The 7 Best Turkey Decoys of 2024

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To be honest, I don’t know how many turkeys I’d killed before I set my first turkey decoys; probably a dozen or more. The way I was taught, the hunter made the yelps and the clucks and the purrs, and then let the gobbler search me out. If everything went as planned, while he was snooping around looking for that pretty little hen he’d heard, 1-3/4 ounces of #6 shot ruined his morning. He was rewarded not with a mate, but a ride in the back of my Grandpa’s pickup truck.

But things, as they’re wont to do, have changed in the world of turkey hunting. Today, a decoy of some kind is almost as integral a part of the process as is our turkey calls, shotguns, shotshells, and turkey vest. And, like each of these pieces of essential hunting gear, turkey decoys are practically without number and variation. Hard high-tech composition decoys. Foldable plastics. Inflatables. Stand-still. Motion. Ten dollars apiece, and ultra-realistic true-to-life faux hens costing $130 or more.

It can be a challenge, particularly should you be new to the sport, to answer the questions: Which decoy is best? What do I need? Well, Field & Stream provides insight as to some of the best turkey decoys available today, and answers those questions and then some.

The Best Turkey Decoys

How We Picked The Best Turkey Decoys

Hunter setting up Game Winner turkey decoys in front of blind
We’ve used more than our fair share of decoys over the years—so we know what works. (Photo/Alice Jones Webb)

I tend to be very hard on gear, especially my turkey and waterfowl stuff. At the end of a six-week season, some of this gear is still in my vest. To ensure they stand up to rough use, these are the criteria I use when I’m looking to add another turkey decoy to my already existing flock:

  • Price Point: Can I afford it, plain and simple? Is the price point in line with how I expect this turkey decoy to perform afield? And does the price reflect the years of service I should get out of it?
  • Realism/Naturalism: Yes, I’ve killed turkeys over decoys that looked nothing like turkeys, or only vaguely so. Still, I’d really like a turkey decoy to appear as much like the real thing as possible given my financial parameters.
  • Construction: Turkey decoys are like anything else crafted at the hands of Man. There’s good, and there’s not-so-good. Seams can split on foldable decoys. Stakes break. Paint flakes and chips. Nylon bristle ‘beards’ crumble. I look quite carefully at how a decoy is put together and ensure that the quality lives up to the price tag.
  • Stake System: I don’t want to have to perform gymnastic movements to get a stake ready to use, stick said stake securely in the ground, and the decoy atop the stake. And once secured, I don’t wish to see my decoy blowing across the field. I want it simple, and I want it secure. And I want to be able to buy a second stake, just the stake, because I’m going to lose the first one. 
  • Motion vs. Stationary: I believe motion can clinch the deal when it comes to seducing a reluctant gobbler. However, it’s possible to have too much of this good thing. It’s also possible to have to rely on tugging a string, pushing a button, or carrying extra batteries to guarantee that motion. So, I’m looking at two things. Does the decoy move, and if so, how? Is it simple to operate? And if the decoy doesn’t move, can I modify it and make it move?
  • Ease of Transportation: Decoys are often bulky, big, and awkward to carry. So, I gave points to those that are easy to pack into the field. I’m primarily a run and gun hunter, so I want my decoys to be very easy to take with me as I cover ground.

Best Overall

Pros

  • Ultra-realistic feather and paint detail
  • Smaller than a real hen, so it’s easy to carry
  • Foldable one-piece lightweight carbon stake
  • Durable enough to withstand a healthy dose of #5 shot
  • Natural but not over-exaggerated motion

Cons 

I’ve hunted over a lot of different turkey decoys. For the money, I don’t believe I’ve ever had any work as well, nor last as long, as have my Avian-X LCRs. Today, my ‘flock’ consists of four hens in various postures and a half-strut jake. That jake took a right nice pounding from my stepson’s Mossberg M835 at less than 25 yards several years ago. Oh, he still rattles all right, but there’s no problem with his functioning at all.

Legendary goose caller and carver, Fred Zink, was the mastermind behind the Avian-X line of decoys, waterfowl and turkeys both, and that becomes obvious once you’ve taken a good look at the LCD decoy. LCD, by the way, stands for Lifelike Collapsible Decoy, and its both lifelike and collapsible. Feather detail, body posture, paint scheme; it’s all there, and it’s all excellent. As for the collapsible part of the equation, each LCD decoy uses a small ‘pop’ valve under the tail to inflate/deflate. Pull it out, and the decoy can be compressed, folded, and secured with an included strap. In position, two or three breaths into the valve, push it closed, and she’s ready for action. Simple, and trust me, you won’t faint blowing it up.

This is easily the most realistic hen decoy I’ve ever used. The paint job mimics the natural reflective nature of real turkey feathers, and because it’s inflatable, it offers lifelike motion on breezy days. And although the decoy is smaller than the average hen, it has some extra height to make it more visible through thick woods or across open fields. 

