Heads Up Decoy

Heads Up Decoy
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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Making Believers One Turkey At a Time

I still remember when the topic of a Heads UP turkey decoy
was discussed. I was extremely excited about the product,
but i'll openly admit I was a bit skeptical as to whether this
was really going to work. I remember thinking to myself,
"These animals have the sharpest eyes in the woods, are we really going to be able to pull this off?" My questions were
soon answered with results a person could only dream about.
April 2011 marked not only a defining moment for Heads Up
Decoy, but for myself as well. I was filming for owner Garret
Roe and I was fortunate enough to be witness to the first
turkey being killed while using the hud combined with the bowmount. My reaction....SPEECHLESS!
You can only imagine how I felt when it happened again, and again and again. Two weeks into the season we were all tagged out.

After the way the previous spring had treated us, my anxiousness was at an all time high as April 2012 approached. To top it off, I drew a unit 4 turkey tag which allowed me to hunt the same area
that I spend a lot of time in during the fall chasing whitetails. While in a deer stand I've encountered I
don't know how many turkeys and could do nothing but sit and watch and wait for the day when I
was lucky enough to have that piece of paper in my pocket.  

I had planned on leaving around 4 a.m. but this plan came crashing down when I overslept and woke
up around 7:00. I frantically threw all my gear together, hit the road and started thinking strategies. A
few weeks before I had been shed hunting in a different area of the unit and had spotted birds....time
for plan B. I pulled up about 8 o'clock and began the hike down into the bottom, immediately hearing
gobbles. I cautiously eased my way closer to the echoes of fired up toms and stopped about 100
yards away from where I thought the birds were. I still hadn't sighted them but I was also confident
they hadn't seen me. With the decoy secured in the bowmount I knelt down in the middle of ankle
high wheat and let out a hen call. They responded right away. After about ten minutes of talking back
and forth I realized there was a problem. There was another section of wheat on the other side of a
thicket which is impossible to see through, these birds weren't going to budge unless they had some
visual confirmation. I had no sooner decided to make a stalk around the thicket when another gobble
erupted to the east of me. I let out a few yelps and he fired right back. Two toms made their way
down off a hill and onto the wheat, at this time they were approximately 200 yards away and
closing....FAST! They were hugging the edge of
the field but from where I was sitting I could see
them through a small group of trees. When they
cleared the last bend they saw my decoy, let out
two simultaneous gobbles and began an all out
sprint straight at me. I stood my ground and
when the birds hit 20 yards I finally drew my bow, but they kept coming still at a dead out sprint. At
5 yards they finally stopped and my 2" Grim Reaper was on its way. It was 8:30 in the morning of opening day, I had been out here for maybe 30 minutes and I had a tag filled. It doesn't get much better then that!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another Eventful Turkey Season

For me, another successful spring turkey season has quickly come and gone. It was a particularly warm beginning with March having temperatures one would find in late April. The unusually warm March accelerated the habits of the turkeys and the vegetation growth. One of the best days of the year was opening day of the Kansas spring archery season where Pro Staffer Justin Sherfick and I headed to the field. We had some quick action with Justin face-to-face with 4 charging toms at 10 yards, but a yucca and a gusty crosswind wouldn't allow him to loose and arrow.

Later that morning when it was my turn to tote the deke, we bailed out on a group of birds easing their way through a creek bottom to an open pasture near the road. Justin and I maneuvered our way down the creek where I ascended the bank into the open pasture to show the decoy. I left my call in the truck so I had to hang there silent. I eased up in the direction where we first saw the birds and patiently waited for the birds to work their way out of the bottom. The hens soon emerged and weaved up the subtle slope towards the road with the toms close behind. A landowner, for once, had a timely drive-by and nudged the birds back down the slope which was just what I needed to get the toms fired up with my presence. The two birds came in gobbling and strutting. When I came to full draw, the birds barely flinched. A slight pause to allow the front bird to clear the bird behind and a perfectly placed Grim Reaper made quick work of him.

Evan Williams of Rokslide.com with a KS double
Some of the quick highlights of the season were the many pictures and comments on Facebook we received from successful bowhunters using the Heads Up Tom Turkey Decoy. My oldest brother Steve had some great action and bagged his first turkey ever in open country. Later that day, my brother Steve, after crawling all over God's creation trying to get a bird to charge him, passed and let me try my luck. 45 seconds later my season was done and Steve was in disbelief. However, I was amused.

Since hunting turkeys with a decoy mounted to your bow is not mainstream, we get tons of comments and questions on the how's and why's. There is no one answer to why or how it works and the results vary from not putting any work into a hunt to having to crawl for miles...and sometimes sprint for a hundred yards or so. The key is getting the decoy where the bird can see it and staying behind the fan without getting too impatient and showing your entire head from behind the decoy. Don't pay attention to hens, they will walk right up to you and ask you what you had for breakfast. Hen calling is something I always use to get the birds to come my way or to raise the level of interest. We are always hunting birds we see. Don't get to0 caught up in the science, the technique works often and the more you use it, the more encounters you will have.

Remember, Heads Up Decoys are the most versatile and effective decoys on the market. At times it takes some effort, but the encounters and experiences with these decoys are worth it. Be Mobile...Stay Mobile.