Our theme is and always will be focused on improving our skills as hunters in effort to be more successful in the woods.
As the 2014 deer season is in full swing in most parts of the country I hear a lot about strategies and tactics used during the "rut". One strategy that has proven successful for myself and others around me is a decoy.
Some hunters may judge "success" in a different light than I do. Anytime I have a doe or buck of any size or age follow the script I have prepared I consider that a success. Fooling a whitetail is one of the most challenging things a hunter can do. I will never forget the feeling I had after I decoyed my first decent buck that I passed. I came home with a smile on my face and a sense of accomplishment.
If you are like me and judge your success based on encounters, or you judge success based on bone on the wall, here are five reasons to use a decoy during your 2013 whitetail rut hunts.
1.) Locks Bucks Attention - If you have a buck of any size in the area and he sees the decoy, all the attention is now on your decoy. This takes most of the focus off of you and your movements.
2.) Helps Hunt the Wind - If you set your decoy in the proper position it will help push deer to a specific route or trail. Often times hunter will put their decoy 15-20 yards away from their stand. Depending on the wind I will place my decoy upwind of the trail or location I'm predicting deer movement. In same cases I will place the decoy 30 or even 35 yards away from my set. The goal here is getting your buck to circle down wind of the decoy and end up in your lap.
3.) Interests Does - More often than not I have does come in to check things out. I don't know about you but during the rut I see does as bait! With this said it is imperative that you keep your decoy scent free. Store outside or near your stand for a month before use. Make sure to handle your decoy with gloves.
4.) Avoid the Bedroom - Under the right circumstances I will push the envelope and hunt a doe bedding area or a sanctuary. This is very rare. I have found that a decoy 75-100 yards outside of these areas will draw deer in your direction. The more visible the decoy is from a distance the better.
5.) Fun - If all else fails you will have more fun with a decoy. When I use a decoy I see more deer. The deer I do see usually get closer than they would if I was hunting without a decoy.
Good luck to everyone hitting the woods in the upcoming weeks. The whitetail rut is a magical time of year. You never know who will show up. Climb a tree, head for your blind and have a blast.
It's all about the chase.........