We needed to cover over three hundred yards in the wide open if we wanted to catch up to the herd. The ankle high sage would only cover our Kenetrek boots so now it was time to put our gear to the test. With three of us in a line perpendicular to the elk we used a Montana Decoy “Cow Elk III” as a shield. The herd was 400 yards away and we were in plain view during the time it took us to cover 300 yards of open ground.
My Camera man Chris Callinan was the lucky recipient of a Wyoming archery elk tag. On this trip, I was running camera while Chris was hunting. Joining us on this adventure was good friend Wade McCammond who took care of the calling. The Red Desert of Wyoming is not what your ideal elk country looks like and anyone who knows the area can attest it is more like typical antelope country. Surrounded by flat rolling hills covered in low sage there was not a tree in sight. With the lack of good cover our Montana Decoy played a key roll in the success of the hunt.
I’ve had bulls come in while using the decoy and it has helped in many situations. Its main use has been to entice a bull into range or help animals feel secure. Now, using it as a shield, I have another tactic to use for closing the distance and helping my success as a bow hunter. Chris, Wade, and I were shoulder to shoulder sneaking through the sage with the decoy leading the way. Hiding our silhouettes and sending out the occasional lost cow call we covered ground with ease. The herd gave us little attention as we skirted our way to a pre designated hill which we would use to make a calling set. Now in position a little ahead of the herd Wade started calling and the monarch of the prairie came charging in to 60 yards. Although this set didn’t produce a shot it was proof that using a Montana Decoy as a shield opened up another opportunity that we wouldn’t otherwise have had.
A couple days later this strategy would pay dividends as it would get us in on another herd. Using two Cow Elk III decoys we jockey with the herd until our position would allow us to pull away a satelite bull and with camera rolling Chris slips an arrow behind the shoulder of a Red Desert Bull.
I know you will enjoy this show as you watch us use the decoy to stalk and entice this bull into bow range. It’s my hope that you too have the opportunity and enjoy the thrill of using this strategy to get into position and slip an arrow into a trophy of your own.
Dave Beronio – Team Outback Outdoors