We snuck over the hill looking for the antelope we had been trailing all morning. He was nowhere to be found. Off in the distance, we could see other groups of antelope, but after glassing them all it was determined the big buck was not with them. Deciding to sneak around the edge of the hill for a different look, we took 5 steps and there with about 10 does was a bedded buck, not only a buck but a stud of a buck.
One of the things that make antelope hunting so great, is it is a great way to get the younger generation into big game hunting. The ability to find a herd, stalk them, and if not successful to relocate them, or just find another group to stalk is not only a blast but a great learning experience for a youth hunter. There are so many lessons to be learned, from how to keep the wind in your favor, keeping out of sight, being precise with your shot, all are learned in antelope hunting.
This was my sons’ first antelope hunt. We got up early, made it to the area we wanted to hunt at sunrise, and started glassing for antelope. Out across the prairie, there were numerous groups around. Lots of solid options for a first-time antelope hunter. I slowly drove into an area to get closer and plan a stalk on a buck. We saw a group about a ¼ mile in front of us and started a stalk. Topping the ridge, to my surprise was one of the biggest antelope bucks I have ever seen. Completely unprepared, we rushed the setup and the shot and my son missed. He was bummed, but I told him lets watch him and try again.
Now we are close to the beginning. We watched this buck, followed him, had a couple quick chances for a shot, but 300 yards on a walking target was not an ethical shot, so we kept trailing him. This was a blast, sneaking around the prairie, using gulches, brush whatever we could for cover. Finally cresting that hill and seem to lose him, only to find this other buck.
He had not spotted us, but his does had. I told my son to get ready. Getting prone, across my pack, all we had to do was wait for the shot. The buck stood, and of course, faced us head on. My son wanted to take the shot but I told him to be patient. He turned broadside to check a doe and my son made a perfect 150-yard shot. After a short sprint, he was down. Walking up on this buck I knew he was decent, but when we got to him his mass was outstanding, way better than I thought. Happiness all around!
Youth hunters are the future of this activity we all love. It is vital to get kids active and involved. There are not too many better ways to truly spark the hunting interest than an antelope hunt. Lots of action, it does not require hours of walking without seeing animals. It keeps them interested and engaged. Take a kid antelope hunting and show them all there is to enjoy this amazing sport.