Creative Decoy Usage

One of the fun things about hunting is that you usually get out of it whatever you put into it. You also have the freedom to be creative in your hunting strategies and methods and when some “out of the box” thinking helps you notch a tag it is so rewarding. Being creative when using decoys can really help you tip the scale of success in your favor.

One way that creativity has helped us notch more tags has been in selecting and utilizing decoys that aren’t even the same species as the animal we are hunting. For example in Wyoming where antelope out number people, we will use antelope decoys on long and open country stalks to get into bow range on mule deer. Pronghorn antelope tend to move constantly and a bedded muley buck will sit in his shady bed and calmly watch the “antelope play.” Using that to our advantage we will take an Antelope buck decoy from Montana Decoy and use it intermittently as cover as we move through opening in the terrain as we stalk to with in bow range. We have even gotten a hunter and his camera man into range on mule deer bucks feeding by slowly angling toward the deer. This work well but remember to use the wind on your approach or the jig is up.

We also have found in cattle country, by using “Big Red,” Montana Decoy’s red moo cow decoy, we can sometimes cut the distance and get with in our effective range by shadowing a feeding herd of antelope, deer, or elk and slowly angling towards them until we can set up for a shot. The most important aspect of this “out of the box” thinking is that you must have the wind in your favor, and you cannot rush it. If you think you are moving slow, slow down even more. Cows move at a very slow pace and we have been able to get close on numerous occasions with as many as 3 people behind the “Big Red” moo cow decoy when moving at a snail’s pace.

Creatively using a moo cow decoy to close the distance on an antelope, an antelope decoy to get into range of a mule deer, or a cow elk decoy to get a shot at a high country velvet buck in late August is a thrill to attempt and an amazing accomplishment when it all works out. Just remember if it is natural and something that exists in the wild, then it could work. But as always you must slow down and take your time and you have to have the wind in your favor! Because, “You can fool their eyes and you can fool their ears but you will NEVER fool their nose!”

Trevon Stoltzfus

Freshman Photo Credit Garrett Drach 00062
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