With turkey season fast approaching here in Kansas I sit at my desk staring out the window behind my computer screens (yes there are two of them). I think about my performance and success during the 2012 hunting seasons and how I can improve to make this year even better. While the previous year has left me with much to desire going into a new round of seasons, I am not disappointed with my triumphs.
2012 started well for me with the harvest of my first double on turkeys which was self filmed with two different cameras. Though I have been criticized by some for my active participation in the shooting of young turkeys. I will continue to shoot Jakes as long as they come to my decoy, because it is really fun and man do they taste great. Due to the lack of a hunting partner at the time and my need to successfully capture my hunts on film, I did unfortunately shoot my turkeys out of a ground blind. But lucky me the Heads Up Decoy Tom Turkey works no matter how you use it.
After turkey season I made the move from Western Nebraska to North-East Kansas. Excited about living in a new area that is prime habitat for big whitetails I began to prepare for deer season. After months of practice and shooting the Kansas deer season was approaching and the time came for me to find a place to hunt. After countless hours of driving around and knocking on doors to no avail I resorted back to what I have been so accustomed to over the past several years, Public Land. After finally finding a Public spot I felt was far enough away from the Public, I hung my stand and anxiously waited the final two weeks for season to start.
My first trip out for the year ended well with the harvest of a whitetail doe 45 minutes after I climbed into the tree. This was also the first time I had killed a deer while wearing Blaze Orange as it was the last day of Muzzleloader season. After a couple more trips out without even a glimpse of a decent buck I decided it was time for a change of scenery and planned a trip to Nebraska for a week. On the way I decided to stop in North-West Kansas for a weekend hunt with my dad and friend from Colorado. We had permission for the weekend to hunt a piece of land I have hunted most of my life but was going to be leased for hunting soon. We checked the pasture on Saturday and didn't see a single deer. Sunday was a different story. We spotted two mulie Does laying in a deep cut and they had us pegged. After the Does left we glassed another cut and spotted a decent buck laying all by himself, the stalk was on.
While getting ready for the stalk I handed the Heads Up Decoy Mule Deer Doe to my friend who was running the camera and he said he didn't think we needed it since the buck was almost asleep. I told looked at him and said "It weighs less than a pound and could be the difference between harvesting this buck and not harvesting him, so we are taking it." He agreed. The stalk to the buck was successful though he smelled us at the last minute and ran out to 40 yards. It was windy, and the shot was far back. We watched the buck lay down 100 yards from where I shot him and went and found the arrow, which was covered in dark red blood. I knew at that moment my arrow had angled good enough to catch liver and he was done for. After giving the buck some time I decided we would sneak up to where we had seen him lay down and see if he had expired or not. As we approached the buck I spotted his antlers sticking up from a large group of yuccas. I walked around to find the buck laying up against them with his nose in the ground and his head upright. While the buck looked dead I knew something wasn't right, so I drew back and he met the Grim Reaper for the second time that day. He sprung to life and after a short run down the hill I had harvested my first mule deer with a bow. And even though we didn't use the Heads Up Decoy, you know it was right there in case we needed it.