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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Some think decoys are a waste of time. Others have had great success. I'm going to try one this fall..
Just wondering when it would prove to be most effective? Pre rut? Full rut? 2nd rut?
Any thoughts from users? Thanks
 

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I have used them with some success. Pre-rut seems to be more effective.
Most does do not like a doe decoy, they get very nervous and go on high alert.

Bucks will tend to circle and then come head-on to the decoy. I try to place the decoy so that it is about 10 yards away from my shooting lane.
This is so the buck comes head-on towards the decoy and gives me a chance at a shot before they get right on the decoy.

A decoy will definitely get them focused on it & you can get away with more movement. It is pretty exciting to watch a deer come in on a decoy &
not have any clue you are there.

Like everything, they don't always work. I have had bucks get to about 20 yards and not like something & run off. Some does will get close & not care, most
want nothing to do with it & change direction to get as far away as possible.
 

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Biggest buck ... I ever saw locally was coming straight at me early season about 15 years ago. At about 30 yards, he saw my doe decoy about 20 yards off to his right at about 0ne oclock. He stopped, and then backed up in slow motion like somebody who just read a sign that said: "you just entered a minefield." I swear he almost stepped backward in his original hoof prints...lol After backing up about 5 or 6 yards be slowly turned and went back from whenst he comith. Never saw that deer again. Not at a distance nor on a camera. Disappeared from the area. Last time I ever tried a decoy. ;)
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It’ll probably fool a two year old buck. All about catching ‘em in the right mood. Full rut , 2nd rut…. There’s no perfect answer. Just gotta be lucky - right place at the right time kinda thing. In ga there’s a hunter in every other tree so if a buck makes it to 4-5 years old he’s no dummy. Duke that’s a good one - I’ve seen a 3-4 year old buck belly crawl across a cutover w/ small pines I was hunting in Washington county :). That was some next level adaptation. Heck I’m convinced most mature bucks in heavily pressured areas bed away from any area they smell people and don’t stray far from it until LAST light. The buck I killed this year was chasing does and still hesitated before jumping the fence and coming by me in the open. He jumped the fence and probably made it 60 yards before I could find ‘em it was so dark. So I tend to steer clear of anything fancy. But hey you never know unless you try and if it gets ya excited to get out in the woods then go for it.
 

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It’ll probably fool a two year old buck. All about catching ‘em in the right mood. Full rut , 2nd rut…. There’s no perfect answer. Just gotta be lucky - right place at the right time kinda thing. In ga there’s a hunter in every other tree so if a buck makes it to 4-5 years old he’s no dummy. Duke that’s a good one - I’ve seen a 3-4 year old buck belly crawl across a cutover w/ small pines I was hunting in Washington county :). That was some next level adaptation. Heck I’m convinced most mature bucks in heavily pressured areas bed away from any area they smell people and don’t stray far from it until LAST light. The buck I killed this year was chasing does and still hesitated before jumping the fence and coming by me in the open. He jumped the fence and probably made it 60 yards before I could find ‘em it was so dark. So I tend to steer clear of anything fancy. But hey you never know unless you try and if it gets ya excited to get out in the woods then go for it.
We have to ... define "excited...lol I was killing does when I had my big buck vs the decoy incident so I was almost an impartial observer. BUT... if I was a buck hunter? Excitement like that would quickly morph into some form of hunter's "Twelve Step Program." :p ;) Not to mention the diabolic & unholy things I'd have done to that decoy afterward!🤬👹
 
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IMO here's where you can't have your cake and eat it to. If a deer's nose is so great that fooling it is a waste of time. Then how are you going to cover up the decoys smell so it smells like a deer.
 

