Monday, August 17, 2009

August 15th Montana's Antelope Archery Opener

Montana's antelope archery season opened on Saturday, and I was fortunate enough to draw one of the 5600 either sex archery tags. This is my first year antelope hunting. A new species and terrain, the learning curve turned out to be very steep. I headed out on Friday the 14th to scout out a few area for the opener on Saturday.








I left my corner of western Montana and headed across the divide. I'm lucky enough to have the
Front Range a few hours drive away.
As you can see in the photos we have been experiencing an unusually wet August this year. Record breaking in fact. Which meant that sitting on water was not going to be an option. While I don't think that the terrain I was hunting is overrun with antelope, as say some of Montana's further east regions, the terrain here is an advantage for the spot and stalk hunter. I hunted all state lands during this hunt. This areas has numerous block management opportunities. But they are not available for hunting until Sept. 1st.










Once across the divide I drove and scouted a few areas before sunset. The first three antelope that I saw were some dandy bucks. Of course they were all on private land, but I was encouraged none the less.





I was hoping to fill my massive new cooler.









I glassed hard that evening from my camp.

















As dawn broke I headed out.






I preceded to spend the next five hours getting busted from miles to hundreds of yards away by antelope. I think the closest that I got was about two hundred yards from 4 antelope.

I used this gully to sneak up on them as they were bedded. And then waited for them to rise and hopefully head my way. My plan worked for a while but was eventually busted by the wind. I did get to see a badger on my stalk. And I watched these 4 antelope chase of a coyote.

























Harsh country.












In the afternoon I blew a potentially great stalk by not knowing which landmark I was going to. A lesson I will not be forgetting soon.









Haystack Butte a landmark that dominates the area.






















While I was only able to hunt the opener on Saturday I had a blast. This hunt helped me get things dialed in before elk season starts. Hopefully I will make it out for at least a few more days this season.





































































3 comments:

Albert A Rasch said...

Those are some beautiful pictures, and mesmerizing terrain!

With your permission I would like to include your blog in this week’s Blog Rodeo. I'm following you too so I can keep up.

By the way, I would like to extend an invitation to visit my blog The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles. Everyone is always welcome, we have lots of fun, and we take all Outdoor pursuits seriously. Even some crazy ones: The Mongol Rally!

I hope to see you soon!
Best regards,
Albert
Trophy Merriam’s Turkey
SiegeWorks American Longbow

Mark said...

For you spot and Stalkers there is a new antelope decoy on the market that I developed and use that is quite effective. Go to bethedecoy.com to check it out

Albert A Rasch said...

I thought I left a note here before... That's the troubles with getting older, can't remember anything!

Anyway, I highlighted your blog over at The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.

I really enjoy your pictures; the scenery is incredible.

Best regards,
Albert