Last Minute Decision to Use a Deer Decoy Pays Off Big

Kansas is a land of giant whitetail bucks. It’s also known for its mostly flat and open, and very vast, terrain. Where a rifle hunter may find deer hunting akin to apple picking, he who totes bow and arrows could sit for seasons without so much as fingering his release. For Jonathan Menuez, a recent encounter with a 160-inch whitetail set his adrenaline pumping in a way that only a bowhunter could know. And if it weren’t for the use of Dreamy Doe deer decoy, we probably wouldn’t be telling his story.

Deciding on a Decoy

Jonathan rarely hunts with a deer decoy. The ones he has used - big and bulky that could pull double duty as 3D targets - are great for the hunter who gets dropped off at the base of his stand. But for a dedicated bowhunter who may walk long distances to a given spot, light and packable gear is paramount.

Fortunately, Montana Decoy has an awesome advocate in Fred Eichler, who happens to be Jonathan’s friend. So it’s not much of a surprise when Jonathan stopped at a sporting goods store on the way to Kansas, he followed Fred’s advice and chose Dreamy Doe. Friend of Fred’s or not, that decision led to a memorable hunt.

The Setup

Jonathan’s stand was in a creek bottom surrounded by large grain fields. A small food plot is planted there. Bucks cruise the treeline of those fields in order to look down into the plot and check for does. When he arrived at his stand at around 1:00 p.m., he positioned the decoy about 15 yards downwind so that it was visible to any passing buck that might would likely approach with his nose in the breeze. He covered his own scent with a little estrous and tarsal gland.

Here He Comes

About 3:30 Jonathan caught movement to his right. A big body under a large crown of antlers peered down into the creek bottom, searching for does. The buck didn’t see the decoy at first and was about to continue on when Jonathan bleated with his mouth, hoping the buck would take one more look. Again, the buck glanced back down into the bottom though this time he didn’t miss Dreamy Doe.

The Approach

Jonathan attributes some of his recent success to the impeccable timing of the wind. Several times, as the buck grappled with commitment and acted as if he’d head back in the direction he came, the breeze caused the decoy to move.

“Just the slightest twitch of the head or body recommitted the buck every time he thought about heading back to the grain field,” Jonathan said.

The 10 minutes it took the buck to cover the short 40 yards between the field and the decoy seemed like forever and a day. He grunted and postured the entire way. With adrenaline coursing through his veins like a bobsled race with too many teams running at once, Jonathan was able to draw and make a perfect 20-yard shot with his Hoyt Carbon Defiant.  After a short sprint the old buck toppled over within view.

“It’s been one heck of a season so far,” Jonathan said. “And I can certainly attribute this buck to good fortune, good wind and the right equipment.”

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