If not used properly, decoys can hamper your chances of getting a shot at a buck. This is especially true for the mature bruisers that have seen a thing or two. Here are a few tips we’ve found useful over the years while using a Montana Decoy.
If You Have It, Use It
How many hands would it take to count the hunting equipment you’ve purchased over the years that is sitting in the closet collecting dust? Us too. It’s inevitable. If you purchase a deer decoy from Montana Decoy, try it out. You never know when that buck of a lifetime wants to come closer to investigate.
Right Decoy, Right Time
Be sure you’re using the right decoy for the right phase of the season. Pre rut is probably not the best time to use Estrus Betty though she works well during the peak. Before the chase begins, use The Freshman, which will entice other bucks to come check him out, maybe spar a little. Dreamy Doe works well throughout the entire season, adding a certain comfort level when other deer see that a mature doe is hanging around.
Proper placement of the decoy is vital to success. Make sure it’s close enough for a shot, but not so close that it might expose your location when you move or by giving away your scent. Remember that bucks are likely going to stalk up to another buck head on while they’d approach a doe from the rear.
Periodic grunting and/or snort wheezing, even rattling, will help grab the attention of deer within earshot. Once they come in to see what the commotion is about, the decoy will help seal the deal.
If you find yourself on a stalk, but the buck you’re after isn’t paying attention to the decoy, add some movement by raising it up and down. Most dominant bucks won’t stand for a fork horn trying to invade their territory. Once the buck commits, stake the decoy and get ready.
Use it as a Shield
This, too, pertains to stalking, but can also be a useful tactic when walking into a food plot where deer are already feeding. The ultra-realistic feature of the decoy provides great cover for stalking, hiding and preparing for the shot.
Know When To Draw
After you’re set up has worked perfectly and a dream buck is stalking in to your decoy, be prepared to draw. Luckily, that buck has devoted so much of his focus to the decoy you should have a bigger window to get ready for the shot.
Deer have excellent noses. Utilize estrus during the rut to entice that sense of smell is a great way to draw in bucks that you might not have otherwise seen. Remember that using doe estrus outside of the rut is unnatural and will only hurt your chances. During the pre rut, try buck urine, making it appear that The Freshman is trying to establish himself as the dominant deer in the area. Also, take care to wash away any human scent by scrubbing the decoy with scentless soap and even covering it with pine needles for a day or so.
When using Dream Team, place Dreamy Doe in a bedded position as if the buck decoy has claimed her as his own. This is a great combination to use during peak rut. As we’ve mentioned, this just won’t sit well with a dominant buck. Light calling works well here though placement is paramount.
A great post rut tactic that conveys safety in numbers. A mature whitetail buck doesn’t make it through multiple seasons by being careless. Instead, he exudes ultimate caution and a herd of deer in a food plot will make him feel more comfortable about going to feed. Plus, bucks haven’t thought about much else other than does over the last few weeks and are looking to recharge on whatever food sources they can find.