My first Spot and Stalk, By Frank Tsikitas
Kaycee Wyoming, approx. one and a half hours north of Casper, my first Antelope, and mule deer hunt with a bow. The terrain is an open expanse, rolling hills, dotted with a few trees and waterholes, all with well placed ground blinds. Bill De Shaw, owner and operator of Wyoming Hunting Outfitters spent countless days in the field setting up stands for hunters. Well placed blinds by water would give an advantage to the hunter for both Lopes and Muleys. Bill and his guide gave us tips and direction, and being well camouflaged gave me the advantage. Problem was, the does came in to the water at 15 to 30 yards from the blind, the bucks, although in rut, didnâ€™t cooperate. They were super cautious, staying out to 100 yards, not spooked, but keeping an eye out for other receptive does . Muleys were not to be found on the plains. So Bill set out to do some scouting and locate a few mule deer bucks while I still worked the water Holes for an antelope. After several attempts to take an antelope buck over water, I decided to try my hand at spot and stalk for mule deer.
Bill glassed up several good size muley bucks hidden and bedded down in thick deer grass at the bottom of a deep and very long gorge. Bill stayed on atop of the gorge; glassing and we were to follow his hand signals as we came closer to the deer. My first spot and stalk was to begin. Following the guide at several paces, we staked several hundred yards on the top of the gorge. Then we descended down to the bottom, watching each step, staying down wind and keeping an open eye for game. My heart was pumping! We were after a 140-150â€ 4×4 when jumped several muley does, thank god they, didnâ€™t spook, and trotted off in the other direction, we slowly stalked around two hills and several gullies, and up popped 3 x 3 buck, staring at us, but not spooked. This was not the deer we were after, but if he ran he would alert everything in front of him. As I was grabbing for the range finder and falling to my knees, the guide already was whispering 37 yards. I stood up, drew back, settled my pin, and let the arrow flyâ€¦.
I had made a quartering away shot. The guide shouted out â€œperfectâ€, and I watched him bounce off with the arrow in his side, and ran over a hill out of sight. I thought I made a good shot, but started to second guess myself. Several minutes later the guide spotted the downed deer, thumbs up! I imeadiately gave Bill a touchdown signal. As we approached the deer the realization of what I Had just done started to hit me. I have been hunting 40+ years and I had never taking anything with my bow spot and stalk or over 25yards. And I started to recall all the drills and practice my son in law John made me do in the months leading up to the huntâ€¦..Thatâ€™s it! I was hooked I finally could see what, why he was always trying to get me to put the rifle down and pick up the bow. At that point felt like I never wanted to rifle hunt againâ€¦
After, some pictures and congratulations, we filed dressed the animal and packed him out of the deep canyon and it was time to go fill my other tag. Had the confidence and the swagger now I wanted my LOPE by spot and stalk too.
The next day Bill got me on the several herds of antelopes, at least thirty does being chased by bucks, trying to secure their harems. We spotted a buck with a single doe, and he one thing on his mind and it was not me. Down a wide gulley we went, then up a draw, Bill keeping the buck in site, then into high grass. At that point not one was to be seen. I caught my breath just in time to hear Bill sayâ€ stand up, I got em, 57 yardsâ€. I stood up, drew back with a large bush blocking my shot in front of me. I Moved several feet over, stood up, drew back again, and let loose. I connected! The buck bolted, with the doe in pursuit. We can see him bailed off the side of the adjacent hill, and shortly after we spotted the doe exiting the other side with the buck in tow. Bill located my shot point immediately and started to follow the heavy blood trail. I was searching for my arrow when Bill shouted out, â€œa double lungerâ€.
I had done it again my hard work in the early season, the guidance of Wyoming Hunting Outfitters and The Mathews and Shwacker combo dropped my first antelope and my longest shot everâ€¦
I canâ€™t thank Bill De Shaw, Owner of Wyoming Hunting Outfitters and his experienced staff for getting myself and the Pro-staff of The Hunting Channel Online, on to game and experiencing a challenging and successful hunt. They made every effort to get us on game every day. Will I book again with Bill ?, â€œDAMN STRAIGHT I WILLâ€.