I always wanted to do that!

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Snake River Marksman
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I always wanted to do that!

Postby Snake River Marksman » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:08 am

So, as usual the hunt started with an alarm clock going off. I rolled out about 530 and went through the normal morning routine.
I had a nice ride down to Daniel WY. I'd be hunting in one of my favorite areas.

I decided to take the left fork but then spotted two antelope on a hill closer to the right fork. I turned around and made the right fork. Going down the road a bit, I found a couple of guys unloading a 4 wheeler. We waved and I could tell they thought I was going to jump their claim on the antelope. I just kept on going.

Down the road a little ways I was surprised by a group of antelope about 20 strong. There was a fairly decent buck in the group, but they were right next to the road, and I'd only been hunting for 10min so I decided to give that buck a pass. I watched them go out of sight and was reasonably sure I could find them again if I needed to.

I drove down the road some more and spotted a couple of muley does and fawns. Since I haven't bought a deer tag this year it was fun to just watch them and hope a buck would show himself. I finally moved on.

A few minutes later I spotted a couple of more antelope. They were up the hill and about 400 yds away. I watched as the buck bred a doe. I just couldn't bring myself to go up the hill and shoot him the that condition.

A little ways down the road, I came to a basin that usually contains antelope. This basin is very difficult to hunt. The goats hang out in the bottom and it's near impossible to approach without being seen. Sure enough, there were antelope in the basin. I drove by and went up the east side of the bowl. I turned down a two track that ran down a fence line.

This was something of a gamble as it has been raining quite a bit the last couple weeks. I was really concerned about getting into some gumbo mud, but it was mostly dry. Mostly. I drove down to where I was even with the antelope but they were about 500yds out. Too far in my book. I like to keep myself to about 300yds. I was parked in a low spot with just the very top of the truck visible above the sage and the top of the hill. I sat and watched for quite a while, they weren't aware of my presence. I watched the herd buck chase two small bucks off and then bed down with the does. Convinced they weren't going to wander off I took a look around in order to formulate a plan.

I was surprised to notice two antelope coming over the hill to my east at about 350. They were does.

I got out of the truck and got my gear together. I slid under the fence and started my stalk. I crouched below the crest of the hill till I got far enough up the back slope that I could almost see over the top. I then got down on my hands and knees and crawled up to the crest. I was fairly well hidden by sage brush that was about the same height as myself while I was crawling. I also had the sun at my back and the very slight breeze was in my favor as well.

I got just passed the crest and sidled up to a stout piece of sage to use as a rifle rest and blind. The goats were still over 400yds away. Just too far for me. I watched for nearly an hour but they were content to stay where they were. I watched two other groups of hunter come through the area. One actually killed a goat on the other side of the basin with a LONG shot.

After studying the terrain, I couldn't figure out any approach that didn't include crossing 100yds of open terrain where the sage was widely spaced and only 6 inches high. I sat and thought about it for quite some time. This buck wasn't very big. It wasn't worth a whole lot of effort. I was going to be nearly a half mile from the truck by the time I got this antelope down. BUT, I'd always wanted to see if I could put a really good sneak on some antelope. So I eased down the face of the hill on my hands and knees, out of the sage and into the open. Very slowly. Zigzagging back and forth. Always working closer, but never going directly at the antelope I slowly cut the distance. I finally reached the next little ridge that was covered with more of that semi tall sage.

I manuevered my way to the facing slope and got behind another stout piece of sage. I ranged the goats and came up with 239. However, MY buck had moved off towards those two juveniles. Darn punks! I sat and waited. While I waited Lynne called. I whispered my short conversation with her. The does must have heard because they got kind of nervous. At this point they bolted to my right. The buck saw this and started trotting toward them. He stopped at the spot where the does had been resting and I ranged again. 227. I swear it looked further than that. I was lining him up when he started out after those does again.

