I have never had a top-of-the-line bow before and when the Hoyt Maxxis came out in 2010, I pretty much knew it was going to be my next bow. Vanderbilt's is our local pro shop and I was basically all-in with the Maxxis, the Hoyt quiver, and the Hoyt drop away rest. Turkey season was right around the corner and what better way to break in a new bow...and a new turkey decoy.
A turkey decoy had been in the back of my mind since the beginning, but what kind of turkey decoy was the question. When the Heads Up Decoy Bow Mount materialized, it was designed with some really sinister thoughts of pronghorns at point-blank....and turkeys.
The original turkey decoy idea deviated from the integrity of the HUD's and it was time to rethink the turkey decoy concept and redirect. There were some sleepless nights, which isn't unusual for me given I am trying to get a new business off the ground. The first prototype deviated from my partial body concept, the second prototype was too expensive to sell, and the last prototype had one minor...well...major problem, "How to attach a real fan?"
Already into the turkey season, I was scrambling around trying to "rework" the decoy so I could actually get someone to purchase it in the future. I am not exactly sure how it came about, but the thought of cutting the center out of a strutting turkey and attaching a real fan seemed to be...well...doable. I cut out the center of my original prints and laid it on a fan I had and...bah-da-bing...bah-da-boom...there it was. It was go time. The Heads Up Tom Turkey Decoy was born and it was again, designed to be versatile.
My wife and I have 2 older children and 2 younger children and at the time, the youngest, Kori, was practically brand new. Turkey hunting time was limited at best, but one fine day I was able to accomplish what I set out to do with the HUD Tom Turkey. My goal was to smoke a tom with the decoy in the Bow Mount.
I was in the middle of a wide open pasture working a tom and hen when the tom had had enough of my presence. He left his hen and strutted right into me. I was hiding behind the decoy and fan inserted in the HUD Bow Mount. The tom strolled right in and I was able to easily draw my bow, settle, and...well...MISS! I buzzed the tom's head to the left with a Magnus Bullhead. The arrow flew true, but my aim was off. I had mixed emotions. I was totally STOKED that I was able to get a tom close enough to shoot with the decoy in the Bow Mount, but bummed that I missed when he was soooo close. I was trying to film myself and as the tom was approaching, I heard the camera die on me.
The next week found me picking just the right day to leave the day job early. I marinaded in Off bug spray and picked up prostaffer Justin Sherfick's Double Bull blind and camera. I nestled myself on the edge of an alfalfa field where we had seen turkeys spending the afternoon there on a daily basis. It wasn't long when activity began to pick up. Several hens came up and out of a small wooded draw and headed towards the creek to turn up cow pies. One lone tom later appeared and could not resist a look. He amble across the alfalfa field and strutted right into the decoy set. He was beautiful. Rio Grande tom turkeys are really beautiful birds.
I ranged the edge of the field where I assumed my shot would be. He strutted right in to that very spot eyeballing his competition. I settled my pin on his head and WHIFF! I gave the tom a reverse mohawk. I was utterly disappointed. I couldn't believe I missed again. Well, I did get some great footage.
The Heads Up Decoys are an exciting brand of decoys that are extremely effective and versatile. The Tom Turkey decoy is certainly one we will have loads of fun with. We look forward to the 2011 turkey season and hope to get some redemption. We wish everyone great success this turkey season and we hope the HUD's helps you. Please enjoy the footage by clicking the youtube link below.
2010 Turkey Hunt
Monday, January 17, 2011
I first picked up a bow in 1997 after moving to Eagle, Colorado. I still shoot that old Jennings; it is the only bow I've ever owned. Somewhere along the way I settled on a goal of completing the Colorado Big 8. This journey is well on its way with the 2010 season contributing another three species to the quest. I was fortunate to take a Pronghorn, a Rocky Mountain Goat, and a Cougar with bow and arrow.
I am a dedicated do-it-yourself bowhunter and take pride in this type of hunting style. I savor the challenges encountered while hunting without "professionals", and often by myself. Although the typical bowhunting season may only last a number of weeks in Autumn, it is certainly a year-round activity. Planning, reading, scouting, and making plans dominates the remainder of the year and helps pass the time until I can again strap on boots and smear camouflage face paint. The 2011 season presents an opportunity to close out my Big 8 adventure. A Mule deer buck is my final target and my Heads Up Decoy will certainly be along for the action.
Elk hunting is my bread-and-butter and I enjoy the elk rut more than any other season. The magic of high alpine meadows and aspen groves filled with bugles is fuel for my soul. I've had the good fortune to take many bulls over the years and a couple of trophies. All of my elk have been killed on public land in over-the-counter (OTC) units of Colorado. These amazing creatures humble me each year and never fail to teach another lesson (or a dozen) along the way. This year's highlight was a particular day in the late bow season when my hunting partner and I spent most of a day among a wild bunch of rut-crazed bulls. There must have been over 15 bulls all hanging out together with only a handful of cows between them. All of the bulls were big enough to command some harem of their own, but they all mingled as one, big, pissed-off family! The bugling action was tremendous and the Heads Up Decoy was making a laughing stock out of many bulls. We called an uncounted number of bulls, passed on some, missed others and had a fantastic day. My partner killed one of the biggest bulls at 12 yards when he came in on a string to my calls and decoy. I've always said that I am a far better hunter than shooter and I proved it once again on this day, shooting high on a second giant bull (probably a blessing anyhow as we already had 800 pounds on the ground to deal with).
My most difficult hunts along the way have been solo hunts for a Rocky Mountain Bighorn ram and Rocky Mountain Goat. The physical and psychological challenge of these hunts was awesome and the terrain was often treacherous. Many moments during these adventures are burned into my memory forever and I can replay them in my mind at will. I look forward to my upcoming high alpine Mulie hunt and expect that it will offer some of the same challenges and hazards.
Best of luck to everyone next season. I look forward to spending a bit more time on the Heads Up blog reading and sharing more stories to pass the spring and summer months. I've made a resolution to get back into top shooting form of years ago; that big velvet buck napping in an alpine meadow may only give me one opportunity to close out my Big 8 quest.