How To Bowhunt a Deer With A Decoy: Expert Tips

Most deer hunters are yet to master the art of decoying. As a matter of fact, 90% of the hunters haven’t even tried it. It is unlike the goose and duck hunters who have unraveled the secret to hunting with decoys for a long time.

Turkey and predator hunters have also joined this bandwagon. As a deer hunter, you also need to improve your activity in the woods with these decoys. And there is no better time than now to discover how to effortlessly bowhunt that white-tailed deer with a decoy.

The initial step is to pick the ideal decoy for you. Deer decoys can be categorized into two major categories- you can either pick a flat 2D or a full-body 3D decoy.

Though the former are entirely easy to transport and quicker to set up, they do not have the realistic appearance that brings the deer into your bow range for a successful shot. For the full-bodied models, they’re bulky, a bit hard to store, and harder to transport to the hunting zone.

But the fact they have a realistic look- similar to that of a real-life deer- makes them the best option for most hunters. Most brands have embarked on making full-bodied decoys that are convenient to dismantle, store and transport, making them user-friendly.

Picking the right location to set up your decoy is essential. Setting them on field edges gives you the capability of attracting the deer quickly and from far. Utilizing the decoy in the thickets is not always advisable as the deer will enter the shooting range before it could ever see the setup.

Pretty much as critical as the location is the way you place your decoy.

If the setup is wrong, an approaching deer may need to move downwind to face it, and in the process, it might get your smell. Additionally, the deer may not provide you with a shot if your setup placement is wrong.

For instance, if you’re a right-handed individual, put your setup around 20 yards out and to the left side of your stand, put its broadside to your position and somewhat downwind.

This gives you a good chance to get the buck in upwind, and produce a broadside shot!

Some of these animals are more suspicious than the others and regardless of how real your decoy is, they won’t be easily lured. This is probably because of the unnatural solidness of the decoy.

An ideal approach to prevent such an incident is by adding some movements to your decoy. Recent decoys have been made in such a way that they can nod their heads and jerk their tails.

If you use a stationary decoy, you can as well modify it by including a piece white and brown fabric or a genuine deer tail that will shudder in the slightest breeze.

Smell masking is another critical thing to consider when using decoys. Most of the products are produced using injection molded plastic. Thus they don’t hold smell extremely well.

However, oils from your hands can be left on the bait, and the deer will notice it. Leave your decoys outside when not using them, and utilize clean latex gloves when handling them.

After you set up your decoy in the woods, shower it with a human scent eliminating spray. You can likewise utilize natural deer aromas, e.g. misting sprays or scent wicks around your bait for a much more realistic feel.

Combining a realistic deer with some deer scent is a surefire method to get that huge buck to commit.

Calling is great when deer hunting with decoys.

You can utilize doe bleats, rattling, and grunt tubes from your stand. However, once the animal comes closer, it might realize that the sound is originating from some place other than the decoy.

Once a deer is lured and starts approaching stop calling and give the bait time do the rest. What if you keep on calling the deer? Well, you will only increase the probability of the deer eyeing you and running off. You can also place an electronic caller bellow the bait- this can be an extremely viable strategy (only if it’s legitimate in your location).

Most decoys come with removable antlers such that you can set it up to be either a doe or a buck. How you do your setup heavily depends on where and when you’re hunting. If you are in the pre-rut season, a buck decoy will be the best option.

During this time, bucks are simply beginning to fight and battle for the breeding rights, in addition to looking out for potential does. In the peak rut times, you will have chances of success from using either a buck or doe bait.

And in the post-rut times, you will experience the best fortunes with the doe decoy. At this time, the dominant bucks are keener on finding any unbred doe than battling other bucks.

Wrap Up

Haven’t took a stab at deer hunting with a decoy yet? And you’re searching for the best approach to

And you’re searching for the best approach to drawing in the big bucks plus a few big does?

Well you ought to try a deer decoy this fall. You might be shocked at how effective it truly is. You will even gain some new useful knowledge about the behavior of the deer each time the animal comes near your setup.

Have fun and remember to stay safe!

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