Using A Decoy To Seal The Deal On Your Next Guided Elk Hunt

Elk are prized game in many parts of North America for several reasons, such as their natural beauty, large antlers, and ability to evade even skilled hunters. For these reasons, many hunters in search of elk turn towards guided trips to world-renowned elk hunting destinations in order to chase this once in a lifetime prize. However, while these trips will put you on solid ground to bag an elk, there's often more you can do to increase your chances of bringing home a trophy. Specifically, using a decoy is a highly effective yet fairly rarely used strategy in the world of elk hunting. Here's how you can use an elk decoy on your next destination trip to help bring home a monster animal. 

The Problem With Just Using Calls

Many hunters dismiss the idea of using a decoy because they think that just calling will do the trick. However, what many seasoned elk guides will observe is that a bull during mating season will turn and run when he comes within eyesight of where the call is coming from and realize that it's not coming from a female. This effect is true no matter how good your blind is, since the issue that the bull observes isn't your presence, but that what's missing is the natural source of the call, which is what alerts the bull that something's up. 

Using a decoy, then, will give you an extra few minutes to attract a bull and line up a shot, since the bull will be able to see a cow that could plausibly be assumed to be making the call that he is hearing. However, simply having a decoy out in the field isn't enough, as placing the caller, the shooter, and the decoy is a delicate art. 

Using a Decoy Effectively

In order to properly use a decoy, you need to consciously place it so that you line up a good shot for a world-class bull. A popular method is to set up the shooter perpendicular to the decoy from the direction where the elk is expected to come from. Then, place the caller a safe distance from the decoy on the opposite side of the decoy from where the elk is expected to come, or, about 20-30 yards from the decoy so as to be a safe distance from the target animal. You can adapt this system to work in tighter spaces, but be sure to keep the caller a safe distance away from a potential trophy elk. For more info, visit a hunting store near you.