5 Tips for Using a Decoy Deer

Using a decoy deer during your hunt can be an effective tactic for landing that trophy buck and coming home successfully.

A well-placed decoy that is used in the right way can help influence a deer’s behavior and help bring them into range so you can take your shot. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you use a decoy. That’s why, today, we’re giving you five easy tips for using a decoy deer that will help increase your chances of ending your hunt with a trophy in your hands.

Read more about how to use a deer decoy below successfully.

TIP #1 — Use Your Decoy Pre-Rut and Rut

Timing is everything and the best time to use your decoy is pre-rut and rut. A few weeks before peak breeding is an ideal time. During this time, bucks start to leave their group of single friends and establish their home ranges, using a decoy most effective. During the pre-rut and rut, bucks experience a huge increase in testosterone, making them more dominant and aggressive. Therefore more likely to come near your decoy.

TIP #2 — Use a Buck Decoy

Many hunters opt to use a doe decoy, which can be effective. However, what seems to be more effective is taking advantage of bucks’ surge in testosterone and aggressiveness and using a buck decoy. Like we said above, bucks are naturally dominant during this time and will come forward to remove another buck who seems to be intruding on his territory, giving you a perfect, clear shot.

TIP #3 — Odor and Scent Control

Deer have an acute sense of smell and can detect scents over a quarter-mile away. This makes scent control an essential part of your hunt. Make sure to always set up your decor upwind from where your prey will come — NEVER downwind, or else he’ll smell you.

TIP #4 — Good Decoy Placement

A critical variable when using a decoy is how you place it. Make sure to set up your decoy well within range. Are you right-handed or left-handed? How are you using your gun? Think about these things as you set up your blind and your decoy. Another thing to think about is how a buck will approach your decoy. It likely will not come head-on. Instead, it will feel out the situation and determine what a threat this buck (decoy) is and will likely circle and come in from the side. 

TIP #5 — Visibility is Essential

In addition to the position in which you set up your decoy, you need to think about its visibility. Your decoy is virtually useless unless your prey can see it. As you set up, consider the terrain and look for places where deer travel, such as feeding areas or travel corridors.

Book Your Hunt with R & K Hunting Company

Using a decoy deer can significantly increase your chances of a successful hunt. 

Increase the likelihood of landing a trophy buck even further by booking your next exciting hunt with R & K Hunting Company. Our team of knowledgeable guides and outfitters have years of experience and can help facilitate a once in a lifetime Rocky Mountain hunting adventure in Wyoming and Utah. Our skilled professionals have countless tips and tricks (like that above) that will bring you back year after year, season after season. Contact R & K Hunting Company to book your next hunt today.