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Should You Use A Deer Decoy?

It early November and prime time rut throughout most of the whitetail’s range! During this time of year there’s nothing more attractive to a buck than a receptive doe.

Receptive does often separate themselves from their fawns and other does. In addition, they often go to a different part of their home range. This is why during this time of year I prefer using a doe more than a buck decoy. I really enjoy watching videos of bucks challenging and crashing into buck decoys. However, I enjoy even more tagging a buck!

Should You Use A Deer Decoy?

I like to place a receptive doe decoy in travel corridors or areas where bucks expect to encounter receptive does during the peak of the rut. I place the decoy upwind of my stand and in a position so that when the buck approaches her tail he’s in shooting position. Just as importantly, I place the decoy where it’s very visible. Decoys can attract bucks from long distances, but only if bucks can see them.

I’m also careful to remove as much odor from the decoy as possible since most bucks will approach the decoy from downwind.

Buck decoys certainly work during the right conditions. However, I believe a doe decoy in a receptive posture attracts bucks in an even broader set of conditions. I want the maximum opportunity to tag a buck. That’s why I’m more likely to place a receptive doe decoy near my stand this time of year than a buck decoy.

Growing Deer together,



Dr. Grant Woods
Dr. Grant Woods
Raised in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, Dr. Grant Woods has consulted on wildlife research and management from Canada to New Zealand. A hunter since childhood, he not only knows how to grow big deer, but how to effectively hunt them as well. His work serves to improve deer herd quality and educate hunters about advanced management techniques.