Growing up in the “Boston Hills” area of Western New York my fall seasons were spent playing high school football and hunting at every opportunity.
In those days we hunted what we could when we could, and the dreams of hunting in faraway lands were reserved for the pages of Outdoor Life and Field and Stream Magazine.
Never in a million years did I ever imagine I would be sitting in the wide open prairie chasing antelope on my 15th trip to the Big Sky Country of Montana.
Those were my exact thoughts as the sun shined through the window of my Maverick 6-Shooter Blind in September of 2019.
Over the years I had been fortunate enough to successfully hunt whitetail, mule deer, and elk with Keith Miller and Montana Whitetails. When Keith mentioned that they had never had a client take all four of the main species hunted out of their camp my mind started to race. It certainly does not carry the weight of the “major slams” but it was something I could be proud of, but here is the kicker - I wanted to do it with archery gear.
Chasing antelope is a challenge. With vision that is second to none and a keen sense for danger, getting one within range of my PSE was going to test my skills at every turn.
Keith assured me that he had the perfect blind for my “small" 6-foot plus frame set right over a water hole.
When I climbed in that first morning I was struck by the amount of room inside of the blind, and when the sun started to peek over the horizon I was doubly impressed by the field of view that I had.
Every day hunting in Montana is eventful. From elk screaming their heads off to mule deer and antelope in sight 100% of the time (along with a few cows that kept me company for part of the morning). There was never a dull moment, even without a goat in range.
Day two offered much of the same until midday when a bachelor group of bucks made their way towards me.
The first buck passed just outside of range but the second and third hung at 50 yards, my self-imposed maximum range for this hunt.
This is where it got interesting. I was self filming for Rush Outdoors TV and my camera gear and seat were all set up for a shot at the water hole. These bucks were almost 90 degrees opposite of where I needed them to be.
Thank goodness for this Maverick Blind. I was able to pick my camera and tripod up and move them to another window while simultaneously sliding off of my stool (PSE in hand) and twisting around for a better shot.
Unfortunately, once I was in that position I found I had the camera in the wrong window and had to move it again.
After what seemed like an eternity I was able to come to full draw, settle my pin, and squeeze off a 50 yard shot.
At impact I knew the hunt was over. I was able to watch the other antelope speed away in a cloud of dust. He was alone. My goat had to be laying just over the rise.
He had barely made it 30 yards from the point of impact. My first antelope was on the ground and now my thoughts drifted towards fellow Rush Outdoors staff member Brad Wilcox. Brad was hunting about a mile away on the same ranch.
Filming for an outdoor TV show offers many unique and difficult challenges. We spend a lot of time traveling to remote areas and it is imperative that our gear stands up and delivers when the moment of truth arrives. That’s why we spend so much time researching and testing products before we bring them on as sponsors.
After this hunt I was sold on Maverick Blinds. After a few emails, phone calls and face-to-face meetings, I am proud and excited to say that Maverick Blinds are the latest addition to the Rush Outdoors Family of Sponsors.