2019 Oregon archery Antelope

sroemmich

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
15
After last years antelope hunt I know I didn't want to wait for another decade to pass before I was able to do it again. I spent some time combing through draw odds and harvest statistics and found a unit that as a group we could draw with my wife and dads points combined (thanks guys).

We put in and drew the tags. After two scouting trips and much advise from the internet we narrowed down our choices to a couple spots we wanted to hunt. Fate smiled upon us, we needed to cross about 200 yards of private to get to some BLM, we knocked on a door. That knock lead to us meeting some of the most gracious people I have ever met in my life, I will always be grateful.
The week before the hunt dad and I headed over and set up blinds.

We arrived a day before checked on our blinds and found fresh tracks at the water. 4 AM the next morning we got up and headed in. About 6:45 Megan Cole and I spotted black horns moving across the bank, soon a standard buck walked into view. He stared at the blind for what seemed like forever, then turned the WRONG way, head made his way to the opposite end of the stock pond for a drink. The end that had ZERO tracks at it... He milled around for a while then headed off never getting closer than 63 yards from us. No animals the rest of the day.

Once again we arose at 4 and headed in, the morning was slow and the blind HOT. Around 1:30 she made the call that it was time to got spot and stalk, so we headed out to a likely grass filled draw that funneled down into an alfalfa pivot. About 3 miles from our destination we spotted a monster buck, we played cat and mouse for a bit to no avail, but never spooked him. He was headed in the direction of a stock tank so we decided to cut the corner and try to get in front on him for an ambush. After arriving in a little draw below a saddle we assumed he would come through two of us sat down behind the too lonely sage brush on the exposed hillside and Cole hid behind a thick tall bunch of grass. I was intently watching the saddle when Megan frantically whispered "HE"S RIGHT THERE!" instead of crossing through the saddle he had walked all the way around the point and was coming right toward us. For the next 2 hours two adults and an 8 year old sat like statues while our legs and butts fell asleep watching this huge antelope mill around in this tiny draw never more than 100 yards from us. Finally he climbed the hill to our level and started working his way toward us stopping at every bunch of grass along the way to mark his territory. He stopped at 50 yards, just out of Megan's range and started eating again. At this point I'm not sure what happened, but he finally noticed the three odd looking lumps on the side of the hill and the standoff began. We were pinned down and unsure of what to do, just then I hear running water off to my right? Cole could hold it no longer and pulled his wiener out right there on the hillside and took a leak!!! The buck blew and trotted down below us still at 50. For the next 45 minutes he would blow run off 20 yards, turn around stamp and paw the ground, trot back blow again so on and so on. It was an amazing experience, I still cannot believe we almost pulled it off. No arrows were loosed and the Buck left unharmed.

Our third day once again sitting in the blind before light, we had no idea what was in store. It was a slow morning, and right at about noon it all started. we could not see down the draw toward the alfalfa all that well, I looked up and a standard sized buck had just walked up in our blind spot and was standing there 25 yards in front of the blind! He milled around refreshed a scrape then headed toward the water. After circling us completely he committed to a drink.

25 yards

By this time we fumbled around enough to get ready, as he dropped his head to drink she drew her bow. In my calmest manner I gently urged her, "SHOOT NOW, SHOOT NOW!" She ignored me, and once settled let it go. DID I GET HIM???? No, clean miss. What? she shoots better than I do?

Meanwhile, the buck confused but not spooked takes another tour around the blind and is coming back. "Calm down, calm down, we are getting another shot" she whispers to me. I'm not sure what my deal is, but I get WAY more excited about an animal coming into someone else to shoot than I do for myself... I am a wreck. Somehow Cole and I don't mess the whole thing up and the buck comes back in.

30 yards

The rangefinder tells us. She draws again, at the draw the buck goes on full alert. I'm not 100 percent sure but I think he bolted at the sound of the shot, arrow never touching him.

He's gone, after this its decided I will try if we get another opportunity. about 25 minutes later I spot white on the ridge. Scanning with the binoculars its a small buck acting extremely nervous. He's scanning the entire valley walking ten yards then scanning again. Finally he decides the danger of a bigger buck is not in his future and takes off full tilt down into our little valley toward the water.

I am in the drivers seat now with Megan and Cole off to each side and behind me. Arrow knocked and ready. He came straight in and started drinking, I drew the moment his head dropped, he decided to drink in the one spot I will have to shoot through the mesh of the blind. I haven't shot through the mesh before... What's gonna happen...

30 Yards

I hear the sound of the bow as I pulled through my release and THWACK as the arrow hits him. He bolted 20 yards then hunched up and started walking weird, all stiff legged. By now I have another arrow knocked and Megan is whispering 52 yards, I settle my 50 pin 2/3's the way up his body and let go. Thwack, right in the crease. Bleeding good, he starts walking again. 60 yards she whispers, I release a final arrow and it hits an inch behind the last, he drops a moment later.

Hugs and high fives ensue, I wish we could repeat but one more day in the blind and dual work emergency's force us home. Grandpa's hunt story for another time.

What an amazing trip, Oregon's "low quality" antelope hunts don't need to be. We will be doing it again. IMG_6480.jpgIMG_6491.jpg
 
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