Since I attach so many photos, I will break this hunt into three parts. For those of you following this hunt, we will pick up where we left off on my last posting.on the first part of this hunt. That was with three of 9 people having filled their tags. Those being my friend Jeff, who took his buck in less than a days hunting time, and two fellow Bowsiters-- hunter and elkcrzy1, who both filled their tags within a day and a half of being in the field.
That left five of us with unfilled tags and they are my old hunting partner of many years, Shane, his son Dallas, his daughter Bailey, this being her first bowhunt ever, my son Cody, fellow Bowsiter knothead who plans to hunt the last couple days of Sept and the first few days of Oct. And of course BB who never fills his tags.
Labor Day Weekend at sunrise Saturday found five of the remaining six bowhunters back in the high plains, trying to fill their 2011 tags. Part 2 will be the story of those hunters and the photos from that period.
There wwew some very interesting and fun things that unfolded during this past week and I was able shoot some pretty neat photos to boot. The week ended with two of the remaing six filling their tags and three others who got the chance, at very respectable bucks, but held out in hopes filling their tags, with even better bucks.
So if you like bowhuning antelope, I think you will find part 2 very interesting.
So follow along as our group fills two more tags. 5 down 4 to go!
UNBELIEVEABLE!!! If I could "shoot" photos like that I might retire the bow and never kill another mammal again??? Beautiful pics BB. I've always loved how your photo illustrations showcase the experience and not the kill.
No badgers are protected and can only be taken by licensed trappers during a set season.
So about 5 pm Shane and I get to camp on Friday evening. We jumped on our four wheelers and headed to Twin Springs to fix up a pad for a popup blind. By the time we get back to camp Shane's daughter Bailey and his son Dallas arrive by car. Soon my son Cody arrived and we readied our equipment for early the next morning.
Bailey is a young girl in her third year of nurses training and is back in school and has a job, so this would be the last three days she could hunt. She just started shooting a bow this year and is a very good shot.
She and her dad would head to Little Deep Hole as it offers a very close shot and most are broadside.
Dallas would go to Bubbles and Cody and I would head to twin springs. I would sit the hard blind and Cody would sit the popup.
Cody saw the best buck that day, but it would have nothing to do with the pop up blind and are hopes that he would come over the hump and water near my blind was just wishful thinking. I did have a number of bucks’ water that day, but none that I wanted to use my tag upon.
These are but a fraction of the photos I took that day.
Around noon Cody joined me in my blind for the rest of the day, but as evening drew close we had yet to have a shooter come within good bow range.
Mean while at Bubbles Dallas had a number of bucks water, but he is being very fussy and so chose to hunt yet another day.
But over at Little Deep Hole it was quite a story Shane told of a young bowhunter trying to get her first big game animal.
Several really nice bucks came in and left without Bailey even drawing on them. So Dad started to coach a bit. "Can you see him," Shane whispered! "Yes" was Bailey's answer. "Then shoot", responded her Dad!
It was too late, the buck had watered and just as she drew, it raised its head and walked off into the sunshine.
Later that day she drew on a very nice buck and was just ready to release her arrow when a doe walked right in front of the buck and blocked the shot.
Several other incidents happened but by days end Bailey and Shane both had their tags and had never released an arrow.
Wow,great photos....Im jealous..,When a person from the Northern Forest area of Northern Michigan drives along a western prarie, it looks rather dull and the scenery is very boring.Your photos bring so much beauty to that landscape its amazing.Thanks for the reallity check.
Sunday morning found Shane and his daughter Bailey sitting the blind where Donvathome killed his buck last year, and where elkcrzy1 took his this year as his young son watched. It’s a place we call Bubbles, and a place I have taken many photos. In fact I took many there on this most recent trip and will share a few of them down the line.
Dallas would sit Twin Springs, the place where Cody and I had sat the day before, and Cody and I would sit together at the Wallow.
