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Deer Hunting Tips: Deer Decoys

deer decoys
The key to landing that big buck this year might be right under your nose. Deer decoys are a great way to increase your chances of landing a good shot on a great buck.

Deer decoys can greatly increase your chances of bagging that big buck next time you hit the field. Blain’s Farm & Fleet will show you a few tips for using them, and why they’re worth your time.

Why Should I Use Deer Decoys?

Deer decoys catch the eye of deer that would otherwise pass out of your range. The deer will often come into your range to investigate the strange buck or doe you’ve placed there. Also, if you use a decoy correctly, they will give you better shots at your target. When a deer is focused on a decoy, they aren’t focused on you. This often gives you clear shots along the side of their body. You’ll also get a kick out of watching the deer interact with your decoy.

The Location of Your Deer Decoys is Key

The first rule of setting up your decoy is to put it in the right place. Location is the number one factor that makes the difference between decoying success and failure.

The first thing to remember is that you want deer to be able to see your deer decoy from far off. This means that you have to set it up out in the open. In the middle of a clear-cut, a field, a meadow, or any other flat, uncovered area with good visibility from all around. The idea is simply for the deer to spot your decoy from afar. If you set it up in the woods and a deer suddenly stumbles upon it at close range, you risk spooking it. Logging roads and lightly timbered pastures or meadows are also good places to set up your deer decoy.

Set Up The Decoy To Give You The Best Shot

How you position deer decoys also has a big impact on their effectiveness. Remember, you’re using them to increase your chances of dropping a deer. This means that the ultimate goal is landing a well-placed shot. With this in mind, set your deer decoy up to increase your chances of getting a well-placed shot.

Set your decoy up about 20-to-30 yards upwind from your tree stand or hunting blind. This will get the deer close enough to make the shot easy to place, even if you’re bow hunting.

Face the decoy toward your tree stand or hunting blind. Deer usually wheel around other deer to get downwind of them before coming in to introduce themselves. You can angle the decoy left or right a bit, but it should be facing in the general direction of your stand.

Timing Your Deer Decoys

The best time to set up deer decoys is during the pre-rut or the rut itself. Deer will come to your decoy any time of year, but the 6-week stretch from mid-October to late November is when you’ll get the best action.

Should I Use Buck or Doe Deer Decoys?

The most popular option is a single buck decoy, and it works just fine. But the real question here is what kind of deer you’re trying to attract. A big buck decoy will scare off smaller bucks, but attract bigger ones. So, if you’re in it for the big rack, set up a big, lone buck decoy. If you want to attract mostly does and fawns, a single doe decoy will do the job. It will also generally attract more deer than a buck will because does are less intimidating. If you’re just out to shoot a deer, period, then set up a lone doe decoy. Another benefit of using a buck decoy is that a buck will usually leave the trail of a hot doe just to come challenge another buck he sees in the area. They won’t do this for a doe decoy.

For more Hunting Tips, like how and where to set up a trail camera or what to look for in a tree stand, check out our hunting blog.

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