Gone Outdoors

Homemade Deer Decoys

by Daniel Westlake

Deer decoys are often used by hunters to trick bucks during mating season into their line of sight so they can shoot and kill them for their rack. These decoys can be purchased (and are expensive) or they can be made with a little originality and some arts-and-crafts construction ability. A decoy must look a little realistic and should be modeled after a doe, or female deer, so as to draw male bucks to it.

Hodgepodge Deer Decoy

Deer decoys have been made out of cheap gift store items and what is found around the house. Buy a Bambi or other deer stuffed animal, gut it of its cotton and then wrap the fake fur and body around a wooden saw horse. With some structure in the head itself, it will look enough like a deer to most likely attract a male mate, though much of this is based on scent. Add deer scent to your decoy, if possible.

Paper Mache Deer Decoy

By taking wire mesh from a gardening or hardware store and forming it into the shape of a doe, you're on your way to having a decoy. Then cut newspaper into strips and use plaster of Paris to wrap the wire mesh with newspaper strips until the body has been formed. After it has dried about 12 hours, paint the deer body to look like a doe, with tan along the body and white along the belly.

Straw Male Deer

Use a wire mesh Christmas decoration to form a decoy. Take one of these wire mesh deer bodies and stuff it with straw until it is full. Take antlers from a past kill or purchased and attach them to the head of the straw deer decoy, now making it seem like a male. Deer hair, kept from a past kill or collected from, say, a fence line where deer have squeezed under, can be mixed with water and sprayed on the decoy, giving it the scent of a male. The idea is to draw a male deer in the rut to attack the decoy, keeping it in your line of sight to shoot and kill.

About the Author

Hailing from Austin, Texas, Daniel Westlake has written under pen names for a myriad of publications all over the nation, ranging from national magazines to local papers. He now lives in Los Angeles, Calif. but regularly travels around the country and abroad, exploring and experiencing everything he can.