Thursday was crazy with a medical emergency with one of my bird dogs and packing. With the dog stable and fever back into a non critical range, I hit the road at 3am friday morning.
Many highway miles later, I finally met up with the crew and we spent the day checking out the blinds.
Sorry for the photo quality, and my primary camera was inadvertently left charging on the table!!!
A 30 minute drive to the blind in the morning, I climbed in and was met with my view for the day.
A nice little water hole on top of a big flat.
My daughter is heading off to college tuesday morning. I was hoping I could get back home before she had to head off. That meant I wasn't holding out for a big one, but I was going to shoot the first reasonable buck that came in.
The day before we had seen around 8-12 different bucks with a mile or so of this water hole. Nothing huge, but a few reasonable bucks.
Before I could even set my bow down, I caught more movement at the far right of the pond. Coming in to the one spot that I didn't have a good shot was a nice wide spread buck.
Although he was a little short, he looked heavy. He quickly passed my 'dont pass up on the first day a buck you'd be happy to take on the last'.
I only had 2 problems. He was facing me and I needed to schooch around in order to get a shot. I was able to move around far enough for the shot and drew the bow while he was drinking (Thanks for that tip shane!).
I was hoping he would turn broadside, but after what seemed like eternity he never got broadside, but he did give me a reasonable frontal shot. Finally, he brought his head back up and "brought the peep in alignment" settled the pin and let the arrow fly.
He bounded out of the water and stood at about 70 yards, I could see the blood pouring out of his body and expected him to topple over right there, but he didn't.
He was hit hard, but he hadn't fallen, so at a range of 72 yards I let loose another arrow to try and seal the deal. That arrow hit with a loud crack and he walked away slowly. Bringing up the binos I could see he was still bleeding a ton, and he was carrying one of his front legs.
Again I expected him to drop at any instant, but he walked off parallel to the blind and bedded at about 80 yards from the blind.
You can sort of see him bedded down in this picture, I was looking out the small portal window on the side of the blind.
Revisualizing the shot, I remember the arrow was a little to the right, but nothing significant. All I could think of was that in the heat of the moment I had pushed the release into my face to get the right alignment instead of letting it free float. I had also been twisted in the blind to get around enough to clear the edge of the blind. I had also been at full draw for 45-75 seconds. Couple that with antelope are quick and a lot can happen between release an impact.
My thoughts were all over the board, but a quick look out the blind I could see the bucks head getting lower and lower.
Finally, there was a few kicks and he was down for good. My first archery antelope was down for good.
Although he is just an average buck for the area, he had a lot of unique features. Looking at his teeth he was most likely an older buck. He was quite stocky and muscular for an antelope. Although he didn't have really good prongs, his heavy bases and wide spread were more than I could have asked for. To top it off he had several 'burr prongs' on each horn as well.
I can't thank Bill and Shane enough for their hospitality and advice. As well I wish Mace and Brenda good luck for the remainder of their hunt. I'd share a camp with this group of folks anywhere/anytime. Sitting around listening to their stories was a great way to spend time.
I was originally going to stick around camp for another day for moral support, but at dinner everyone agreed that I should head home in the morning to spend some time with my daughter before she heads off to college tuesday morning!
So next time you see a falling star, don't forget to wish. When you see multiple, keep wishing!! I got my decent buck and I get to spend all of Monday with my daughter.
There are still a few unfulfilled wishes that Brenda, Mace and Shane need to cash in!
The second broad head didn't connect with any organs. It completely broke the front shank leg bone and went through the brisket of the goat. 2" higher and it would have caught the heart. With a wounded animal standing still, a 72 yard follow up shot is worth a try,and the broad head performance was impressive. The only damage was to the very tip of the broad head, and it still spins. It has earned a spot as a permanent practice arrow.
I can say with a good deal of certainty that my old broadhead wouldn't have inflicted the damage the VPA did on the initial shot. And, it most defiantly would not have busted clean through a front leg bone at 72 yards.
Someday I'll get there!
Best of Luck, Jeff
I know you couldn't have been in camp with a better bunch of guys.
Fracturing the humerus at 72 yards is pretty impressive. What's your bow, draw wt, and draw length and total arrow wt?
I hope you have many more great bow hunts. BB
Shooting a Mathews Z7 at 70# 28" draw. Arrow is a GoldTip velocity Pro with a 125 gr VPA custom head on the front. Total arrow weight is 420gr at about 275fps.
I was totally impressed with the performance of the arrow as well - on both shots. I must have hit the bone square on, and literally did shatter it, then went through the brisket. Only damage to the BH was a slightly bent tip. It still spins well so it will be a practice BH for now.
Basically the broadhead is a 150grain solid blade VPA that has been vented to get it to 125gr. Ray suggested it when I was having a slight tunning issue with the shorter 125's, The benefit is the blade angle is a lot shallower, and the BH is a bit longer. It gives a lot more penetration due to the shallower blade angle plus a little more blade length.
I have seen many that were much larger and many that were his size and many smaller, but none as genuinely pretty as this guy.
His blacks were so black and his whites so white and his coat so groomed and clean. And never have I seen a cheek patch as large as his and that, together with all the other stuff I mentioned and his black face, made him simply gorgeous to me.
Can anyone else see his superb beauty!
Have a great bow hunt. BB
Even look at the extra black outlining his ears.
IdyllWildArcher - I think it was the radius bone that the VPA shattered. if you look at BB's picture above, the BH would have hit in the first sunny part of the leg (right where the sun/shade line makes a inverted V ) then it went through the brisket behind it. Still impressed the crap outta me on how it went through the bone and still had energy to keep going.
I attribute it to 2 things - a good balance of speed and weight, plus well tuned arrow flight.
HOCKEYDAD sounds like the dog has anaplasmosis from a tic
VPA heads are a great head. Very tuff indeed. Interesting on the vented 125. I will have to look at them.