Living with the 'Lopes

By Kurt Landwehr

Living with the 'LopesKurt Landwehr
Oregon, 2009, DIY, Public Land 

What a fun and defining hunt this was. Good company, unbelievable scenery, and hordes of antelope running wild set the stage for a hunting experience I won’t soon forget.

This journey actually started 14 years ago (way back in high school) when I began applying for antelope hunts in my home state of Oregon. Fast-forward 14 years, and I was finally going to chase speedgoats with my bow in a very special area with some great antelope. I was determined to learn as much as I could about my hunt location, as well as increase my skills at field judging antelope.

Finally, the end of July arrived and I was en route to meet up with my brother Greg, and friend, Rodney, who both had tags as well. After a long drive, I set up a blind in a scouted out location. Hunting from a blind would be a new experience for me, but posed the best opportunity at shooting a Pope and Young buck. How bad could it be sitting in a 6’x6’ hut wearing black in August? Let’s just say that I’d take bivouacking by myself in unforgiving backcountry any day over the new jail cell I was now calling home.

My first day came and went with a ton of excitement as I passed on a handful of bucks. It was an unreal experience to shoot photos as the various bucks came in to water. I would then review the bucks on my camera and zoom in extremely close to get a better assessment of their size. After reviewing the pictures back at camp that evening with my brother and others, I realized the tall buck that I passed on earlier in the day was very likely close to 16 inches high. I knew I’d better take this buck if given the chance again.

The second day arrived, and I was anxious to get back in my blind. The morning was slightly slower than the day before, with antelope more often out in the distance and noncommittal about coming in to water. The downfall of my blind placement was that I didn’t have a clear view out my back window, since my blind was sort of nestled against a berm. I was able to peek out of the roof flap, but my actions had to be slow and inconspicuous.

Living with the 'Lopes

For a full account of Kurt's adventure, go to page 22 in the May/June 2010 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.