First Black Buck Antelope
by: Donnie Rodriguez
(Click on any picture to enlarge it...)
My morning started at 3:00 A.M. Friday March
18, 2005, with the alarm ringing and me hitting the snooze button. I just
“hit it” four times before I decided I really wanted to get up the hour
drive to our hunting spot.
After my morning scent
free shower, I loaded my hunting gear, a sack lunch and
heading to my hunting spot in search of a Black Buck Antelope to kill.
On this day my hour drive
left me arguing with myself about what stand to sit in. It seems that
every time I sit at one stand the Blackbuck Antelope seem to always walk
right past a stand that I am not sitting at.
Like in the picture to the right, these antelope walked 10 feet in front
of my tent blind just out of the pictures frame to the right. Talk about frustrating!
Before getting to the ranch I decided I would hunt out of the newly
erected ladder stand I put up a couple of weeks earlier. I was running
late and arrived after daybreak. I donned on my cool weather gear
and favorite camo pattern camo and headed toward the pasture I was hunting
for the day.
The weather was not
something I paid to much attention to and when I got to the ranch. The wind
must have been gusting up to 20 miles per hours and it was a very cool
wind. I worked my way towards my blind and noticed the abundance of
White-tails and Blackbucks. Well, as luck would have it they were all
ready in the field and of course I ran them all off trying to get to my
stand. I had decided I was going to make a whole day of sitting in this stand
so, I perched myself a top of the ladder stand and settled in.
It wasn’t long after I
got settled in, about 7:00 a.m., I had two Blackbuck does walk close to my
stand but there was no shot opportunity. The duo was about 50 yards away. I don’t feel comfortable shooting
my bow at an animal at that distance, so I just watched them pass. The two meander off unaware of my presence as perched atop my ladder
stand waiting to send an arrow through one of their chests.
I was daydreaming and
just admiring what the good Lord has given us, took a couple of pictures
of the picture perfect scene, when something caught my eye.
It was slightly to my
right and I turned my head after hanging my camera on the tree hook.
It was a Blackbuck doe and she was on a straight line to my stand. I
removed my bow from the bow hanger and got ready.
This doe was focused on the trail and I was focused on her. As she got 30
yards away she veered to her left and away from me, but only a slight
direction change was made. It appeared she was only walking around the
trees and didn’t want to walk under them. I was well concealed and when
she got behind the trunk of the tree I drew my Renegade NudgeBow. She
proceeded to walk into my shooting lane. She stopped broadside at 25 yards.
I took aim and placed the pin of my Copper John “Dead Nuts” sites right
behind her should and released.
The Easton XX78 2315
arrow was off to it intended target. I could see the vanes spinning the
arrow like a quarterback throwing a perfect spiral to his receiver.
As the arrow made its
final approach, I still held the bow straight out and my hand rested on my
face as if I was still at full draw.
I then saw her twist to
her right and totally dodged the arrow. It was like a
scene from the movie The Matrix. She totally spun out of the way of
the arrow. Wow, these creatures are fast!
I was dumb founded. I
couldn’t believe what I just saw. The Blackbuck doe was off in a flash! I
watched as she ran off into the next pasture and over a small hill.
I looked at my watch and
it was 7:35am and I thought to myself, “Oh Well, that’s why they call it
I got down from my stand to inspect and retrieve my arrow. There was no
sign that it struck her at all. After retrieving my arrow I climbed back
into the stand and sharpened up the blades to my Muzzy 100gr, 4-bladed,
broadhead until they were shaving sharp again. I was back in action for
another attempt in shooting a Blackbuck Antelope.
The wind was terrible. I
was starting to get pretty cold, so I decided to head to the truck to put
on some fleece clothing I had in my hunting bag. Now I was ready to hunt all day…what a
difference fleece makes!
It was about 9:40am when
I saw the ranch hand driving through the middle pasture. I was watching
the truck and all of a sudden I saw 5 Blackbucks running straight for my
stand. I grabbed my bow and kept an eye on the animals. I noticed that one
was a decent male, with a nice set of horns. He was a bronze colored
animal and not as dark as I was hoping for, but I decided to take him if I
had a chance.
They kept getting closer
and were not veering off the path.
As the got about 40 yards
in front of me and then decided to slightly veer to the left. The group started around the tree, like
the Blackbuck did earlier in the morning.
I drew my bow as the
passed behind the same big tree trunk. They had slowed down and I was
going to take a shot.
I steadied my 40 yard pin
a little further back behind the shoulder than I normally do when shooting
an animal. I followed the Blackbuck as he walked towards my shooting lane.
I had a clear shot at 40
yards and released.
Again the arrow that just
flew from the bow 2 hours earlier was off again. I had perfect
flight again. As it reached its target I continued my follow through
and kept watching. The Blackbuck spun just like the first one, but this
time the arrow found a spot to penetrate.
The arrow buried into the
chest of the Blackbuck and it passed completely through his body.
I saw the arrow exit, go up and fall to the ground. As it was in midair it
looked liked it was covered in red paint.
I was pumped up!
The Blackbuck finished
his spin, kicked like a mule and in an instant he was gone. He ran like a
quarter-horse in a race for the finish line. I followed him with my
binoculars until he got to the fence then I lost sight of him.
I climbed from my stand,
to keep from falling out of it more than anything, since I was very excited.
I picked up my arrow and it was blood soaked! I immediately saw a
blood trail. I used my binoculars to glass the last spot I saw the
blackbuck. There he was! He was lying motionless next to a cactus and
under the fence. I went back to my stand and gathered all my gear.
I loaded the spent arrow
into my quiver and followed the blood trail. I will always follow the
blood trail even if I can see the fallen animal.
I also did this to calm
my nerves and to make sure the animal has plenty of time to die before
I finally made it to the
road and I could see my first Blackbuck was lifeless.
him from under the fence to get a better look at him,
what a creature…beautiful.
I snapped a couple of
pictures and left to get my truck.
I toted him to the
skinning tree for a couple of more pictures and to make him ice chest
ready. I called home to tell Tammy what had happened. I was just so
excited I had to tell someone about it.
As I was preparing my
animal for the ice chest I was inspecting the arrows entrance, exit and
vitals that were hit. The arrow cut the hide as the Blackbuck was trying
to dodge it, and then it entered the “arm pit.” It cut the top of the
heart and exited its neck. I couldn’t have asked for better placement…a 12
ringer, right through the heart! "Right in the Ol Pump Station" as Uncle
Ted would say.
This was my first Blackbuck Antelope I have ever taken. I have wanted to harvest for
sometime and achieved that goal. He is a fine trophy and it is some of the best wild game meat I
have ever eaten.
The taxidermist I use, Dan Lansford of
Professional Taxidermy Studio
(Cedar Park, Texas) will complete the work for a European Mount.
Now it’s time for me to
try to kill me an Axis deer.