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Using a Decoy

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Just after a bit of advice for those who have successfully used decoys.
Using decoys in New Zealand is not done here. It has only been done successfully twice as far as I know (someone else and me).

I set up a Montana doe decoy in the fallow rut a couple of years ago and got a buck coming into 15 yards of it. Not sure if it was luck or not and up until last weekend I had not tried it again.
The fallow rut peaks around the 12-15th of April and last weekend I set up a stand and a decoy.
The stand was on the edge of a long area of woods with pasture running up to it.
The country was rolling with some large hills on left where I hoped a passing buck would see the decoy and investigate.

Being the pre-rut I put the decoy out at 17yards facing away from me and placed a remote operated electronic caller in a low bush nearby.


I used a mixture of fawn, doe and buck calls. I had heard the rear of a doe decoy should face you so a buck approaching it would present a quartering away shot.

I even used a little synthetic doe estrus of the rear of the decoy.

What happened over the next few hours until darkness was not what I expected.

The colour of the decoy matches the colour phase of some of the does very well. Others are dark brown.

A pair of does with large fawns in tow were the first to acknowledge the decoy.
The saw it from 90 yards out as they crossed a large open area below. They stopped to the left of the pile of dead timber, watched it for about 3 minutes and the both does “barked” at it in alarm. They ran for cover but did venture along the edge of the woods to be 51 yards from me. Again they looked at the decoy for a couple of minutes before barking and running off.

15minutes later a lone doe ran across the same open area, stopped at 90 yards, looked for a minute, then barked before running off for good. All of these deer were the same colour as the decoy.
An hour later a mob of 9 deer fed out 122 yards above me. They heard my calling, looked at the doe and just watched her for 5 minutes not getting any closer.
Eventually they ran for cover before coming out a little later but fed away.

30 minutes before dark a large mob of 15 deer emerged 100 yards away and were happy until they saw the decoy. The stared then ran off.
At no time was the wind blowing their way and they did not see me.
15 minutes before dark a mob of 4 came out 50 yards below me of the edge of the woods. They showed interest, not sure because of the failing light but the edged closer. A spiker in the mob led the way and came in closer. I expected him to approach the decoy slowly but he just ran in catching me out. He hit my wind which by this time was blowing towards the decoy and was gone. No chance of a shot. The other deer would not venture any closer and eventually wandered off.
It had been an exciting evening but left me with more questions than answers.

The questions I have are;

1) Why did the decoy upset the deer?
2) Should I have only used fawn and doe calls?
3) I have a Tinks Miss November, would this be better than a 2D decoy?
4) Should you use doe estrus on a decoy?

My next trip will coincide with the peak of the rut and I was thinking of doing the following;

1) Use a Miss November
2) Rattle or buck call from the stand
3) Place the electronic caller near the decoy and only use fawn and/or doe calls.

If someone could offer some advise on what I could do better I would be grateful.

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