Contributors to this thread:
I was at a show on Saturday. I had a number of hardcore antelope hunters tell me that my decoy needs to be of a small buck. They said if a herd buck is challenged by a big buck he will gather his does and move off. If challenged by a small buck he will run it off.
I have never hunted antelope so I need your help with this one. What do you think the best decoy would be, a big buck, a small buck or a doe?
Thanks for your help.
You can see my decoys at Poisonarrowgear.com
herd buck for sure. the antelope rut is prime time to bring a buck in for a challenge.
Small buck for exactly the reason the seasoned antelope hunters stated! A bull elk will do exactly the same thing if he thinks a bigger bull is coming in to try for his lady friends!
It depends if you are trying to attract a herd buck or a satellite buck. Which also depends on the time of the rut. I don't think there are any decoys large enough to be considered big in their eyes.
I also think we tend to over think things to much when it comes to the animal kingdom. We go out and see a big guy, so we don't get in the way of him. Animals use other indicators when it comes accessing dominance, body posture and even scent. They don't have the type of brain that says, that buck looks bigger than me by 10 lbs, I may not win a fight, I think I'll look for somebody else to mess with. It's just like big racks don't win fights and neither does body size. Some bucks are more agressive and some aren't.
What attracts them to decoys is the new face in town and it depends on their mood. Sometimes animals want to check each other out and sometimes they don't.
We have been using small bucks for years and it seems to work good. The most important thing is the timing. There is a small window when decoys work. When they work it is awesome and when they don't you are just chasing your tail. The only way to find out is to try it. Mel Dutton decoys is what we have. The horns are about the size of the ears. Best of luck.
One other thing. You have to get in his space. What I've noticed is , if you pop that decoy on him to soon, he will amble on. Get close enough, and he is more likely to challenge.
Dakota talked about the Mel Dutton decoy and how timing is so important.
Mel stated that he would NEVER use a buck decoy until he saw the herd buck chasing the smaller/other bucks away from his herd.
He also teamed up with Brad Harris of,Lohman calls, and they developed the Antelope Challenge call. A sound that a buck makes during the rut to challenge the herd buck.
This one/two, ie, the buck decoy with the call increased his odds by 50% over just using the decoy.
Here in Colorado that prime time is mid Sept to the end of the season around Sept 20.
Anyone try doe decoys? I have a buddy who swears by a doe decoy in a mating-like pose. He said the bucks come running in. Sounds reasonable to me but I have only hunted antelope once!
to go with what Dakota said, I have owned pretty much every antelope decoy that has come down the pike over the years. to me, the Dutton looks the least realistic.
the antelope must see things a tad different..
its my go to. they respond to a Dutton better than any of the photo quality ones in my opinion. if you can find a Dutton, buy it!
After this buck had chased off a smaller buck and was returning to his harem, he saw me hunkered down in the open trying to make myself small, and he changed direction and walked right up to me to get a closer look.
I can make anything you want. How does this look for a doe decoy.
After looking at the Mel Dutton decoys, compared to the others, I think it is the contrast that the antelope are seeing. There are markings that identify an antelope from a great distance. I wonder if that is not what they look for.
The picture above would be more effective with more contrast. I will work on that and post another version.
im gonna tan the hide i got from last years lope and wear it along with the lopey hat!!! Gota check for sure about it only being archery!!! Don't want someone taking shots at the slow fat lope walking on two legs!!!
We tried a tanned hide on a decoy and it scared every lope away. I think it's the smell.
I stopped at Rocky Mountain Sports at Riverton Wy. They are going to start stocking my decoy. They wanted a antelope rump. I am working on that. I will post pictures when I get it made up.
I am going to be stocking the rump in my store in a week or so.