Deer hunters look forward to each new hunting season. They are continually searching for ways to improve their chances, such as having the right gear, the right weapon and for many deer hunters, the right decoy. While some hunters choose not to use decoys, more hunters are finding that the right decoy can make a big difference.
Deer decoys provide hunters with another option to attract deer into the hunting area, but there are many considerations for finding the right decoy. For a realistic look and ease in breaking down, the top choice is Flambeau Outdoors Boss Buck Deer Decoy.
Deer decoys are more than just a quick assembly and placing along the rut. There are other considerations related to where they are placed, the use of scents and electronic calls, and even what kind of decoy based on the time of season and type of deer you are hoping to attract. Make sure you know all about decoy strategy before you purchase the right one for you.
It depends on what type of hunter you are. If you will be stationary, then you want a decoy you can place in the ground for a long time and has the look of a real deer. If you will be stalking the deer on foot, you want a two-dimensional decoy, which is often a photographic reproduction of a real deer. This kind of decoy is easy to move, which makes it a favorite of archers. Often, the hunter is right behind the decoy, so it needs to be placed in partial covering.
Yes, there is a deer decoy used by archers for practice. Some of these practice decoys have sections that are impenetrable by arrows and can later be used in the field as a real decoy. Bear in mind that they can be quite heavy, so they are not easily moved from spot to spot.
Look for deer decoys that are easy to put together. If a decoy is difficult to assemble, it likely will make a lot of noise, which is detrimental to getting a deer to come close by. Review consumer feedback for opinions about how easily a decoy is put together in the field.
The best decoys have features that mimic a real deer. Look for decoys with flocking, which is a suede-like covering that looks like actual deerskin. Some decoys have tails that wave in the wind and heads and necks that move like real joints. The more natural the decoy appears, the better the chance it attracts a buck.
Many decoys come with pouches in both the front and rear legs. These pouches can be used for scent pads and storing electronic deer calls, although some states ban electronic decoys.
Deer decoys run $60-200. Two-dimensional deer decoys are priced $60-$100, while three-dimensional skillfully crafted decoys cost $100-$200, although $150 should provide a high-quality decoy for most hunters.
A. Consider using a deer call along with your decoy. The more realistic the decoy seems, the more likely it will attract the right deer to your hunting area. Remember to use the right deer call though. If your call is making sounds that a buck or doe normally wouldn’t make early or late in the season, it might actually scare off would-be suitors.
A. You want the decoy to be within sight and more importantly, within range of your weapon. Placing the decoy 15 to 20 yards from the base of your tree or stand is recommended. Remember to make sure you are not downwind of the decoy or your scent may be what passing deer smell first, which could lead them to change direction.
What you need to know: This decoy is one of the most realistic looking on the market and does a good job attracting deer.
What you’ll love: Easy to transport, this decoy is intricately designed. The legs, head and 8-point antlers can all be broken down. The rear legs hold a scent pad, and the front legs hold electronic game calls. It comes with a shoulder strap.
What you should consider: The decoy can be challenging to set up and a bit noisy during the process.
What you need to know: This mule deer decoy is easy to transport and set up in all weather conditions.
What you’ll love: This lightweight decoy is easy to pack. It breaks down to the size of a frisbee in seconds and can be attached to any size backpack. It attracts whitetail deer in addition to mule deer.
What you should consider: The decoy is a high-resolution photograph in a two-dimensional display that does not have depth or legs.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This realistic decoy does a good job of attracting buck into your target area.
What you’ll love: This decoy is easy to break down and transport. The head and limbs can be stored inside the body. Two sets of ears are provided: alert and relaxed. The front leg is compatible with an electronic deer call.
What you should consider: This decoy is hard-painted plastic and does not have flocking.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.