My 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 
I was 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 hunting.”
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 good 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 approaching it.

I finally made it to the road and I could see my first Blackbuck was lifeless.

I pulled 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.





Renegade NugeBow @ 64# shot with fingers
Copper John "Dead Nuts" sights
Easton XX78 2315s @ 29 inches
Muzzy 100 grain 4-bladed broadhead
Twilight Pin Light
LimbSaver Products