I think that they do, as the Tom comes into the call if he sees a decoy they may come in more aggressively and in the open and not paying much attention to anything other than the decoys. I once had two Toms come into my decoys and attack the decoy Tom. I wished that I had a video camera on that one.
I got lucky my first year out, but then I had been with others on their hunts out west here. We would hit the creek bottoms and follow the water up to the snow line. We slept in one morning and were headed up to where we wanted to set up when a flock crossed in front of the truck. I got up and around a corner and then headed downhill to a meadow that I knew that was along the creek. I was there as they walked into view and had to wait for the Tom's to bring up the rear. I had a hen 5' away from me by the time that the Tom's came into view and took my shot.
Ha yeah I didn’t realize how fast they can run, seen a Tom and 5 hens on the road , thought I could get the wife set up and get them called away from road haha mistake the hauled azzzzz never seen them again lol, then our first year had 2 gobblers coming in and it was on a recreation area and some kid on a joy walk walked right between wife and turkeys they shut up and never got them to respond again. This year we are gonna go during the week hoping won’t be to much non hunting activity going on!! I’m ready to give it a go again , to bad still have couple months to wait lol
Been hunting them since the 80's all over . Got my Royal slam, the only guided one was in Florida. I rarely use decoys. I think they do as much harm as good. To each his own ,Good luck. Patience is the key and be in where turkeys live and roam...........................BOB!
If used properly, they are a huge asset. I have called in around 50 toms to decoys in the last 9 years. My son has been the lucky recipient for most of those. He is 14 and has shot 12 so far. Last year I called in 21 different toms on opening day for my son- he ended up with a triple. I prefer a single strutting tom with one hen. I use real turkey fans on my tom decoy and have him on a motion stake so he can move in the breeze. From 30+ yards, he looks like a real turkey. I set up the hen about 15 yards from the shooter and the tom at 18-20 yards. Most of the toms we have killed were squaring off to my tom decoy and many have attacked it.
As others have mentioned, safety has to be a huge consideration.
This is two real toms facing off my decoy.
My decoy took part of the spread...
Couple pics from years past. Without the decoys, I'm guessing his count would be considerably lower.
All of the above stated - being a proficient caller is probably more important. Whatever call you use, learn to make the soft sounds, not just yelps. It is the soft sounds that convince them most of the time for me. Occasionally we run into a suicidal gobbler that charges in to yelps but more times than not, it takes the full sound range for a period of time to bring them into your lap.