Buck Fever got the best of me, CO 2021

QELKhunter

Active member
Joined
Nov 22, 2020
Messages
90
Location
South Central CO
Hi all,

This is my first hunt recap write-up. I've really enjoyed reading all of your stories and experiences and wanted to give back.

So here is the tale or my 2021 CO pronghorn antelope hunt. This was also my first experience hunting the infamous speed goat of the plains.

I've been building points for years here in CO and have applied for tags as a non-resident in NM and WY but had never drawn a tag. I decided to pick up a leftover tag for a plains unit. I didn't want to use my points for a mediocre hunt and hadn't done enough research on another good unit to justify using that many points. I have 8 preference points for Antelope.

After having been lucky enough to pick up a muzzleloader buck antelope tag for one of the plains units, I started doing a significant amount of e-scouting and planning for my September rut hunt. The unit is only a short 2 hour drive from me so I put plenty of miles on my boots before the season started. This was extremely beneficial as there is a ton of land to cover but the antelope seem to prefer only a small portion of the public land in the unit. Had I not done some in person scouting I would have lost a few days of my hunt just trying to find the critters

Opening morning:
At first light I was up and at it. I had put two lone bucks to bed the night before. They were my target bucks from the scouting I had done in the weeks before. These bucks had been very consistent in their daily routine, same water tank every morning and same bedding spot throughout the day. Opening morning was no different. The biggest buck was right where I expected him to be, so I made my first stalk. I found his response to be the opposite of what I had expected an antelope to be, when I started stalking him. Instead of running away he ran right to me. When I started the stalk he was some 600 yards out and within minutes he was within 200 yards and closing.

My heart was pounding. The last range I had on him was 117 yards and he started to do a big circle around me. I had forgotten my shooting stick so I was going to have to free hand it with open sights. I set my sights on the buck and went through a few breathing cycles trying to calm myself. The buck, still curious and interested, was still circling me but had gotten between me and the sun. He came to a complete stop broadside somewhere between 130 and 150 yards.... 150 is my max comfort zone with my smoke pole. I took a deep breath and squeezed of a shot when I felt comfortable.

Smoke poles are a ton of fun to shoot but the anticipation of seeing what is beyond your smoke ploom is a bit agonizing. With the sun in my eyes and the smoke fully illuminated by the rays of sun, it was a good 60 seconds before I could see that buck still standing there looking at me baffled by had what just transpired. As soon as the smoke had cleared and the buck had time to process what had happened he was on a dead run in the opposite direction.

I made several more stalks on this same buck over the course of my 5 day hunt, but he never let me close the distance to less than 400 yards.

In the course of a 5 day hunt I made several more stalks within 150 yards on several decent bucks but never got another shot opportunity. Over all I had the time of my life! I've never crawled so far on my belly before nor been so excited to chase an animal.

I plan to try the same hunt again next year. The only tactics I think I will implement is 1) to take a shooting stick and 2) try a decoy. I'm not patient enough to sit water and enjoy closing the distance on foot. As for my preference points, I'm going to keep building them or start searching for a unit worthy of spending that many on.

Thanks for reading.
 
Last edited:

QELKhunter

Active member
Joined
Nov 22, 2020
Messages
90
Location
South Central CO
Try stalking them next time and you might have more luck. 😉. Antelope are a lot of fun. Stick with it.
You're absolutely right! Although if I find a way to stock more of them they should be in a greater abundance to stalk next year! 😂🤣😂 Thanks for calling me out on spelling. Lol
 

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