January/February 2012 EBJ (Issue 69) - On day three, following unknown hoursin my blind and 90-degree heat, I had an antelope in sight on the desert floor. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My buddy and cameraman for the hunt was Joe Frater. Joe and I were laughing at stories we were sharing about bloopers we had in the woods. I don’t know if it was the heat or the amount of time in the blind that made the stories more hilarious, but without warning a great antelope buck was running up the ridge to the west with his tongue hanging out as if he had been running a 26-mile marathon.
It was August 9, 2010 and I was on the third day of my coveted California archery antelope buck hunt, which is a special draw. Five days prior, Joe and I drove to the area we were hunting and met up with Colt. A friend set me up to meet Colt and have him show me around the high desert. Colt is a cowboy who works cattle on the desert ground and knew what I needed to know: where the antelope would be. Colt showed me a water hole that was the only water hole within a three-mile radius. Funny thing was this was the only visible water hole I found weeks prior on Google Earth while researching the area.
By the sign around the water hole and antelope we were seeing in the area, I claimed the hole by setting up my blind. I would like to thank the other hunters in the area who saw my blind and turned around to find another spot for themselves. I believe archery hunters know what it takes to bag their quarry and they’re not going to disrespect someone who is already hunting in an area on public land.
On the first two days of the hunt, Joe and I had constant action and watched different groups of antelope each day. We had some close calls with some big bucks, but the hunting was tough. I missed a great buck that ducked my arrow and another that I shot right under its chest because I misjudged the distance. During these days, we got a tremendous amount of footage and took some great pictures of bucks in the distance using our spotting scopes.
For a full account of Chris's adventure, go to page 22 in the January/February 2012 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.