If you want a way to change your deer hunting luck, then you need to try a full body deer decoy for yourself.
Free standing or full body deer decoys are one of the best ways to fool wary deer that hunters have ever devised. Whether they are made to simply fool deer or double as a practice target, one look at one and it usually becomes obvious how they can help your hunting success. The fact that old buck decoys and archery targets left outside by hunters get destroyed by rut-crazed bucks every year is testament that decoys can work.
Some are made to be 2D, (basically flat with a printed picture) and some are made to be fully three dimensional and look completely real. For our purposes, we will explore both since they are almost always full size and do the job of fooling real deer quite well.
Having one of these high-definition decoys set up near your stand is great way to attract and keep deer in your area without distracting them. It should be said however, that fully-body deer decoys can be quite lifelike. You'll want to use caution when utilizing them. Because the best deer decoys can fool even veteran hunters who come across them in the woods when weren't expecting it.
Safety and common sense should always be the first order of business when using one of these decoys, and the greatest of caution should be observed when used on public lands.
Products featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
2D vs. 3D
2D or silhouette decoys are basically a printed picture of a deer on vinyl, plastic, or some other material. The advantage of these is that they are lighter and easier to transport into the woods. The disadvantage is that they aren't as realistic as a 3D decoy if a deer gets an angle on it.
Having said that, there are one or two 2D versions that have a look which is stunningly real looking since they are printed with what amounts to an actual photo of a whitetail buck or doe. The main benefit to this style of decoy is the easy transport. This type of decoy is easily collapsible and is usually extremely light.
3D full body deer decoys are just that: actual deer-sized decoys that look exactly like a deer (to a point) from any side or viewpoint. This is why it is necessary to use caution when hunting decoys, especially during the open firearms season.
The downside to a 3D full-size decoy is that they are a bit more difficult to transport out to your hunting area, and they are usually more expensive to buy depending on the brand.
Montana Whitetail Dream Team Decoy Combo
The Dream Team Decoy Combo includes both Whitetail Buck and Dreamy Doe decoys for good measure and economy. The detailed photo-image that is printed on both sides creates a 3-D effect, but they are a 2D decoy.
Flambeau Boss Buck
For ease of transport and storage, the Boss Buck's limbs, head, and antlers all fit into the body cavity. This system also Includes a shoulder strap for easy carrying and can be fitted with scent pads on the back legs.
Flambeau Boss Babe
The Boss Babe comes with all of the same features that the Boss Buck has, including the possibility of adding scent pads on rear legs to complete the illusion of a real deer. She also comes with two sets of ears: one submissive and one alert.
Flambeau Master Series Grazing Doe
Here is a good choice for getting deer to relax in the area and linger. Flambeau Outdoors designed the head and legs fit inside the cavity for transportation.
Primos Hunting Scarface
It's not so much the scar on Scarface's head that may be the most attractive, but the fact that the head and tail both swivel and move in the breeze to give him a realistic effect of movement.
As with most 2D whitetail deer decoys it folds down for ease of carrying into the field. The high-definition print and calming features are great, but it also comes with a teaser tail for motion.
Montana Estrus Betty
This decoy and others like it such as the Grazing Doe give a sense of realism and calm to the area when nothing else will.
Reasons To Use a Full Body Decoy
The main reason to use a decoy is because they really work. Set up properly and combined with scents and game calls, decoys pull in deer when nothing else will. The 2D or silhouette versions can and will get a deer's attention, but it is the 3D models that are the most effective.
As deer hunters, we know full well that not every whitetail deer is created equal. Some deer may come right in running, and still others will see or smell something that they just don't like. You will have to treat a decoy like the rest of your gear by making it as scent free as possible, even if you plan to use an attractant.
They are easy enough to use, but must be kept stable with stakes or placed on fairly level ground. The wind and wind direction must be played like any deer hunting situation, with the does used as confidence decoys.
Decoys can be used at any time where decoying deer is legal. Hunters have had success using them in the pre-rut, rut, and post-rut seasons. In fact, when hunting in higher pressure areas where deer have become more wary, a good decoy can at least get them to slow down again and investigate it, possibly long enough to take the shot you've been hoping for.
Please check out my book "The Hunter's Way" from HarperCollins. Be sure to follow my webpage, or on Facebook and YouTube. Go to Rack Hub and use the coupon code Craiger for a new way to display those antler sheds!
NEXT: TOP 10 WATERFOWL CONFIDENCE DECOYS