By Tammy Jones
Things get interesting and very exciting when you have more than one species that you can hunt at the same time of year. Archery season starts September 1st, and in Wyoming, encapsulates elk, deer and antelope throughout the month, depending on the type of license you obtain. There are definitely decisions to be made as to where you are going to go and what you are going to hunt when you are working a full time job with little to no vacation time allowed. That leaves you with weekends, so you better make them count.
This particular weekend I had full intentions of hunting elk early Saturday morning. My elk hunting area was only approximately 45 minutes away from home. Unfortunately, when I got to my “honey hole”, the wind was so nasty that I knew this day was not the day to try and call an elk in. The likelihood of getting winded and not being able to hear if I was getting any response to my calls was very high. So, I opted to keep driving. It was still early morning, which gave me plenty of time to get to my antelope area another 100 miles away and get set up for a day hunt.
Upon reaching my destination, I really had no concrete plan, which is not the type of person that I am. In an ideal situation, I could have scouted for a couple days and set up a blind by a watering hole and waited for one to get thirsty! With it being a shortened day of hunting though, I just decided to take a short drive around and see if there was anything out and about. Acting nonchalant and just driving, most pronghorn don’t even pay attention to you. It’s when you stop that you may run into a problem.
I crested a hill, and down the slope to the right I saw heads in the sage brush. There on the side of the hill, was a small group of about 5 head bedded down. Intrigued, I kept driving down the other side of the hill well out of range. Approximately 300 yards down the road and out of sight, I pulled off the road. Quickly, I gathered my bow and other necessities.
After a slow and quiet walk around the back side of the hill, I came to a vantage point where I could sit, scope out the party and formulate a plan of attack. I am not necessarily a trophy hunter. I was just really excited to attempt antelope hunting with my bow. Any animal I harvest is a trophy in my eyes, and I absolutely love antelope meat.
While contemplating my next move, the does in the group got up and started feeding down the hill away from me. It couldn’t have worked any better! Eight eyes all of the sudden were not going to be able to see me and spook the relaxing buck! I slowly inched my way to the back side of a huge piece of sage, caught my breath and stood. Shaking with excitement, I pulled my bow and released the arrow into the lounging buck. Taken by complete surprise, the buck jumped to his feet and bolted down the hill. Luckily, within about 100 yards, the broad head did its work. The buck lay down and quickly expired. I was so happy that I made a good, clean shot on my first attempt at an antelope with my bow! After celebrating for a bit and giving the buck plenty of time to die, my work began. I cleaned and deboned him right there in the field, threw the meat in the cooler and headed home. Success!
Editor’s Note: For sharing her story and her photo, Tammy will receive a $100 Sportsman’s Warehouse gift card and a pair of Vortex Fury Binoculars.