Although I am ready 2020 to end and things to get back to normal, I certainly did not sit in my basement and hide from anything. I pursued my passions with gusto, had some fabulous hunts, and had experiences that exceeded my wildest dreams.
This year, I decided to finally drop my 21 antelope points in Colorado. I had actually drawn a couple of tags in years past and turned them in so would have been at 23 without the return tags. Although I could have drawn about any antelope hunt in the state for any weapon, I chose the archery hunt in Units 2 and 201.
I had been wanting to get a chance to hunt with K114 but had not been able to get on the list previously.
Knowing this would be a special hunt, I contacted Scarfinga and got on the list. INBowdude was kind enough to forgo his Wyoming antelope hunt with K114 and let me spend some time with it on my antelope hunt and a few days of deer, elk and antelope in Colorado.
I figured all I needed was one and would make the most of it!
I spent as much free time as possible up there scouting in June and July. Found great numbers of antelope and some darn good ones!
Although I had elk hunted in this country a few years ago, I learned far more about it and in much greater detail this year.
I love the Big Empty!
Although some of the elk I found in places no one in their right mind would think to look were pretty impressive...
I held off of any reading the journal as I expected to have plenty of time for that in a blind.
Had set up pop ups on my two best waterholes two weeks before the season and they were covered up with antelope the week before season. My #1 water hole had 20-25 bucks around it every time I checked on it.
I expected a short hunt:-)
I parked about a mile from my #1 blind and hiked in well before daylight.
As dawn slowly broke, I noticed something I had never seen at this area. No antelope.
Dawn revealed a mud hole where my waterhole had been! Colorado was as dry as I have ever seen this last summer and this pond had dried down to nothing more than mud!
Not a good way to start a hunt...
I actually went back to the truck and came back with a shovel. Dug down in hopes of getting some water to puddle back and give the antelope something to drink so they would come back. No luck hitting water.
Pulled that blind and went to my second setup.
When scouting, I came across a beautiful green valley that was just stuffed with antelope bucks! Several great ones!
Only problem was that there were a lot of ponds and a small creek running through it. I set a blind on the water hole that seemed to be used the most bit was concerned that they might not come in.
Wearing my face cover and definitely socially distanced! No ‘rona here;-)
As I slowly roasted for hours in the sweat box, I read through all of the adventures that K114 had been on. So many awesome adventures! I started writing some of my hunt down in the blind and was humbled to have such a great experience a d to be part of such an awesome community.
Such a special place up there in the NW corner of Colorado. Without any light pollution, the stars are so amazing and it feels like you’re in the center of the universe with the stars swirling around over all of the sky above the earth. Although impossible. I really wish I could have taken a picture of those stars in that sky!
Although I was up there by myself, I was not alone. Time to reflect and be thankful for just how great and blessed we are. The silence and glory allowed for connections with God and those that have gone on. Had a number of good laughs remembering some of Kelly’s antics and comments on the Bowsite.
I tried to capture some of my feelings in the journal as the hunt continued.
The guy with the archery doe tag turned out to be part of the CTAS family. His mother had drawn a rifle buck tag and he was basically scouting for bucks on his doe tag. I had him jump in with me and we went around some country he hadn’t looked at. I showed him what I had been finding for bucks and what I knew about some other areas further out.
I was a bit tired of sitting blinds so we stalked several good bucks. I had a spare ghillie top that I loaned him and we ended up almost closing the deal on a couple of great bucks but no shots taken.
It is a hell of a lot more fun to play cat and mouse than to just play mousetrap!
I love me some stalking critters with a bow:-)
Although I was enjoying my solitude immensely, I missed him when he took off. We kept in touch and he was later successful on his antelope tag and a good bull.
I found a nice bucks bedded in some broken hills and was making a stalk when two coyotes popped up out of a brushy draw. I was in full ghillie and just stood still. They continued my way until they were about 10 yards from me. The lead dog stopped as I raised and drew my bow and was trying to figure out why that bush moved.
He was a little slow.
There were several good bucks in that bunch of antelope. I tried stalking them on the top of the mesa but it is really flat with no cover so I couldn’t get close enough for a shot.
After watching them for several days, I noticed that they were using only a couple of trails on and off the mesa.
I busted a stalk on a nice buck in the morning and was trying to find him again when I saw a bunch of antelope near the edge of the mesa. There was some creosote brush at the edge and potentially cover under the lip that I could use to get close.
I took off on a long loop to try and get into range.
There was a good trail off the rim so I started looking for a good place to set up a blind. There was some tall creosote that would help to break up the blind. I turned to go back to the truck for a blind when I caught movement on the top of the mesa.
I settled into the brush and glassed through it to see several does making their way towards me. The wind was good so I decided to see if I could get away with just sitting tight.
The does came on to me like they were on a string. They went past me on the trail at under 20 yards and never noticed I was there! Hmmm, maybe I don’t need that pop up.
I scanned the mesa again and saw a nice buck out about 400 yards. He was moving my way so I decided to just sit tight and try for a shot.
I focused on a spot close to his shoulder as he walked past, drew and released!
He swapped ends and disappeared back the way he had come in a cloud of dust.
Damn they are quick!
That’s not good.
Obviously I did not hit him in the lungs...
It turned into a very long, hot, dry day.
Antelope are amazingly tough when not hit well.
A great hunt made even more fun to have K114 along for the ride!
I’m in a blind looking on a cellphone, but looks like the long bow did the deed?
I put a good edge on him and shipped him off to Teeton for his Wyoming elk hunt.
Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of this, Scarfinga! Good luck to all the guys that have the opportunity to hunt with K114!
PS, I will have the K114 on my AZ deer hunt in January. Changing it up and will be hunting mule deer and not Coues.
Where did you end up hitting your goat? It doesn’t look to be too bad in the pic, but hard to tell angle, etc.
First arrow hit at the back of the ribs angling back. Pass thru exit low in front of the ham. Hole plugged up.
Second right at the front of the hips. Long shot! 80 yards. Not much penetration and stopped on the spine. Made a mess of the back of the backstrap and a big hole in the hide there.
Third was 10 ring pass thru.
It was a long day.
Great buck, great pics, and great recap, Tavis.
Can K114 make a pit stop at my place for a few days? I could use a little luck with these darn mulies out here.
Anyone interested in the knife and journal can reach out to me.