Heads Up Decoy

Heads Up Decoy
Click on Heads Up Decoy Logo above to view website

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Kansas Season Recap

I spent the month of November in hot pursuit of a mature Kansas mule deer. I had multiple close encounters with the buck, but ultimately was unable to get the job done. He was killed during rifle season leaving me without a solid plan for the remainder of the season. I am hoping for some luck between now and sun down on the 31st. Regardless of the outcome, I have had a great hunting season. I have posted a story detailing several encounters with the non-typical that haunted my dreams throughout the 2010 season at http://www.sitkaprostaff.com/.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Eastmans Bowhunting Journal Cover Story

I wanted to recognize and congratulate Heads Up Decoy Pro Staffer, Matt Palmquist, for having his cover story in the 2010 November/December Eastmans Bowhunting Journal.

Heads Up Decoy had an interesting "behind-the-scene" presence in this magazine. Matt being a prostaffer, Corey Jacobsen whose Elk101.com webisodes HUDs sponsors, and "This is my DIY"...submitted by the good friend of Aron Snyder...prostaffer of HUDs...who was along and used the decoy to help harvest that elk. In addition to my standard Gear Give Away recognition.

Congradulations again Matt...that is one awesome animal. Click on the picture below for the full story.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dreams to Reality

When I started out, I had a saying on my website's home page..."Starting a New Revolution in Big Game Decoys". Although the saying is no longer visible on the website, the statement lives through my efforts and through those that help me promote my decoys. You see, I knew in my heart there was a way to expand one's opportunities with the proper tools. I think the Heads Up Decoy embodies a tool that provides opportunities never realized before...with opportunities comes success and hopefully moments you will never forget.

My good friend Kent accompanied me Saturday afternoon on November 20th in pursuit of a big whitetail buck. The plan was to head to some property I have access to and hang out in a pasture waiting for a giant whitetail to show himself. We left Kent's house at 1:45PM...ish. Driving to our planned destination, we weaved through the county buzzing by some additional property we could hunt. You see, we know that the big bucks have a tendency to bed up with a hot doe in the pasture ground, basically voiding treestand hunting.

Part of the trip was taking a highway for a couple miles before hitting a final turn on a county road. I was babbling on the phone driving 65mph when Kent tapped my arm and gave me a "whirly bird" signal with his finger to turn around. I hung up and turned around. Kent had spotted a buck in a raggedy cut milo field that a mouse wouldn't hide in. He was bedded with a doe about 300yds off the highway, and he was a shooter.

We bailed out of the truck and planned our attack. We grabbed the Heads Up Whitetail Buck Decoy, the camera, a Bugling Bull Grunt Call, and my bow. The plan of attack was to get down wind and walk at him as far as we could before he spotted us. We walked as one, in unison, with Kent in front with the decoy and camera and me holding on to his coat-tail across a small grass strip, a shin high wheat stubble field, and finally to the last small strip of grass abutting the milo field the buck was in.

Several people have asked me why I made the buck decoy so big. Well, you use big buck decoys to kill big bucks...like the one bedded just ahead of us. The typical western KS wind let us down...it was hardly blowing. Where this buck came from we don't know...maybe it was "Divine Intervention"...cause he was big and he was looking into what little wind there was allowing us to approach him. We gently stepped through 30 yards of milo stubble and closed the distance to 60 yards. Not wanting to disturb his doe bedded on our side, we set up. Kent displayed the Heads Up Decoy and the buck stood up. With a small grunt from the Bugling Bull Dialect Deer Call, the buck approached our position larger than life...ears down, hair out, stiff legged... I ran a Rage broadhead through his cage when he was at 15 yards(aka "toasted him" as you will soon witness)...the time was shortly after 3PM.

I exploded with emotion and energy when the arrow disappeared through the chest of this great animal that I will probably be criticized for. I guess my justification is that I have worked very hard and my family has sacrificed for this moment and I did not restrain myself very well. I hope to refine my on camera performance as I continue with the success of the Heads Up Decoy. I hope you will understand when you see this footage. Please appreciate the fact that my friend Kent and I did something that at the time was a possibility...not a reality and that was to take a mature whitetail buck at eye level with archery equipment in open country...and Kent, being the absolute MAN! captured it on video.

I want to personally thank my good friend Kent Hensley. A side note about Kent, he truly is the best hunter I know. He was holding the Heads Up Decoy when I harvested the first animal taken by my decoy 3 years ago. Now, he was holding a Heads Up Decoy when I harvested the first whitetail buck with the Heads Up Decoy. Kent is a good hunter and a great man. Thank you Kent for helping me prove that you can get away with almost anything using the Heads Up Decoy.

Please click the link below for the video.

Garrett's 2010 Whitetail Buck

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Referenced in "Chasin Prairie Bucks" there was one more tag to be filled...Dalton's. Dalton out-did Dad in a BIG way. A Father and Son hunt for the ages. This is Dad's version...