Cody and I got up at 4:00 am and left camp just after everyone else had just woke up. We had decided to take a short cut to the Wallow, one we had found on our last trip. The wallow is almost 20 miles from camp on about the roughest road in the whole unit, and Cody and I found a much better road. It's a bit longer, but you can save a good 20-25 minutes and not have to beat the heck out of your vehicle.
Anyway long story short, we got lost in the dark and ended up passing near Twin Springs just as Dallas began his walk to the blind.
The first text I received just after we got in the blind, long past daylight, was from Dallas saying, if that was you guys that went by me, then I don't think much of your short cut.
As Cody and I headed to the blind he glassed a very nice buck with a group of does that had seen us headed out never to be seen again.
That day for us was very slow, but the same could not be said for the the others.
These are a few of the photos I took that day.
Finally, just after noon a buck showed up. He would be the only buck we saw that day.
I can only say if that badger I am taking photos of is the same badger in every case, he sure gets around and he sure changes size a lot:-)
As sun set that evening, Cody and I were both disappointed in only seeing one buck. But we both understand that things can change on a dime.
Back at camp we heard some very interesting stories from Dallas, Bailey, and Shane.------Several nice bucks came into Bubbles without Bailey being able to get a shot for one reason or another. Meanwhile over at Twin, Dallas had the great buck that he was after, come in while he was out of his blind taking care of business. He was able to get back to the blind undetected, crawl back in, pick up his bow just in time to see the buck turn and ran off. So there were several close calls that day.
Then back at Bubbles a great buck came in and gave Bailey a great shot. She pulled her bow and took great aim at a fine buck and released the arrow.
BANG, BOOM, BUST was the sounds and sights from inside the blind, as Bailey's arrow hit the side of the blind window and boom when the buck in a burst of speed and a cloud of dust. And bust went a great opportunity for Bailey to fill her tag. . Bailey would be up to bat for last time in the morning. We learned that evening that she would be leaving around 1 pm on Labor Day in order to get home and ready for her schooling.
It was too bad she didn’t have a few more days as I am sure she could have filled her tag as she was getting some great lessons on bowhunting and gaining experience. But at that age, schooling has to come first. Did I say she missed her boyfriend too!
Shane cooked us a great halibut dinner and we hit the hay late that Sunday evening
So Labor Day found Dallas back at Twin Springs, trying to arrow a big buck he had been seeing there.
After a very disappointing day at the Wallow, Cody and I decided to spend the day at Little Deep Hole. I would try to video him shooting his buck.
And since Bailey had to head home around noon, she and Shane would hunt the road blind, just about a mile from camp.
We like to get in our blinds before daylight, and at Little Deep Hole this is very critical, as the antelope can see for ever, and especially in this area, as they are above the waterhole.
It wasn’t long before we had antelope watering.
Then about 9:45 I get a text from Shane saying "buck down'!
Bailey, in her last 3 hours, of her hunt, had arrowed a nice buck whioh went down within 80 yards of the blind.
A big congrats to Bailey, on her very first big game animal and to boot, a nice buck with a bow, in her very first attempt at bowhunting.
Shane and Bailey took her buck to camp and by about 1 pm she was on her way back home.
I have hunted with Shane for many years and he's a guy who hunts hard to the very last minute of his hunts and I have witnessed him take many a critter in the last few hours of a hunt. Bailey must be a chip off the old block!
Here are some photos of Bailey and her last hours buck!
And here's her proud father Shane with his daughter and her first bow kill.
Just about the time we heard from Shane, Cody and I saw a nice buck heading towards LDH. We looked him over pretty good from a distance, with our binos, but bucks are hard to judge with glasses and the final decision needs to be made with your eyes at close range. But we both realized it was indeed a buck of consideration and so just in case Cody decided to shoot him, I started to video the buck as he made his way towards us. I never took one still photo of this buck, but I did get some great video and hopefully can get some help from a friend and share part of it later in this thread.
