Heads Up Decoy

Heads Up Decoy
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Monday, November 21, 2011

WHAT...am I trying to prove exactly?

Fall Colors from early November

A question I have asked myself multiple times during the KS archery deer season. It was a discussion with a prostaffer as well. What am I trying to prove exactly? After the first week of November, I had a different answer than I do at this moment.

The whitetail template is sitting in a treestand, low impact, stealth, solitude, and  patience...or "time on stand" as it's  been said. From a business perspective, is this the way I need to market my product? Another question along the same lines as the first. I would say with honesty, the treestand at times should be in the arsenal. But as the rut kicks in and dominant mature bucks become more active, one should not confuse "sightings" with "encounters". As I write this I may have found my answer.

Waiting for a buck to cruise a bedding area..decoy ready!

Heads Up Decoy is a decoy to use how you want to use it. I know it works from a stand or ground blind. But  to separate it from the conventional decoys, it must perform in ways that turn "sightings" into "opportunities". In between a sighting and opportunity, there must be a design and complimentary accessories to get you to your point of engagement. Now, I haven't thought of everything, but darn close.

So today(Sunday Nov 20th)...the one year anniversary of the massive 7 point buck in the milo stalks...I reluctantly crawled out of bed hoping that somewhere in the day there would be 30 seconds that would change my season from close calls...into antlers to pose behind and meat in the freezer.

I checked the wind as I do every morning then mull over my options on the drive. It was off to the pasture...yes pasture...my son and I looked at last march. Some of the photos and insights about this pasture can be found at the following blog link. Scouting New Ground...A New Perspective. I was confident in a consistent wind and based on my last hunt in that pasture...confident I would turn up a big whitetail.

A look to the north of the pasture where I took my position
 Low light found me in position and scanning the pasture for movement. It wasn't long before I was able to see a buck in the distance working his way up the fenceline in my general direction. It was not shooting light, but it was enough for me to pick up the movement with my binos. Not being able to truly assess the size of the buck, I decided to move to the ridge closer to his position to get a better look. I found the buck moving off to the east and not worthy of a 1/2 mile pursuit. I felt good about my position and I elected to "hole up". There was a winter wheat field on my north that I was banking on holding a rutting buck and being downwind of the bedding area with plenty of cover, I liked my chances...1/2 mile from any tree that could hold a treestand.

My place of "hiding" the buck came just inside the small far
right upper yucca...30 yards.
  It wasn't long after I made my decision to stay put that I spotted movement...downwind of me of course...which has been the story of the year. But luckily not directly downwind and totally unaware of my presence. I glassed up a shooter buck. My initial thought was 170, but as the planning and assessment and the constant glassing persisted, I really didn't know how big he was other than he was a "no doubter". My plan was to be patient because the buck was in no hurry to be anywhere because he was where he wanted to be and he had company. This buck was here well before shooting light and hardly visible from any tree that might be a place to have a treestand.When I spotted the bedded doe there was no doubt in my mind that I needed to be aggressive. His position was workable, but not ideal...I would need some help from God. I belly crawled 100yds down the slope angling to the west getting as much angle in the wind as I could before I ran out of cover that would conceal my movement.

The wind was light, but consistent so I made the decision that if I was going to get a shot, it was going to be done with the buck decoy in the Heads Up Decoy Bowmount. I displayed the buck decoy, grunted and waited...and waited...and waited. After several minutes of staring him down and after he and the doe bedded and rose twice, I took my eye off them to range some yuccas to my south and to my east. When I returned my attention to the buck and doe, they were gone. Did they spook? Where did they go? I didn't see anything and I scanned the pasture to my east rising from my crouched position. I picked up the doe and was anxiously scanning for the buck because she was RIGHT THERE. In fact, I was scared he was already at 10 yards. Well, he wasn't at 10 yards, but he was coming. I was in the comfort zone. He was angling downwind, bristled up, ears pinned back. I drew my bow and place my pin low on the chest behind the shoulder and loosed the arrow before he reached my scent cone only to watch it pass low of my aiming point. The buck bound off with alittle less hair in his arm pit. At 30 yards from my position laid a pile of white chest hair.
As for me...it's been that kind of year. I've decoyed in more deer to bow range than any year to date. I've had 4 encounters with 4 different shooter bucks. It was only a matter of time before it resulted in a shot. I kept putting myself into the field. Even if I don't tag a buck, I know what I am trying to prove...and that's to continue to give myself opportunities.

I would like to give a shout out to some of the manufactures out there. The type of hunting I have been doing is extremely hard on equipment. My Badlands packs, Hoyt bow, Easton Arrows, Bow Jax stabilizer, Grim Reaper Broadheads, Canon Camera's, and my TruFire Hardcore release...this release is a stalking hunters dream.

My stuff...dekes packed inside.

The season ain't over.
Be mobile...Stay mobile.

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