Back To The Antelope Hunt
By Robert Hoague
Sep 21, 2009 – 7:46:25 PM
As things turned out, there was a lot to cover on this hunt and I didn’t get to hunt as much as I would have liked. However, I got out on a few days. Steve drove me to a waterhole on the top of a long, sloping Montana hill. I got into the pop up blind and got ready to wait.
I glassed all around and quickly picked up antelope movement in the distant distance to the west. There continued to be movement at different places all during the rest of the afternoon.
Several buck came into view at 500 plus yard range only. A couple of loner bucks were interested in the does and two buck only groups wandered around browsing in the prairie grass as time passed.
To the west I could not see very far, because the hill dropped off in around a 100 yards. At 6:41 I noticed antelope coming in my direction from the west. I took a picture.
There were 5 of them. But then another one came into view on the left.
They took no special notice of the pop-up ground blind as they looked the area over. From their approach I couldn’t tell if they were intending to go by the blind on the left or right side.
In unison, they took a right turn and walked by. It looked like they planned on drinking in the near by water hole.
The ground blind was a different kind than I am used to hunting in. The windows were spaced very differently and I could not keep track of them on their way, hopefully, to the water.
I didn’t want to move around either because I could not tell how far from me they were. If they went to my side of the water they would be only a few yards from the blind and I definitely did not want to risk spooking them.
I checked the antelope on the hillside to the east and saw 3 bucks standing together and looking in the direction of the water hole.
Two does appeared in the blind’s window. They were on the opposite side of the water. One stepped into the reeds and drank.
The other doe stuck its head into the reeds and drank. Another one of the does came into view and I got their picture. I put the range finder on them and it displayed 30 yards.
I checked the buck group again and they were still watching the does but had not advanced toward them … and me.
Drinking did not take long and the antelope walked off where my blind spot was.
Half an hour later an antelope walked past my viewing window to the east — 5 yards away. It was a doe and a second doe was behind it. They were leaving the water hole. I hooked onto my shooting loop in case a buck was with them.
No such luck.
During the remainder of daylight I watched all around. The only antelope, and there were at least two dozen of them, were on the hillside to the east and none of them got close enough for my rangefinder to register their yardage.
And that was the story for this day. I didn’t get a shot but I saw antelope close enough and enjoyed taking their pictures. Life is good in the antelope country of Montana.
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