To add on to my previous experience with my decoy, something happened last night that had me decide then and there that if I went hunting in that spot, my decoy was going with me.
I got to my spot usual time, got dressed, grabbed all my stuff including the decoy, and started the short walk to my stand. I had just got over the rise when I realized that there was a deer under my stand. I froze for a second, hoping upon hope that it was NOT Mr. Big. It turned out to be a little five point marking his territory.
Well, I really had no choice but to continue on to my stand if I wanted to hunt it that night. Quietly, I continued towards my stand. I got to about 10 yards of the deer and he turned his head to look at me. He seemed a little surprised to find me there, and took a few quick steps in the opposite direction. But then he stopped and looked back at me and waited. I continued walking slowly until I was about 5 yards from the deer. He continued to look at me, but he didn’t try to leave. Ok, this was weird. Then, I realized I was carrying my decoy. Did he think I was another deer that was just a little malformed?
I moved back to the spot I usually put my decoy and set it up. As I stepped away from it and looked at the little buck, he turned and trotted away. I think he was still a little unsure of what exactly had just happened, because he didn’t go very far. I climbed into my stand and surveyed the field, only to find him grazing about 60 yards off. Well, that was certainly interesting.
It was a cold windy night, and the woods were literally MOVING with deer. Small buck after small buck wandered in beneath my stand to check out my decoy. A herd of about 20 does grazed in the field, then at dusk left via the path under my stand. I was SOOOO tempted to shoot one. I really wanted to just kill a deer, but I could see more deer coming down out of the woods and if one of them was Mr. Big, I didn’t want to scare the other deer.
I watched the first small buck that had been under my stand, fighting with another small buck, then here he came, right under my stand again. He passed through the same exact spot he had been before, and continued on the way I had come in. Despite the fact that the wind was vicious, none of the deer had winded me.
It became too dark to tell if the deer had antlers or not, and I waited for the deer to clear out enough for me to get down. Climbing down I picked up my decoy under one arm and started to walk back to my truck. Then, I saw a 6 point grazing in the field about 20 yards from me. He looked at me for a few seconds, then went back to grazing. Seriously?? Was the decoy all I needed to sneak in and out of my stand without being detected?? So far, that was how it seemed! I walked past the buck at about 10 yards and he just continued to gorge himself on the grass. He didn’t move until I started my truck.
From now on, I AM bringing that decoy with me every time.