October 2012 Wyoming Pronghorn Hunt (Unit 21)

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TexasHunter83
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October 2012 Wyoming Pronghorn Hunt (Unit 21)

Postby TexasHunter83 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:14 pm

Having only been out of Texas a few times, I was extremely excited to get the chance to do some out-of-state hunting. We'd put in for Colorado mule deer last year, but to our surprise we didn't get drawn even though we already had 2 preference points. We made a last ditch effort and were able to find some left-over pronghorn tags for unit 21 just southwest of Kaycee, WY. We made the long 26 hour drive from the Texas gulf coast to Kaycee and got there a day before opening day.

I'll stop there to tell a funny story. My uncle and I left the coast and drove north about 3 hours to pick up my other uncle. When we got there we proceeded to load up his stuff onto the truck and trailer. We quickly realized we had too much gear and decided to ditch a few items in his garage until we returned. I had packed a 1 gallon and a 5 gallon gas can; the 1 gal. for my ATV and the 5 ga. to keep at camp. Not seeing the need for the 5 gal, my uncles convinced me to leave it behind. Reluctantly, I did so. Well, as luck would have it, several hours into the trip we ran out of gas. We were about 15 miles southeast of Amarillo. His new Ford's miles calculator gave us some bad numbers and so we sputtered to a stop on the side of the highway. We got a hold of my dad and some friends, who were driving a different route and meeting us in Amarillo to inform him of what was happening. Luckily, I had packed a 1 gallon gas can that might get us to a gas station outside of Amarillo! So while my older uncle started to put gas in the truck, I walked around to the side of the truck and took a wiz. As I was going, I noticed a strong smell of gasoline around me. I looked under the truck and noticed a stream of gasoline leading to me. My first thought was that he had a leak in his gas tank; however, these new Fords apparently have a special "nozzle" you have to insert into the fill so that you can use a gas can to fill the tank. Needless to say, he emptied the 1 gallon gas can onto the ground and we were still stuck. After this I jokingly scolded my uncles for convincing me to leave the 5 gallon gas can at home. After getting a hold of my dad again, they brought us some gasoline and got us to Amarillo.

