Heads Up Decoy

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Run and Gun Nebraska Turkey Hunting

Our good friend Ben Guttormson had a great hunt in Nebraska in 2016. He hunted with a traditional bow made by RER and the Heads Up Turkey Decoy. Ben used the Gadget Adaptor to attach the bow mount to his bow. Here is Ben's story.

Author:Ben Guttormson

The spring of 2016 found me traveling to Nebraska with my recurve to try and put a tag on my first turkey with traditional archery equipment.  I would be hunting with two good friends and concentrating my efforts on feedlots as the birds were still in a late-winter pattern. We arrived realizing spring was a little ahead of schedule and the birds had already broken up from most of the feedlots. Spots that once had 200 or more birds the week before now only with a handful. At the advice of our local friend, we decided to stick it out on the feedlots; he assured us we would have opportunities however, in my personal opinion, one of most boring things in the world to do is sit in a turkey blind when there's no turkeys around.

Heads Up Bow Mountable Turkey Decoy
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In order to bag a bird, we would need to change our tactics drastically to a run-and-gun approach. The guy that we were hunting with was granted permission on several farms with plenty of ground for us to hunt. After our second morning sit on a feedlot with no action, I talked to my friend explaining that I wanted to get more aggressive with a different approach. He basically laughed in my face and said, "how are you going to run-and-gun turkeys with a recurve?!"

At this point I had to bite my tongue. I couldn't say what I wanted to say and we'll just leave it at that. Eventually, he pulled out the plat book and showed me the property boundaries for the farms we could hunt. By 10:30 that morning, I was on my way out to look for a bird I could put the HUD to work on.  I didn't take me long; I found a long beard with a couple hens working up a small coulee.

Heads Up Turkey Decoy
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I worked up to the top end of the coulee and used a couple small cedars to peek over the edge. The birds were all still unaware of my presence and were at about 45 yards and headed right for me. The tom was the last in the group and when his hens were behind a small roll in the hill I slid out from around the cedar with the decoy attached to my bow. The bird immediately went into strut and gobbled a couple times. I waited for him to make a move and after 15 seconds of strutting back and forth, he dropped into half strut and started running right at me.  The whole time I had my HUD in front of me. The bird ran straight for me until he reached four yards where he veered left at the last minute and went back into full strut.  My recurve was already at my anchor point by this time. As he slowed, I was able to put a good shot on him.  Nothing felt better than getting back to camp and showing my bird to my friend that had doubted the run-and-gun approach with the HUD.

turkey reaping decoy
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Over the next couple of days, I continued to stun my friend by using the decoy on two more birds. The first, I utilized the decoy to get in front of the tom and his hens and waited him out. This bird, like the first, charged at me but at six yards he figured out I wasn't the intruder he thought I was. Sadly, I missed him as he was leaving.  On the last bird I was able to sneak to within 25 yards using the terrain and shadowed him using the decoy until I was able to get a shot off.

Without the HUD decoy, this trip probably would have been dismal. Never again, will I leave this useful tool at home regardless of hunting with my compound or my traditional set up.

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