While predator hunting one cool morning in Oklahoma with a friend who is a long-time predator hunting veteran, we were talking about decoys. Being new to the sport, I listened as he told me that a rabbit decoy would get the predator an extra few yards closer to my position, increasing my chances for a successful shot.
Well, this sounded good to me; but the problem was, none of the retailers in the surrounding area sold anything like that. I didn’t want to mail-order a decoy, because I didn’t want to wait that long. So I went to a local store that sold stuffed animals, and bought a toy rabbit. Now mind you, it didn’t look like the real thing, but the basic shape was there. I took it out the very next day and could not believe the success rate I gained from that one little tip. Now that I’ve been hunting predators for a few years, I’ve got some tips of my own that just might help you out:
- When using a decoy for predators, always face it away from you. Try to face it upwind if possible, because most predators like to come in from the downwind side. I’ve also learned to always carry a spare decoy.
- I carry a ball of twine, about 30 yards long, especially when I am bowhunting. I tie the twine somewhere low on the decoy and string it back to my blind. This provides me with a good yardage indicator, and also helps in other ways you might not have thought of. I’ve had hawks swoop in and try to take my decoy, and with the twine I can pull it back quickly rather than watching my decoy take flight. I learned this the hard way!
- I’ve had success with several different types of stuffed animals, from rabbits to dogs. Anything that gets a predator’s attention away from you will help. Predators have very keen eyesight, so it’s important to suit up completely in camo, and to keep movement to a minimum.
- A cover scent such as coon or fox urine also helps prevent the predator from finding you. I even put a little scent around the decoy.
- Park at least 100 yards from your hunting spot, because predators don’t like to come in near a vehicle.
- Try not to use the same stand or blind every time you hunt predators, because they soon learn that this spot means danger and will avoid it.
I hope these tips help you out on your next hunt. Good luck, and good hunting!