things that occur in nature that remind you of a higher power, and turkey hunting is no different.
I still remember my first turkey hunt like it was yesterday. Not even 10 minutes into the hunt, 2 gobblers came charging in…only for my gun to NOT go off… Ya, that stunk and was the last outing with that shotgun (that’s another story), but it charged me to press on. Just like my computer crash on the first version of this article on the best turkey decoys…even though I had to start over, I’m still pressing on. 🙂
One of my favorite things about spring turkey hunting is it’s relatively easy and affordable compared to many alternatives in the outdoors during the spring. You can make turkey hunting as easy and simple as you want, or with the help of some of the best turkey decoys, you can create your own setting.
I own the trifecta of hen, jake, and gobbler decoys in my arsenal. When I use them really depends upon scouting, time of year, and is mostly dependent upon how aggressive the turkeys are on each given property.
One thing I have noticed when turkey hunting, and is often overlooked, is the fact that gobblers on one property can be aggressively fighting and mating and a group of gobblers on a neighboring property might be completely turned off to the mating scene. Pay attention to how aggressive your particular birds are when picking your decoy arsenal. This being said, if I personally had only one option every time I went turkey hunting, I would choose a quarter strut jake and a laydown hen decoy. I’ve typically had my best luck with this setup.
The nice thing about the decoy market, and in this case the turkey decoy market, is the options are almost endless. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you and your specific situation.
Backed by over 10 years of turkey hunting experience, as well as some extensive research this winter, we have compiled what we believe to be the best turkey decoys available for 2019. Due to the fact that Mother Nature is being so hard on us this year, we’ve extended our research even more. We’re basing our review on the best turkey decoys by realism, durability, mobility, and price. While there are TONS of options out there, we picked our favorites below. Feel free to let us know how you feel about these results in the comments below.
Avian-X Jake Quarter Strut Turkey Decoy
“Editor’s Choice” for Jake Decoys
Avian X hasn’t been in the turkey decoy market for long, but they’re fast making an impact with their great line of decoys. The Quarter Strut Jake turkey decoy is one of the best turkey decoys available, in our opinion. It is my most used decoy in combination with their laydown hen option.
I like this decoy for a few reasons. One jake with a ready to breed hen is enough to get almost any gobbler fired up. Often times the situation calls for less, meaning a full strut gobbler decoy, and even multiple jake decoys are too much and can even run off fairly aggressive toms. This turkey decoy has everything you need when looking for an ultra-realistic jake option. It can be compacted for easy transport and looks very realistic when fully displayed. It also comes with a realistic stake that gives it great motion and eliminates spinning. The 24″ stake allows the decoy to sit a plenty high off the ground, increasing visibility. I prefer to use my jakes fairly close to my hen turkey decoys. This often times is just enough to provoke a confrontation.
All of these features combined with the affordable price makes this one of the best turkey decoys on the market.
PROS: Very realistic decoy option. I really like the quarter strut look as it is very non-aggressive. This is often times effective in provoking both dominant and non-dominant toms.
CONS: Price is a little higher than some of the other simpler versions, but the realism is worth it in my opinion
“Editor’s Choice” for Hen Turkey Decoys
Great product from Avian X, in my opinion one of the best turkey decoys in a hen option. The laydown hen decoy is probably the most effective overall spring turkey decooy. It is my most used decoy in combination with their quarter strut jake decoy. This turkey decoy has everything you need when looking for an ultra realistic hen option. The reason I like this decoy most is because it mimics the real life appearance of a true breeding hen turkey. It is easily compacted for transport and looks very realistic when fully displayed. I prefer to use my laydown hen in a fairly open area to increase visibility and paired with a jake decoy. The laydown hen decoy is great for attracting a male suitor within shotgun range! Similar to the Avian X Quarter Strut jake decoy, these are some of the best turkey decoys available.
PROS: Very realistic, natural breeding position. Works great paired with a jake turkey decoy.
CONS: Price is a little higher than some of the other simpler versions, but the realism is worth it in my opinion
I added multiple options here, the laydown hen option which i reviewed above. I also included the Avian X Breeder hen which is an upright hen turkey decoy option by Avian X. Also included are a feeder and jake/hen combo pack. Similar to their other upright decoys which I have reviewed here, they are equipped with a 24″ stake and carrying bag. All options are definitely deserving of being in the discussion for best turkey decoys on the market.
Dave Smith is known across the hunting decoy industry for their ultra-realistic decoys, regardless of the species. The turkey decoy line is no exception, making them top dog in our opinion. If it weren’t for the price tag, these would be the “Editor’s Choice” for best turkey decoys in 20198.
Even though they are quite a bit more expensive than some of the other options, the DSD turkey decoy line is still very popular and highly regarded. The DSD turkey decoys are packed full of insanely accurate anatomy and ultra-realistic paint schemes. They are non-collapsible so there are no wrinkles or time wasted with inflation. Each comes with a carrying bag and stake. I think the pictures speak for themselves, but the magic is crystal clear once you get these bad boys in hand.
I am a fan of all the body style options, and there are plenty. The feeding hen offers a sense of safety and comfort to nearby turkeys. The upright hen turkey decoy was their first ever model and is still one of their most effective decoys at luring in nearby gobblers. The leading hen turkey decoy gives the appearance of a walking hen. And to round it off for their hen decoy lineup is the ultra-effective laydown hen model, my most used hen turkey decoy for any spring situation.
If we are talking strictly decoy quality and realism, these are THE best turkey decoys on the market.
PROS: These are the most realistic decoy on the market. I like the large variety of hen turkey decoy options available.
