Burton Moore III tried out two newly-carved wooden decoys on a March 21 turkey hunt on Wadmalaw Island and showed that wood still works wonders when it comes to fooling game.
Moore had never hunted the 65-acre property before; he used satellite imaging to pick out the biggest trees – loblolly pines – near the edge of a maritime forest. He was near those trees at 6:15 a.m. when a gobbler sounded off, causing Moore to put out his wooden hen and jake decoys and hit the ground.
"I called with a slate call one time, and the tom gobbled his brains out," said Moore, who did not touch his call again.
The boss gobbler cut off every crow in the vicinity and threw his gobbles around like they were his last. When the turkey flew down from the roost, never gobbled again, and Moore made one faint yelp on a mouth call. Three minutes later, the gobbler was in the decoys. After staring down with the jake decoy, the tom moved off about five yards, giving Moore an easy shot without damaging his decoys.
The wooden decoys came from the Audubon Shop in Charleston, where Moore represents some modern decoy carvers. The decoys worked so well that the gobbler overlooked the fact that Moore had forgotten his face mask and gloves.
"I don't use these wood-carved decoys all the time, that's for sure," said Moore. "They are clunky and heavy, and you've got to haul them around. The Tom Boozer jake decoy has a hinged, hollow body that opens up to carry the mounting stake and a camo-carrying strap. The hen decoy was made by Mark McNair."
The 20-yard shot that Moore took at 7:30 gave him a 20-pound gobbler that carried a 10-inch beard and 7/8ths-inch spurs. To see another of Moore's turkey hunt reports visit the Turkey Hunting Forum.