Less than five minutes after the outfitter’s truck disappeared from sight down the dry, dusty trail, the hunter saw six antelope moving towards the windmill where he was perched 15 feet above the ground. The animals stopped eighty yards from the waterhole and studied the windmill searching for danger. For what seemed like a very long time to the hunter, the goats just stared at him convincing him that they had surely spotted him and were not coming in to drink.
He suddenly caught movement out of the corner of his eye and slowly turned to see another group of goats quickly moving towards the waterhole from the opposite direction in what appeared to be an effort to beat the first group to happy hour. As they quickly spread out along the edge of the pond to slurp up water, the hunter’s attention zeroed in on the three huge bucks that lined up side by side at the water’s edge. Each of them would have been a super trophy, but the center buck was offering the best angle for a good, clean shot. A young doe had moved in front of the big buck blocking its vitals, but then nervously moved away from the buck. The archer raised his crossbow, centered on the loper’s rib cage and squeezed the trigger. The tranquility of the scene was shattered as the bow barked, launching its projectile. Animals exploded into motion heading in different directions, all away from the pond. The hunter watched animals scatter, suspecting that he had missed the buck as it fled the scene seemingly unscathed. The Antelope ran eighty yards and laid down. The hunter studied that buck through field glasses as it rose, turned around and then lay back down again facing away. The hapless Billy never got up again.
Geno's first Antelope ever and his first kill with a crossbow.
On his very first crossbow hunt, the bowhunter had taken his first Pronghorn Antelope during the first half-hour on the first day on the stand. Not a bad way to remember his maiden hunt with a crossbow. The hunter climbed down from his perch and went to examine his trophy. He had been told to look for one with prongs at ear level or higher. His buck’s prongs didn’t even start until two full inches above the ears and it had really good mass. This was a dandy buck, a “King Prong” and the hunter knew it. The hunter was Gene Strie from Bellingham, Minnesota, an ACF member since 2001. He’d never hunted with a crossbow; his weapon of choice was the compound bow. Strie belongs to the ACF because he believes in its mission of promoting and preserving all forms of hunting with all weapons. Gene sees no threat or evil in the crossbow, rather is more threatened by those who are bent on destroying hunting opportunities, even if those aggressors are other hunters. In his heart and mind, the ACF objectives are as it should be.
Strie has been a regular participant in the HBM hunts in the past and when he learned that HBM Publisher, DJH was headed for Douglas to check out an antelope hunt that had been recommended by ACF member, Ron Williams, he asked to join in the expedition. Arrangements were made, licenses were applied for and when confirmation of being drawn arrived with the licenses, reservations were made at a local hotel. When Gene called to let DJH know that he had received his license in the mail he was informed that the crossbow was a legal option in WY and invited to use one for the hunt. He agreed and picked one up on his very next trip through Glenwood. After just a few days with the crossbow on his backyard range, Gene had developed a new hunting passion as he relationship with the crossbow deepened.
Ol' Geno makes new friends where ever he goes. He espeically likes card sharks.
On the evening of August 28, Gene and DJH met Ron Williams in Douglas and the next day the hunt began. Gene’s hunt set a new record for the shortest at 25 minutes, which gave him plenty of time to check out all of the great sites and attractions there are to see in Douglas (the birthplace of the Jackalope) and spend some time with his camera hunting the countless antelope that populate Converse county. And while he playing the role of tourist, he was already planning his next crossbow hunting adventure.
Douglas, Wyoming is the birthplace of the World Famous Jackalope.
One last shot of a very happy hunter with a record book Pronghorn Antelope.