A Nebraska Mule Deer Hunt with Heads Up Decoy
Author Zach McLain
A passion for hunting, a bow, and the beautiful deer-covered land of Nebraska started 2016’s deer season for Shadow M Outdoors. My buddy Shane had been talking to me about the quality of deer that Nebraska has to offer. He invited me down and offered to be my cameraman for the hunt. I have never hunted Nebraska, so I loaded up the decoys and hit the road with excitement.
This hunt started out with some challenges right out of the gate. While I was in Idaho on my elk hunt, I broke the LCD screen on the video camera. This left us with only the eye piece on the camera to see what we were videoing. Despite my bad luck with the camera, our pre hunt scouting was turning up some good Nebraska bucks. As the sun started sinking, we spotted a few bigger bucks worth having a better look at for the morning hunt.
It was nice and cool at the start of the morning as we made our way to glass the place we left off the night before. As the sun started rising, so did the wind speeds. Fortunately, It did not take long for us to glass up a buck worth putting the sneak on. Assessing the situation, we devised a plan of attack. Holding up the decoys, we eased through an area clearly visible to the deer. The decoys helped cover or approach to a better position. Losing sight of the buck, we felt we were now somewhere within 150 yards from where we last seen the buck.
Using cover and terrain, we eased further ahead hoping to make visual contact. I placed the mule deer buck decoy in the bow mount. With the wind basically howling at this point, I decided to use the doe decoy on my bow and have Shane stay close behind with the buck decoy and the camera. This could not have worked out more perfectly. The buck we were after was making his way up the draw in our direction. When he came around the corner of the draw, he immediately saw the decoys and was on a rope right to us!
The wind in the draw was inconsistent and started blowing right down the draw towards the buck. I thought we were doomed. But, this buck was so committed to the decoys, I think he forgot that he had a sniffer. Besides the wind, there was a fence in his path. But he was so committed, he jumped the fence and closed the distance to about 20 yards. He looked at the buck decoy and began posturing to show he was the boss here and to steal his intruder’s doe. I rose to full draw and anchored my pin at the base of his neck and let my arrow fly. “THWACK”, it was a good shot.
We watched him run and then stumble over the hill. Not sure who was more excited, me or Shane. It was a tossup. It is always great to hunt with friends who get just as pumped up as you do. As we closed in on my buck, there was no ground shrinkage. This wide muley had me grinning from ear to ear!
This hunt was once again proof that Heads Up Decoys work. The ability to stay mobile with such a realistic decoy changes the game completely. This was the first time Shane had ever seen the decoys put to use in the field. Once the big mulie saw the decoys, it was over. He did things no bucks should. Heads Up Decoys are a game changer...the proof is in the video.
Bio: Zach is an avid outdoorsman from Wyoming. He hunts enough to make anyone jealous. Zach has been using Heads Up Decoys for several years now and has been documenting his hunts with them through Shadow M Outdoors. Zach is absolutely lethal with Heads Up Decoys. From Deer, Elk, Turkeys, Mule Deer, and Antelope...he's had success with them all.