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Learn deer decoy placements for each phase of the season with this illustrated guide.

The deer decoy is a powerful tool in the bowhunter’s arsenal. It can lure in a dominant buck and help to hide an archer’s movements. But decoys are only effective tools if used correctly.

Deer behave differently during different times of the year, especially during the short window of deer hunting season. It’s important to know how and where to place a decoy and what kind of decoy to use during each phase of the season.

This illustrated guide from Montana Decoy Co will help you do just that. The guide shows a variety of decoy placements and strategies for pre-rut, peak-rut, post-rut and late-season phases.

The illustrations suggest different types of decoys offered by Montana Decoy Co, but similar decoys would also work in these situations. Montana Decoys also also has similar illustrated guides for elk decoys and turkeys. Happy hunting!

Pre-Rut

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Peak-Rut

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Post-Rut

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Late Season
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What do you think about this deer decoy guide? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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A Minnesota bowhunter is recovering from serious injuries after surviving a recent brutal black bear attack.

According to KARE 11, the attack occurred in a swamp near Duxbury early Saturday morning when a group of lifelong hunting friends set out to find a bear they had shot with an arrow.

Craig Lindstrom, one of men in the hunting party, said they shot the bear at 11:30 pm on Friday evening and waited four hours before they searched for the wounded animal.

They later found it lying down in the swamp, but it was far from being dead. The bear sprung into action and tackled one of the men.

“All of the sudden I heard him screaming — felt like 10 minutes, but was probably two minutes — literally screaming, screaming and you knew he was being mauled,” Lindstrom said.

The victim managed to fight off the bear using his hands and his knife, but he sustained several serious injuries.

“He made that thing die because he stabbed it about 20 times while it was chewing on his arm,” Lindstrom said. “He kept stabbing it and stabbing it and stabbing it and it was pounding on him, a quarter of a ton — a 525 pound bear pounding on him.”

Lindstrom, who is a firefighter, said he dressed the victim’s wounds once the bear was dead.

Incredibly, the victim managed to walk out of the swamp alive. Lindstrom said it took three hours to walk the victim a half mile out of the swamp. The man was then flown to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, where he is being treated for injuries to his face, jaw, stomach legs and two broken arms.

As for the bear, Lindstrom said the group is going to have it mounted by a taxidermist.

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These 10 deer hunting videos are sure to get your blood pumping!

Whether you love hunting whitetail or mule deer, with a bow or rifle, you get it all with this intense collection. Videos 9 and 10 might even bring you to tears.

Heather Farrar’s Monster Buck

Heather Farrar stalks a HUGE buck and makes not one, but two great shots to down this velvet wall-hanger.

A Lot to Be Said About Not Filling a Tag

This video is the perfect reminder that we hunt not for bragging rights, but for something much deeper.

12-Year-Old 650 Yard Shot

Be amazed as this 12-year-old boy puts an insane long range shot on a big ‘ole muley.

Giant Illinois 8-point Whitetail

Patience always goes a long way when it comes to hunting big whitetail and this clip shows why.

South Dakota Mule Deer Archery Hunt

Incredible scenery provides the perfect backdrop for this lifetime hunt. Oh yeah, the buck isn’t too shabby either.

169″ Buck: Illinois Bow Hunt

Teenager or not, this young man proves he has got what it takes to harvest a nice 11-point whitetail with a clean bow shot.

Trophy Mule Deer with Bow

Watch as one hunter makes a skillful shot on a trophy mule deer on the slopes of Montana.

2 Deer with 1 Shot

Not even a teenager yet, this hunter has quite a story to tell as his first bow kill bags him two deer.

Young Disabled Hunter Takes Down Whitetail Buck

Although he has been confined to a wheel chair from birth, this hunter refuses to allow his circumstances to prevent him from enjoying the great outdoors.

Kid’s Reaction to Big Buck

This youngster’s response after taking a trophy buck is priceless.

Do you have an exciting deer hunting video that beats these? Share a link to your favorite videos in the comments section!

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What a wonderful world to be flying in a helicopter while killing feral hogs.

This video posted by Dustin Ellermann shows some slow motion action from a helicopter.

With some added music, of course.

Texas Parks and Wildlife says that two-thirds of the feral hog population needs to be harvested just to maintain their numbers.

Well, isn’t that convenient? Hogs need to die, and they happen to be a lot of fun to kill. Especially via helicopter.

TPWD is reaching out to Texans asking them not to be too conservative with their harvests.

The department urges Texans to join together to decrease the feral hog population, which is always high enough to cause problems with farmers and native wildlife across the state.

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Are you a stalker?

Most would quickly deny any stalking habits, but in the world of deer hunting it is quite a remarkable talent. The ability to sneak up on a deer in their own environment is truly a big deal.

We will examine some of the hurdles a hunter must overcome in order to get closer to the wily whitetail. We will also try and use some of a deer’s defense mechanisms to our advantage.

Ninja Skills

Traditionally, deer hunting has involved sitting completely still or making noise to push or drive deer into a specific area. We as humans are busy bodies and must find a happy medium between these two methods in order to stalk. How do you become proficient at moving with stealth and focus?

Practice makes perfect, and small game offers ample opportunities to hone your “ninja skills” afield before taking on deer. Squirrel hunting is a great way to practice stalking and if unsuccessful, well, you don’t feel as disappointed if you don’t connect.

Consider terrain before attempting stalking. If hunting in wide open fields or areas with sparse cover, know that you are going to stick out like a sore thumb. Look for areas that offer obstacles and cover that can complement how we as upright walking Homo sapiens can relate to.

