Deer Decoy Secrets of Pro Hunters
Why Use Deer Decoys
Editor’s Note: In the last couple of years, deer decoys, in states where allowed, have proved themselves as very-effective deer-hunting aids, especially on the edges of agricultural fields, green fields and pastures. However, a large number of deer hunters resist carrying any more stuff into the woods than what they’ve already got, particularly with the weight involved with 3-D decoys. Let’s listen to some hunters who successfully have used deer decoys and learn why they don’t hunt deer without their deer decoys.
Using the Correct Sex Deer Decoy for Your Area:
Professional hunter Alex Rutledge of Birchtree, Missouri, remembers a hunt for a really-big deer in Kansas when using the right sex of deer decoy helped him take a 170-class 8-point monster buck. “Every time I saw the buck I named Magic, because he would disappear and then show-up in places and times when I least expected to see him, I got even more excited about this trophy buck. I’d hunted this fine buck the previous season but had been unsuccessful in seeing him, although a 160-class 8 pointer in the same area came in and knocked over my decoy with his antlers that year but left without giving me a shot. So, the next year, I returned to the same farm, once more taking a decoy with me and setting the doe decoy up on the edge of a field. I also took buck antlers with me. After the doe decoy spooked several does, which then spooked bucks, I decided to come out of my tree stand and put antlers on my decoy. I also used my Hunter’s Specialties’ Primetime Rattling Bag and began to rattle.
“From out of nowhere, Magic appeared and headed right toward my decoy, walking stiff-legged like he was mad. Magic stuck his nose up to the rear of my decoy and took a big sniff of that PRIMETIME Premium Doe Estrus Plus I’d poured on the ground behind the decoy. I turned my body, got my bow back to a full draw, anchored my shot, aimed with my 20-yard pin somewhat higher than where I wanted the arrow to hit and released the arrow, which hit Magic behind his front shoulder. Magic whirled and then dropped his tail before stopping and falling over. That buck decoy certainly worked for me.”
Hunting Lockdown Bucks:
One of the creators of Hunter’s Specialties’ EZ Wheeze call, Brandon Danker of Chandler, Oklahoma, took a buck during the 2005 season that scored 155 on Boone & Crockett with the EZ Wheeze, a buck decoy and his bow. “I spotted a buck with a doe, and that buck was in what I call lockdown,” Danker explains. “I believe this buck had already bred this doe once and was staying with her to possibly breed her again. I knew from experience that a buck in lockdown with a doe often would move that doe away from the sounds of rattling or grunting. So, I decided not to grunt or rattle to this buck and thought I’d wait him out and hope that he’d walk within range. I took out my EZ Wheeze call and blew two shorts and one long. Although the buck didn’t come straight to me, I did pull him within 35 yards to make the shot with my bow.
“I like to use the EZ Wheeze when the buck’s within 100 yards, and I need to pull him within bow range. The EZ Wheeze can be very deadly when used with a decoy. I’ve learned that when the buck sees the decoy and hears the snort/wheeze, the buck will respond by coming in bristled-up with his ears pinned back in an aggressive posture. Then you can get the shot. I’ve proved over and over again that the combination of making the snort/wheeze and the buck’s seeing a decoy sets up in his mind that he’s about to lose to another fellow the doe he’s already bred and hoping to breed again. When he abandons his caution is when I get my shot.”
Tommorrow: Various Ways to Use Deer Decoys