Fast Action on Nebraska Antelope
“Don’t fall asleep, these Nebraska antelope can come to water at any time during the day and it will happen fast.”
Those were the words of advice from my outfitter before putting me in the waterhole blind at 0 dark thirty in the morning on the first day of my first Nebraska antelope hunt… for that matter, my first antelope hunt period.
During my first day in the antelope blind I saw a buck with a doe and 2 fawns several times which kept me on alert. That evening the same 4 antelope came in to drink and they were nervous. The buck offered me a tempting broadside shot at 23 yards but I chose to pass. I had watched him several times during the day and his cutters were just barely taller than his ears, which is how my Outfitter said you determine a good goat from an average goat. That evening as I told my story, Craig said I should have shot because he knew the buck and it was definitely a good one, over 14” tall with mass. I was dejected and decided not to make that mistake again, the next time he came in range I would be taking a shot. My son also saw a buck and the other two hunters in camp saw antelope during the day with Fred taking a nice buck at 20 yards.
The next morning I was in the ground blind about an hour before light, planning to sit for 12 hours and shoot the buck when he came to water at 5:30 in the evening. It was a very windy morning with gusts close to 40 mph and I decided to take a nap until it was daylight. I was sound asleep on the ground when my bow fell off the hanger hitting me in the head. The rude awakening was very timely as it was just beginning to get light and time to be looking out for antelope. About 15 minutes later a lone buck came over the hill in front of me heading for the far side of the water hole. His cutters were above his ears and I knew he was a shooter. I had already ranged the distances around the water hole and when he stopped broadside at 45 yards I took the shot. Imagine my surprise when the buck tipped over in his tracks. I had not compensated for the wind, or just messed up the shot, but the arrow hit the buck in the neck paralyzing him and cutting the artery. The buck scored 72” and will make a fine mount. The entire hunt was a great experience that I was able to share with my son and I am planning a combo archery hunt for antelope/whitetail with these guys again this coming fall. In addition to this Nebraska antelope hunt, I hunted whitetails with Craig in 2010 and saw 50-100 deer a day with 4 bucks scoring over 150”.
This is an affordable archery antelope hunt with a very good chance to shoot a quality animal. Three of the four hunters in camp shot an antelope and most hunters will have a shot opportunity during a 4 day hunt. Most hunting is done out of ground blinds but you can spot and stalk if you wish. Plan to sit all day (approx. 14 hrs) for the best opportunity to shoot an animal. Practice at ranges out 60 yards, even though the average shot is 30 yards. I would recommend scent free clothing and you will need a rangefinder. There are several hotels in Chadron with very reasonable rates.