Use The Freshman Deer Decoy to Start a Turf War

The Freshman deer decoy was designed to exude an aggressive, posturing pose to display an air of youthful arrogance that’s been known to tick off older bucks. Pre rut is a great time to use The Freshman to see how bucks are responding to each other as the chase nears. The velvet is long gone and a clash of antlers will be heard ringing through the deer woods in the coming weeks if it hasn’t already.

In most parts of the country, bow season is still in full swing with muzzleloader opening in some regions. As there hasn’t been too much pressure up to this juncture (on both public and private lands unless there are too many dedicated weekend warrior bowhunters), deer are still in a fairly consistent pattern. If you can locate a funnel between a bedding area and a food plot, you’re miles ahead in the race. Or, if you’re more inclined to hang a lock-on stand at the edge of a well-used greenfield, that’s also a good place to put The Freshman to work. What we’d refer to as a dominant buck will eye the lesser deer as a hiccup on his path to breeding a few does that live nearby.

Once you’ve figured out where the best setup is, place The Freshman deer decoy about 20 yards upwind of your stand. While a smart deer will likely come from a downwind angle, sometimes a furious buck will throw caution to the wind and dive into the fight headlong. Add mild grunting and rattling into the mix.

As reports continue to come in from around the country, it’s quite evident that the rut is getting ready to make its grand entrance. Maintain high alert as you sit stand, never letting your guard down for one second. This doesn’t mean you need to stand bow in hand at all times, but there’s always the chance that a sneaky buck spends ample time watching The Freshman without you realizing it before charging in to set the decoy straight. Try to stop him before he gets all the way to the decoy because if he runs his points through the fabric, you might be out a decoy and watch a missed opportunity run crazily back into the woods with The Freshman riding along.

If you’re hunting close to a bedding area, make sure the conditions are right before sneaking in. Patience is the virtue in all aspects of hunting and a lack thereof can reduce your bragging-right status to nil. Hang in there for long sits and again, don’t be shy about testing a little rattling and grunting.

Send us your photos and success stories to be posted on the Montana Decoy Facebook page or recreated in a blog post. Plus, we’d like to know what’s happening in the parts of the country we’ve yet to hear from this season!

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Deer Decoy Setups for Every Phase of the Rut

Deer decoys are a great way to slow a buck’s saunter during the rut. Here’s how to use them during each phase.