Pronghorn opening weekend!

mosseybuckmosseybuck MemberPosts: 459 Member
Jerrybobco, Linefinder and I have made a couple of successful goat hunts together but we didn't get our plans worked out in time for this year so I went by myself. Jerry gave the ranch owner's ph. # to me and I called to verify it would be ok for me to come and hunt. He and his son are really nice guys and they invited me to come on. They really act like we do them a favor by thinning the herd for them.

The weather wasn't so inviting! A cold front came through dropping temps to freezing and the wind was wicked gusting 30-40 Friday night. It felt like 50-60 in my truck camp topper! To make it worse I grabbed the wrong sleeping bag, summer version, and my air mattress sprung a leak! I got a fitful night of sleep but awoke before daybreak Saturday with much milder wind. The past two times I've hunted on this opening weekend, the weather was much better.

Regardless of where I am, I have a morning routine, that starts with a cup of coffee and a few minutes "reading" to think the day over.:tooth: So I'm sitting there on my porta in my "camper" under some cottonwoods in the middle of a 27,000 acre ranch and I hear someone yell, "sorry to bother you, can you come pull us out of a mud-hole?" Give me a minute, says I, I'll be right out! So I wrapped it up, suited up and drove this lad back to their muddy Ram buried in a mud hole. My old F-250 V-10 likes nothing better than bragging rights to making an easy extraction of someone else's muddy truck!

Other than that the day started off looking pretty good, saw several small groups in the distance with a few bucks mixed in. Later on I tried an hour and a half stalk across about a mile of flat, open prairie, trying to look like a sage brush and close the distance on a herd with a couple of shooter bucks. They weren't very co-operative and kept the distance way beyond range of anything less than a Ma deuce! I changed to another location later afternoon and set up near a couple of stock ponds. Shortly before sunset two really nice bucks came around a little rise about 500 yards away. I tried to keep the pond berm between me and them as I closed the distance but they went onto neighboring ranch and closed the door on me. The wind had picked up again and it would have been a desperation shot when I first spotted them. Ironically, if I had sat in the truck awhile longer to get out of the wind, They would have passed by me about 150-200 yds. Oh well, it was almost dark by then.

So back to my chalet in the cottonwoods for a terrible night on a deflated air mattress trying to make a plan for Sunday morning. At least it had warmed up to mid thrties and wind slacked after dark. After I ate supper I went out to star gaze for awhile and was treated to a meteorite that I promptly made a wish on, for a nice buck in the a.m.

Sunday just before sunrise I, well you know the routine, then I fixed some oatmeal and more coffee. I had decided to go back where I saw the larger bucks last evening and I opened the door and stepped down. I looked around before I moved and there were two bucks standing about 50 yds to my right in the edge of some brush! And they were looking at me or the camper door. I froze, and reached back in for my binocs, which were in the cab of the truck!! I slowly backed around to the other side of the truck and sneaked to the cab. The door was locked! and the keys were in the camper! This was beginning to look like a Chaplin movie!

To shorten the tale, I managed to sneak back, get keys, inch slowly along same side of truck that they were on, and opened cab door without them bolting! They looked up a few times but fed along pretty casually. I think the rising sun was behind me and making it difficult for them to determine what I was. I got the window rolled down with me hiding behind door and put the glass on them. They were both bucks, not huge, but shooters. I picked the larger one and got my rifle out of the cab, rested it on the door, and POW, another one bites the dust!

They had moved out to almost 90 yds but it was a really comfortable shot. He dropped right where he stood and suffered no more than a heartbeat. I stepped off the distance and paid homage to him before dragging him to the "hanging tree" that I had slept under for the past couple of nights. I got him cleaned up and iced down and thanked him again for giving me a great hunt, and for not making me spend another night on that darned flat air mattress!

He was a good looking buck with shorter horns than my last one but still gave me a thrill to be able to have a successful hunt. After packing up, I stopped by the son's ranch house and thanked him again for permission to hunt. And he thanked me again for coming, I really think they don't like goats! Super nice folks. And thanks again to Jerrybobco for the original invite and making all of these hunts possible.P1060025_zps518aa767.jpg
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USMC '59-'65, NRA Lifer, Tennessee Squire

Replies

  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,719 Senior Member
    Excellent story and result.

