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Decoy at water hole
Had a really nice buck walk through at about 400 yds. I’m hunting a water hole in a big bowl and I can see a long way. He was slowly walking through and casually smelling the ground where a doe had walked a couple hours before.
Wondering if I could put out a silhouette doe decoy to bring him in. It’s not rut yet, obviously, in Colorado, but this buck seemed to be interested in finding some company.
Or would this just scare him off. Certainly want to keep him in the area.
I can't imagine it scaring him off although my buddy says it's useless before the middle of September. I have to think it will work randomly beforehand though even if not very often.
In my experience antelope don't hang around water holes so a decoy there for hours wouldn't be natural. Might not spook them but I don't think they'd be receptive.
Imagine a fat guy looking at a piece of cake from afar on a table. He”s coming to eat. Why put another fat guy seated.
Get out of the blind, take the decoy, and hunt him.
Or move your blind and decoy out to where you know be likes to travel. He'll be coming to check it out.
In my experience either pick one or the other. A decoy at waterholes don't seem too help much.
I have tried using a decoy at a water hole, from leaving set up to popping one up when a buck hangs up. Never had any luck with one at a water hole. In fact I would say it scared away plenty. What little luck I have had with a antelope decoy has been later in season and you need to get fairly close, ideally 100 yards or so. I have also used a cow decoy and they sometimes seem to ignore it. I found it works best when grass is tall enough to cover the bottom and when your in with cows.
If you stop and think about a day in the live of a pronghorn. What they do is just hang out. They may get up and cover some ground at some point during the day. However most of their day is spent grazing and bedding and repeat in same general area. We just hope at some point they get thirsty and want a drink a water hole we are sitting at.
I successfully used an altered buck decoy at a waterhole.
My outfitter had set up a couple blinds prior to our arrival, but the ever-present Wyoming winds blew the preferred blind into its waterhole (or perhaps into South Dakota, since we never did find the blind). We needed to set up a new blind so we'd have options, if needed.
We watched some antelope near a couple small waterholes. These waterholes were close to one another but we weren't sure if one, both or neither hole were actually being used. As such, I decided I needed a little inducement in the form of a confidence decoy. So I took the full-body buck decoy and removed one horn. My thinking was that any decent live buck may feel less threatened by a one-horn rival. It worked. A 13" goat came in the first day I set in the blind. He got within 45 yards but I was uncomfortable with the shot. The next day, that same 13" goat came in to 23 yards and his days of using any waterholes were over. Perhaps an isolated incident, but the full-body (very realistic) decoy worked for me on that hunt.
Had a buddy, that had success using a moo cow decoy as a confidence decoy at a large waterhole. Putting the decoy on the away end of the waterhole, forced the buck to come in closer to the blind...worked great !
They work at waterholes very well.. not Montana but a 3D works amazing