How to Make a Mule Deer Silhouette Decoy


When hunting mule deer, every little edge can help. Setting up a silhouette decoy is one good way to improve your chances of success. One can be made inexpensively with readily available tools and materials. Even though it will take a little more elbow grease, you should consider doubling your efforts. Two silhouettes are far better than one from a deer's point of view.

Draw the Silhouette

Step 1

Using the pencil and yardstick, draw two lines bisecting the plywood from top to bottom and from left to right. When finished, you'll see the plywood has four equal quadrants.

Step 2

Draw two lines bisecting your mule deer image from top to bottom and left to right. When finished, you'll see the image has been divided into four equal quadrants. These quadrants will help to guide you as you draw a silhouette of the image on your plywood.

Step 3

Place your image of the mule deer within easy view. Using the quadrant lines as guides, draw the lines of your silhouette on the plywood. Keep the pencil sharp. Light, quick strokes work best. Use the eraser to correct mistakes.

Cut the Silhouette and Braces

Step 1

Place your plywood on a firm, steady cutting support. Two sawhorses work well. Put on your woodworking safety goggles. Using a jigsaw equipped with a wood-cutting blade of at least six teeth per inch and cut out the silhouette.

Step 2

On the back of the silhouette, about 8 inches from the top of the deer's back, use wood glue to attach two 3-inch strips of plywood horizontally about 10 inches apart. These strips function as finger grips for carrying the silhouette into the woods. They also function as brace-anchors.

Step 3

Use your protractor and pencil to measure and draw a 45-degree line along the 4-inch side of the 2-inch by 4-inch piece of wood. Begin the line in a corner and extend it to the opposite edge. Using your handsaw, cut the wood along the line you've drawn. In the field, the freshly cut surface will fit against the back of the silhouette under one of the brace-anchors. Repeat for the other 2-inch by 4-inch piece of wood.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always use safety goggles when working with wood and saws. Read and follow all safety manuals and warnings for equipment and supplies such as saws and glue.

Things You'll Need

  • Woodworking safety goggles
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Yardstick
  • Protractor
  • Mule deer image
  • 4-foot by 4-foot piece of 1/2-inch plywood
  • Two 5-foot lengths of 2-inch by 4-inch wood
  • Sawhorses and their safety manuals
  • Jigsaw and safety manual
  • Handsaw
  • Wood glue


  • "Decoying Big Game: Successful Tactics for Luring Deer, Elk, Bears, and Other Animals into Range;" Judd Cooney; 2002
Keywords: decoy, cheap, mule deer silhouette

About this Author

David Wimberley is a content creator, teacher, copywriter, and publisher of the website He's been writing for print and web outlets since 1991. Wimberley holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Education from Auburn University.

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