The Hunters Behind the Decoy
Written by Amy Hatfield. Hatfield is a freelance writer for Montana Decoy.
We start with a brief story about a suburban man who bought a decoy named “Miss Muley,”made by Montana Decoy. Think of this person as your friendly neighborhood hunter. You might imagine this guy with little trouble. He’s like so many modern American hunters. Living a double life in the ‘burbs, working that 9-to-5 and waiting like hell to get out of there and hunt something in the wide open on a weekend, sometime soon.
In the meantime, he’s innovative in how he chooses to test out his hunting gear — namely Miss
Muley — within the scope his lifestyle. It’s unknown what this guy’s name is or where he lives. We only know him as the “Parker Moore Family,” his username on Amazon.com. He offered a product review, also uploaded a photo of the product he purchased and, in doing so, revealed a little morsel of his life’s story. We know he probably lives in the western U.S. His neighborhood has all the signs. The grass in his yard is sparse, and the neighboring homes all have terracotta roof tiles. In the photo, Miss Muley is propped against a nondescript tree, which stands beside a palm tree. The mule deer decoy is bringing a little variety to the neighborhood, mixing things up with her presence. All this, we glean from the single photo posted as part of a short 40-word product review. The review reads:
“We tested it in the front yard, scared every neighbor and dogs were barking at it. People who drove by did a double look, thinking it was a real deer! Uploaded a photo of it in the front yard.”
We don’t know anymore about Miss Muley or the Parker Moore Family. But we do know this
guy wasn’t the only one to test a Montana Decoy in his front yard. There were others and, again, each account offers personality, the sort of raw and colorful honesty you don’t get from a manufacturer’s marketing materials, no matter how good they are. It’s no wonder online shopping revolves around the product review. According to one study, 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendations. In a way, it’s easy to feel like you know people like Amazon user “Parker Moore Family.” And people — the regular Joe’s of this world — can be entertainingly innovative too. You see examples of innovation in the reviews of the products they use.
Customer Reviews with a DIY Enhancement
Take a customer review of “Dream Doe.” While the review primarily focused on how easy it
was to transport and how effective the decoy was at distracting a mature buck that this reviewer ended up taking from 40 yards, the user took the time to offer one recommendation.
“I read a long time ago with decoys to have some sort of rag or toilet paper on the rear as a ‘tail’ that can blow in the wind and give the illusion of movement,” he wrote. So he did just that. “I used a clip with a scent pad and a shred of toilet paper and it worked nicely to look like a waving tail.”
He wasn’t the only tail innovator. Another hunter using the name “DR Quest” on his product
review, also made a tail for his Montana Decoy. “I made a life-like tail that clipped on to the
rump near the top,” Quest wrote. “Anyhow the tail would move back and forth in the breeze and draw all sorts of attention from passing bucks, does etc. The head moves from side to side as well, but not too much.”
And while these product reviews offer customers DIY ideas to enhance a decoy, the grassroots
innovation isn’t lost on Montana Decoy either. The company now offers the “Teaser Tail.” It’s
designed to add motion, just as the little shred of toilet paper was meant to do and it attaches to the decoy using a magnet.
Most Entertaining Customer Reviews
Hunters posted accounts of hunts using Montana Decoys from South Carolina to Arizona, and
plenty of states in between like Indiana and Wyoming. Each region, depending on the species
hunters are hunting, offer little windows into the tactics and hunting styles that are unique to
certain parts of the country. One guy — writing in from elk country — acknowledged that his
reviewer rating had, “not been evaluated by actual elk.” But the hunter said he thought the decoy looked good. “I may revise the review after elk season if I get conflicting opinions from the elk,” he wrote.
Here are some of the most entertaining product reviews for Montana Decoy, ranging from useful to amusing. Each tell the stories of hunters behind the decoys.
The Old Gray Mare Ain’t What She Used to Be
Some guys seemed to grow quite attached to their doe decoys. Feelings develop and so on. Read this review and it’s easy to feel sad for T. Craig and the way he writes about his aging hunting partner. It’s kind of reminiscent of how a man from a harder, less modern time might speak of his old wife.
“I have had this decoy for 4 years,” Craig says. “She has faded and her head is tilted to one side. I took her out to the field today and, even in that condition, she brought a nice buck into bow range. Just to keep her attractive, I did spray her with doe estrus. I bought another one today to keep her company.”
FIxin’ to Mount It!!!
We don’t know where this reviewer lives, but we assume the review comes from the South since the word “fixin’ to” is commonly used in the region. The Urban Dictionary defines “fixin’ to” as “ready to do something.” Even better, the online dictionary uses the phrase in a sentence this way, “I’m fixin to whoop yo skanky butt.”
Here’s how “Fixin’ to” was used in this review:
“Wow, bought it just to give it a try. IT WORKS. The first time I used it in the field, I had a buck lock onto it and come in on a string. He was fixin’ to mount it!! but my bow had other plans... if your on the fence about buying it, trust me it works, and it’s the cheapest decoy out there, all you need.”
Wagon belongs among the best reviewers simply because his user name is “Wagon.” That’s
right, just Wagon. Wagon made his own tail too. And he posted a buck he got thanks to the
decoy he reviewed.
“I had to make one modification to the decoy,” he wrote. “I put a tail on it that moves in the
wind. The decoy worked great. The first day I put it out I had two does walk around it, and didn’t even care it was there. I had a 5x4 circle and come up and sniff her butt, which had attractant on it. He was probably 20 yards away. Now in my freezer.”
Estrus Betty Sleeps In
Here’s another display of affection or at least strong admiration. This hunter doesn’t even mind when Betty chooses to sleep in.
“Betty is very lifelike,” Edward Bargerstock writes. “Now, I shot my buck with her sleeping
back at camp. I only used her twice very early in the season, before the bucks were actively
chasing does. She is so lifelike that I have no doubt that she would lure a buck closer for a look. She looks the same on both sides so, if positioned correctly, she would be easy to spot from many angles. Later in the season — when the bucks just stand and look your way when you use a bleat or grunt call — Betty could be the ticket to help you fill your tag. I will carry her again next year for sure.”