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Steven Drake | 8.9.2021

Surviving The Hot Prairie

Archery antelope hunting is an opportunity rich environment that accelerates your skills for the upcoming seasons. Antelope have incredible eyesight, making it a challenging spot-and-stalk hunt due to the wide open spaces they call home. Oftentimes, you can glass and move in on multiple animals in a day and hunt from sunup to sundown. One serious variable to consider is the unrelenting heat. One stalk can take a full day and cover miles. Here are some tips from Steven Drake to help you stay hydrated and sharp this year.

1. The best way to avoid getting burnt is to cover up.

My full-coverage and highly breathable system on those hot August days is the Core Lightweight Hoody or Ascent Shirt, Ascent Pants with knee pads and Ascent gloves.
2. Don't let yourself get thirsty.

Thirst is a symptom of dehydration and once you're dehydrated your performance drops. Even seemingly short stalks can turn into multi hour approaches and to avoid becoming dehydrated I drink a liter of water before every stalk. If wearing a backpack I utilize a hydration bladder/hose to stay hydrated on the stalk. Drinking 4 liters of water/day is common on those HOT days. Mixing in electrolyte supplements or Gatorade can be helpful too as you'll be losing a lot of salt in your sweat.

3. Get the hide off as soon as possible.

Especially during the August heat, an antelope's hide traps heat. Skinning as soon as you can allows the meat to air out and decreases the likelihood of spoilage and bacteria growth. In my experience, this practice cuts down the gamey flavor of the meat. After a harvest, I typically get the hide off of the antelope within 20 minutes of recovery. In my opinion, this has contributed to a cleaner flavor in my antelope steaks. And if cared for properly, it's some of the best meat on the planet.

4. Hunt early and late.

The beauty of archery antelope hunting is that you aren't limited to first and last light. You can effectively spot and stalk antelope all day long BUT when the mid day highs are in the 90's, hunting early in the AM and late in the PM is sure a lot more pleasant!

5. Air out those feet.

Sweat drenched boots can lead to hot spots and blisters. During downtime I'll throw flip flops or crocs on and pull the insoles out of my boots letting them air dry.

WATCH for more antelope hunting tips from Steven.