As my 12 year old son, Dalton, jumped off the bus, I asked him, "Do you want to go hunting?" Without much hesitation he said, "Yeah, let's go." Within minutes we were heading down the road to our hunting spot.

The deer were already up and feeding. One of the bucks I had watched through the summer was in a group of a dozen. There were few options for a stalk in the open stubble field so I positioned Dalton in a weedy draw with to hopes that I could gently push them his way by showing myself. One of the does "freaked" out and ran the opposite direction. The rest of the deer followed including the buck.

Having a good idea of where the deer were heading I went back to pick up Dalton. We moved about a 1/2 mile and began our stalk down the draw not knowing if the deer were in there. A few hundred yards later we spotted the deer in a wheat field. They were 400 yards away. We slowly worked down the draw, stopping and glassing the group trying to figure out our next move. Then, for no apparent reason, the "freakout" doe took off again heading back to the first weed draw that Dalton had set up in. It wasn't looking good, but to our amazement, the buck and one doe stayed put in the wheat field. Things were beginning to look better. Now we only had to beat 4 eyes, 4 ears, and 2 noses.

Still 400 yards away, we were running out of light and wind. W had about 45 minutes of shooting time left and a 300 yard crawl to a cedar tree. I am sure we sounded like a herd of elephants in the dry grass as we noticed the doe was focused on the noise we were making moving down the draw.

We took it slow and steady. We managed to get the cedar tree between us and the deer with only a cut milo field to cross before reaching the tree. With the help of the cedar tree blocking our movement, we managed to make it through the milo field, but not to the security of the cedar tree.

Using the decoy, the goal was to make it through 20 yards of dry, noisy grass. Dalton knocked an arrow and I grabbed my range finder. We made it 4 steps when the buck heard our soft steps and stood up looking out way. With the cedar tree still between us and the buck we were still in the game. We moved up the hill as the buck move down the hill towards us. The buck stopped on the edge of the cedar tree staring at the Heads Up Decoy that we were now using for a blind as well as an attractant. To my amazement, the buck continued toward us. Dalton was positioned slightly behind me at full draw. I struggled to get a range, finally got a range. "30 yards", I whispered. The buck took 5 more steps and stopped; he was looking directly at the decoy. Dalton concentrated and shot, sending an 85 grain Magnus Stinger zipping through the bucks ribs and lungs. "You drilled him!" I said. We sprinted towards the top of the hill were the buck had bolted to see him pile up 100 yards away.

We celebrated a our hunt and stalk of a great buck with hugs and congratulation's. We both looked at each other and thank the Lord our God for giving us such a glorious experience, one father and son will relive for many years.

The Heads Up Decoy kept the buck around to allow Dalton this chance at a great Kansas prairie buck.

Dalton's buck is a wide main frame 3 X 4 with a couple of "sticker" points. Its gross green score was an amazing 173 inches...a true giant prairie mule deer.

Great hunt and thank you for sharing your story and pictures. Please click the link below to hear Dalton's story of his hunt.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First Timer!!

I Spent the weekend hunting with one of my best friends from high school, Jason Weltzin. Jason arrived Thursday night and we were looking forward to getting to catch up and hunt like old times, but also hoped to succeed in Jason tagging his first mule deer. We found a few good bucks right out of the gate, but we ran out of daylight.

After a few failed attempts, we decided to head to a new location Saturday morning. We found a large group of does with multiple bucks strung out along a weedy fenceline between a crop field and a large CRP field. The wind wasn't cooperating because it had all but died, but we watched the deer bed and decided to give it a try. We used the mule deer doe decoy to help cover our approach. As we approached there were multiple small bucks chasing does around the tall grass between us and the target bucks. We slowly made our way towards their location. Every once in a while I would look all around us to make sure that a buck hadn't snuck in behind us. I couldn't believe it when I spotted a mature buck parallel with us about 300 yards away. While Jason sized him up, the buck was extremely nice and bedded down. Jason made the decision to pursue the new buck and the hunt shifted gears. We crawled through the grass using the decoy to shield our movement. The buck had glanced our way a time or two, but paid no attention to us. We held up when we were 40 yards from the bedded buck and decided that was far enough. I think we could have got even closer, but we didn't want to push the envelope. The buck laid his head down for awhile and when he lifted it to stretch I raised the decoy up high. The buck locked onto the doe decoy and stared at us for a minute or so before casually rising from his bed. Jason took that opportunity to draw and the buck stood broadside allowing him time to settle in. Jason made a great shot and had accomplished his goal of tagging his first mule deer! It was an awesome hunt that neither one of us will soon forget!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chasin Prairie Bucks

My good friend Kent harvested a great 165 class mule deer buck on Friday Oct 29th. He is gracious enough to share his story. This is what he wrote:

I thought I'd mention some of the successes using the Heads Up Decoy I had from recent 2010 archery hunts. I've been taking the decoy on several hunts this fall. Twice I was able to get my 12 year old son within fifty yards of shooter mule deer, things didn't work out. But getting within 50 yards of a 4 or 5 year old buck, in my opinion, is success.