The does didn't go far. They were working their way along a small ridge still only 250 yds or so away. The buck caught up and started feeding with them. Two new does came down and joined the band. It was fun to watch the dynamic of the two new does fitting into the band. Finally, the buck came to the top of the ridge and was in the clear at the same time. I put the 250yd dot on the bucks chest and squeezed the trigger. The solid WHOP! of a good chest hit came back to me. It was such a welcome sound.
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I looked at my watch. I'd been stalking this buck for right at 4 hours. I walked down and checked on my buck. He had gone exactly 4 yds. He was quite dead. The 165gr Accubond went through both shoulders and, I learned after opening the chest cavity, dragged a quarter size piece of bone into the top of the heart.

It was first blood for this 308. I had wanted to use my 6.5x55 but when I had it at the range the other day it's zero had wandered and no amount of twisting the windage turret would move the POI. I'll get it sent back to Leupold sometime soon.

I went back to the truck and drove around to the two track that I'd discovered was at the bottom of the basin. I had to do some fancy driving to avoid a couple of mud puddles but I was able to get within 200yds of the buck. With my dead sled, it was a piece of cake to get the buck to the truck.
Image

I was till 9pm cutting up meat tonight and I've got that good tired going on that comes from a day of good outdoor work.

I always wanted to try that, and it worked!
Stupidity is expensive

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Re: I always wanted to do that!

Postby Springville Shooter » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:49 pm

Great story SRM. I had a similar experience today in Wyoming. I found a buck that had the look and could have cleanly taken at 500 yards. Something Clicked inside and I decided to see how close I could get in very short sage with no topography. In 90 min, I was able to close the distance to less than 100. In that time, the buck made several circles rounding up does and chasing smaller bucks. In the end I killed him less than 15 yards from where I would have killed him from 500. Sneaking was fun and I have the holes in my pants and stickers in my hands to prove it! I can sneak and shoot 800 yards or so.....does that make me a dual threat? lol -------SS
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Re: I always wanted to do that!

Postby a_bow_nut » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:26 am

A couple of good looking goats you guys have there. :thumb

I will be heading to Wyoming in the next couple of weeks to try to fill a doe tag in unit 99.

Fun times.
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Snake River Marksman
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Re: I always wanted to do that!

Postby Snake River Marksman » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:16 am

Springville, Nice goat. Closer is funner! I've got a sticker in my palm I didn't know about the other day. It'll work itself out in another day or two.
a_bow_nut, Good luck on your hunt!

Lynne has a buck tag and we've got two doe tags apiece. I'll be glad to get back out soon.
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Tyewire
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Re: I always wanted to do that!

Postby Tyewire » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:08 am

Congratulations to both hunters! Great story. I just love hunting those animals. Thanks for the story.
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Re: I always wanted to do that!

Postby Curtisshootsdeer » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:56 pm

how come you used a .308 on such small animals. your dealing with a lot of recoil.
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison.

Genesis 27:3 King James Version

Curtisshootsdeer
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Re: I always wanted to do that!

Postby Curtisshootsdeer » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:59 pm

has anyone heard from brett lately? it gets kind of boring without our Admin.
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison.

Genesis 27:3 King James Version

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Re: I always wanted to do that!

Postby Springville Shooter » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:01 pm

Curtisshootsdeer wrote:how come you used a .308 on such small animals. your dealing with a lot of recoil.



Have you ever killed an antelope Curtis?--------SS
"Only accurate rifles are interesting"-----Col. Townsend Whelen

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Re: I always wanted to do that!

Postby Curtisshootsdeer » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:17 pm

no... but i will someday!!!
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison.

Genesis 27:3 King James Version

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Re: I always wanted to do that!

Postby Springville Shooter » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:34 am

I was just curious after your comment about the 308 being a lot of gun. I have killed 6 now and 1 was shot with a 300 RUM. Often, shots at antelope are farther and in windy conditions. Yes, they can be killed with varmint rifles, but I don't recommend it. I always suggest that people use whatever big game rifle they shoot most accurately and are most comfortable with out to 300 yards or so. I only put the sneak on this years buck because I did not care if he got away. If he had been a big buck, I would have killed him at 500 yards which is a stretch for any varmint rifle on pronghorn sized game. -------SS
"Only accurate rifles are interesting"-----Col. Townsend Whelen


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