Years ago, I worked within 100 yards of a flock of turkeys feeding in a lightly rolling pasture. To get closer, I slid a Thunder Chicken decoy in front of me to cover the approach. I had gotten barely 20 yards when the gobblers were at point-blank range, my first experience of toms attacking a decoy. Since that day, having a half gobbler decoy with natural feathers has been a staple and almost always works.
The Thunder Chicken is compact, light, and allows for easy natural fan attachment. The red, white, and blue colors of the gobbler front are realistic and toms often run right up to the decoy.
This year, I tried the Mojo Scoot-N-Shoot, a semi-gobbler decoy with a few additions. First, it has skirts on each side which cover more movement as you scoot along behind the decoy. Additionally, it has a single post in the middle which acts as a handle so that you can crawl (or scoot) and hold the decoy erect. For example, I spotted a flock of Rios along a river bank and had to circle a mile to cross the stream and then relocate the birds. Moving slowly, I glassed the thick river bottom cover, realizing that I had to see them before they saw me. Luckily, the flock crossed an opeing where I spotted them at 150 yards. I closed half that distance by moving from tree to tree and the presented the decoy as the gobbler strutted behind a patch of choke cherry saplings. With all the birds out of sight, I slipped within 25 yards of the cover, when turkeys began to puck the alarm. Ordinarily, I’d have been busted, but I popped up the Shoot-N-Scoot and the flock immediately settled down. Holding the decoy in my left hand and the shotgun in my right, I slowly approached. Suddenly, the strutting tom emerged from behind the choke cherries at 25 yards. It saw the decoy, strutted, but then became suspicious as my Mossberg 20-gauge raised. Too late! The gun discharged and the tom went down. It was the first time I’ve tried a Rooster Cogburn shot.
The Thunder Chicken and the Mojo decoys work very well, but always keep safety in mind. Never use them on public land or where a hunter could mistake you for the real thing. Follow the precautions from the manufacturer to the letter. For more information about these products, check mojooutdoors.com for the Scoot-N-Shoot and flextonegamecalls.com for the Thunder Chicken.