The 2010 Pronghorn season provided some valuable learning points when using the Heads Up Decoy. In a rush to get in the mountains to chase bulls, I ended up taking my buck at a waterhole but thought I'd share a few things that might help others lure in their trophy with the Heads Up Decoy...
While Pronghorn hunting in Colorado, the Heads Up decoy produced a lot of excitement and adrenaline. Keep in mind that all my hunting was well before the Pronghorn rut so the decoy's effectiveness was somewhat diminished, although the reaction I received from bucks was quite encouraging in spite of the early season. I normally utilized spot and stalk tactics in my attempts to close the distance on lone bucks. The Heads Up decoy was always clipped to my hydration pack by using a simple lightweight c-clip. As I low-crawled and closed the distance on these bucks, they nearly always detected my presence prior to reaching bow range, usually around 80 yards (typical for spot and stalk in open country). This is where I employed the HUD, knowing that my traditional stalk was over.
Although the bucks knew something was near, they rarely spooked and became quite curious instead. While staying as low as possible I simply unclipped the decoy, brought it up in front of me, and slid it into the bow mount. Over fifty percent of the bucks actually began getting closer to investigate the newly discovered buck. Often, these bucks would make many approaches before finally leaving the area. Shot opportunities were only hindered by multiple mistakes by me and I'm confident a later season rut hunt would produce even more aggressive responses to the decoy. I can hardly wait to get back out there this season, filling my knee pads with cactus, and decoying in some Pronghorn bucks! This method and species is quickly rising as a favorite of mine. No doubt, the Pronghorn's curiosity can be used against him!
The small size and light weight of the HUD allowed me to combine two styles of hunting into one very effective method. The decoy never hindered my movement while walking, running, or belly crawling across the prairie. I believe that getting close to the Pronghorn before showing the decoy can be very effective and certainly creates excitement; the second those bucks start walking or running in, things happen very quickly.
Best of luck to everyone.