Learn The art of spot and stalk
I have been fortunate enough to score four P&Y antelope in back to back years by spot and stalk.
Here is a little help on how to do so:
Spot and Stalk Antelope (archery) Over the years spot and stalk bow hunting for antelope has become more and more popular on what used to be what was thought and almost impossible animal to stalk within bow range. This has been brought about mainly by improvements in equipment ie: bows that can shoot out to longer ranges more accurately and with more kinetic energy, better flying arrows, and more precise broad heads etc. However, a well trained and seasoned hunter is still needed to wield this new technology. So what we aim to accomplish in this article is to give you some tools/tips ON HOW TO GET CLOSER, HOW TO SHOOT FURTHER AND HOW TO STAY CONCEALED UP TO YOUR SHOT. How to get closer: An antelope’s main defense is his eyes (said to be equal to a human with 8X binos), so he will hang out in the wide open where there is no cover from brush or trees. However the landscape they live in is usually filled with rolling hills, drainages and even tall grass. These hills and drainages are your best friend. The key to spot and stalk is choosing bucks that are located in high percentage locations: 1) look for bucks that are hanging around areas which have hills or structural cover that you know you can stay behind long enough to get within range. 2) Find bedded bucks facing away from your approach. Look for bucks hanging below ridges or in drainages so you may ATTACK from above. Once you have located your buck begin your stalk. Find the path that will give you the most cover. Don’t be afraid to take the long way around he will still be there when you get there. You can cover ground quickly up until the last 150 to 200 yards then you must move slow an quite. Wind is a concern but not nearly as bad as deer, if you are wearing a good concealment product ( I suggest Huntech’s “No Stinky”) you should be ok even if the wind is not in your favor. I walk as long as I can behind my cover but as soon as I feel like a glimpse of me may break the horizon I begin to crawl and the closer I get to lower I get until I am belly crawling. I will continue to belly crawl at a steady rate until I have made a visual of my target. Once I have a visual I try and take my first yardage reading, from this measurement I devise my plan. If the buck is to far for a high percentage shot I move closer but very deliberately a couple of feet every couple of minutes until I can 1) get close enough and 2) Find my shooting cover. Shooting cover is generally a larger sage brush or rock of some sort. Then I wait for him to be looking in the other direction or have his head down to feed before I do a concealed draw and raise up to shoot. How to shoot Most of us practice shooting our bows at 30-40 from a standing position which in my opinion gives little or no real life practice in any situation because you are almost never standing, your always sitting or kneeling. Anyway, if you want to be successful you must practice 50-70 yards and from a kneeling or sitting position. If I am hunting game that I know that a high percentage of my opportunities will be at 60+ yards I will practice at 90 yards. 1) it gives me confidence, there is noting worse then losing confidence in the field. 2) to it helps me fine tune and understand my equipment better 3) it builds the muscles needed to stay steady at that range which ultimately makes me more accurate at any lesser range. After I have tuned my bow in a 30 yard indoor range to ensure accuracy, I do most of my practicing in the field in real life situations from an elevated position, seated kneeling, trough brush, behind trees, rocks, etc. For antelope hunting I practice belly crawling up and working myself into a position I can shoot from and taking less time to get my shot off. Also I practice drawing back while I’m still down low or even while lying on my back. It is very difficult and takes great muscle strength and control to lye flat on your back, draw, and raise your self up slowly using your stomach muscles, acquire the target and shoot accurately from a seated position. The kneeling position is a bit easier on the muscles but it gives up your concealment a bit earlier. You start by lying on your draw arm side with the opposite leg out. Straighten out your bow arm and tuck your draw side leg under your butt so that when you raise up you will be in a low kneeling position. Draw back with bow perpendicular to the ground and slowly lift up acquire and shoot. Practice shooting this way and you will be more successful in the field. Good luck and be patient.
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