Texas Black Buck Antelope

There are so many reasons why I love living and hunting here in Texas. The state has an abundance of wildlife both native and foreign animals introduced and brought here by men. Like many other exotic animals from other countries, Black Buck Antelopes, have become abundant and thrive  roaming free and wild in Texas. Along with Axis deer, Fallow deer, and Aoudads a hand full of exotic animals now call the Texas hill country home. Exotics seem to do great in Texas with our warm summers and mild winters. Indian Black Buck Antelopes were introduced to Texas in Kerr County in 1932. They have since spread throughout both high and low fence ranches in the hill country but are most abundant in the Edwards Plateau.
I first laid eyes on the majestic animals four years ago and have been borderline obsessed with them ever since. I will never forget riding around scouting for Axis herds and running up on two male antelopes in a bachelor group. “Look! Black unicorns?!” I thought. I had no clue what they were! They were lying under some oak trees and we interrupted their nap.  We scared them and they quickly jumped to their feet and did this crazy antelope hop, dance, run thingy that made me laugh! It was cool, kind of like if a deer was trying to jump like a kangaroo, that’s how they run! I  had never seen any animal run off like that before and it intrigued me!
About two years ago I started trying to hunt them with a rifle. I have had several Black Buck males in range of my riffle on hill sides but never had one that I wanted to take.  I kept holding off waiting on another more mature buck. Well, in retrospect I am glad I waited and didn’t shoot one because over this Thanksgiving holiday I was fortunate enough to hunt one with my bow. Black Bucks are extremely hard to stalk but that didn’t stop me. I have put in many days in the past spotting and trying to cut the antelopes off in valleys of the hills. I’ve hiked up hills, down hills, ran across creeks and even climbed trees with no luck. Still all the while having fun and running into other wild life. The land we hunt on is a low fence working ranch and has livestock as well as wild game. I have been dive bombed by pterodactyl turkeys, ok they just flew over me but wow they are big birds! I’ve been chased by spitting lamas and followed by curious cows. I began to get a bit exhausted and frustrated stalking which lead me to step back and rethink my game plan.
Instead of chasing the Antelopes I was going to have to wait for them. Black Buck Antelopes are herding animals that stay in large groups of females with one mature male or small bachelor groups of males. On this particular ranch there was a group that was seen on occasion near a water trough by the barn where the cows are fed. Hunters were not allowed to use a gun in this area but we were allowed to bow hunt here. Because they are herding animals they are comfortable around other herds and they didn’t mind the live stock but are still wild and fear humans. It was going to be tricky! One glance at a human and they could high tail it and hop away. Antelopes have great eyesight! I was going to have to be well hidden.
I ended up finding a place at the beginning of the barn that had a sort of window cut out. It was perfect like my giant blind that they are used to seeing. Now all I had to do was wait with my fingers crossed that they would come to the water and where the cows feed today. I must have been sitting on a horse shoe that day because the heard came in, lucky me! It was right before dark and I could hear all the rocks moving under their feet as they made their way in my direction. I instantly got nervous! My palms began to sweat, my heart rate went up, and my stomach got gassy! Wow……are they really coming in? Yes they were here right in my view around fifteen to thirty yards away and they were accompanied by some White Tail doe and Axis deer. All these eyes to catch me moving, how was I going to pull this off? I sat and watched them for a minute and then I saw my buck making his way out of the middle of the herd. I could see his horns the whole time but never his complete body. He came out and away from the group and I drew my bow back ready to shoot. Only to have an Axis doe step in front of him in my line of fire. I held as long as I could but eventually had to let down and the movement kind of spooked some of the female Black Bucks. The male stood his ground and even poked some of the females out of his way as they tried to walk back up. I slowly drew my bow back again and just waited for a clear broad side shot. He gave me one and I hit the release, perfect shot! Oh, wait….what happened? Did my nerves get the best of me? Did I miss? I was so confused because he ran off over the hill with the heard but my arrow was not in him. I could see my lighted knock on my arrow stuck in the ground. Was that blood next to it? Yes it was…….it passed through him! Holy moly! I got my first pass through……he had to be down over that hill! He was and I was so excited I was teary eyed! Having watched and stalked and dreamed about these creatures for so long it was an amazing feeling to have finally taken one! I got my Black Buck Antelope in Texas with Bambie the Heart Breaker! Oh yeah, Bambie the Heart Breaker is what I named my Bow! I am still excited and it happened days ago! Nothing beats hunting and when you finally harvest that one you’ve been obsessing about ohhhhh weeee, it’s a great feeling!

Dec 05, 2012 | Category: Blog | Comments: 4

 

4 comments on “Texas Black Buck Antelope

  1. Jody geistweidt

    Awesome story, thx for sharing! Glad it all worked out, and congrats in the pass-thru!

  2. Nena

    Thank you Jody! Glad you liked it!

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