As the buck watered, Cody made up his mind to pass on this opportunity and try for a better buck. The buck watered headed out to find a girl friend or two.
By one o clock Cody had made up his mind to get out of the blind and go do a pad, for a pop up blind, on a new waterhole I had found on our previous outing. It was a place that had more antelope tracks, by far, than at any of our blind areas! On a normal year, it would be dry at this time of year, but this has been a very different year.
I had other antelope water after he left, but nothing of any size. I got out early and went to see what Cody had accomplished. His work would prove to be a good decision!
It was now Tuesday and Cody would be leaving about noon to get back to his job and lovely wife and two wild dogs! Ha Ha
Dallas wanted go back to Twin Springs, Shane would be at Bubbles, I would go back ot LDH and Cody, after contemplation decided to sit the blind near camp where Bailey had taken her buck.
We all had action but by noon Cody had not seen a buck and so he went back to camp and headed home. I also forgot to mention that when Cody and I went back to the pad he had made at the new waterhole, we placed a popup blind, but no one sat it that day.
Shane had a great chance, at a great buck at Bubbles, but when he pulled his bow, his arm popped and the buck turned inside out. It was a close call but that's all it turned out to be.
Dallas saw some bucks and lots of does but nothing he wanted.
We were now down to three at camp, Shane, his son Dallas, and me.
It was now Tuesday evening and we made plans for the next day. It would be Shane and Dallas, last day as Shane had to be back to work on Thursday. I would hunt and photograph through Thursday and get up early on Friday morning and head home. The rifle hunt would begin on Saturday morning and my plans were to let them have it for 10-12 days and then return around the 21st to the 23rd of Sept and hunt the rut hunt, which just happens to be my very favorite time to be in antelope country.
Shane made the decision to go sit the popup blind, at the new, yet unnamed, waterhole, while Dallas would go to Little Deep Hole. My plans were to get up early, take the short cut to the Wallow and spend my day there.
Shane and Dallas would hunt until noon and then head back to camp, load their belongings and head for home.
At all three waterholes things started out pretty slow. But it would not remain that way for long----------------------------
I am now to the point where I need to get some help from fellow bowsiter C3. I want to add a bit of video, but I need his help to do it. So as soon as that happens, I will continue. So check in and find out what happens!
I would like to thank Pete, (c3) for his help with the video parts of this thread. He has part of the video done, so I will proceed with the part finished and finish this once he gets the other videos done.
Shane and I texted back and forth, sharing what was happening at each site. It was pretty slow early on, but around 10 AM things started picking up. I had a number of does and fawns come in, and soon, this buck, that I see on a regular basis, ambled into the water for a drink.
A few texts back and forth and things seemed to be heating up at all three waterholes. Dallas and Shane were both seeing lots of antelope in the area and some smaller ones were watering at the popup, but Shane said he had seen several shooters, but they did not like the new environment and choose to go some place else for their drink. Dallas was having bucks water on a regular basis and just needed the right one to make a deadly mistake. From the blind, he saw several that qualified for that opportunity, should they drop by.
Just prior to noon I texted Shane and told him he ought to stay on a couple more hours as things seemed to be getting interesting. He said both he and Dallas had agreed to hunt the rest of the day.
At about 12:30 I looked out the peak hole in the rear of my blind and could see two antelope at a far distance. Then I noticed another at an even much father distance and I could tell he was a buck as I could see the black above his head. I reached down and got my binoculars and took a peak. He looked very tall and I felt he was a pretty decent buck. The two other antelope turned out to be a doe and a fawn and they were heading right for the water. And the big buck seemed to be following in about the same path.
Since I was alone, I had my big camera set up on a tripod and had planned on taking some photos with it if the right situation presented itself. I again glassed the buck, that by this time, had cut the distance in half and the doe and fawn were less than 100 yards away. He looked even better than I had first thought he would, so I took down my camera and laid my tripod on the bottom of the blind.
The does and fawn watered as the big buck continued towards the water.
