thing about antelope hunting is it’s not absolutely essential to go out
early and be at your hunting area before sunrise. Antelope move during
the day and aren’t usually out for an hour or two after full daylight.
So I took advantage of that this morning and updated the web site.
Bruce Ryan came in mid morning and we drove to the area where Jay
Liechty had put the fence post stalk on a buck yesterday. This is the
first week of the antelope season so there hasn’t been any previous
hunting pressure and when the antelope see a truck on a ranch road they
are curious but not spooky about it. We topped the hill overlooking the
yesterday’s stalk area and sure enough, there was a buck leisurely
browsing around about 300 yards away.
I glassed the area and noticed that the 2 track road we were on took a
left turn and got about 100 yards from the buck. So we drove very
slowly, took the left turn and
eventually we were alongside the buck. Bruce put the range finder on
him and whispered 96 yards. The buck browsed along slowly and glanced
at us occasionally. We drove slowly and stayed with him.
The buck changed his walking angle and got closer to the road … and
us. Bruce read out the rangefinder settings as the yardage decreased.
It was obvious now that the buck intended to cross the road ahead of
us. I slid the truck door open and left it open, eased out and walked
alongside the slow moving pickup. When the buck got to the road he
stopped and watched our pickup. I heard Bruce whisper, “54 yards”.
I drew and held at full draw. A strong gust of blew my cap off. It
jammed in between my face and bowstring and I had to let down. I could
have re-drawn and shot but didn’t. It was like mother nature had spoken
and told me not to take the shot. The pronghorn meandered off, still
unspooked. We watched him awhile and drove back to hunt headquarters.
Glen Halter waits in his blind for antelope to come to the water hole.
Steve Bishop was now ready to make
the long jaunt to pick up three of the antelope hunters so I went along
with him. Mike had seen antelope all day long and several groups came
to drink at his water hole. Five were big bucks but Mike didn’t get a
shot. Glen Halter also saw lots of antelope and had some bucks come in.
He had some cow visitors too, at the same time the bucks came in and
Glen couldn’t get a clear shot at a buck. We drove to Gary Sefton’s blind and he saw antelope also
but none came close enough for a shot.
Loading up antelope hunters after the hunt.
The stalkers, Matt Bateman and Justin Lowry were into antelope all day
and stalked several bucks but came up empty handed today. Bruce Ryan
snuck up on a buck in his hay field of round bales but didn’t get him.
Cedar Spur Television producer, also had close calls but no antelope for the freezer.
Two young bucks walking through Montana prairie grass and sage brush.
Rain is in the forecast, but we are hoping it stays away, because if it does the hunting will get better and better.