Turkey Decoy Strategies: Jake + Hen

Pairing a jake decoy with a hen can lead to some heart pumping hunts.  Introducing a subordinate bird who looks like he’s got a hen all to himself will really tick off a tom.  What happens next is something you’ll want the camera rolling for.


  • Easy to set up
  • Can tempt a gobbler to come in fast
  • Aggressive, but safe
  • Added visual


  • Have to carry two decoys
  • Red head is safety concern, especially on public land

Watch as Pat Reeve, host of Driven with Pat & Nicole shows you exactly how to use his favorite turkey decoy setup – the jake and hen.

When to use a jake decoy paired with a hen decoy

The jake/hen combo is a great setup that is both safe and aggressive.  Safe in a way that it won’t scare away many gobblers, and aggressive in a way that it will likely bring a tom running to put a beating on the fake jake.  With this setup, you’ll get much of the same results and reaction from toms as you would with a full strut decoy, but you won’t scare off the non-dominant birds.

Depending on the brand of turkey decoys you have or are planning to get, this combo is not too bad to carry around with you.  Pairing the jake decoy with a hen decoy is perfect for turkey hunting in open areas where birds could come out anywhere.  The site of the red head standing behind a hen will have those gobblers closing the distance fast.

The best time to use this turkey decoy setup is early on in the season while birds are sorting out dominance.  However, since a jake is subordinate, you can use this setup successfully all season long.

For the most effective display, set the jake decoy about two feet behind the hen decoy as if he is trailing her.  Keep the decoys within 20 yards if you can and try to offset them just a bit so they are not directly between you and the incoming tom if possible.

More Killer Turkey Decoy Setups

When to use a Lone Hen Decoy

When to use a Full Strutter + Breeding Hen

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