I was scouting this afternoon I'm an area that is adjacent to some open fields and brushy hollows. Portions of the field are grown up too for great bedding. It is a prototypical spot for bucks to cruise during the rut. The field is on the neighbors property, which I can hunt, but the most visible spot for a decoy (due to the terrain) is in the woods about 75-100 yards off the field.
Have any of you ever used a decoy in a situation like this where it is wooded? It is fairly open but still wooded.
IMO the non negotiable with a decoy is the buck has to know about it before he gets close. Which is easy in a field. In a wooded situation this means you need to call or something. But mature bucks become suspicious quicker when they don’t hear the buck walking in the leaves. It has a much lesser chance of success in timber and lesser still for mature bucks in my opinion.
I did rattle a couple minutes before this encounter, and he's not more than 3yrs.
I've got a spot on a creek where they can't see it until they are 50yds or less away, and have had other 3-5yr old's come in bristled up without rattling/calling. I agree that the more mature bucks need to be "sold", but I'm not sure they'd avoid the decoy with no movement or sound. Don't have many spots with heavy timber, but I think it's more about the attitude of the buck than anything.
did that buck not see the decoy until he pass by and then behind the tree where he stopped and then reacted and turned facing the decoy? Or did he hear/ see your movement per his stopping. Later he sure did react in a positive way to the decoy.
I have heard all the talk about not using a decoy in the woods and was hesitant to do it. But like anything else you don't know until you try. I killed a nice buck in Kentucky in the woods a few years ago and figured it must have been a fluke. This year I lost access to the field I usually set up my decoy in so decided to try it in the woods. I killed a nice buck coming to it and had several others come to it to investigate. Some does did snort at it as they are prone to do anyway but it didn't seem to upset the bucks that saw it. I did set it up in areas where there was a bit of an opening to make it easier to see. Some of the deer I did call to but a couple I looked up and there they were standing staring at the decoy about 40 yards away one proceeded to walk right up and sniff it. I did not have one buck react poorly to it but I usually have several when its out in the field. So I would give it a try as you never know. Also just because one deer reacts poorly doesn't mean the next one will ! Good luck !
Paul, he comes in bristled up and posturing and circles downwind of the decoy, but catches me moving at the :39sec mark. He continues to look up at me every once in awhile but because the other buck(decoy) isn't alerted he finally gives up on me as a threat. I've had that happen literally 100 times, where they see or even smell something "wrong" but don't take off completely since the other buck(decoy) is calm. At around the 4:30 mark I draw on him just to see if I can get away with it, that's why the camera isn't following his movement, it worked.
This buck came in to a grunt call, about 20yds inside a big chunk of timber, smells something he doesn't like on the decoy but sticks around nonetheless...
Somewhat amusing story. Several years ago, a buddy and I hunted a small wood lot that sat in a large cattle pasture butting up to a sizable overgrown mine property. He took my decoy and set it up on the edge of the wood lot/pasture. Didn’t take long to catch the attention of some curious distant cattle. Of course, they had to to come investigate. Hung around enough he eventually got down and tried to run them Off. After several tries, he got disgusted, took the legs and antlers off, and stashed bit behind a large oak so the cattle couldn’t see it. They lost interest and I guess it looked like a bedded doe, because about an hour later a so/so buck was walking by at about 60 yards. When he grunted at it, the buck looked his way, apparently saw the “bedded doe” and immediately sprinted in to just 5 yards and skidded to a stop. Buddy was so overwhelmed with that reaction, he quickly shot and killed the buck. When walking up on it later, he expressed “buyer’s remorse” as it was small than he thought it was. Decoy was 30 yards or more from the pasture edge, so I guess it qualifies as a forest setting.