After the long trip to WY, we did a little scouting the first day and tried to find where the antelope were gathering. We didn't see much up close on the first day but did find a large "bowl" surrounded by ridges that held quite a bit of antelope down in the bottom. It was about a 5 minute ATV ride to get to the bowl, and then a pretty good walk to even get to a point where you could set up to wait or stalk. I think we walked about 1 mile, up and down hill, to get to what would be our "honey hole." The 2nd day, we made our ATV trip around the top of this ridge and parked them in a low spot. While we walked over the ridge, 4 antelope (does) took off beneath us and ran down into the bowl. (They're extremely fast by the way.) Two of our group got on their ATV and left for another area, one of my uncles drove north to the opposite end of the bowl and my dad drove around to the east end of the bowl and out of sight. My youngest uncle and I decided to walk down the ridge into a dried up creek bottom that ran down into the center of the bowl. We figured if we could get into that bottom and set up on the banks, we'd be hidden and set if any antelope came by. From on top of the ridge it looked flat down in the bottom, however, when we got there we realized we could only see about 30 yards in front of us because it ended up being gently rolling hills with other draws tucked in between them. We walked up a hill, further into the bowl, in order to get a better few of where all of the antelope where and to try and find a better place to wait. Keep in mind, there are NO TREES and the grass is about 2 inches high. The only type of vegetation, other than short grass, was some sage bushes about 2 feet tall; and this was only in a couple of areas in the bowl. We ended up spotting a bunch of sage brush running from the top of the ridge about 1/3 of the way into the bowl and decided we were going to sit at the furthest edge of them (into the bowl that is) and just sit and wait. Luckily we had the right camo and, sitting on our rear ends, were pretty camouflaged. We'd only waited about 45 minutes, and a good sized antelope buck came trotting up in front of us with about 6 does following him in a line. I watched him through my scope and asked my uncle for a range. The antelope looked to be about a 13"-14" by my "SWAG" and never stopped his trot. As soon as he turned broadside, and continued to trot, I asked my uncle to range him for me and he whispered "219 yards" Just as he said it the Antelope turned toward us for about 10-15 yards then turned back broadside; still trotting. I wanted to wait until he stopped, but I knew it was only a matter of a few second before he disappeared into the draw about 150 yards in front of us. I felt confident in my rifle, put the cross hairs on him, followed him for about 3-4 seconds and pulled the trigger. I heard the hit and saw him jump and run off. He ran about 75 yards, passed through the draw and dropped on top of the hill to our east side. While we were watching this buck, we hadn't realized that my dad had descended the ridge and had dropped into the dry creek bed to our west and was set up there. He joined us as we walked over to the antelope, snapped some photos and started to field dress it. My older uncle had been on top of the ridge watching with binoculars and brought a four wheeler down an ATV trail about 500 yards east of where the antelope had dropped; he joined us as well. While we were field dressing it, my dad offered to walk back to the ATV and bring it in closer. We'd asked several of the local law enforcement and wildlife officials and they told us we could go 100 yards in and straight back out. So my dad handed his rifle to my oldest uncle while he walked to get the four-wheeler. While we were field dressing my antelope, I happened to look out to our west and see 1 antelope buck standing and feeding. We all got down really quickly and I gave my uncle my shooting sticks. My youngest uncle ranged him at 300 yards and my older uncle pulled the trigger; the pronghorn dropped where it once stood. That ended up being our first successful day of hunting (day 2). The 3rd day my younger uncle and I decided to hit the same sage bushes up to see if he could bag him one. We had a pretty cool experience while descending the ridge to our “spot.” Halfway down, in a tiny draw, we spotted 6 does coming our direction on the ridge. There a couple of small sage bushes next to us so we laid down into the draw next to them. I still don’t know how they ended up not seeing us, but the small group passed right through us. Two of them passed us on our left about 30 yards and the other 4 passed to our right at about the same distance; slowly grazing. After they passed, we continued our walk and made it to our spot. We sat there for about an hour and a half, watched a badger chasing prairie dogs, and then eventually decided to move. We'd been watching a TON antelope further down in the bowl and decided to move down that dry creek bed (which was about 9 feet deep) and then pop up over the bank when we got far enough down. We probably walked 2 to 3 miles down in this bowl. As we got to the bottom, we decided it was time to crawl up on the bank. When we did, we say about 15 to 20 antelope grazing about 400 to 500 yards out, and moving in our direction. We were in the perfect spot to intercept them. We waited about 15 minutes as they moved closer and started getting ready for his shot. They were now about 300 yards away and steadily moving closer. I was ranging them as he was trying to look for a good buck. They got about 250 yards from us and all of a sudden they all looked up to our east, then BLASTED off to the west in a hurry. We popped up to see what happened and a freaking suburban was speeding down this small trail that went down in the bowl. This ended up being an infamous suburban during our trip. This guy thought he could sneak up on them in his vehicle and ended up driving all over the place rather than stalk them on foot or find a place to sit and hide. We learned our lesson not to stalk them down into the bowl. We made the several mile trek back up the bowl and returned back to camp, exhausted. The next day proved to be successful when my younger uncle bagged him a good buck at about 125 yards. Unbeknownst to us, a large group of Antelope descended the ridge behind us and passed us to our west at about 75-100 yards. By then they had seen our movement and began to run down into the bowl. There was a huge buck in this group and I tried to tell my uncle his location in the line but he was unable to get a good fix on him. We grumbled at the lost opportunity and then adjusted our position where we could see, not only in front of us, but to the sides as well. After about 20 minutes, my sixth sense kicked in and I decided to glance behind us. To my surprise there was another group of antelope, probably 7-10 in all, descending the ridge behind us, this time slightly to our east. As soon as I saw the buck in front, I froze and whispered to my uncle to stay as still as he could and to not look. Surprisingly he had the will power to avoid looking and remained still. After a couple of stops to graze and a few nervous glances in our direction, the group finally made the commitment to pass us to the east at about 125 yards. I told my uncle that I would watch them and to not adjust his position to shoot until I told him. I didn’t want his movement to spook them since he had to swing his position 90 degrees with a rifle and shooting sticks. The antelope stayed broadside the whole time and finally when I thought he wasn’t paying attention, I told my uncle to turn and setup to shoot as fast, but as smoothly as he can. He quickly made the adjustment, I ranged the antelope at (to be exact, 124 yards) and he pulled the trigger. Upon my uncle adjusting his direction, the buck became aware of his movement, but I think we were so well camouflaged that it didn’t completely startle him. Before he could do anything, my uncle had hit him broadside, just a little behind the “sweet spot.” He ran about 100 yards and then dropped at the top of a small hill.
As far as a being successful, we were the only 3 or harvest antelope during this trip. My dad sat in the same spot on the last day for a couple of hours but was unable to have any come close enough. He had taken a long shot the day before down in the bottom of the bowl but was just too far to be effective enough. The other two guys came up empty handed as well. I really enjoyed the experience and am looking forward to more out-of-state hunts. My goal is to work myself up the chain; whitetail, antelope, mule deer, elk, etc… Below are some pictures from the hunt. Sorry for the long post but I just wanted to be thorough. Happy Hunting!
Attachments
Me in the Honey Hole.jpg
Me Blending In
Me 1.jpg
Me
Uncle Wes.jpg
Uncle Wes
Fashion Tips- Scouting-001.jpg
Fashion Tips
First day scouting.jpg
First day scouting
Getting Ready.jpg
Camp 2
Camp.jpg
Camp
Wyoming 1.jpg
Wyoming

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TexasHunter83
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Re: October 2012 Wyoming Pronghorn Hunt (Unit 21)

Postby TexasHunter83 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:18 pm

More Pics
Attachments
Antelope 1.jpg
My Pronghorn Shoulder Mount
Me and Pops- Scouting.jpg
Me and Pops- Scouting
Stephen's Kill.jpg
Uncle Stephen's Kill
Wesley's Kill.jpg
Uncle Wes' Kill
Antelope-ATV.jpg
Loaded Up
Antelope 2.jpg
My Pronghorn
After the Shot.jpg
Right After The Shot

2nasty4u
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Re: October 2012 Wyoming Pronghorn Hunt (Unit 21)

Postby 2nasty4u » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:35 pm

cool story and pics. Wyoming antelope hunting is a very good time and it sounds like your guys' hunt was no exception

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TexasHunter83
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Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:30 pm
Location: Texas

Re: October 2012 Wyoming Pronghorn Hunt (Unit 21)

Postby TexasHunter83 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:04 am

Thanks! I had a blast and would do it again in a heartbeat. I'd like to try a Wyoming muley hunt one of these days.


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