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For those of you that have not tried a decoy on big game you are missing out on another method of hunting. They work! I received a pair of decoys this fall to test from BIG GAME INFLATABLE DECOYS , and was surprised at how small they folded up. Each one easily fit in a small pack and weighed next to nothing. They blow up to a life size animal and have a Velcro strap on one side to allow you to secure them to a tree etc. or they also have 2 eyelets on the back to hang the decoy from a string from an overhead branch or from a line strung between 2 trees etc They have a small inlet hole as well as a larger hole to fill them with. I found it faster to use the large hole. Each one also has a scent pad attached to the rear of it to allow you to apply your favorite elk or deer scent directly to the decoy.

As you will notice I don’t have a success photo with this review. That is because I was less than accurate this fall with my bow. Sometimes that is the way hunting goes but it does not reflect on how the decoys worked .The whitetail Doe was the one with the best success for me. I set her up in alfalfa fields where deer were known to frequent and had bucks and does approach her several times .Sometimes coming from up to 500 yards. All the times I observed a deer approaching the decoy I found that their attention was on the decoy and not on the surroundings,[me].Winds were quite erratic here this year and several times as I was getting ready to draw an arrow the wind shifted and the deer would run off out of range, but instead of continuing they would remain fixed on the decoy, flagging and blowing as if to get her attention. I used “Doereen”, as I called it on several hunts and was quite impressed with the results.

One concern that I had with Doereen was cold weather. This was put to rest quickly when the temperature dropped to –20 one evening. She stayed inflated and did not crack, which was what I was afraid of. Even after deflating her at this temperature and rolling her up the next time I took her out she was as good as new.

My elk trip was a little disappointing this year. We set up camp and it started to rain, this made travel a chore and kept the animals under cover. After some scouting we found an area under a hydro line with fresh tracks and rubs so we set up Cowleen, the elk decoy. As with the whitetail she looked good and hopes were high as we called. Not long after calling on the first decent day of weather the hydro company decided to do maintenance on their lines with a helicopter and a crew of linemen. To be miles away from roads who would expect to have a helicopter land in front of you? Well they not only did that they set down on top of the decoy. The pilot must have wondered why that elk wasn’t running, and I am sure he had a shock when the prop wash blew the decoy out from under the helicopter. Much to our amazement the decoy landed a ways off, tumbling into the willows and remained intact. No holes or cuts. The crew continued to work in the area for several days and with all the low level flying we were out of luck. Everything in the area was spooked .We have to remember that for a decoy to work you must place it where the game will see it. If the Game doesn’t see it its not the decoy’s fault.

Mid way thru the season I also received the “American Camper” rechargeable pump. This is a great accessory for the decoys as it is fast and relatively quiet. I am sure I made more noise blowing up the decoys by mouth than the pump did.

To sum up this review I will be using these Decoys again next fall. I did find that they were easily set up and in the case of the Deer it did attract both bucks and does to it. They withstood cold weather well and in the case of the elk it took a real beating and abuse and still was in like new condition. From up close I found that they looked like “decoys” and wondered why any animal would come to them, but after seeing them set up at a distance I was impressed at how good the looked. A hunting companion saw the elk set up and did not remember that I had it, he started to stalk her untill he realized I had told him I would be setting up a decoy. As he said from 50 yards she looked real We both had a laugh at that. The rechargeable pump is a great investment to make. It will inflate the deer in 17 seconds and will deflate it in 24 seconds. This is a lot better than blowing it up by mouth considering the pump is small and lightweight. As A footnote I will update this review again next season after I use them again.

Pete Ward
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