PSE’s Phillip Dalrymple and His Antelope Buck with the Heart-Shaped Antlers

antelope buck

antelope buck

Editor’s Note: Phillip Dalrymple of Tucson, Arizona, and his family had a history with Jennings bows. For Dalrymple to break from the tradition of shooting Jennings bows and start shooting PSE bows back in 1983 was almost a major family problem. But since the switch, he’s never looked back – and today is one of the nation’s top bowhunters.

One of the reasons I started shooting PSE bows was because of Tracy Hardy. Tracy and I shot an archery tournament together when I was about 20-years old. I’d gotten out of high school and was going to college part time when I went to an archery tournament and met Tracy and his dad. They were pretty well known around Tucson, Arizona, but I’d never met them previously. He and I shot in the same group during this tournament. Tracy had one of the very first PSE Vector bows. Because I was shooting in the same group with Tracy, I saw how fast – scary-fast – the Vector was compared to the bow I was shooting – the Jennings Shooting Star. Tracy was shooting 5-pounds less draw weight than me, and his bow was 25-feet-per second faster than mine. Tracy and I became friends after that shoot, and we’re business partners today. When I saw how good Tracy could shoot the PSE Vector, and then when I shot the Vector, I had to have one.

Fifteen years later Tracy and I both drew an antelope tag. Back then there was a walk-in area that you could hunt where the archery world’s record antelope had been taken. A lot of the top-10 antelopes in the world were also taken from this region, a ranch that the public could hunt. But you have to walk-in to hunt and can’t take a motorized vehicle there. Sometimes you have to walk a long way before you start hunting. We drew these tags in 2000. I spent a lot of time before the hunt setting-up blinds and digging pits to hunt from, betting on the antelope coming to water and then our shooting the antelope as they came in to drink. I also spent time getting to know the rancher. He’d shown me two or three really-giant antelopes that were living on the property. I had put in a lot of time and effort to try and take a big antelope off this land.

However, 2-weeks before the hunt, this region had torrential rains. Water was in every little depression, so the antelopes didn’t have to go to the water holes where I’d set-up the blinds and the pits. Tracy showed-up the night before the hunt and took a giant antelope the second day of the hunt. I had put-in all the work during the summer to make sure we had good blinds and pits to hunt from, and Tracy took a giant antelope and went home.

Two years later, I drew a tag again, and because this place had had a lot of dry weather, the antelope didn’t grow nearly as big horns as they had the year before. But I did find one really-cool buck that the tips of his horns curled-in and formed heart shapes. Tracy got within 50 yards of this buck and drew his PSE bow to make the shot. But as he came to full draw, somehow a twig got between the string and the cam, and just as he released the arrow, the buck heard a sharp snap. So Tracy’s shot missed the antelope. The buck turned, looked where the arrow had hit the ground and bolted. Tracy missed his only chance to take this nice buck, because he had a Wyoming elk tag and had to leave after he missed the Arizona antelope buck. Three days later I saw this same buck bed-down at the top of a draw. I put a stalk on him. When I released the arrow from my PSE Thunderbolt One Cam bow, the buck stood-up and took the arrow in his leg. The buck had moved at the absolutely wrong time. But I didn’t want to leave a wounded animal, and I stayed after him the rest of the day. Finally he lay-down in another spot, and I got close-enough to take the shot. As sick as I was about wounding this antelope, I really felt good that I’d stayed after this buck all day long and finally taken him at the end of the day. This hunt was one of my most-memorable hunts ever. The first shot I took at the buck was at 60 yards. The second shot, when I finally put the buck down, was at 75 yards. I knew that was the only shot I would be able to get on this buck, and I felt confident in making it. The buck was wounded, and I wanted to take him and not leave him. The buck never heard or saw the arrow, and it struck him in the top half of the back and went through his chest. He was curled-up away from me when I shot. When antelope are lying down, and you’re shooting from that great a distance, the arrow has to come down from its back and move forward – similar to the arrow flight of a bow shot from a tree stand. When the arrow hit the buck, he only traveled about 20 yards from the bed where he’d been. I had traveled 2-1/2-miles from where I’d shot the buck the first time to where I finally took it.

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