More recently, I was able to harvest a nice 4 year old mule deer buck. The hunt took place in the AM of October 29th. I found this buck by himself cruisin', "the perfect situation." This was a chance to get the decoy in front of him to come my way, especially during the early phase of the rut. Problem was I needed to quickly get about 300 yards down a draw to position the decoy and myself for a chance to ambush the buck. I hurriedly moved down the draw and had just enough wind to cover any noise I was making. As I approached my position, I looked aheads 70 yards and the buck was too close to get the perfect setup prepared. I quickly stuck the decoy in a clump of fire weed(tumbleweeds) and moved about 5 yards ahead slightly off to the side and got ready for a shot. As the buck got closer moving down the field edge, he either caught me knocking my arrow, saw the decoy, or a combination thereof. After a few minutes of staring my way he relaxed, flicked his tail, and proceeded down the edge of the field. I can't say with 100% certainty he saw the decoy, but if he was looking at me, he had to see the decoy positioned directly behind me. Anyway, as he moved towards me he passed behind a few weeds at about 25 yards and I drew. He kept coming and at 15 yards broadside I softly bleated, he stopped, looked my way and I quickly shot, hitting him just in front of the shoulder. He ran 200 yards, walked a couple hundred more yards, laid down and expired.

As I mentioned, I can't say for 100% certainty that he saw the decoy. I can say there is not another decoy on the market I could have set up that quickly being in that situation, only 70 yards away from the buck. The ease and quietness of carrying, along with the quick set up was no doubt a benefit to the success of this hunt.

Now as this year's rut heats up, I look forward to getting my son back out for a chance to decoy in another Kansas prairie buck.

Great hunt Kent! Thanks for sharing your story and photos. We'll look for Dalton to out-do his dad on one of those Kansas prairie bucks.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Doe Magnet...

It appears that I have a doe magnet in my pocket. These whitetail does are making me look like a genius...those of you who know me certainly know that genius would not be one of those words one would associate with me. I took today off and was again scrambling around trying to figure out a plan of action for the morning as my initial plans did not pan out.

I woke up early and was particularly efficient getting my gear together. My plan was to sit in an "island" of huge cottonwood trees that sat on the fringe of a busy travel route. Sitting on the ground was again the plan of action and since I had only threatened at the notion in years passed, I needed to get there early to find the right set up. If I wanted to get to my planned destination any earlier than I did, I would have had to spend the night out there.

There was a stiff SW wind so conditions were perfect for the set up. I placed the decoys behind where I planned on hiding. The buck was about 15yds behind me and the doe decoy was 25 yrds behind. Both decoys were on the edge of the island clearly visiable from a distance.

I managed to have some deer activity which lead a doe and her two fawns in my lap. They would feed and look up at the decoys, but she would not present a shot. Another doe appeared and slowly fed her way in the direction of the Heads Up Decoy. I was trying to film my hunt so there was an extra degree of difficulty trying to get footage and a shot. The second doe walked right into the decoy set and was standing quartering-to at 10yds or less from me. I was at full draw and let her have it. The arrow buried into her chest, entering in front of her shoulder and exiting behind the opposite shoulder. She piled up in about 60 yards. I was very happy.

I managed to capture the draw and shot on camera. This makes 4 does that have come into the decoys that we have been able to harvest. The big bucks will come.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Doe Guide Strikes Again

It appears that I have become a trophy whitetail doe guide. This marks the second weekend in a row that I have been the witness to another doe being harvested.

My brother Jeff joined me for a weekend ground assualt for anything brown and legal to shoot with archery equipment. Saturday morning began with a "bang" as I set the alarm clock wrong. Rather than the standard 4:30am wake up call, I shot out of bed at 6:39am...whoops. It worked out fine, we were able to spot a good muledeer in the area shortly before sun-up for a future day.

As stated previously in the week, our intention was to do some rattling and calling to lure in a buck...which we were unable to accomplish Saturday morning.

Saturday evening found us scrambling around due to a shift in the wind direction that essentially blew our initial plan out of the water. We would later find out that it worked to our advantage. I let my brother make the decision on the particular options that were available to us, and to his credit, was rewarded later in the evening as a big fat whitetail doe walk within 10 yards of him on her way to investigate the Heads Up Decoy 25 yards behind us.

As this was taking place, the light in our hiding spot was dim and I believe she picked up on the flashing red record light on my camera...she went back from where she came giving Jeff a 20 yd, slightly quartering-to shoot which he place perfectly. She expired 60 yards away.

