February 21, 2018
Archery Antelope Hunt with Heartland Bowhunter

Archery Antelope Hunt with Heartland Bowhunter

Heartland Bowhunter’s kickoff episode for this year featured Miller Mathews Outfitters on an archery spot and stalk antelope hunt. Jeff Simpson was the main focus at least for the antelope we were chasing. Our job was to get him within archery range of a speed goat so that cameraman Shawn Luctal could have a chance of capturing the moment on camera.

I have personally have had the oportunity to spend a lot of time on my belly sneaking up on worldclass pronghorns, and have even been fortunate enough to stick a few of them that made the Boone and Crocket record book. When I am by myself I have the luxurary of being able to keep a low profile and and move only when I need to too cover the distance between me and my quarry. Several of the animals that I have taken have been at distances from 4-30 yards. Getting this close with the camera man is a challenge that I have found to be overwhelmingly difficult. The additional elements that are added by dragging a several thousand dollar high definition camera around in the prairie can make everyones lives aggrivating at times.

Shawn Luctal of HB has had a lot of experience running the camera out of a treestand and in other more controlled hunting situations. This was Shawn’s first time hunting out west in the wide open and it was really inspiring to watch him learn and grow from the many mistakes all of us made. Literally dozens of spoiled stalks every day gave all of us the opportunity to learn different techniques on how to make everything fall together.

One thing that I have noticed about how Shawn strives to film is that he always tries to capture everything so that it tells the viewer a story.  All of the little things like a spider on his web in the morning, to the flames of the grill in the evenings, to the intensity of what it is like to peak around a hay bale to see a trophy antelope standing there ready to bolt away are just the beginning of what he is recording. I would be curious to know just how many timelapses he has spent capturing sunrises and sunsets. One of the things that we all found difficult about this hunt is that is was hard to film while we were sneaking  on animals. Many viewers don’t realize that the camera has to be above and behind the shooter. This means that when we are trying to lay as flat as we can in 8 inch tall prairie grass that the camera needs to be 2 feet in the air behind us. A big majority of our stalks were probably blown due to the fact that the animals would glance in our direction and see a big black box sticking out of the grass.

Not all of our stalks were ended by the cameraman however. Later in the week Shawn really got the hang of not popping up the camera untill he absolutly had too. Several very close opportunities resulted in another typical problem with antelope in that they continually jumped the string. For all of the midwestern whitetail hunters who think whitetails jump the sting bad just wait till you launch an arrow at a pronghorn 50 yards away. This year one of our hunters shot a doe antelope at 40 yards. Before the arrow could reach its mark the antelope had spun all the way around so that the arrow stuck its target on the other side of its body. That’s pretty impressive speed. One of the misses that was shown on the show was a perfect representative of what can happen. Jeff Simpson who is a very successful archer takes a shot at an antelope about 45 yards away and the antelope jumps the sting on a what would have been a perfectly placed shot on still target. Shawn described the situation perfectly in that “The antelope just basically outran the arrow”.

Jeff ended up eating his antelope tag on that hunt, but ended the show with some great footage and perfect shot on an old bull in Montana. The scenery captured on this show and all of the spot and stalk experience we all gained proved to be very useful on Jeff’s mule deer hunt with me later in the fall. Lets just say that Jeff’s compensation on animals jumping the sting helped him seal the deal on one of HB’s best shows of the season. Episode five titled Sandhill Mulies is sure to be a thriller.

I really enjoy hunting with Heartland Bowhunter and really respect the way that they go about what they do. Jeff is a great example of true character on television. So many of us get a camera shoved in our face and we get quite and nervous, at least I do anyway. Jeff is Jeff whether he is doing interviews or chasing monster mulies. I did a few interviews for some shows this last season and have a new found respect for guys that can step up and be so smooth on camera. Its a special talent that I will always be a little envious of. All together I’m satisfied with how the experience went and I am looking forward to these guys getting back out here.

Happy Hunting,

Clayton Miller

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One Response to “Archery Antelope Hunt with Heartland Bowhunter”

  1. Jeff Simpson says:

    Clayton, You have a great place and I cant wait to get back out there. I have a bone to pick with those turbos! Truly a great hunting experience out there and a place that anyone wanting an authentic western hunt needs to put on their list. Talk soon buddy.

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Spring for Miller Mathews Outfitters means two things, sheds and turkeys. This year we seemed to find plenty of both. Teaming up with Kyle Metzger of Newcastle, Nebraska, and Trent Siegle or Dwight, Kansas was another awesome season. We set out to film a short highlight video of how we hunt turkeys and ended [...]