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Archery Antelope

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“I hope this works,” I thought to myself as I finished piecing together my Carry-Lite Ez Goat decoy. I was able to close the two mile distance down to 400 yards on the buck and his harem of   11 does without being detected, but would not be able to get any closer in the flat, open country without spooking the herd. I wrapped my right arm around the life size decoy, grab my bow with my left hand and slowly begin creeping toward the herd. 

I only went a few steps before one of the does noticed me, and I had her full attention. In a matter of seconds, all 12 sets of eyes were fixated on my decoy, and the buck quickly placed himself between his ladies and the intruder. After a brief stare down, the herd slowly began moving in my direction. At 300 yards, the herd stalled, with the buck occasionally dipping his head in an effort to intimidate my unfazed decoy. After a few minutes, the does decided they were better off heading the other direction, and began to trot away.


I stood as they disappeared over the rise about a mile away, and dejectedly began to break down my decoy. With the 96 degree midday sun beating down on me, I finished the fourth of the six water bottles I had in my pack and began the long archery antelope walk of shame back to my truck.

It was day four of my two week hunt, and this was my first opportunity to attempt a stalk. Other hunters and lower than normal numbers of antelope had kept me at my truck for the first day and a half, and truck issues cost me another day. After returning home to repair my Avalanche, I decided to try an area I’ve never hunted before. More antelope and less people(and coyotes), was very encouraging.

After a couple of days of blown stalks and a missed shot at an 80ish buck, more truck issues forced me to, once again, limp back home for repairs(2005 Avalanche for sale, if anyone is interested). After a day at the mechanic, my truck was fixed and I was ready to return for the final week.

Day 9 started out like all others, driving and glassing endless miles, without seeing much. As I pulled up to yet another glassing spot, a lone buck ran past my truck, about 200 yards off the two-track I was on. It was just after 11 am and he was headed to a water tank I just drove past. I grabbed my bow and binoculars and took off down the road after him, hoping to catch him on his way back. 

This particular water hole is a dirt tank with a large, round metal holding tank. I was about 500 yards behind the buck when he disappeared behind the metal tank and was now out of my sight. I left the two track and went out in to the field so I could keep the metal tank between me and the water hole.

As I neared the tank, I slowed down and nocked an arrow, hoping the buck is still there, as I have not seen him in several minutes. As I near the tank, the buck bolts, but is running almost directly towards me. At about 40 yards, he turns, runs directly away from me, stops and turns broadside. 

Knowing I don’t have time to use my rangefinder, I quickly estimate the yardage, draw and let my pin settle where white meets tan behind his front shoulder. As I squeeze my release, I silently say “Please”, my version of a very short prayer. This time, my prayer was answered as I hear the unmistakable sound of my Rage-tipped Carbon Express find it’s mark.

I raise my binoculars as the buck begins to run and I see him stumble before he goes up over the rise and out of sight. I hurry to the top of the hill, but he is already gone. I quickly look for blood before heading back to my truck to grab my pack and start the blood trail.

As I’m walking back to the road, another truck pulls up. It is a couple who were scouting for the upcoming rifle hunt. As I near their truck, they tell me that there is a buck that just came out from behind the hill, about a half mile away and close to where I first saw the buck. We set up their spotting scope and confirm that it is the buck that I just shot. The shot is farther back than I wanted, but he is hit hard and heavily bleeding. Moments later, the buck beds, and I know that it is now just a matter of time.












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  • Great Buck! 2

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Congrats bud. Such a challenging hunt plus all the additional challenges you went through make it that much more rewarding. Funny cuz I shot my first Archery goat and I have a 2005 avalanche  as well. 

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Thanks for the positive comments. Tough hunt, but one of the most fun and rewarding hunts out there. Basque-love the Avalanche. It’s my second one and will get a third one when this one is ready to go. Congrats on your buck!!

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Congrats! I've always thought what good is a rangefinder in the heat of the moment? Glad you got him and great buck!

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