Jay Liechty (owner of Grim Reaper Broadheads) picked me up right on
time at the airport Rapid City, South Dakota airport. For the next two
hours we drove to Alzada, Montana and turned east to Antelope Camp.
Craig Hueter (Trophies West Outfitting) met us. While we unloaded our
gear and put it in the lodge Bruce Ryan drove in with head guide Steve
Bishop. Bruce had just put a stalk on a big antelope buck in a freshly
harvested alfalfa field. Round bales were all over the field and Bruce
worked his way through them, using the large bales for cover.
Bruce got as close to the buck as 50 yards but at that point he was
hiding behind the last round bale. Bruce hunt tight but the buck
slowly meandered away. Afterward Bruce and Steve came back to hunt
headquarters to see if Jay and I were in yet.
Steve Bishop loaded us up and we went to try out an antelope stalking
technique Steve calls the Fence Post stalk. It works, in theory, like
this. When we see an antelope near the two track ranch road two of us
would get out and stand still for several minutes. Then the hunter
would move closer little by little and try to get in bow range. The hunter keeps
between (directly inline) the truck and the antelope so when
they see the hunter they are looking at the truck also and the hunter blends in
or is part of the truck etc. And if you have to go down into a ravine or out of sight it is important for one
person to say out/up and visible at all times – so take turns going out of
Steve had an area in mind and when we got there we saw a Badger. I took its picture.
The Badger is chewing on a bird or small animal.
Look how short and wide a Badger is.
While we were watching the Badger an antelope buck stood up 300
yards from us and walked leisurely toward the road. Steve drove slowly
and surprise, the pronghorn buck laid down right by the road.
It didn’t take long and the buck stood up and started walking.
drove closer and told us when to get out. Then we stood still for
awhile. The antelope walked along casually, unconcerned about us.
began his slow ‘Fence Post’ stalk. When the antelope looked our way
and we stood motionless. I zoomed in on him.
The stalk was working. Jay was getting closer.
Jay used his rangefinder on the buck and saw the distance dwindle from
95, to 80, to 77, to 65 yards. Jay is a western bowhunter and a matter
of his regular practice procedure is to shoot as far as 100 yards —
and he can put all his arrows in a paper plate at that distance. So he
is prepared for longer shots than us whitetail hunters. He wanted to
get 10 yards closer to the buck.
But the buck thought that 10 yards was getting into his space and he trotted off and put 300 yards between us.
As we drove to another area
dark, storm clouds blew in from the west and it started to rain. Steve
said we needed to pick up three of the hunters in case the roads got
bad. On the way Jay wanted to be
let off on the edge of an field full of fresh hay bales because two big
groups of antelope were going toward it.
Later, we picked up Mike Jordan and Glen Halter of ATSKO and Rich Cercone of
Ryan Outdoors. They were in ground blinds by water holes and their
stories were similar, they saw antelope but they didn’t come to their
Meanwhile, Jay met up with Justin Lowry and Matt
Bateman (also from
Grim Reaper) and they glassed and stalked. They had some ‘almost’
shooting situations and got into antelope several times.
After dinner Gary Sefton got out his guitar and sung several of his
original tunes, some of which we had heard because Cris
Tillus and Tom T. Hall had recorded them. Gary played a solid country
guitar and his antecdotes between the tune were entertaining too. A fun ending to the first day of
our antelope bowhunt.