“Today’s hunters would laugh at this setup, but any turkey within 20–25 yards was in trouble,” he quipped. “Nowadays, every major shotgun shell manufacturer is offering some very advanced turkey loads. Mixed shot loads with #4, #5 and #6 shot; copper and nickel-plated lead; improved wad and load configurations to hold shot together for longer distances; and other improvements are the norms in the industry today.”

Leonard said the other biggest technology jump in recent years has been decoys.

“The realistic look from nearly every top decoy manufacturer has grown leaps and bounds in the past several years,” he noted. “Modern decoys are a far cry from those we used over a quarter-century ago, and it makes a huge difference when trying to coax a weary gobbler into range.”

Last year, Avian-X added the HDR Hen to its Heavy-Duty Realism (HDR) series. Molded from hand-carved designs, it features an upright body with two interchangeable head postures (outstretched and resting) and non-chip paint.

Motion decoys like the Shake’n Jake from MOJO Outdoors are also growing in popularity. The first-ever full-body, full-motion turkey decoy, it can be remote controlled up to 150'. Just like real gobblers, it raises its tail and fans it while simultaneously turning its body.