Heads Up Decoy

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Shed Hunting and Scouting for Whitetail Bucks

Garrett Roe Author

Shed season has dual purpose as scouting for the upcoming deer season. We all love to shed hunt and we all love to have that as another reason to get outdoors and fuel our bowhunting passion. This is a tremendous time to reassess your hunting area and put together a strategy for the coming archery season...especially when it involves using the Heads Up Decoy Whitetail Buck Decoy.

Shed hunting is typically more of a scouting trip for me. If I find some sheds, that is a bonus. But, shed hunting also gives you an excuse to maybe penetrate those areas you may skirt during the season. I like to scour the area searching for pockets and hidey holes that may be a future ambush spot for a bedded buck and doe during the rut.

Once you've found a potential spot, look around to see the best way to enter and exit for a quick hitter set up for a calling and rattling sequence. Can it be glassed from a distance. What wind is ideal? How are the animals coming and going from that location? All things to consider at this time of year.

These areas I am referencing are typically off the beaten path of traditional river bottom locations. I.E. not travel corridors.

The most effective way to kill a whitetail buck with the Heads Up Decoy is during the rut when he has isolated a doe in or near estrus. This is commonly referred as "lockdown". In that situation, the buck cannot resist protecting his prize at all cost. Being able to identify those areas ahead of time can help you devise a plan to slip in for a chance at an unforgetable encounter with an angry whitetail buck. Or, if you draw blanks a spot you can slip out without being to disruptive.

In 2011, on a shed hunting and scouting mission, I identified an area of dense yuccas on a south facing slope. Taking mental notes, I felt this area was going to be a magnet for a buck to push and isolate (lockdown) a doe in estrus. That was in March. Fast-forward to the weekend before Thanksgiving 2011, I found myself on my belly moving into position to show the Heads Up Whitetail Buck Decoy on a bomber whitetail buck that was locked down with a hot doe. For the full story of this hunt: CLICK HERE

Using a series of grunt calls, everything played out as planned in the execution. As the buck responded to the Heads Up Decoy intruder. I ranged his predicted path only to have my broadhead shave his brisket just behind the front right shoulder at 35 yards. I was devastated...it would have been my biggest whitetail buck to date.

Scouting during and while shed hunting was key to finding this spot and it has been productive through the years as an area for lockdown bucks.


  1. Love those decoys you're using with just the doe heads! That's so cool. Also, I saw you have vapor trail bow strings linked in the side menu. I currently have a mathews conquest apex 7 that I got strings for from www.prolinebowstrings.com and I was considering using their decoys.
    Anyways thanks for the post.

    1. VaporTrail is an industry friend of ours. they make awesome strings with exceptional customer service. I think you would be happy with them. However, you would need to click the link to find them on the web along with their contact info. Thanks for commenting. Good luck this spring. GR