I wanted to do at least a bit of video, so I picked up my Panasonic FZ-100 and waited as the buck neared the water. I finally saw him break the window and come into view. Here’s how it looked from my perspective.
He was a nice buck. He was tall, heavy and had good prongs. And all of sudden he stopped and turned his head away from the blind. To a guy who likes still photography far more than video, it was more than I could take, so I shut off the video and took this still photo!
Here’s another taken in the same time frame.
Then all of a sudden, a big gust of wind, rattled a front window in my blind, that had been opened by another hunter who had recently sat there, and the buck was gone!
They were now less than 50 yards from the water and I did not have time to set up the tripod and camera to video my shot should he give me a chance. So I set the camera down and picked up my bow and nocked an arrow. And then I waited. And the wait wasn't long. In fact they all came in and began to water. The buck gave me a good shot at about 15 yards.
I drew my bow, took aim straight up the leg and released. He whirled and began to run straight north, which took him out of my sight. I grabbed my camera and turned it on and leaned out the front of the blind to video his death run, but it was too short and too fast. I watched him fall before the camera had time to fire up.
I sent a text to Shane and told him I had just arrowed a buck. He texted back and ask if the buck was dead. I said yes and he said he was on his way. I told him I could handle it, but he insisted he was on his way.
So I went over and began the task of cleaning up the buck for photos. And believe me he was a mess, from front to back. The arrow had hit him about the center of of his body height wise and in line about the center of his front leg. He was quartering to me and so the broadhead exited about center of center on the opposite side. And boy did it leave a mess.
I, like many of you, always fear ground shrinkage and on this occasion that was no exception. I knew he was high, but at time he looked very thin. Such was not the case when I walked up to him. He was tall, pretty heavy and had good prongs. He was indeed a nice buck.
I began the job of cleaning him up and before I knew it , Shane was there.
These are just a few of the many photos he took I had three different cameras, and he took a few with each of mine and some with his.
While we were taking photos and skinning my goat, Shane related to me that just after he sent me his text saying he was on his way, a nice buck came in and watered near the popup. He was 31.5 yards away. Shane’s plans were to kill him, load him on his 4 wheeler and surprise me when he arrived, but sadly his arrow when just under the buck, so his dream never materialized
It was getting late in the day so Shane called his boss and ask if it was okay if he stayed on an additional day. His wish was granted and so before daylight Thursday morning, he returned to the popup, and Dallas went to Little Deep Hole. I decided to take some camera gear and go shoot photos at Bubbles. I told Shane I was on call and as soon as he or Dallas got a buck I would come take photos.
Again the morning started slow, but soon things changed and we were all seeing antelope.
The rut was just around the corner and for the first time I could really tell it had a huge influence on the antelope’s behavior.
Neither Shane nor Dallas got an opportunity at a big buck so they chose to pass the ones that did come to water.
These are a few of the photos I took at Bubbles that day. We all sat till six, packed up camp and headed home. All in all it was quite week. I learned a lot and most of what I learned was at Bubbles on that final day!
And if you look at the buck who is in the rear of this photo, its one of my very favorite bucks. I have photos of him for three years now. He is not big, but he is one warrior. I have watched him fight, breed, and just push around the bigger bucks. They are all scared of him! I knew he made it through the rifle hunt last year, but last year I saw him all summer. I felt the winter must have got him, so it was neat to see he is just moving back into his stoomping grounds so he can kick the heck out of the big boys. I just hope he makes it through this years rifle hunt. Most don't make past three years.
Really nice buck Bill! I'm sure it was icing on the cake after all thats gone down this year. Congratulations on a well deserved harvest. As always, thanks for sharing the awesome photos and your story. Can't wait to see how it all ends.
