Photo courtesy of Apple Creek WhitetailsIn my opinion there are three consistencies to successful decoying of trophy bucks. They are; Location, Concealment and Decoys/Calling- all equally important.
Location is key for more than one reason. First of all if there are no deer in the area that you are hunting than obviously your chances are slim to none that you will be successful. So it will be very important to do your homework and thoroughly scout your area beforehand. Ideally we are looking for a small field or clearing field deer are using consistently prior to the hunt. We want to set up in the exact spot the deer have been traveling through during daylight hours. And finally, we have to be the only hunters with permission to hunt that particular spot.
How well you are concealed while you are hunting is just as important as your location because it gets very frustrating watching a buck coming in and then flare off because he sees something or someone he doesn’t like. The technology available in this area of the hunt has expanded immensely over the last 10 years. The field ground blind has made a huge impact on the way we hunt deer today. Treestands work well, but not as well as ground blinds when it comes to decoying big deer.
Decoys and Calling:
In this section we will look at my favorite aspect of the hunt and that is Decoys and Calling! I think a lot of guys spend way to much time calling. Everybody has there own opinion on this subject but I am a firm believer calling is only to draw attention to the decoy. Once the buck has seen the decoy, shut up, you’ll be better off. Secondly, I do believe that you need some type of movement in your decoy. I use a decoy with an electronic tail wag.
Using the Wind:
Just like all decoying it is important to face your decoy into the wind. We want the buck to smell what he’s wanting. A buck likes to circle downwind and smell the object of his desire before he approaches it. If he can approach the decoy from the rear all the better. Lastly, I use an ample amount of "doe-in rut" urine, 8 to 12 ounces minimum.
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In conclusion, there are many factors that go into producing a successful hunt. It is very important to stay on the front edge of what is happening in the field these days. A little leg work in the off season can go a long way.
Good Luck and Good Hunting,