“I have never used a decoy, have you?” This was the question I asked a co-worker, Jack Mooneyhan, a few years back. He replied, “I have one you can buy off of me if you want.” So, I purchased my first decoy. My plan was to use it during the last week before Indiana firearms season opened up, prime rut season.
Rut was in full swing and I knew only what I had researched on the internet. I set up my new, small buck, decoy on the edge of a cornfield. Gloves were worn so my scent wasn’t traceable and some buck urine on a scent hanger was attached to the decoy. I was excited!!! A hang on stand close by was where I spent that morning. Not a single deer….
Having hunted for a few years I was not too discouraged. I knew there were too many factors involved to pinpoint what could be the reason behind no deer. I tried the exact same method the following day and had two small bucks and several does checking my guy out. This was pretty neat! Something completely new to me, and it was working, somewhat. I did learn a valuable lesson during this hunt that would eventually pay off a week later. I noticed that the 2 small bucks approached my decoy from the front and the does came up from the rear. I did some research that night and found that you should place the decoy facing you so that a buck will circle within range to face the decoy. This will give you a shot at him.
The following weekend was opening weekend of firearms season here in Indiana. The one property I hunt is a very good property for numbers. If you sit all day, you will get a deer. Rain was in the forecast, but I still put out the decoy. After sitting in what we call the “Tree House Stand” for about an hour, I texted my buddy, Kyle Yelton, and told him to come join me to get out of the rain. By this time it was coming down pretty good.
It was only about a half an hour after he climbed up into the Tree House Stand with me that he was saying “Buck Buck Buck!!!” Sure enough, a buck was cruising directly towards my decoy. From the tree stand, this was a 60 yard shot. A chip shot for my CVA Optima Muzzleloader. This was not the giant I was after, but the memory of using my buddy Jack’s decoy and sitting along side my buddy Kyle, I couldn’t pass this up. The deer didn’t make it but 40 yards from the site of the shot. This memory was worth every inch on this bucks rack.
Matt Hemry - DHS - Team