I look forward to your every post BB. I am always impressed by your photos and entertained by the write-ups. I wish we would have been able to meet during my recent trip to UT but it wasn't to be. The pleasure would have been all mine. Dwayne
Nice goat and great pictures as usual. I would be tempted to take my pellet gun along and shot the ground squirrels to give the badgers something to eat for entertainment. The only request I would have would be to start a new thread every 2 to 3 days so that my computer could upload the pictures quicker. Looks like a great time.
Billy...I was just showing Annette your photos/buck and she said you still are a handsome old Bugger...now don't let that go to your head cause her eyes are going bad and remember she married me cuz she thought I was handsome too! Ha...Congrats my friend on a Great buck and a tremendous effort in sharing it with all of us...Take care Buddy...4finger
I will try to hit on questions ask, but I am running short on time right now as I have an appointment to show an apartment.
But yes they are snuffers you see in my quiver. I have been using them since 1981 and will continue to use them until some one comes out with a better head. They have treated me very well through the years. They are one killing machine!
Getting the buck was a mixed blessing. It's always fun to fill your tag with a nice critter, but I would have much rather had my son do the shooting and got to video the whole affair. That is what we were trying for the whole hunt.
We had a great opportunity at Little Deep Hole to do that, but the buck was just a tad too small and Cody chose to pass.
I really haven't put a tape on him but my friend Shane measured this length just after our photo session and he said he was almost 16" tall. He has better mass than it shows as he's tall enough it makes him look thin. He is not an 80" buck, but I am sure he would score in the high 70's, but I am not into score and don't enter critters in the book, so I really just judge a critter by how he looks to my eye.
Darwin you better get Annette into an eye specialist immediately. She must have bad cataracts. Dang if we didn't get old fast!
And Nick, I was telling a guy the other day, that buck you were referring to, just has a special look to him. I could pick him out in a line up of 100 antelope. He looks to me, to be antelope if turned human, that would look like Carmen Basillo or Gene Fullmer. Both were small, tough, guys who both won the world middle weight boxing championship, when I was just a kid. You only had to look at them, to know they were tough. And the same can be said about that buck.
Here are a few photos I took of him last year. I sure hope he makes it through this years rifle hunt.
And I want to post the other antelope the other guys got but I have had a hard time getting them figured out since I got this new email program.
I did get Jeff’s to where I could post it and here’s the buck he took within one day of hunting, always having an itchy trigger finger, and taking it to allow his step son to see it happen before he had to be in school in two days.
Next I will figure out elkcrzy1’s photos and get them posted.
Like mentioned in Part 1 on this endeavor, Gary (elkczy1) and his son Spencer got to camp early afternoon on Friday. Gary shot his buck about 2 the next day while his young son, whom had to be back in school on Monday watched. Both seemed to have a great time and both were very fun. If things stay as planned, next year Spencer will be doing the shooting, while his dad becomes the spectator.
This is the buck Gary arrowed while his son Spencer watched.
John, you just have to say things like that to insure you get the cape I promised. Ha Ha
I will be heading back up there next week for the rut part of the hunt. I will be joined by my son Cody and by knothaad from the Bowsite of this hunt. Also Shane and Dallas are going up next week.
It's really my very favorite time to hunt antelope and although I don't have a permit anymore I will still be shooting and trying to capture the essence of the rut via my cameras. I also plan do more video this year than I have in the past. So stay tuned for the rut portion of the hunt. I will start a new thread once I get back from the final finale.
Well Bill you are right that I want to get the cape but I am no BS anyone when I say that you are a true gentelman bowhunter. I am sure many on here would same the same. Still looking forward to getting a great canvas print this fall from you too. Have lots of fun out there with your son and friends. Maybe an 80 incher will cross your path. habu john
John, its my wife's birthday today so I plan to be around for a couple more days and then head back to help my son get his buck and also a friend is coming in from Arizona (knothead). Once we finish this hunt, and get the blinds down and in storage then I will see you get your cape and canvas print. I think you will be mighty impressed with the canvas print. They really look super and you will receive a bunch of positive comments on it.
Anyway I have not forgotten about you or the things I promised.