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Speed Goats “YOUR ADVENTURES” W/ Brandon Wilmoth

If you want to try something different while also testing your bow hunting skills, consider bow hunting antelope. I have now hunted with my good friend Craig for the past couple of years in Nebraska, a sleeper state when it comes to big antelope. Non-residents can bow hunt and residents get a rifle tag about every four years. The combination results in very large antelope.

After driving all night to get to Craig’s farm, I arrived just in time to see a classic sunrise. I set up in a blind that overlooked a waterhole adjacent to a large alfalfa field where I saw an unbelievable amount of goats. I remained picky, however. I wanted a true giant.

Soon the giant I was after made his presence known. The only problem was that he was one of about forty-one around the water hole at the same time. I couldn’t get a clear shot. Despite this, I decided that was my target. If it wasn’t him, it’d be tag soup.

The next morning I jumped sides of the field hoping the big boy would do what he did the day before and hang out in the area the majority of the day.  Once again I had several encounters with great goats but my mind was made up; get the big boy or go home empty-handed.

Around 1 p.m. he came my way with one of his ladies. I pressed my face and body against the blind to get my shot through the window, my antelope a mere forty yards away. To my disbelief, when I let the arrow loose it sailed an inch below him, perfect left to right, but low. The antelope I’d waited for on this hunt remained standing. He took a good look at the blind and walked away, leaving me to figure out why I shot low. It wasn’t the fault of my equipment, just me, but I suppose if you don’t miss at some point you haven’t really hunted.

Frustration aside, I continued to hunt for the remainder of the day and the next, but never got another crack at my coveted antelope. As I drove the eleven hours home with the tag in my pocket, I chastised myself for missing and yet laughed about how it all played out.

There’s no doubt that hunt in NW Nebraska was one of the best I’ve been on in some time. A target rich environment provided many encounters with great bucks and provided the challenge hunters crave. I could have shot any number of good antelope, but I wanted the prize.

In the end I went home without a prize, but the experience was worthwhile. A few days later, Craig sent me a picture of the great buck. His client had harvested him from the blind I sat in on that first day. I was right – the antelope was a true trophy, scoring 82 inches.

My tag didn’t go on him, but there’s no doubt I’ll be back again next year to hunt again. Antelope hunting in Northwestern Nebraska was well worth 22 hours in a truck and 36 hours in a blind.


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