October 10 brought a day off school for Dalton and a day for father and son to take to the field for the first Kansas archery deer hunt of 2011. The plan was to do some early season roadside scouting but the fog had us locked down and we were unable to glass any potential hidey holes.
As we made it back to the vehicle the fog began to break and we spotted good mule deer buck feeding in a drought stunted milo field. We decided to head back home for a change into dry camo and to wait for the wind to come up a bit. We arrived back at the field about 11 am. After about ½ mile walk to swing downwind we were about 300 yards away from where we believed the buck to be. Luckily enough, the buck stood up to stretch, reposition, and feed a little. We watched the larger buck and a yearly for nearly 30 minutes before they bedded back down.
Having them pinpointed, we began our stalk. As we approached the terrace channel we had seen them enter. I spotted the larger buck bedded on the terrace top, his antlers quite visible in drought strickened headless milo. We used the Mule deer doe Heads Up Decoy and crawled our way to within 20 yards of the larger buck and only 10 yards of the yearling buck.
We got comfortable and positioned as I held the decoy in plain few for the bucks to see. Dalton was positioned just to my left. The plan was for Dalton to draw and I would hold the decoy and bleated with my mouth. Hoping for the buck to stand and look. First try the buck only looked our way and couldn’t see the decoy through the milo. After about 30 minutes and a 2nd and 3rd try and my arms cramping from holding the decoy the 4th try worked. I bleated a bit louder and the buck rose up just enough to see the decoy and was on full alert. He stood and within seconds after seeing the decoy you could tell he had relaxed. Dalton is at full draw, shoots and takes the hair off the bucks back. The buck only runs 10 yards and turns back to look at the decoy quartering away at 30 yards. This time Dalton did not miss the mark and the buck tears off and goes out of site after a 250 yard sprint.
A repeat for Dalton, and another successful stalk with the heads up decoy. I am convinced that after the miss, without the heads up decoy, this buck would have been plum out of the country. In the end patience, remaining calm, and trusting in the decoy was all it took to for Dalton to put an arrow in another fine Kansas Mule Deer.
Submitted by Author KH