Specs

  • Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Body Type: Collapsible PVC dura-rubber
  • Stake System: Collapsible carbon stake

Most Realistic

Dave Smith Turkey Flock Decoys on white background

Pros

  • Unmatched realism
  • Head up posture attracts gobblers as well as dominant hens
  • Taller height shows up well in higher foliage
  • Lightweight and easy to pack around
  • Extremely quiet material retains its shape under wide range of temperature conditions
  • Made in the USA

Cons 

Don’t confuse this with a shameless plug; I don’t own Dave Smith Decoys (DSD), but I’ve hunted over them many times over the years. Short of a taxidermy hen, you’re not going to find a more realistic looking turkey decoy. Yes, all this realism and technology and, I’ll guess, that DSD proof-mark come with a price, as in $140 for Smith’s upright hen and almost $600 for a four-pack (3 hens/half-strut jake). However, this is an investment, remember? You’re shooting a $1,000 shotgun with an $80 choke tube. And those tungsten super-shot shotshells? They cost $13 each! So, is this one-time investment really that much?

Made from a high-tech elastomer resin, Dave Smith decoys maintain their shape even through rough use in the field. The material is soft and quiet when you’re walking through the woods. It is also self-healing, so if one accidentally gets peppered with #5 shot, it doesn’t have to end up in the garbage bin. 

The realism and technology come with a price tag, but you should consider it an investment. 

You’re shooting a $1,000 shotgun with an $80 choke tube. And those tungsten super-shot shotshells aren’t exactly cheap either. Quality isn’t cheap, and the quality of these decoys is absolutely out of this world.

Specs

  • Weight: 18 pounds for four decoys
  • Body Type: Advanced Crosslink Elastomer resin
  • Stake System: Aluminum

Best Hen

Montana Decoy Miss Purr-Fect XD Turkey Decoy on white background

Pros

  • Feather cut fabric provides subtle and realistic movement
  • Adjustable head positions
  • Ultra-compact and lightweight for easy transport

Cons

  • Not as realistic as some other options
  • Not waterproof

I’ve mainly used hard-bodied turkey decoys over the years, and while they are wonderfully realistic options for wary birds, the bulk and weight is an unnecessary hindrance for most turkey pursuits. Montana Decoy’s Miss Purrfect is an awesome solution. The fabric body collapses down to a more realistic package for super-active run-and-gun hunts. 

While this isn’t the most realistic decoy on the market, the coloring is highly-detailed. The fabric composition also creates just enough movement to coax in skittish gobblers, and the body has unique feather cuts that flutter slightly in a soft breeze while softening the profile for a more convincing look.

I love that this decoy is posable. It takes me back to my childhood action figure days. With two leg pole slots, you can change the position from a feeding pose to an upright position. You can also arrange the head position by fine-tuning the wire construction to get the perfect runway model pose.  

Specs

  • Weight: 22 ounces
  • Body Type: XD fabric over wire
  • Stake System: Two-piece metal stake

Best Jake

Avian-X LCD Half-Strut Jake Turkey Decoy on white background

Specs

  • Collapsible design makes for easy transport
  • Dura-Rubber construction is tough yet lightweight
  • Excellent feather detail and paint with true-to-life short ‘jake’ beard
  • Realistic body posture infuriates dominant gobblers

Pros

  • Subdominant posture works on jakes and gobblers both
  • Good staking system includes breakdown stake
  • Big, yet easy to carry with quiet set up
  • Excellent choice for archers and those sitting ground blinds

Cons 

  • Too much white on the head makes the decoy appear overly aggressive
  • Expensive price

I’ve relied on Zink’s Avian-X half-strut jake since it was introduced over a decade ago. I can’t tell you how many longbeards have earned a ride in the back of my Grandpa’s pickup simply because they couldn’t resist trying to beat this young whippersnapper up. I’m convinced it works well if you run across the right gobbler. Try it with late season, tired adult birds, and you might encounter some reluctance. However, it’s a fantastic early season decoy almost anywhere in the country.

It’s big and bulky to carry (It’s a life-size jake, remember?), but the included tote bag makes things easier. The one point of order I noticed right out of the box was the amount of white on the head. This can make the jake appear ‘angry’ and aggressive, possibly causing adult subdominant toms to shy away. Julie, my wife, remedied this with a red marker, toning down the head roughly 50 percent. Problem solved.

As for the price, you’re making an investment. Buying a well-made, realistic turkey decoy should provide you with years of service, not to mention a long tally of gobblers.

