Monday, September 19, 2016

Archery For Antelope

A couple misconceptions so far about antelope hunting this archery season. One, antelope don't just come running to a decoy and two, even at 60 yards; they're still too far to really see them on the GoPro video.

My decoy guy was Patrick for the first hunt. We did actually get to within about 60 yards. That would be the closest we got in three days of hunting. There were plenty of animals in the Ruby Valley but just not a lot of cooperation.

Heading out on the second day of the hunt, early in the morning, I did see a bunch of elk so my focus changed. They were heading up into the hills after an all-nighter of eating alfalfa. Flying solo without having someone to man the goat decoy, I figured it would be a better bet going after those elk--different species, same result.

I waited them out until about sunset when a spike came over the hill and started feeding down the draw I was posted up in. I watched him for about 15 minutes and when nothing else came, I figured he was a loner and I started heading to the truck. As I dropped into the next draw, I looked up the ridge and there they all were. The lead cow busted me and although they didn't spook, she didn't want anything to do with me and wouldn't move down the draw until I was out of there.

This Saturday I went back to my little honey hole near Helena, with some very disappointing developments. Two different camps set up at the bottom on the drainage I hunt and a couple local trucks were parked at the trail-head. I got up into the parks I like to hunt well before shooting hours but there were no elk in there. I'd be willing to bet they've been pushed out. I bugled and the only response I got was from the two-legged sort. With the wind the way it was this weekend, I can't believe the weekend warriors had too much success so maybe all the elk haven't been pushed into the high-country. It's not looking good for the home team though.

I did also do a few days of guiding on the river, which was really good. Back on the water today on a last minute trip and then I'm going to have to figure something out or this bow-season really will be my off season to harvest something.

Keep 'em where they live...

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