Saturday, September 1, 2012

AZ Archery Antelope Success

With the AZ archery season opening up last weekend, I found the boys and myself hunting some familiar areas. This is our third year in a row in the same unit hunting antelope and lets just say the unit has treated us well. We spent the first weekend trying to find the "Heartshaped" buck but with an over abundance of monsoon rain we did not find our big buck. However, the night before season  Devin found the buck he nicknamed Big Heavy from last year in a familiar spot and the hunt was on.

Big Heavy the night before season

Opening morning we glassed our buck and moved into position for a stalk. Big Heavy decided it was time to travel and left his does in search of greener pastures. It took until late afternoon opening day that friend Damon Hughes and myself located him about a mile from where we lost him that morning. I stalked to within 75 yds of him and his new set of does but just could not get it done before it got dark.
Saturday found us looking for the "heartshaped" buck again and putting a stalk or two on some lesser bucks before going home to work the week and get ready for the upcoming long weekend.
Labor Day weekend found Devin and I leaving camp in search of the "Heartshaped" buck or Big Heavy. Within 30 mins of the sun coming up we had located a buck from quite a distance with 8 does. An hour or so later after quite a stalk we finally glassed a bedded doe that was with our unknown buck. Crawling for approximately 250 yds found us inside of 130 yds of our bedded antelope. A short 30 mins later does began to get up and guess who gets up with the does, none other than Big Heavy. As Devin and I were discussing our game plan we decided to try a decoy to see if we could get him to move our way.
Just as the buck finished making a scrape Devin flipped up the decoy. Big Heavy locked on and the stare down began. Finally he gave in and started working our way. Big Heavy walked up to within 50 yds but with a tree blocking my view, the only tree in front of us, I did not have a shot. He finally had enough of our decoy and decided to walk back to his harem. Once the does locked onto the decoy and began to work our way Big Heavy decided he needed to revisit us. When he finally presented a shot it was a quartering away shot with him looking at me.  I had to slide over a few feet to have a clear shot and knew I was caught for sure. Well the antelope gods smiled on me that day and the Ulmer Edge broadhead took him right behind the shoulder and exited through the opposite shoulder blade. Big Heavy only lasted a 100 yds and the celebration began. Both myself and Devin were excited beyond belief. We had worked hard for this buck and what a great buck it is. Thanks to Devin and Damon for all their help. Special thanks to Devin who is always there to scout and work just as hard as I am for an animal. Enjoy some pictures from the hunt and who knows; will we get to hunt antelope 4 years in a row?

Big Heavy

Great reward to a great hunt

A great year for monsoon moisture

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