Taken By Surprise

By Steve Schulz
Wyoming, 2010, DIY, Public Land

Steve Schulz - Taken By SurpriseNovember/December 2011 EBJ (Issue 68) - As I drove to my spot for the day, I couldn’t help but think of the days that had passed - it was the third of September and archery antelope had been open for over two weeks. The blind I was hunting was in a new spot and I decided to take a chance on it. My brother had already arrowed a great non-typical buck that had one horn jetting out vertically from his left side. The other was a great 80-incher taken from the blind I was going to hunt today. I’d hunted two different areas in the hope of arrowing an 80-inch or better antelope - I’d passed a few that would’ve been close, but they just didn’t have that little extra. You know the WOW factor…the no doubt he’s a big buck when you first see him.

As I drove slowly into the new area in the dark, I noticed an awesome buck I’d seen the last time I was here and had hopes of a closer encounter on this day. He simply stood on the ridge, silhouetted in dawns early light a couple hundred yards from the blind.

It couldn’t have been more than half an hour as the sun started to rise when I had a very small buck come in within 12 yards. Shortly after his departure, there was a string of does and fawns lined out on the move coming in for an early morning drink. The buck I had plans of taking that day was on the ridge to the east of the blind about 400 yards out, simply pacing the ridge top. I knew it was only a matter of time before he decided to race down and chase off any intruder bucks, harass a few does or get a drink - time was on my side, it wasn’t even 7:30 a.m yet.

The forecasted temperature for the day was in the mid 80s to low 90s, so I knew once he started chasing does and other bucks out of his territory, it would only be matter of time before he needed a drink. By 7:45 a.m., the sun had started to heat up the blind and the condensation on the ceiling of the blind started to drip onto my equipment.

By 8:00 a.m. I’d had 17 antelope come in for a drink - two fairly good-sized herds with mostly does and fawns, and groups of small bucks and some singles. Every time antelope showed up, a drop of condensation would fall from the ceiling hit the cooler, folding chair or my pack, and cause them to pick up their head nervously from the water and glare into the blind.

Steve Schulz - Taken By Surprise

For a full account of Steve's adventure, go to page 22 in the November/December 2011 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.