I know it’s just the end of June, but hearing this story made me want to break out my hunting gear and hit the woods wide open! If you have watched any deer hunting shows lately there is a good chance you have probably seen some type of footage that involves a bruiser buck with a swelled neck kicking the crap out of a plastic decoy. Without question, adding a decoy to your setup during certain times of the season can generate some intense and adrenalin pumping action that you will never forget. Just ask longtime bowhunter John Phillips from Oklahoma City what kind of impact a decoy can have on your overall success in the field.
Last season, Phillips strategically placed a basket-racked buck decoy in an open area with high visibility during an early November bowhunt in Kansas. On the first evening, Phillips was stunned when a heavy-tined 8-point marched straight to his decoy and demolished it right under his stand. In fact, this bad boy showed no remorse for the poor decoy and actually broke one of the plastic legs completely off before proudly strutting across the field like a heavyweight champion. This intense encounter really got Phillips fired-up even though the buck was not a shooter.
After patching up the decoy, Phillips set it out again the next morning and patiently waited for daylight. It wasn’t too long before another rut-crazed 8-point showed up and challenged the decoy with turned-up bristles and a series of powerful snort-wheezes. Once again, Phillips decided to pass on the buck and hold out for a long-tined giant with a bad attitude. About 30 minutes later, his decision paid off when a beefed up 9-point decided to face off with the smaller decoy. Phillips was able to snap several unbelievable shots of the buck as it approached the decoy from across the field.
Then at 27 yards Phillips replaced the camera with his bow and laid the smack down on one of his best bucks ever. The bruiser only ran a few yards from the stand before piling up and ending a perfect Kansas hunt during the rut. Congratulations John on an outstanding buck and a remarkable decoying story. For more information about deadly decoying strategies checkout upcoming issues of Outdoor Life Magazine and continue to visit the Big Buck Zone.—Travis Faulkner