October 1st signifies the opening day of archery season here in Illinois and although my bowhunting season has barely begun, it’s already been an extremely successful one. I’m sure many of you have already read Justin’s blog about our trip to Wyoming and no doubt seen the video as well. But for those of you who haven’t, let me tell you it was a great time!
Just over a month ago Justin and I, along with our cameraman/editor Brian, flew out to Table Mountain Outfitters for an early season antelope hunt. After a few delays at the airport we finally settled into camp around 1 am on Friday morning August 27th.
After some much needed rest, unpacking our gear and sighting in our bows we headed into town to pick up our archery tags and some supplies for the day. Once that was done it was time to head to our blinds and see if we couldn’t lay down a couple goats.
Justin reading over the regulations before heading into our blinds.
Our home for the next 9 hours while trying to kill my first antelope with a bow.
Justin had the lucky horseshoe this day as he was able to take a nice antelope just 3 hours after getting into his blind. In the meantime Brian and I were sitting in our blind wondering if anything was ever going to show up. After a long day of napping, playing games on our phones, reading books, and staring off into the Wyoming landscape we finally had a nice buck approach our blind.
As Brian, the rookie cameraman on his first hunt, was struggling to hold himself together I got ready for the shot. After ranging the buck at about 35 yards I drew back and let my 2 blade Bloodrunner fly. The shot was a bit low and forward, but the Bloodrunner sure did the trick as the buck didn’t run more than 100 yards before going down.
Following a quick celebration and interview I snuck out of the blind to make sure the goat was down for good. You can never be too sure! By the time I got to the buck he was already expired and I claimed my first ever archery antelope. What a great feeling!
My first archery antelope. What a great way to start the season!
That 2 blade Bloodrunner sure did the trick on this goat. It flew great and left a HUGE hole!
A nice Wyoming sunset.
The full gang on the final day of our antelope hunt with Table Mountain Outfitters. From left to right: Brian McAlister, Justin Zarr, Dustin Decroo, Angie Denny, Todd Graf, Vicki Cianciarulo
After we returned home from Wyoming I was able to head down with my dad for a quick dove hunt with my friends at Graham’s Outdoor Adventures in Central Illinois. As always we had a great time with those guys, shot a bunch of doves, and enjoyed a nice summer day. Thanks to the Grahams for having us down, it was a blast!
My dad, me, and Derek Graham after a fun day of dove hunting.
This past Sunday up in Wisconsin I was fortunate enough to take a really nice doe on film with my new cameraman Cody Altizer behind the lens. Cody and I spent a few days at my property the past two weekends trying to get on one of the nice bucks we’ve had on trail cameras this summer, but they were nowhere to be found. So when this nice big doe presented me with a shot I took the oportunity to start filling the freezer up with some fresh meat. Next time we just need a nice buck to come by!
Cody getting ready to head out for our evening’s hunt.
Me with my first doe of the season.
Back at home, or at least at my hunting property which seems like my 2nd home, my fall food plots are coming in GREAT! All of my stands are hung and I am just about as ready for Opening Day as I can be. Good luck to everyone who is going out hunting for the first time this weekend. Stay safe and shoot straight!
The view from one of the stands I just hung last week. I can’t wait to get in there and do some hunting!
My native grasses are doing much better than I expected, which is going to provide some much needed security cover for not just deer but all sorts of wildlife.
Turnips are looking good!