Author: Travis Glassman aka..."The Plains Ninja"
Killing Mature Bucks Efficiently with Heads Up Decoy
As an outdoorsman with three young children and a demanding job, I don’t get to spend as much time afield as I desire. The rigors of long workdays, kid’s activities and household chores can put a big damper on scouting and preparation. I’ve had to adapt as a bowhunter in order to still put meat in the freezer each fall. Thankfully, the Heads Up Decoy has aided in that process.
On the afternoon of November 2nd, 2019, I was fortunate to harvest a beautiful Kansas whitetail as he was scent checking the downwind side of a known bedding area. It was my first time in the stand, and I was sitting that evening on a scouting mission in preparation for my upcoming rut vacation. Low and behold, a bonus buck cruised through to my surprise, and I fortunate enough to send an arrow through him.
Fast forward to November 17th. My brother Brett and I had finally escaped for a day of rut hunting. Again, with minimal time, we grabbed the Heads up Decoys and set out to harvest any mature buck that would give us an opportunity. The Kansas resident archery tag is good for either mule or whitetail deer, so we weren’t going to be prejudice either way.
At approximately 10 a.m. Brett spotted a bright white rack in the waving CRP grass. We quickly zoomed in with the spotting scope to determine that it was certainly a mature buck and that we should make a game plan to close the distance. We quickly gathered our gear and approached the CRP drainage on the downwind side. Much to our surprise, we met face to face with a mature doe towing our target buck behind. They had decided they wanted to switch bedding areas, so we had to quickly hit the deck as they worked past us into an adjacent CRP draw. We sat patiently as the pair faded out of site and we quickly repositioned to a point where we were able to watch the buck chase the doe in and out of the heavy cover. When the time was right, we made our move to the heavy cover in the bottom of the draw where the pair had crossed a few times. Now it was up to them.
After waiting only five minutes, they reappeared. As they approached, I presented the Heads Up whitetail buck decoy. The doe decided she wanted to investigate the new buck in town and quickly closed the distance to only ten yards. The bruiser buck quickly followed and marched in to only five yards of our setup, presenting Brett a shot opportunity. As I was filming the action and shaking like a leaf, Brett delivered a quality shot through the tall brush. After giving the buck plenty of time, Brett was able to wrap his hand around his biggest whitetail to date.
The effectiveness of the Heads up Decoy never ceases to amaze me. However, it’s simple when you think about it. A buck’s instinct in November is to find a doe in heat, follow her until she’s ready to breed, and defend his right to breed her. Other bucks are always going to approach a doe in heat and it’s a dominant buck’s full-time job to keep them away while keeping close tabs on his doe. Decoying mature bucks has changed the way I hunt and has certainly made me a very efficient bowhunter.