“Get down! Here he comes!” Chris Rager whispered to me. The wind was cutting us from the side as we were scrunched down on the dry cracked, cactus covered prairies of South Dakota. Spot and stalk antelope with only bow and a decoy, we were in the heat of the battle.
Hiding behind a decoy and crawling on our hands and knees, the buck was charging at us. He did not like the “fake” inferior intruder near his harem. At 70 yards, Chris drew and found his mark. His Toxic broadhead did its job and now the near Boone and Crockett buck was his.
There is so much huntable land in this area, it really involves some research. Make sure you have a GPS mapping program for your phone as well as hard copy on the public grounds available at http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/areas/default.aspx
Also check in with local ranchers or folks at the grocery store or gas station. Most of all, when you have found some good ground, get out of the truck, look for high spots to glass, and be patient.
We were so fortunate to stay on the Boylan Ranch north of Newell, SD. The Boylans host motorcycle riders, weddings and hunters at The Spur Creek Ranch and Saloon. http://spurcreeksaloon.com/
They have “rustic” “authentic cowboy” cabins, an outdoor barbeque and reception area, a cowboy bar, and gorgeous dance hall with wooden floors to really kick up your heels.
I can tell you we kicked up our heels as we went 3 for 3 on filling our archery tags. Two very nice bucks and a doe were hung on the meat pole. The doe I had to tag within the first 10 minutes of our hunt. I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave without some that great grass fed antelope for my grill.
Our hunting cabin was right in the middle of 2 large areas of walk-in land. To the west are the vast grasslands of Belle Fourche and Buffalo and to the east the along hwy 12 more large tracks of walk-in land. South Dakota has great herd of goats, inspite of bad winter storms which devastated herds 2 years ago. The antelope are coming back.
Things you will need on this hunt include: good hiking boots, hydration packs, mosquito repellant, sunglasses for the blowing dust, knee pads, leather gloves and a good pair or tweezers for the cactus that gets too close. Also have a heads up for rattlesnakes.
This is a great early season hunt as the season begins in late August. We hit the peak rut the second week of September.
To find out more about antelope hunting in South Dakota visit: http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/big-game/antelope/default.aspx