Decoy Do's and Dont'son Oct 21, 2012
Scenario Number One
It's November 5th. You are perched in your favorite stand on the edge of a field as daylight begins to wash over the landscape. A light fog hangs in the low lying areas all around you. Just as it is getting light enough to see, you notice a deer walking the opposite field edge. You throw up the binoculars and see a tall white rack with lots of points; easily the biggest buck you've ever seen. So, you grab your grunt call and let out a loud “uurrrppp”. The buck turns and looks towards you; intrigued by the noise.
He stares for a few seconds trying to pinpoint the source then turns and begins walking away from you. The rattling horns come out next. You bang them together and when the deer stops you let out the loudest, nastiest snort-wheeze you can muster. He stands there, locked in on your direction. You think to yourself “He's gotta come in now....there's no way he can resist all that.” But, to your dismay he carries on, walking away and disappears into the timber.
When it all comes together, hunting over a decoy can be an experience unlike any other!
Have you ever had something like that happen to you? Having a big buck hang up out of range is very frustrating. Are these deer just spooked from a previous experience and thus exceptionally wary? Is there any tricks a hunter may be able to use to bring in a wary buck close enough for a shot? Well, consider this…..
Scenario Number Two
It’s the same day, same conditions, same deer. The only difference is this time when you grunt at him he turns his head and spies the decoy you placed only 25 yards from your stand. Thinking it was the buck who just challenged him with a grunt, the big buck begins making a beeline for your stand. He cautiously stops a couple of times and appears to hang up, but each time a short grunt from your call convinces him the buck is real.
As the buck approaches, his hair seems to stand on end, and he begins walking very stiff legged. His ears pin back as he nears the decoy, and he circles around to challenge this new “intruder” buck. He stops for a brief moment, and then its all over. Your arrow zips behind his shoulder, and moments later…..you are kneeling beside the biggest buck of your life.