Field Test: Trixie Whitetail Doe from Montana Decoy Co.

The author puts a two-dimensional Trixie Whitetail Doe from Montana Decoy to the test during the 2021 archery deer season in South Dakota.

Field Test: Trixie Whitetail Doe from Montana Decoy Co.

One of the author's buddies places Trixie on a South Dakota Walk-In property where cruising bucks can see it from a long distance.

I’ve been decoying whitetails for decades, but hadn’t tried two-dimensional models until the 2021 archery deer season in South Dakota. My reason for adding a 2-D version to my arsenal is it’s a hassle carrying a three-dimensional decoy more than a quarter mile. Even though I own a couple of lightweight 3-D decoys, they’re still bulky to carry, and the ones that break down into several parts are somewhat noisy and time consuming to assemble after reaching an ambush site, especially in the predawn darkness.

Montana Decoy Co. has the reputation of being the Cadillac of lightweight, easy-to-pack 2-D decoys for big game, as well as predators and turkeys, so I was excited when a box arrived from the company containing my new Trixie Whitetail Doe. Four features immediately caught my eye after examining the decoy:

  • It folds small enough to easily fit in my daypack
  • It weighs next to nothing compared to other deer decoys
  • The colors/details of the printed doe are outstanding
  • For added realism, the decoy comes with two lifelike Teaser Tails (one for each side; they connect to each other with a strong magnet).
Trixie decoy specs: unfolded, 39x35 inches; folded, 13x13 inches; 2.1 pounds (including stakes). MSRP is $109.99.
Trixie decoy specs: unfolded, 39x35 inches; folded, 13x13 inches; 2.1 pounds (including stakes). MSRP is $109.99.

Because I have experience folding collapsible reflectors used for photography, I had an easy time folding the Trixie decoy. It collapses in the same fashion as a photography reflector. The video below shows you how. The springlike wire sown inside the decoy opens it in a second after you remove the elastic band.

To use Trixie in the field, you assemble the two long stakes, which slide into sleeves sown into the decoy. The longer stake slides in the front leg opening, but if you forget, each stake is labeled accordingly. Elastic loops at the leg openings hold the decoy fabric to the stakes. It’s a simple system that works well. Tip: Initially I had trouble stretching the elastic loop over the clip on the front stake; the loop seemed too short. I finally discovered that the clip slides on the stake itself; you can slide the clip up the stake to easily attach the elastic loop, then slide the clip toward the ground to ensure it holds the decoy tightly.


In-the-Field Observations

It was early November, and I wanted to bowhunt the far side of a large Walk-In property in South Dakota. I figured it would be ideal for decoying because of the open terrain. I’d never carried a 3-D decoy in there before because it’s a half-mile hike. Of course, this is where a lightweight and collapsible 2-D decoy really shines.

After settling on a ground ambush in a brushy island surrounded by prairie, I assembled Trixie’s stakes and then aimed her into the 10-mph wind at a distance of 30 yards. I’ve learned that whitetail bucks usually approach a doe decoy from behind, and I wanted them to walk between Trixie and my hiding spot. This would allow bucks to smell the doe-in-heat scent I sprayed on the ground near the decoy, and give me a shot of 15-25 yards.

Regarding wind: My biggest concern about using Trixie in South Dakota was how it would handle the wind, which always seems to be blowing hard across the prairie. The full-length stakes do a decent job holding the decoy, but if winds are blowing at 15 mph or more, you’ll have to find additional support to keep the decoy standing upright. For example, I often placed Trixie on the upwind side of a sapling or other solid object to keep it from blowing over.

Yes, you can point Trixie into the wind and this helps considerably, but it never blows from exactly the same direction, and at some point the decoy will be hit from the side. I never had Trixie tip over completely, but it looks unnatural laying on a 45-degree angle.


Buck Interactions

In addition to wind, I was curious how bucks would react to a 2-D doe decoy, even one as realistic as Trixie. I didn’t have to wait long to find out.

During my first sit in the Walk-In brushy island, I had a yearling buck show up on the skyline and walk a beeline to Trixie. He was seeing her from the side, so I wasn’t shocked in his response. He was looking for a doe to breed, and Trixie looked fantastic in the setting sun. I wasn’t interested in shooting at this buck, so I simply watched and enjoyed. The big question — at least to me — was how would the buck react when he circled the decoy and saw it from either end (i.e. the skinny ends)? Would he freak out and run?

The yearling buck’s behavior didn’t change a bit when he viewed 2-D Trixie from the sides vs. the front or back. Of course, I have no way of knowing what the buck was thinking (if you believe deer can think) as he lost sight of Trixie when viewing her from either end. I can only guess that seeing the decoy from the ends vs. the sides gives the decoy the appearance of motion. I do know, however, that the two Teaser Tails (again, one on each side) adds some bulk to the scene, so the 2-D decoy never really disappears from view. Several other SoDak bucks reacted the same way when circling Trixie, in terrain ranging from prairie and river-bottom forests to food plots and shelterbelt edges.

The first buck that approached the author’s Trixie doe decoy circled it several times.
The first buck that approached the author’s Trixie doe decoy circled it several times.

I didn’t kill a buck over Trixie during my 2021 season, but I’m sure it’ll happen during one of the next few seasons. The doe decoy looks outstanding from near and far, and it’s so easy to carry and use that a punched tag is just a matter of time. I have total confidence in using my various 3-D decoys, and the same is true of the 2-D Trixie. 

P.S. The video below from Montana Decoy Co. explains how to fold the decoy.


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