    Love the look of that country. I enjoyed driving through Colorado, New Mexico & Texas a couple of years ago when I went over for the SE. Its on my bucket list to return one day.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,750 Senior Member
    Congrats :worthy:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,942 Senior Member
    Nice hunt
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,845 Senior Member
    Sorry to hear your antelope season is over already, nicely done.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,506 Senior Member
    Nice goat , congrats, what gun did ya use??

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,758 Senior Member
    Nice story thanks for sharing it.
    Just reading it......I can tell Linefinder has rubbed off on you
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 8,592 Senior Member
    Congratulations!!!! :up:
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    Awesome!!!!!

    Goats are my second favorite animal to hunt. After Muley.

    So, rifle? Cartridge?

    Stats, man!!!

    last year was a blast. Hope to hit them again next year.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,974 Senior Member
    Great story! Nice Goat!....Nice Shooting! Oh, and I hate you...

    Seriously, I've been looking at pronghorns for years and really want to hunt them just once before I get too old to do it...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • shootershooter Senior Member Posts: 1,186 Senior Member
    Love the story and it brings back memories of a Wyoming hunt a few years ago. The band of goats I was chasing seemed
    to have a comfort zone that was a little over 400 yards. Closer than that and they'd move another few hundred and that
    game went on for several stalks. It finally panned out, but your story seemed similar.

    What was your preferred rifle and load? I used a tall Harris bi-pod for my shot, did you need one to see over the sage brush,
    or wasn't it a problem where you hunted?
    There's no such thing as having too much ammo, unless you're on fire or trying to swim!
  • mosseybuckmosseybuck Member Posts: 459 Member
    Thanks for the favorable comments everybody. Alec we enjoyed meeting with you a couple of years ago and would be glad to see you here again, come on back! CPJ. pronghorns went on my bucket list many years ago, when I saw my first one in Wyoming on vacation. They are one of the most fun hunts you can do! (IMHO) Shooter, the tall grass and sage makes it difficult to use a bi-pod. I've used natural rock piles once and made two kneeling shots. This time I used my truck door for a rest.

    Sorry, I forgot to list tools used, so here they are.

    Remington 700 BDL in 30-06
    My hand loaded 150 Accubond over 46.1 Gr IMR 4064
    Bushnell Elite 4200 3x9
    Beast of burden and gun rest:tooth:, 2001 F-250 SD v-10 4x4
    USMC '59-'65, NRA Lifer, Tennessee Squire
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,750 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »

    Seriously, I've been looking at pronghorns for years and really want to hunt them just once before I get too old to do it...
    As do I mi hermano. I fell in love with the idea during my OTR trucking days when I used to see HUNDREDS of them along I-80

    Maybe we can work up a "forum Pronghorn hunt" similar to last years elk hunt one of these days
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,478 Senior Member
    Way to go, Paul! You know....I've yet to see a warm opening morning out there, even if the day before was in the 80's.

    Well....I've got one preference point for goats, so next year I'll apply for a doe tag and probably draw it. We may have to camp out.

    Glad you got one, amigo!

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,520 Senior Member
    I know we talked last night, Paul, and you already told me about the hunt, but I enjoyed reading about it. The pictures are the icing on the cake!

    Great hunt, great story, and great results. And I agree with you 100% about chasing goats. It just doesn't get any better, even if you're not trying to shoot one.

    Congratulations.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,286 Senior Member
    Congrats, Paul! I wish I could've been there with you this year. If that's the same property I saw with Jerry, it's a mighty fine place. I saw quite a few goats out there and you proved that it has shot-worthy bucks on it. I have one point in CO, so hopefully I'll be able to join you guys one of these years. Looks like a fantastic time.
    cpj wrote: »
    That's awesome.

    Speed goats are a bucket list item for me. Being able to see one, then attempt to stalk it, would be awesome, I think.
    Spot and stalk around here don't happen. It's more like spot them before they spot you, then be ready to shoot in less than a few seconds most of the time.

    There's a rumor around these parts that spandex is invisible to an antelope's otherwise keen sight. If you draw a tag, you're pretty much golden.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,520 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    There's a rumor around these parts that spandex is invisible to an antelope's otherwise keen sight. If you draw a tag, you're pretty much golden.

    Same exact property, Luis. If you remember the small grove of cotton woods just on the north side of the wire gate, that's where Paul was when he got his goat. No telling how many goats have been skinned in that spot.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,465 Senior Member
    Good Hustle!
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
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