By Mark Kenyon
At last week’s ATA show, the largest bowhunting showcase of the year, I saw thousands of new products. Literally thousands. And while there were plenty of interesting new updates and iterations on current gear, there weren’t that many items that struck me as really truly innovative. One product bucked that trend though and I’d have to say it’s my favorite new item from the show. That item was The Doloma decoy from Rinehart.
A great piece of gear, in my opinion, solves a real problem and does so in an innovative way. And the Doloma decoys fit that description perfectly.
Here’s the problem with the decoys on the market today. If you want a 3D lifelike decoy, you’ve got a couple issues to deal with. First off, these 3D decoys are big – making them tough to store and a serious pain to transport to your hunting location. Secondly, almost all of these decoys are made of hollow plastic body parts which make the decoy really loud when moving from place to place. Every time anything hits those plastic parts, it echoes loudly, making set-up a panic-ridden affair, worrying that each move is going to spook any nearby deer. Third, these hard plastic decoys typically lack any kind of movement, except maybe a fluttering cloth tail on some models.
If you don’t want to deal with the bulk and noise of a 3D target, your only option to this point is a silhouette decoy, such as those popularized by Montana decoys. I’ve heard good things about these, as they’re very portable and obviously quiet (as they’re made of cloth), but the inherent issue with these is that they are 2D, and disappear when deer approach them from head-on.
The Doloma decoy solve almost all of these problems. It’s easily portable yet still lifelike, it’s silent to move and set-up, and it has moving parts to add realism.
You’ll notice a few things in the photo above. First, the decoy looks pretty lifelike and nearly 3D. That said, the decoy actually isn’t full 3D like your typical “boss buck” type model. Instead, the Doloma is just a couple inches thick, making it lightweight and portable – but still having enough structure to make it look realistic. The body is molded to have the same look and feel of a larger decoy and with strategic painting/shadowing, it really achieves that lifelike feel. Additionally, a full 3D head completes the dupe. Given how thin the body parts are, once disassembled, the full decoy fits in an easily carried backpack.
As to the noise issue, when I first saw the Doloma, I figured it would be made of plastic and would have the same issues as most other decoys. But I was wrong. Rinehart, renowned for their molded foam archery targets, took their expertise in foam and put it to use in these decoys. So, given that these decoys are made from lightweight foam, the noise issue is eliminated. Welcome to your silent decoy.
And finally, by using a hinged attachment for the neck and head, the Doloma decoys can display movement when adequate wind is present. (Note: the Doloma is available in both buck and doe options)
It’s easily packable, it’s silent, it looks pretty darn realistic and it moves. That right there is the decoy I’ve been looking for for years and my favorite new piece of gear from the 2016 ATA show.
Information is not yet available on Rinehart’s website, but eventually I’d imagine it will be at Rinehart3D.com. Also, the doe decoy will cost $159.99 and the buck is $179.99.