Specs

  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Body Type: Collapsible PVC dura-rubber
  • Stake System: Collapsible carbon stake

Best Motion

Higdon Outdoors TruStrutter Motion Tom Turkey Decoy on white background

Specs

  • Side-to-side movement attracts/holds attention
  • Magnetic fan mount is quick and easy, compatible with included synthetic or natural fans
  • Raised feather detail and iridescent paint patterns with black flocking on back and rump
  • Long-run life from Lithium-ion battery

Pros

  • Side-to-side motion is eye-catching
  • Ability to incorporate natural fan is a plus
  • Convenient handle underneath tail makes carrying a breeze
  • Battery operation affords round-the-clock motion, if desired

Cons

  • Motion depends on battery operation and use of handheld remote
  • Electronic decoys prohibited in some states
  • High cost

There’s no denying the motion generated by a fake gobbler like Higdon’s TruStrutter can be the deciding factor when it comes to convincing that wary old longbeard to walk or sprint those final 50 yards into your set-up. Aside from the price tag, which is undeniably right up there, there’s not much bad that can be said about the TruStrutter.

The colors are right, and the motion is there. The ability to swap out the included synthetic fan for a real fan is a definite winner. Add in the decoy’s aggressive body posture and its smaller size, and this thing is a game changer for drawing in territorial toms.

You will need to confirm electronic decoys are indeed allowed in your hunt-state prior to staking the TruStrutter out. Other than that, he can be a valuable asset.

You either love electronic decoys, or you hate electronic decoys. They have their place, I reckon. However, I’m of a mind that once you throw batteries into the equation, it creates the possibility of an entirely new segment of potential problems. That’s just me.

Specs

  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Body Type: Hard synthetic
  • Stake System: Metal stake

Best for Reaping

MOJO Outdoors Scoot-N-Shoot Gunner Turkey Decoy on white background

Pros

  • Built-in bipod allows for steady rested shooting (when possible)
  • Simple, easy to use design adjusts to fit most single-barrel shotguns
  • Artificial yet realistic fan features see-thru mesh for good visibility while offering concealment
  • Rapid deployment lets you hide in plain sight

Cons 

  • Hunter safety issues involved
  • Can be unwieldy in some situations
  • Difficult to shoot at running/flying bird with ‘fan’ attached

Let me get this out of the way first. If you decide to hide behind something that appears to be a full strut gobbler during turkey season, you need to take some mighty serious precautions so that someone isn’t going to misinterpret what they’re seeing as the real deal and create an issue. I would think this is a private land scenario, but it truly boils down to a case-by-case situation.

That said, fanning or reaping can be an effective tactic, particularly on stubborn henned-up gobblers. And Mojo Outdoors, a well-known name in the decoy trade, has put a lot of thought into making their Scoot ‘n Shoot Gunner as user-friendly as possible. It’s large enough to hide behind, but not so big and bulky as to make seeing and, hopefully shooting, a problem. If you do miss that first shot, I’m afraid putting a hit on a running/flying gobbler with the Gunner in place would indeed be an achievement. 

The Scoot ‘n Shoot Gunner definitely falls under the ‘Pulling Out All the Stops’ category. But, with the right safety measures in place, it can help transform a fickle gobbler into Thanksgiving’s guest of honor in short order.

For more on reaping turkeys, check out our article filled with reaping tips. We also have some info on turkey reaping bans you should be aware of.

Specs

  • Weight: 1 pound 
  • Body Type: Composite with fabric fan
  • Stake System: Metal handle stake and shotgun mount

Best Budget

Game Winner Turkey Flock Decoys on white background

Pros

  • Ultra lightweight
  • Excellent head coloration on jake decoy
  • Quick and easy deployment afield
  • Highly affordable price tag lets you run a full flock of decoys

Cons 

  • Plastic stakes aren’t super sturdy
  • Flimsy bodies could be damaged with hard use

Whether you’re a new turkey hunter or looking for something new, different, and highly portable this Game Winner three-bird turkey flock is a great buy. The package includes one upright jake, one upright hen, and a feeding hen. While the coloration isn’t particularly detailed or reflective, it is realistic enough to fool even decoy-savvy birds. 

Hunter setting up Game Winner turkey flock decoys in the woods
You can’t beat the quality of these turkey decoys for the price. (Photo/Alice Jones Webb)

Each of these decoys rolls up into super compact packages that are easy to stow in a turkey vest. I’m not a huge fan of the two-piece metal stakes. They can clink together and make a lot of noise, but they are plenty sturdy and allow for some realistic movement even with minimal wind.

Specs

  • Weight: 1 pound for three decoys
  • Body Type: Foldable EVA foam
  • Stake System: Two-piece metal stakes

What To Look for in a Turkey Decoy

Doesn’t really matter what you’re buying—new car, bowling ball, shotgun, or black lab pup—there are variables to be considered. Everything you purchase, turkey decoys included, is an investment of both time and money. Why buy a particular item if you’re basically ignorant of whether that item is going to serve your purposes? Or, if it’s going to work as intended. 