CONS: Really the only major hold up here is the price tag. That being said, if you are looking to drop some coin, these things are worth every penny. The only other flaw and I am nitpicking here for the sake of coming up with another “con”, is they are not collapsible so a carrying bag is often required.
Avian-X Strutter Full Body Turkey Decoys
Another great turkey decoy here from Avian X. The Tom turkey decoys, also known as the “Strutter”, is one of the best turkey decoys for super aggressive birds. Nothing gets an aggressive gobbler more fired up than another gobbler with all the ladies. These turkey decoys have everything you need when looking for an ultra realistic gobbler option. It can be compact when you need it to be, and it looks amazing when inflated. It comes with a realistic tail fan, or you can use a fan of your own. It also comes with a realistic stake that gives it great motion and will not spin. The stake is 24 inches which allows the decoy to sit a bit higher then others on the market. I prefer to use my toms about 15 to 25 feet away from my hen decoys. Just don’t keep it out of gun range if a that aggressive Tom comes charging in looking for a fight!
PROS: Very realistic decoy option, can even use your own fan if you’d like.
CONS: A tad spendy, but it’s often on sale.
Primos Gobstopper Jake & Hen Turkey Decoy Combo
I’m starting with the Gobstopper turkey decoy combo pack, simply because the price on it right now is so hard to beat. If you’re looking to get into decoying turkeys on a budget, these are a perfect start. There’s no secret that a jake AND a hen setup is one that usually is enough to irritate a gobbler. When looking at the best turkey decoys, I had to have some collapsible turkey decoys in the mix because they definitely have their place. These fold down easily and fit into a mesh bag along with the couple stakes. It easily expands into a full body turkey decoy in seconds, and has a pretty nice paint scheme for this type of decoy. If you’re looking for a pair of turkey decoys that will fit in your turkey hunting vest easily, then this is a nice option.
PROS: Collapses nicely for mobility and has pretty good realism, all with a great price tag
CONS: Not the most realistic turkey decoys I’ve reviewed
Scoot & Shoot Turkey Hunting Decoy by Mojo
Traditionally, most of my turkey hunting setups have been with a good hide with an open shooting window in most directions. No matter how you script it, sometimes turkeys just don’t do what you want them to do. What if they come from behind you? What if the turkeys hang out 100 yards away? Sometimes, you have to get mobile in order to create a quality shot on a Tom. That’s where the Scoot & Shoot comes into the mix with the best turkey decoys. It allows you to hide behind it and get mobile when a Tom won’t cooperate. These are nice, as you can get surprisingly close to many old Toms but using sneaks. The first time I successfully pulled a sneak, I was able to get within 10 yards of a Tom. It was a RUSH, no doubt!
The Scoot & Shoot has a nice handle and viewing area which allows you to carefully move and see what you’re doing. The tail is removable as well, with a built-in ground stake. I’ve done my homework and people really like this setup, very few negative reviews found anywhere.
PROS: Great for sneaks, has all the bells and whistles needed for that
CONS: It’s a tad bulky but honestly with adrenaline involved, it rarely matters
Miss Purr-fect Hen Turkey Decoy by Montana Decoys
If you’re looking for a single hen turkey decoy, the Miss Purr-fect by Montana Decoys is tough to beat, make it one of the best turkey decoys in 2019. Like most turkey decoys, it fits easily in your vest. It’s full 3D design includes feather cuts rather then just paint, to make the decoy ultra-realistic. What’s cool about this hen turkey decoy is it’s ability to be changed into 3 positions, depending on your setup. I can be setup as a looker, feeder, or a breeder position in just seconds. It has 2 separate holes at the bottom for different stake positions, and the neck can be adjusted as well. I’ve never used this turkey decoy personally, but when I got it in my hands it really feels like it can be molded easily, and last a long time.
PROS: Very versatile with various different poses available. The cosmetic looks are really great, especially with a price tag of around 40 dollars.
CONS: I would like to see a taller stake to increase visibility. Still worthy of being in the discussion for best turkey decoys of 2019.
Purr-fect Jake Turkey Decoy by Montana Decoys
Since I rated the hen turkey decoy by Montana so well, I felt I had to give a good shout out to their jake turkey decoy version as well. Both options make the list of best turkey decoys in 2019. The Purr-fect Jake by Montana Decoys features the same versatility as the hen, with a neck and stake system that can be adjusted into multiple positions with ease. If you’re wanting to make it into a looker, feeder, or even a brawler position, you simply change the neck and stake to mimic your setup. I also really like the feather design that has natural “cuts” in it that provides a subtle, realistic movement in the slightest wind.
I like to use my jakes following behind a hen decoy, making it look like the jake is trying to woo the hen. This alone can really boost the anger of a suiting Tom. I like to make very little sound out of my turkey calls when the Tom is charging at this situation. If you’re looking to buy individual turkey decoys, I would make sure you include a hen with this jake.
PROS: Very realistic and designed to mimic any pose with an adjustable stake and head design
CONS: Like the hen, I would like to see a taller stake.
As I mentioned in the beginning, there are A LOT of turkey decoy manufacturers on the market today. Trying to pick the best turkey decoys isn’t an easy task. Turkeys have fantastic eyes, no secret, so I like to really key in on realism for my turkey decoys. And since you only need a couple, it makes it easier to step up on price compared to, say, waterfowl where you need hundreds of decoys. I wish you all the best spring turkey hunting this year, and I hope you try one of these decoys in the field. Let us know you’re results and we’d love to see pictures!!!