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Some think decoys are a waste of time. Others have had great success. I'm going to try one this fall..
Just wondering when it would prove to be most effective? Pre rut? Full rut? 2nd rut?
Any thoughts from users? Thanks
Depends on what your goals and expectations are. If you go into it expecting the results that the folks selling the decoys have already got your dollar with, then 9 times out of 10 your going to be disappointed imo.
I‘ll use decoys from time to time in the right situation. Generally in a field setting where visibility is optimum. But just trying to work a buck into a frenzy for a shot is not usually my primary intention. I primarily use them in an attempt at a visual confirmation to deer (in general) to set them at ease in their normal routine. To enter a field just a little bit earlier or to direct them in my direction out of social curiosity.
I mostly use a fawn decoy because the one I have folds up easily and carry’s with little effort. Sometimes I will also use a turkey decoy or two In the mix for the same reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well said Tanasi. I recall back in my duck hunting days, using a Blue Heron decoy at the shoreline. This was used as a "Confidence Decoy" suggesting all is quite, all is well.
 

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IMO here's where you can't have your cake and eat it to. If a deer's nose is so great that fooling it is a waste of time. Then how are you going to cover up the decoys smell so it smells like a deer.
Not to further derail the thread, but if ya really think about the whole decoy and estrus strategy…..:… ;) Mature bucks are running rounds all over trying to decide which does they’re gonna pursue during the rut. Licking branches , scrapes, etc they’re familiar with the scent of each doe. And……it’s not their first rodeo with the rut and hunters fumigating the woods with massive scent bombs in a last ditch, Hail Mary attempt to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. :) Then, all of a sudden - out in the open there’s a strange new doe, that ain’t moving and that they haven’t ever smelled??? I ain’t saying that it wont work and I think it’d be one helluva kick if it did. I’m only saying that that play is gonna be reserved for the 4th Quarter. JMO
 

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I took this pic about 10 minutes before I shot my buck last year. If I remember right I sent it to WWB lol. The buck was making a rub across the field in the brush when I saw him. Grunted and he came in on a rope. I get the same thrill killing a buck over a decoy as i do a turkey. Something to experience when they come in all bristled up ready to kick some ass. I've lost track how many bucks I've killed this way.
 

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My point was if a decoy will work and i have no doubt they will and have. Then that nose that can't be beat is not accurate.

One eye archer looks to have been in a blind in a field or edge using a Buck decoy. And got his Buck my hats off to him and i bet that was extremely exciting. Did you add any scent to the decoy or take any steps to try and cover up any scent?
 

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Here's my ... simplistic test: "if they worked, why isn't everyone using them?" The "simple" answer is they much more often do more harm than good. That's the way I look at a lot of things. That said, I've seen videos of decoys working to lure in bucks. Evidently there's a mixture of knowledge how and when to PROPERLY employ a decoy, with the need for a strong dose of luck. Once again, if there was a proven & established right way to use one, a LOT more people would be using them. :)
 

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They are a crapshoot. In woods they tend to spook deer. In an open field, it can draw in a deer from a long distance out of curiosity. I don't use mine during the rut in the woods anymore. I'll use early season to distract deer when I'm hunting out of a ground blind.
 

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My point was if a decoy will work and i have no doubt they will and have. Then that nose that can't be beat is not accurate.

One eye archer looks to have been in a blind in a field or edge using a Buck decoy. And got his Buck my hats off to him and i bet that was extremely exciting. Did you add any scent to the decoy or take any steps to try and cover up any scent?
I have not used any scent on my decoy in years. The only scent control i do with it is leave it in the blind all season. I used to have the decoy out without a rack and doe in heat on the back end of it. The funny thing was, rack or not, scent or not on the decoy the bucks always came in posturing to the decoy. I assume it was the decoys stance that made them think it was another buck. I have Bucky Jr as a half rack to make him less intimidating.
Once a buck gets locked in on the decoy they are coming 90% off the time. I have never had one spook from scent and never even seen them licking their nose coming in, always postured up, ready to whoop some ass and entirely focused on the decoy. It is really something to see and my favorite way to kill a deer. There is just something magical about a frosty morning and a decoy out. 😊 @Swatman can testify. He has seen my kill a bunch this way 😆
 

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Youtube has many videos documenting bucks interacting with decoys. There are several videos showing mountain lions attacking decoys. My thread actually was less to do with effectiveness. Rather to determine the best time during the season to deploy them..
Last week of October thru the first week of November is when I've had the most success using one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Tom, that's the info I was looking for.
Animal behavior is fascinating. Various animals of the same species, and gender have their own individual traits. We can't predict what one will do based on what another has done.
 
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