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Using Big Game Decoys

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Big game decoys are available for whitetail deer, elk, antelope, rabbits, and coyotes among many other game animals. The hunter makes his selection of a big game decoy depending on the type of hunt he intends to proceed on. For going on a deer hunt the hunter has a choice of selecting from whitetail doe, whitetail buck, fawn, and other deer specie decoys.

Hunting decoys are used to serve different purposes. One can be to attract a game animal to approach the decoy and place itself in a position that can afford a shot from behind the decoy. In another situation the decoy would hook the quarry’s attention to divert it from a hunter hidden at a distance to take the killing shot.

When the hunter sets up a whitetail doe decoy, it is primarily for the purpose of attracting deer to come within shooting range. This type of decoy is used mostly during the rut. A buck during rut season becomes aggressive abandoning most of his usual precautions. The hunter first needs to spend some time in scouting the hunt area to make sure that it has deer presence. One good technique is to become familiar with travel routes, feeding and bedding areas that will greatly assist in determining this and finding an ideal location for setting up the decoy. The best times to set up are either during morning or in the evening and then wait for deer movement. This will greatly increase the possibility of deer responding to the decoy.

Once a deer decoy is set up and deer are not spotted for some time, the trick is to start using a deer call. Grunting and rattling will in most cases bring a buck trying to locate the source of the sound. The hunter should conceal himself right behind the decoy that is pivoted on a stake driven into the ground. The inquisitive buck will arrive expecting to find another deer at the spot and seeing the decoy will make him comfortable. It becomes more realistic for the buck when the hunter pivots the decoy to face the approaching buck. The buck arrives expecting movement and will not be alarmed by any movement caused by the hunter while shifting his position to aim and fire a shot. Its attention will be riveted to the decoy. However, ensuring that movements are not unduly fast or hurried is of utmost importance or the buck may become suspicious/ scared and flee. Using another technique may involve two hunters, one behind the decoy to maneuver it and another hidden at a distance to take a shot at the approaching buck.

It is very important to note that using a deer or similar game decoy is fraught with serious danger and requires exercising extreme caution for ensuring hunter safety and preventing damage to the decoy as well. Another hunter unaware of the decoy's presence may take it for a live deer and fire at it that can injure or even kill a hunter hiding behind the decoy.

All big game decoys are lightweight and can be folded for easy transporting to hunting locales. The set up procedure is also quite easy, usually requiring only unfolding the decoy and either setting it up by driving a stake into the ground or making some arrangement to dangle it from a tree. Everything can be done in just a few minutes. Reputed brands of big game decoys come from manufacturers like Mel Dutton, Edge Expedite, Flambeau, Carry-Lite, Delta, Buckwing, Montana and Renzo. 

Posted November 30, -1 by Justin Ott

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