Big timber and tall patches of grass that allow you scan ahead and break your outline are good bets. If the woods are covered with dry leaves, silence is not an option. Make use of rainy days to muffle your sounds as you slowly move about the forest. Logging roads are a great way to move around transition areas for whitetails.

Stalker Details

Wear the right clothing. Consider temperature, and how much you plan on moving. If you plan to stay mobile and keep the blood flowing, don’t dress for treestand duty. Wear boots or shoes that provide water protection but allow you to feel your way across the forest floor. Keep your head covered but also keep a clear field of view.

Pay attention to the wind. All day, and not just on the morning weather report, it tends to change. No matter how confident you feel a deer will be a certain place or area, play the wind.

It’s good to have a plan, but Mother Nature tends to flip flop on prevailing winds and it’s best to just go with her mood, the deer certainly will.

Turn the Table

Remember, paranoia is your friend. You must think about the animal you pursue, and they are certainly paranoid! Move as if a deer is always watching, which is usually the case anyways.

We as humans move about as we are the only one in the world and it’s no different in the woods, but we need to take into account our “jumpy” quarry.

This is an animal that has twice the peripheral vision as us, a nose that dwarfs our scent capabilities, and hearing that makes us literally seem deaf. Not to mention they can move stealthy through dry, crunchy leaves on four legs and can escape at speeds over 30 mph.

With all these natural abilities in the forest, this animal still has one central idea controlling its mind: that something is going to eat it. It’s hard to believe we could even sneak up on a hamburger, yet here we are attempting to sneak upon a deer.

Slow down. Use cover to break your outline as you scan for tail flips and ear twitches of a whitetail. With practice you will learn what terrain lends itself to productive stalking.

The rewards of this method of hunting are indescribable, along with the failures being deeply depressing. Stalking is the equivalent to a soap opera in the woods, without the Botox and theme songs.

Do you consider yourself sneaky? Have you had any luck stalking whitetails? Let us know in the comments.

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Trophy bucks are on the decline. Here are some reasons why you should consider shooting does this year instead of a buck.

Many wildlife management experts have taught us that an ideal buck-to-doe ratio is 1:1, meaning there is at least one buck for every doe. But ask any deer hunter which of the two (bucks or does) they more commonly see out in the woods and they will unhesitatingly say: “does!”

Harvest reports and management statistics confirm this assertion. In fact, in many states the buck-to-doe ratio has a much larger spread. For example, after the 2013 hunt in Utah, biologists estimated that there was an average of 19 bucks for every 100 does. That ratio is a long way off from the 1:1 ideal.

The enormous imbalance in the buck-to-doe ratio is caused by many factors. For instance, statistics show that does are approximately 13% more likely to have a doe-fawn than a buck-fawn. But that small difference can’t possibly explain the near 500% disparity between the ideal 1:1 ratio and Utah’s 0.19:1 ratio. The logical explanation is simply this: most hunters want to hunt bucks rather than does.

The reasons for this desire may be implicitly tied to the history and legacy of deer hunting, but the justifications for it are becoming less persuasive. With an ever-growing hunter population, the need for good wildlife management practices is becoming increasingly important. In the coming decades, hunters will need to do more than simply depend on their state’s suggested harvest allowances.

This reality may be hard to stomach for the die-hard buck hunter. Hopefully the following list — the five reasons why shooting a doe is better than shooting a buck — will provide some consolation.

1. Doe meat tastes better than buck meat.

Doe-Venison-Rib-Rack1Image via: Buedel Meat Up

Admittedly this is a very subjective claim, and the way you field dress and care for the game will probably have more affect on the quality and taste of the meat than will gender. But, biologically speaking, doe meat will generally be less “gamey” because does have less testosterone than bucks.

Many hunters with will argue that bucks and does taste exactly the same. They claim that each can taste great or horrible depending on how the game was harvested, dressed, stored and cooked. While this may be true, those with a more discerning taste palate will tell you that if all other variables the same, doe meat is more tender and tastier than buck meat.

2. Shooting does will produce more bucks.

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Image via: Noble Foundation

Many people believe that shooting bucks instead of does will produce more bucks. Their theory suggests that a higher doe population will have more fawns, and more fawns equals more bucks. This harvest strategy works when the overall population is low. However when doe populations grow too large, does begin to give birth to less fawns. And if the high buck harvest continues, their numbers will exponentially decline.

A better strategy is the quality deer management (“QDM”) strategy, which suggests that hunters harvest less young bucks and more does. As the doe population declines, they will produce more fawns per doe. And when this strategy is executed correctly, the deer population is more likely to move toward the ideal buck-to-doe ratio of 1:1.

3. Does are less expensive to harvest.

bigstock-Bowing-Doe-35379317

Unless you full mount your does, you don’t have to fork out all that money to mount it as you would with a trophy buck. That’s money in your pocket to put towards more hunting gear.

4. Better chances of successfully harvesting a doe than buck.

Deer-Herd11

Because the current buck-to-doe ratio is extremely unbalanced in most states, you are more likely to see a doe than to see a buck. And if you are hunting for meat, that’s a good deal. However, if you hunt for the challenge and adventure, you’re in luck too—does are a smaller target. Use the opportunity to hone in your accuracy for next year’s buck hunt.

5. Reducing doe numbers is an essential element of herd management.

bigstock-Whitetailed-Deer-Fawn-70351786

Image via: R.G. Bernier

Many states have implemented the earn-a-buck program. The program requires hunters to harvest a certain number of does before they can harvest a buck. This mandate has helped in those states, but it may not be enough.

Fortunately, more and more hunters are realizing that doe harvest is an important aspect of deer management. Unless you have a critically low doe population in your area, consider setting your sights on a trophy doe this year. It’s a great step to becoming a more responsible and experienced hunter.