How long to wait to hunt a new blind on a waterhole?

Umpqua Hunter

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North fork of the Umpqua, Oregon
I am thinking of doing my first archery antelope hunt. I am thinking of using a Double Bull blind on a waterhole. In your experience, how long after setting up a blind on a waterhole, can you begin to hunt it effectively? Will the better bucks avoid coming in the first few days? Should I set the blind up in the dark? I am not totally sure of the water situation where I will be hunting, but I have been told there are only a couple tanks the lopes can hit.
 

mtmiller

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May 20, 2012
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Montana
I would prefer to have mine set up for a couple days. That being said, I have set one un in the dark and killed a good buck a couple hours later.
 

Darin Cooper

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Feb 25, 2012
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Idaho
Longer is definitely better... BUT... I have known plenty of guys to whack goats the first day on a new setup. I have had a few wise goats shy away on a first day setup, so I think more time is beneficial. If there are other antelope coming in though the big bucks will usually follow.

DC
 

velvetfvr

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May 12, 2012
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Nevada
Just depends on the goat. I know people they set up the blind and 30 minutes later they are drinking at 20 yards. Some it take days for them to get used too.
 

Curtis C

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Mar 1, 2012
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Colorado Springs, CO
I say get into the blind as soon as possible, even if its on the day you set it up. If they do shy away from it you get to know a little about the goat you are hunting.

C
 

amy hanneman

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Feb 26, 2012
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Missoula, Montana, United States
I agree that Longer is better, but it all depends on the goats. If you are hunting on a ranch where the goats see people everyday you can get away with more than if you were hunting in an area where the goats never see people. I know the ranch you are hunting and you are going to have a great hunt!
 

Jared Bloomgren

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Rapid City, SD
I have hunted blinds as soon as I have set them up and had antelope come in without problem. I do however prefer to put them out at least a week prior. It seems the more mature goats notice it more.
 
OP
Umpqua Hunter

Umpqua Hunter

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Apr 29, 2012
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North fork of the Umpqua, Oregon
Thanks for the great info everyone.

Our hunt is in SW Montana on a ranch. The ranch owner said he will try to set-up a hay blind well ahead of the season, so that will be the very best scenario, but I want to be prepared if that does not happen, and haul the Double Bull along. I have taken about a dozen antelope and hunted them with both a rifle and muzzleloader, but never with a bow. I have always wanted to hunt them with a bow to increase the challenge. Due to scheduling this fall, to be able to hunt the tags my wife and I drew in Montana, we will almost have to hunt the archery season.

I am thinking of trying to decoy as well. I feel very comfortable stalking antelope to inside 150 yards, and I understand a decoy can be effective to get the buck to close the distance. How critical are the dates to successful decoying? I understand that later in the rut is prime time for decoying. The easiest dates for me to schedule for this bow hunt is September 12-17, but I may be able to make it there September 19-24 but those dates will be harder to pull off. Is September 12-17 too early to decoy effectively?

Also if you wanted to break up your day between sitting water and decoying, how would you divide up your day. I am thinking that the most effective would be to decoy in the mornings and evenings, and sit water in the middle of the day. Does that sound like a good plan? Or would you feel you should be in the blind sitting water before daylight. Of course that will be dictated by how aware the antelope are of us getting into the blind during the day.
 
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