Next to the excitement of calling in a rut-raged bull that bugles at point blank range, practically blowing snot in your face, is the response of a mature turkey gobbler who believes his territory is being infringed. Sometimes they gobble and strut toward the aggressor and others they drop their head and run at the opponent as fast as those drumsticks can churn. A little known fact is that decoying works as well in the fall as it does in the spring with one big difference- fall gobblers are often in bachelor groups so that you lure in the entire flock.
Like any hunting tactic, it may not work 100 percent of the time and occasionally, a gobbler won’t charge a decoy, but stand its ground. I worked a tom like this in the spring where the patriarch and his hens fed in the middle of a 5-acre field of wheat stubble. I showed the decoy and called as if it had hens, yet the tom just looked and failed to approach. As an experiment, I used the decoy as a shield and belly crawled toward the gobbler pushing the decoy with one hand and my bow with the other. I was able to close the distance to shotgun range, yet knew I had to be much closer to be effective with an arrow. Suddenly, two hens began to peck their way toward my decoy. As I pushed the decoy ahead, I heard a strange sound, looked up, and saw the gobbler standing at 5 yards. I did my best to steady the decoy and draw the bow, but my arms were so fatigued from dragging through the straw, I couldn’t get the arrow to full draw. I was disappointed, yet learned that I could approach a gobbler behind a decoy.
Jerry McPherson and the folks at Montana Decoy have taken this “sneak-in-open-sight process to the next level with their new gobbler decoy the Fanatic XL, that is larger than a standard turkey, has a handle, and will rest on its own. You’d think the the Montana guys were watching me from a satellite as they fixed every problem I encountered.
Not just another reaping decoy, the Fanatic XL is built larger to provide more cover and allow the hunter to get away with more movement when chasing gobblers with a gun or bow. The included Turkey Foot Reaping Base allows the decoy to stand on its own, freely, without having to stick any poles into the ground when you prepare for the shot.
“If you’re bowhunting turkeys, the fanatic XL is built for you,” said Jerry Mcpherson, Montana Decoy founder. “The larger size, and Turkey Foot Reaping Base makes the decoy much easier and more effective for bowhunters but is equally effective when gun hunting.”