If you’re like me, you love bowhunting whitetails. And in my opinion, there’s no method that is more effective – and more fun – than decoying.
While decoying can work during any part of the deer season, the absolute best time is the rut, when mature bucks are searching for hot does. Sure, you can use a doe decoy and have some success, but nothing comes close to placing an antlered decoy in open view of a traveling mature buck. When he spots the fake buck, he assumes a doe-in-heat is nearby, and he’ll walk – or trot – over to investigate.
And here’s where it gets really good: Because the decoy doesn’t retreat, the mature buck lays back his ears, the hair on his neck and back stands up, he walks in a stiff-legged “You want a piece of me?!” gait, and he’s totally mesmerized by the intruder.
As a bowhunter overlooking this scene from a treestand, you have numerous chances for broadside and quartering-away shots at a slow-moving or stopped buck that’s focused on fighting. If you haven’t tried decoying deer yet, be sure to give it a shot this fall.
My No. 1 Buck Decoy
There are certainly numerous deer decoys on the market today, and through the years I’ve used many of them. But which one is my favorite? Simple, the DSD Posturing Buck.
Made in the USA (Oregon to be specific) by the diehard deer hunters from Dave Smith Decoys, the DSD Posturing Buck decoy has the correct stance, ear position and bristled coat of a posturing buck. The decoy looks so real that at times when I forget I’m hunting over a decoy and am looking around searching for approaching deer, the DSD suddenly catches my eye and my heart skips a beat.
A word about safety: Use the DSD Posturing Buck ONLY during archery season. But I’ll go even further than that: I don’t recommend using it in any place where some nut-job driving down the road could spot it and take a pot shot at the decoy with a rifle. Wear hunter orange while placing the decoy, and hunt only from a treestand so you’re out of anyone’s possible line of fire. Better safe than sorry.
Like all Dave Smith Decoys, the Posturing Buck is made from super-durable A.C.E. Technology (Advanced Crosslink Elastomer). Check out this previous OutdoorHub article to see a test where a hunter shoots a DSD hen turkey decoy from close range with a shotgun; the toughness of A.C.E. is impressive!
The DSD buck decoy is easy to put together out of the box (about 10 minutes), but it’s not designed to be ultra-portable and easily disassembled. You can carry it a short distance from your pickup or ATV to place in front of your treestand, but don’t think about throwing it over your shoulder for a half-mile hike. The benefit of the heavier decoy and its 24 x 24-inch metal base is excellent stability without staking, even in high winds or on frozen ground.
Serious bowhunters across North America have discovered the DSD Posturing Buck, and it’s played a key role in the demise of some impressive whitetails. That’s Brett Andre in the photo below with a giant from Iowa.
“Once the buck finished his scrape, he looked out at the doe and I grunted at him twice,” Brett told Dave Smith.” From 200 yards he immediately looked my way and saw your decoy. Instantly he bristled up and started posturing as he began a full posturing display clear across the field heading for the decoy. As he postured around the front of the decoy, he gave me a perfect 15-yard shot. Dave, that buck was so engrossed and enraged at that decoy I think I could have done jumping-jacks in my stand and he would not have noticed. I only wish I could have gotten it all on film. He is an absolute giant and your decoy made it happen!”
To watch an incredible archery hunt by two young men over the DSD Posturing Buck in Wisconsin, check out the video below.