grampy

Using A Deer Decoy???

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In the off season I like to think of different things, when it comes to the upcoming deer season. New spots, food plots, moving a stand, or making a new natural ground blind. Or just trying something new, we have not done before. This keeps us fresh, and hopefully the deer from patterning us too much over time. Recently I've read some articles on deer decoys. And found it interesting, thinking perhaps it may work, perhaps not?

Was thinking how a deer decoy would work in some of our spots? Mostly in the spots nearby thick cover, where a buck could see out to doe decoy, and possibly come out of the thick stuff to investigate. And perhaps offer a shot that we would not have gotten otherwise? We have a LOT of very thick cover on our property. Only very seldom will we ever see a mature buck out in an open field. So most of our spots are set up on travel corridors bordering food and thick cover.

We hunt our own land. Don't think it would be a good idea to use decoy's on state land.

For those who have used deer decoys, what has been your observations when using them? Pro's and con's?

Also, this would be more for bow season than firearms season.

Edited by grampy
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Interesting idea, but I already carry too much into my hunt area already, but that's just me. I get nervous when I see those turkey hunters using cut out turkey images, trying to sneak up on toms. 

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7 minutes ago, Merlot said:

Interesting idea, but I already carry too much into my hunt area already, but that's just me. I get nervous when I see those turkey hunters using cut out turkey images, trying to sneak up on toms. 

Was thinking of just leaving the decoy out there, nearby, stashed under a camo tarp when not being used.

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Not much of a deer hunter here-- but this would be safe on Private Lands that do not have a regular history of Trespassing hunters sneaking past posted signs.

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I have used a decoy many times it is effective during rut. As a doe.. taco took his best buck over the doe decoy.with white hanky for a tail added feature worked well.and brought the 10 point back several times till he was able to get a shot, due to his being tall and me short the shooting lanes that work fine for me were to low for him. 

Does will shy away. But buck come and will come down downwind and try to get around it's back side to scent check it/ mount it..  do not put scent directly on it but under it on a stick or weed stalk. When you pull the decoy you want to pull scent as well. Especially if leaving decoy stashed nearby. ( I actullay put mine under the elevated box blind or covered it with artificial Christmas tree limbs

 

 

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I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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I've used them for years with mixed results.Didn't have any luck with the buck decoy.The doe decoys definitely catch there interest both bucks and does.I started out with a cardboard set then picked up a Montana doe decoy.It's a coil spring that folds up and fits in my backpack.The only real problem I've had is when they come around to the thin side[hopefully this makes sense] and the decoy disappears some of them bolt.I've been wanting to get another decoy and put them so that doesn't happen. Sent is another problem they used to sell estrus sent wafers the worked great but I can't find them anymore.A little pee on a tree works.

This is the one I have.It fold up to the size of a frisbee.

 

139634_ts.jpg

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No one could ever give an answer that the response is defined. It's so variable but you should try it. I've had them blowing and ruining the day and other times it's plain entertaining. Had a day where wind was howling and decoy blew over 3 times. Last time I said f' it and didn't get down to fix .Left it tipped over. A small buck still came over 5 yards from it and circled. Was funny as sh!t.Ran away blowing the hole area. The 5mins of entertainment was worth it.  Here's a bad video of one that circled the decoy for a 1/2 hr. He was so fixated I could do anything I wanted in the stand. Completely got downwind multiple times.  One thing that is consistent is the bucks will always try to approach it head on once they see it. Watched them see it from long ways and had them get downwind of both decoy and me to approach head on. Keep that in mind in placement. Does seem to figure if out quick and can blowout the whole area. I never use until bucks start cruising around 20th and on. If your not worried about completely blowing a day because of response try it. I've had it actually help me carrying to stand

Discaimer: I never use it gun season, but not because of safety reasons. Some of the funniest days in the woods without even drawing

 

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Also get it visible from some distance on their approach. Doesn't necessarily mean hundreds of yards, but if they get close without 1st seeing it usually ends up bad. Good use of decoy is that hard to hunt spot because of prevailing wind and entrance to food. One shot deal. 

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I've also had good success (as of late) using a decoy during the rut. However, the smart momma does don't like it one bit! Stomp and snort baby!

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Side note : I keep on thinking a turkey decoy would be a great idea. Deer always seem at ease in the spring turkey woods when they lock on my decoys. They know turkeys have some of the best eyesight and hearing then any other critter they share the woods with. So if there’s turkeys there they’re safe. I may give it a whirl this year a time or two. 

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I tried a buck decoy last year. Every deer that saw it investigated. Two small bucks came in and fought in front of me. I was in a pop up blind and they never looked my way, they concentrated on the decoy. Looking foward to using it this year.

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The 1st time I used a decoy , I set it up 20 yards from my stand in an open field . I used a 3-D target for the decoy . I placed it facing away from me as suggested because a buck would approach a doe from the rear . After a while a 6 point came across the field and approached the doe decoy nose to nose . Apparently he didn't read the same book that I did . One of my sister in laws horses ran up the the fence and whinnied . The buck took off and I couldn't get him to come back .

Another time I set up the same decoy in the woods . I saw two doe out in the field about 70 yards away . They spotted the decoy and came right in . I was able to shoot one of them so it payed off . 

I carried the decoy in one of the large orange bags that they use when picking up along the highway even though I did it in the dark . I left it in the woods broke down in a large Black garbage bag . This was on private land . 