So that’s where we’re at here with turkey decoys. What should you know before pulling your wallet out of your pocket?

Price

The best turkey decoys on the planet do you no good if you can’t afford them. Before you shop, decide the low end, as well as the high end, of your price range. Are Dave Smith Decoys, incredible though they may be, out of your price range? Is $30 or $40 more in your ballpark? Face facts. Check your finances and get the best turkey decoys you can reasonably afford.

Realism

I’m not lying when I say there are turkey decoys on the market today that look more realistic than the real thing. And I believe realism does make a difference when it comes to getting a gobbler close and convincing him to stick around. A high level of realism often does come with a larger price tag, so it’s a balancing act. How real will your wallet allow?

Close-up of turkey decoy in the field
I’ve learned to buy the most realistic decoy you can afford for the best results. (Photo/Alice Jones Webb)

Durability

Let’s face it. I don’t expect a $100 Pontiac Grand Am to give me 200,000 trouble-free miles. And I don’t expect a $15 turkey decoy to last 10 seasons. It might, but it likely won’t. Still, I want a decoy that, again based on the flexibility of my wallet, will provide me multiple years of service afield. Does it look durable? Does it feel rugged and dependable? Is it going to last?

Portability

One of the best turkey decoys I’ve ever owned was also one of the worst. Fully flocked and realistic as could be, but it was hard plastic and carried in the field like an unfolded hide-a-bed. Some are still like that; however, there are plenty of decoys on the market that list ‘portability’ as one of the main selling points. Do you want something that’s easy to carry? Foldable? Or do you not mind toting a couch? The bottom line is: how portable is it?

Stake System

Simple is good. Lightweight and simple is even better. Lightweight, simple, and allowing for some degree of motion is best. Some stake systems are a separate unit; others are integrated into the decoy itself. Some are reminiscent of the television antennas of old. (GOOGLE an image!) The ability to stake the decoy quickly and securely can make-or-break the decision to purchase. Examine this variable closely.

Motion

A decoy that can “move,” per se, adds an entirely new dimension to the illusion you’re trying to create. However, too much motion, like a lightweight decoy that spins around madly like Linda Blair’s head in The Exorcist, can be a little intimidating to even the meanest gobbler. As for strings and batteries, they’re just another thing to go wrong, die, or otherwise prove problematic at the worst possible time. That all said, what type of motion, if any, is the decoy capable of?

More Info

If you are a beginning turkey hunter, or are just looking for some additional tips and tricks to help you this season, be sure to read the following articles. Check out our tips for finding overlooked turkey hunting spots. While there’s a lot of great info on hunting eastern gobblers, the west is often overlooked. Be sure to check out our article on how to hunt western turkeys if that’s where you’ll be hunting. If you also chase Toms in the autumn, take a look at our tips for hunting fall turkeys. And be sure to check out our roundup of the best new turkey hunting gear.

FAQs

Q: Are decoys necessary for turkey hunting?

Absolutely not. I’ve killed plenty of gobblers without decoys over the past 30 years. However, decoys can be a useful addition to your turkey hunting toolbox when used correctly.
 
Decoys work by completing the illusion you’re trying to present with your turkey call. You’ve given him something to hear, now you’re giving him something to see. The scenario appears, to the gobbler, to be legitimate. Decoys can bring a hesitant tom closer, sometimes within feet of a ground blind, making them a great option for archers.

Q: How much do turkey decoys cost?

You can buy a foam hen decoy for as little as $10, and there’s a good chance it will work just fine. Or you can spend $150 for a single hen decoy, and she might work just fine, or not at all. Cheap doesn’t always mean poor quality; expensive isn’t always buying you the very best. A fair answer here would be $10 to $150 for a single hen turkey decoy, and anything in between.

Q: Do decoys scare turkeys?

Decoys can scare turkeys. A full-strut gobbler decoy can possibly intimidate a less dominant, albeit mature tom, causing him to scurry away at high speed. A jake decoy can frighten adult gobblers, if there happens to be a pack of mean-spirited jakes roaming your property and causing mayhem.
 
And yes, even hen decoys can create a problem should a longbeard low on the pecking order show up on-scene and be reluctant to approach the dominant bird’s ‘girl.’ Does this mean you shouldn’t use them? No, but the better you know the birds you’re hunting, the better prepared you’ll be to answer the question: Decoy, or no decoy?

What Is the Best Turkey Decoy?

If you’re only going to run a single decoy, you can’t go wrong with the Avian-X LCD Hen. It is easy to carry and has enough realism to drive love-sick gobblers wild. This collapsible decoy is perfect for coaxing even the wariest bird to come within shooting range, so you can seal the deal and punch that tag.

Why Trust Us

For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.



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