Tips to Help You Get the Most from Your Deer Decoys
Goose decoys have been around for hundreds of years, but deer decoys represent a fairly new technique. About the only similarity deer hunting and goose hunting share is that they’re both done with decoys. Here are some tips on decoying deer.
Quick Tips for Hunting with Deer Decoys:
• Treat every new deer decoy with scent-elimination spray and let it sit outside for a few days.
• Wear rubber gloves when handling your deer decoy.
• Treat your deer decoy with scent elimination-spray prior to each use.
• Spray or pour the appropriate deer urine or scent around your deer decoy.
• Never apply urine or scent directly to your deer decoy.
• Start the early season with a buck decoy.
• As the peak of the rut nears, try it as a doe decoy.
• Always call and rattle when using a deer decoy.
Using a deer decoy to bring a buck within range is exciting, but a few steps should be taken to ensure the situation doesn’t blow up into a spooked and well-educated deer. The first step is to ensure your deer decoy is scent-free. Start by spraying all of the deer decoy pieces with a scent elimination spray prior to putting the decoy together. This allows you to spray down the inside of the decoy to cut down the plastic smell, especially if it’s a brand new deer decoy. If a noticeable plastic smell remains, put the decoy together and let it sit outside for a few days. Spray down the outside of the deer decoy each day.
When hunting, presenting the correct smell is as important as eliminating the unnatural scent, so wear gloves when transporting the decoy to your hunting spot and spray it down again with scent elimination spray once it’s placed. Then, add an appropriate deer urine or other scent. Do not add urine or scent to the decoy itself, instead use a nearby brush or a scent wick or two. Obviously, use buck urine when using your deer decoy as a buck and doe when it’s a girl, but also add a tarsal gland or tarsal gland gel to your buck set-up and try doe estrous urine and gels on your doe decoy when hunting late pre-rut through peak of the rut.
Whether to use a buck decoy or a doe decoy is best decided when you’re hunting. Since Carry-Lite’s Bucky Jr. deer decoy easily changes from buck to doe in seconds and because it should be scent-free, hunters can make the decision on the fly. During the early season, while the bucks are still in bachelor groups or as they are dispersing, use your deer decoy as a buck to play on the natural curiosity and, later, territorial infringement, of dominant bucks.
Bucky Jr. or other deer decoys should be used as a buck until a week or so before the doe goes into estrous. This is a good time to bring out the doe estrous urine and lay a scent trail to your decoy set as a doe. Or add another deer decoy to the mix and present a buck and a doe.
Regardless of buck or doe, always add a high-quality scent and rattle and call with emotion.