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97.3% of statistics are made up
To Err is Human - To Forgive Divine 

Neither of which is Marine Corps Policy !

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Some great responses, thanks guy's!

I'm going to give it a try from November first to the end of bow season. Most all my hunting is done at ground level. So I'll have the decoy facing away at twenty yards or so, looking in to the thick cover I expect the bucks to be moving through. The wind will be coming from the thicket and the decoy to me. Hopefully, if the buck comes in to scent check, it will be between the decoy and me, for a chip shot?  I love the white hanky idea for the tail! And putting scent under the decoy makes great sense. Definitely will just stash it out nearby, or even in a pop up blind, when not in use.

If it doesn't work, oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. But there are a couple of set ups we have, where it might just work!

Is there a particular brand of decoy that stands out to you guys? I do have a 3D target, but it's heavy and cumbersome to move around.

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Phade pinwheeled a buck a few years ago that had passed by me at 60 paying no attention to my grunts.  About 300yds away, it spotted a 1/2 rack decoy that was 20yds from him and came in angry.   It was set up on field edge but could be seen from trail in woods.  The buck veered from his course in the woods to come right down the trail to meet his demise.   

Definitely worth a shot.  I have had a few deer spook when I tried it also.   No big bucks however.  

Edited by moog5050
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I have used decoys through out the year with a lot of sucess. The does are usually very timid when it comes to decoys, but will come out to check out a doe decoy. You should place it about 20 yards up wind of you, because the does will circle about 10 yards down wind. I shot my first deer with a bow over a decoy. I personally always use a doe decoy, since a buck will come to it and does wont spook from them really. 

You'll want to put it in a spot where its the most visable for the area. A decoy doesnt work well if you cant see it. Another trick is to attatch a piece of toilet paper or something white at the tail. ID say in heavy cover, this is going to be very important. Any slight breeze and it'll move, which will catch the attention of a buck. Try looking at the montana decoys, they're a breeze to carry in and work well. 

I havent used mine very much the last 2 years, but I certainly will use it a lot more this year. 

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I used a doe decoy once and it was attacked by the head doe. Snortin, blowin, circleing until it finally ran in on it to chase it off. Have not used one since. This was in jersey on a wild life mgnt area. Interesting to watch tho.

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I used my 3-D at my Mom's in Groveland one time . I was in a in a stand in a wooded area and had the decoy a few yards in an open field . A button buck crossed in front of me and entered the field . He wasn't paying attention and when he spotted the decoy i swear all 4 hooves came off the ground . He ran a few yards , stopped and turned around , looked back and then just sauntered off . I bet he heard me laughing . 

The guy that owned the field had a lot of equipment there and I stored the decoy in the back of one of the vans . He had an auction that I wasn't aware of and I lost the decoy . 

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97.3% of statistics are made up
To Err is Human - To Forgive Divine 

Neither of which is Marine Corps Policy !

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Last fall, was very windy. I watched several different bucks pass by within 50-100 yards, but they couldn't hear my grunts or smell the scent that I put out. I was to the point that I thought if they couldn't hear or smell my "invisible" deer, the next best thing would be giving them something to see! I bought a cheap buck decoy (Primo's Scarface for like $79), because it was the only decoy that was available locally that I could pick up that same day. I never put the antlers on it, using it as a doe. I started using it towards the end of October and kept it hidden near my stand, so I didn't need to carry it in every day. I dare say that EVERY buck that saw it came right in on a string! They were locked onto the decoy the entire time! I think I could have tap danced in the stand and they wouldn't have paid a bit of attention to me! I had so much fun watching the bucks! None ever spooked! There was a small buck that fell in love with the decoy and would come bed down near it on several occasions! It actually stood 40 yards away one morning and watched me put the decoy up. As soon as I climbed into my stand, he excitedly came running over to the decoy and bedded down 10 yards from it! I had such an enjoyable season last fall, largely because of the using the decoy! The buck that I ended up shooting was 100% brought in because of the decoy. 

Edited by Cabin Fever
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"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice." - Wease

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Correction. The decoy that I got is "Ole Jack", not Primo's Scarface. https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Core-Brands-01-400-0001-Carrying/dp/B01LZMH53A/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Ole+Jack+Deer+Decoy&qid=1561958874&s=gateway&sr=8-1  It's really only about the size of a good sized fawn in the fall, so certainly not intimidating by no means. Sure does the trick though and draws in the bucks! LOL 

Looks like Walmart sells them for $83. 

 

6466fc5933bca2f91f04899b488e9196.jpg

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"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice." - Wease

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I definitely want to try a doe decoy, have wanted to for a few years. Just have a hard time spending the money on something so seldomly used. You could probably leave the decoy out and it wont bother them. 

So I have been chasing a giant old buck for a few years now, a few years ago I noticed the neighbor using a big boss buck decoy,  he puts it up hunts over it, takes it down and brings it to the base of his tree stand and lays it on the ground.. every sit there,  every day every weekend, that decoy laid there on its side when not in use. Halloween that year I finally had an encounter with this stud buck.. he slipped by just yards out of bow range and walked over the property line right to that decoy and right past it like it wasnt even laying there.. I firmly believe These old bucks use these scenarios as patterns to follow for their safety IMHO.  They notice it still on the ground, they probably smelled the scent left on it and put the 2 dangers together and use to their advantage. 

So if it were me and you are chasing a mature local buck.. Id take it with you each and every time. These critters know the woods, its their living room to us.. 

Best of luck though.. keep us posted 

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