As I sit here writing this, reflecting on my year, I am just amazed at everything that has happened and that I have taken part in. I have been truly blessed again in the opportunities and the abundance of wildlife this year.
This is the story of my antelope hunting for the 2016 Season.
During this year, due to hunting for elk with my family and friends, antelope was an afterthought. Although there were multiple times that I went out hunting antelope with my bow, the first day I had eluded to in Kevin’s elk post awhile ago. Needless to say it didn’t work out on that trip.
After getting Kevin’s bull to the processor, we started back out to take a look and check to see if there were a couple of antelope on the property that we had permission on. They weren’t there, so we moved on to the state land nearby. We drove by and while we were glassing, there was a decent buck bedded down about 150 yards in.
We decided the best way to get close to this buck was to do the classic “drive up like you are a farm truck” and use it as a blind. The trick with this tactic is that you need to be able to have the shooter use the truck as a blind and also get the set up done quickly so that you can get the shot before the antelope gets nervous.
I got out the arrow and got ready. We pulled onto the road and when we were in bow range we stopped. I asked Henry how far and he said sixty, I was already thinking that in my head so I went with it. We were pulled off the road and I opened the door of the pickup as slowly and as quietly as I could.
I stepped out and nocked my arrow. I was shooting in the gap between the door of the pickup and the cab, which in this case was a 3 inch gap. I settled into the pocket of my aiming, squaring up my peep with the sixty yard pin on my Mission Riot bow, making sure the bow was flat on the bubble. I aimed and squeezed down on the release trigger. I watched the arrow fly towards the target and go just under the buck’s chest.
He ran off as only antelope do, fast and gracefully. I knew that was going to be it for him coming back to the property for awhile. I walked over to where my arrow went, and when I found the arrow and where the buck was, I ranged back to the truck 65 yards. I had missed my target by the slimmest of margins and it was the closest attempt I had at an antelope throughout bow season.
As Katrina had written in an earlier post, we were hunting the one weekend before the rifle opener for elk and deer. We wanted to get this done during that weekend.
After the first day being hurt by the extra human movement of moving cattle and the rain starting up that evening, we realized the best bet we had was to be out early and be on the fence line before light. We woke up early and got in position.
As we waited for a great Montana sunrise, we sat and tried to glass. As the first rays came over the top of the hills, we could see movement. To our right there were some antelope by the fence line only about 200 yards away. We sat and waited. Within about 30 minutes (and two hours in my mind), the antelope moved away on to the private land that I didn’t have permission to be on.
We decided to move on and come back by in a couple of hours and see if they crossed the property line. We went to another section of property which usually held antelope and started glassing. After about an hour of glassing the public land, we determined there weren’t any antelope there.
We moved back down to where we were in the morning. As we were moving through the edge of the bottom of a draw, we saw antelope, two bucks to be precise. I looked quickly at my GPS and knew they were legal. We looked to make sure weren’t any directly behind those two and there weren’t, but off to the right there were another 20. Henry and I talked about the antelope and we decided from the quick look we had, the one on the right was the biggest one. I settled into my ruger american 30.06 and turned the scope up to 12. I was looking at the antelope just over some grass. One good breath and as I hit the end of it, I squeezed the trigger.
The report sounded off and the antelope dropped out of the scope. It felt like it was a solid shot but I couldn’t tell from where I was shooting. I looked over at Henry and he said with a smile, “Lets go get him.”
We cleaned him up, snapped a couple of photos, and then loaded him up into the pickup. We then drove back to Henry’s and started processing. We finished him a couple of hours later, and loaded him in to the cooler to finish the rest back at home.
Badlands Diablo Dos pack
Mission Riot bow set at 66 lbs and a 29 in draw
Gold Tip arrows
Rage 2 blade broadheads
Ruger American 30.06 with Vortex Crossfire 2 3-9 X40 Scope
Federal Fusion 165 grain bullets.