I always enjoy hunting with my brother Jeff. I was lucky that I had him growing up because he is a big reason for my passion for hunting, particularly archery hunting.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Doe Double...Oct 15th

Due to family and work related obligations, there was no weekend hunt so I took Friday Oct 15th off. I had extended an invitation to my newest prostaffer to meet me for an afternoon/evening hunt for which he graciously accepted. I met Matt shortly after noon. We scouted, hung stands, plotted, and schemed about an evening assault.

The wind was blowing from the SSW at about 10-20mph so I felt that a ground approach in a long narrow strip of cottonwoods may produce some action. This particular strip of cottonwoods snaked its way through picked corn and wheat stubble in a north-south fashion, 5-10 yards wide and about 300 yards long. The cover in the strip was dense enough to hide without the use of a pop-up blind. I placed the whitetail doe decoy and the whitetail buck decoy 20 yards behind our "stand" location. Matt chose the wheat stubble side. I chose the corn stalk side. We waited for deer to begin to move from a nearby bedding area.

Having consumed a sugar free Red Bull at the truck shortly before our sneak in, I was particularly attentive. The 20 mph wind gusts were not enough to keep me from hearing deer moving in a small milo field about 200 yards away:^) Four deer, 2 does and 2 fawns, appeared in the wheat stubble and were making their way towards us. I believe the mature doe had picked up the doe decoy and slowly worked her way towards our location. Matt made a slight weight shift to position himself for a shot for which the doe picked up the movement. The "peek-a-boo" game was on. For roughly 30-45 minutes Matt and I did nothing but blink as the doe stared Matt down, most of the time from less than 5 yds away. Matt was wearing Sitka Opti-Fade camo clothing which blended perfectly with the cottonwood Matt was leaning against making it impossible for her to make out his profile.

We eventually out lasted her and as she finally fed towards the decoys, Matt was able to draw and shoot the other doe standing broadside at 25 yards. She expired within 40yds. At this point, all heck broke loose as the other doe began to blow and stomp her way back in for another look. She moved off to the location where the 1st doe was shot. Matt drew and released another arrow. The 2nd doe also expired within 40 yards. It was a great hunt even though there were no trophy antlers. I was able to capture 47 minutes of footage including both shots. Matt filled both his antlerless tags, and the landowner was pleased. Video will be posted soon.

Friday, October 8, 2010

2010 KS Deer Season

The 2010 deer season has opened and again finds me scrambling around to find a good buck. The advantage I have is knowing the area. I have hunted this particular area for many years and there are always several good bucks in the area.

I have added some additional prostaff who will be contributing to the blog periodically. We hope to add photos and video.

I would ask that you join our blog to get our updates.

Good luck all and we will keep you posted on what's going on in the field.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Whitetail Buck Decoy

Introducing the Whitetail Buck by Heads Up Decoy. The Whitetail Buck Decoy has all the same functionality and realism as the Heads Up Decoys that have come before it. With its flexible and detachable antlers, the Whitetail Buck decoy will be the most versatile, portable, and usable Whitetail Decoy on the market. This product will be available August 1st for dealers and online customers. It will retail at $69.99.

I believe this decoy will work in any hunting situation from stand hunting to spot-and-stalk to calling/rattling scenarios anywhere whitetails live from coast to coast.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Antelope Decoy and Bowmount Pictures

Here is the antelope buck decoy with the bow mount to give you more of a clearer picture of how it works and how it attaches to the bow mount.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March Shed and Scouting Pictures

Prostaffer David Gillan and I went out looking at a new area to consider for the fall archery season. I am excited to give this place some hunting time. If there was ever a place made for the Heads Up Decoy, this would be the place. Plenty of open country broken by dense brush, subtle rises, and a big chunk of roadless ground.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

New Bow

Made the plunge and purchased a new Hoyt Maxxis, 31". It's the sweetest bow I have shot. Can't wait to put it to use this spring and fall.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2010 Plans

Spring is on its way...I think. Summer will soon follow and BOOM! Archery season will again be upon us. Between now and then, I will be working on getting back in shape, working on new decoys, and working on improving the Heads Up Decoy market position.

In early January, Heads Up Decoy was in Denver for the International Sportsman's Exposition. Wow, what a show it was. Denver was very good to the Heads Up Decoy. The support was awesome. I hope all of you that purchased my decoys or plan on purchasing them before this coming season have as much success as I have had.

Myself, along with a few others, will be filming our hunts and putting together a DVD using the Heads Up Decoys. We will be working on it starting this spring, through the summer, and obviously the fall archery season. We hope the DVD portrays our season "chasing" animals with as many close encounters as possible. I hope to portray the season that encompasses not only the hunts, but the preparation that goes along with hunting with a bow.