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Nevada doe antelope tag filled and blood on the .450 Bushmaster

Six-GunSix-Gun Senior MemberPosts: 8,152 Senior Member
edited September 2020 in Hunting #1
Opening day was over at 6:58AM on September 8th, just 1 hour and 5 minutes into legal daylight.

I budgeted a day and half in to scout before the season opened, since I had never set foot in this unit before, but a flat on the Jeep Wrangler I rented cost me the first half a day of that time.

The day before the season opened I went back out to check an area I pre-scouted using OnX.  With a drought year at hand, I knew that I had to find a solid water and food source.  The area ended up having a herd of several hundred on it with distinct crossing points near a BLM/private land boundary fence.  Glassing with binos revealed a preferred crossing point where they hung out on the public, BLM side and transited to and from the private land. 

I set up the next morning within a 100 yard of that crossing point before dawn and waited for the season to officially open.  It was a true test of willpower, as the desert that was 101 degree the afternoon prior was now 47 degrees with a 17 mph wind.  I was laying flat on the ground with my fanny pack as the only thing helping to shield the wind.  The chill was intense and I definitely came underdressed.  

The crossing point I chose ended up being a perfect location, as plenty of antelope we lined up along on the private side of the fence and numerous bucks came through the fence onto public within 75 yards.  All I need was for a doe to join them.

Then it happened, but from an unexpected direction.  A mature, lone doe came trotting in from my side and hung up at 188 yards, offering a clear shot.  I set the .450 Bushmaster across my fanny pack, sent one 250 gr. Hornady FTX her way, and the sound of a solid impact was unmistakable.  She darted 27 yards leaving a massive blood trail, and that was that.  The season was over in just like that.







The whole experience was fun and rewarding.  I also saw quite a few bighorn sheep along the way during my scouting trip.  Noted, in case I can ever draw a tag out here.


Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
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Replies

  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,015 Senior Member
    Nicely done!! You sure get around. How many states have you hunted so far?
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    sakodude said:
    Nicely done!! You sure get around. How many states have you hunted so far?
    Thanks, man! I'd have to count, but at least 15 states.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,911 Senior Member
    You should write a book!

    Big bullet. 


  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,305 Senior Member
    Awesome!  You really don’t think “450 Bushmaster” When hunting Antelope.

    Congrats on a successful hunt!
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,396 Senior Member
    Congrats Luis
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    Awesome!  You really don’t think “450 Bushmaster” When hunting Antelope.

    Congrats on a successful hunt!
    Thanks!  Yeah, I wanted to add a little challenge to the hunt.  I know how to hunt antelope, so getting one within 200 yards would add some spice to the experience

    I had my boringly reliable .243 Win with me as backup if it got down to the wire, but it never saw the light of day.  The .450 Bushmaster got the job done just fine.  Like any hunt, it’s all about scouting and setting up in just the right spot.  Distance is no issue when you’re where they wanna be.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    edited September 2020 #8
    I should add, this location was not without risk.  The big concern was that the doe would drive under the fence onto that private plot, making recovery a big headache.  It was close.  She went down 5 yards from the fence.

    The red antelope symbol is within a few yards of where I set up based on a spot I projected the day prior.  The blue dot is where she went down.  You can see the heavy antelope crossing trails I was watching on the imagery.




    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    You should write a book!

    Big bullet. 


    Maybe someday I will.  I love sharing these stories.  Each is special in its own way.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    edited September 2020 #10
    knitepoet said:
    Congrats Luis
    Thanks, Paul!  It was good to have my first big bore AR hunt actually go smoothly.  Bullet performance was as advertised.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 11,156 Senior Member
    Congratulations
    The Bushmaster sure performed for you.  Well done
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    edited September 2020 #12
    Diver43 said:
    Congratulations
    The Bushmaster sure performed for you.  Well done
    Thanks!  Hard to believe it got a kill so soon after wrapping up load development.  No complaints.

    The hardest part about a hunt like this?  Hiding in the nothingness.  It’s flat as a pancake with virtually no cover for miles.  I had to find the slightest depression in the ground and make the best of that short sage brush to break up my outline.



    Also, a big thanks goes out to Zee for sending me a set of SureFire push-in earplugs several years back.  They worked beautifully when I shot this boomer.  The frames sit in your ears so you can still hear ambient sounds, and you just push the plugs in when you’re ready to fire.  No way I wanted to deal with the blast from that muzzlebrake without them.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,549 Senior Member
    Awesome!  You really don’t think “450 Bushmaster” When hunting Antelope.

    Congrats on a successful hunt!
    That’s pretty much what I told him!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,549 Senior Member
    Questions:
    How much is a non-red tag?
    How hard was it to draw?
    Did you fly or drive?
    What was your zero distance?
    Which Leupold Scope did you use?
    Did you see any other hunters?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    edited September 2020 #15
    Zee said:
    Questions:
    How much is a non-red tag?
    How hard was it to draw?
    Did you fly or drive?
    What was your zero distance?
    Which Leupold Scope did you use?
    Did you see any other hunters?
    - $300.00 for a non-res antelope tag, but only buck tags are currently available to non-res applicants.

    - Antelope doe tags here are only available to residents, which is part of why I kept my NV residency.  I used 5 points to draw my resident tag, which was mildly overkill (last year, you had a 50/50 shot with zero points, and nobody even applied for this unit with 5 points).  

    - In this same unit in 2019, there were 1,016 unique applicants and 25 total tags given out. That sounds like slim odds, but a ton of those applications had zero points.  Since Nevada uses a bonus point system, even with zero points, you still have a shot.  Buck tags for non-residents in much better units have similar draw odds and equally low hunter pressure.  It’s worth the wait.

    - I flew into Reno, rented a Jeep and stayed in Fallon to get closer to the action.
     
    - The rifle was zeroed at 150 yards, putting me just shy of 2” high at 100 yards, and 4.7” low at 200 yards.

    - The scope is a Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm with standard duplex reticle

    - I saw exactly zero other hunters where I hunted - only 30 doe tags went out for this unit this year, and it’s a BIG unit.  That’s a big perk if hunting Nevada: they are stingy with tags, but when you draw one, the hunt quality can be excellent due to lack of pressure.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,549 Senior Member
    Much grats!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 6,377 Senior Member
    Awesome!  You really don’t think “450 Bushmaster” When hunting Antelope.

    Congrats on a successful hunt!
    That was my first thought too but after reading the whole story it makes sense now.  Great job with the planning and the actual hunt!
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
    Awesome!  You really don’t think “450 Bushmaster” When hunting Antelope.

    Congrats on a successful hunt!
    That was my first thought too but after reading the whole story it makes sense now.  Great job with the planning and the actual hunt!
    Thank you!  It all came down to effective use of scouting time.  I almost got screwed by that flat tire.  But, even with just a day to scout, it can make all of the difference in executing a hunt like this.  Satellite imagery is helpful, but it can never be a true substitute for boots on the ground.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,121 Senior Member
    That's great, Luis.  I gave up goat hunting over 10 years ago, but still miss being on the prairie and helping someone else fill a tag.  I tell folks it's about as much fan as one can have with his pants on.  I still stand by that.

    FWIW, I beat you on early kill.  My earliest was probably a minute or two after legal shooting time.  It was the first time Mike had been on a goat hunt, and we had a great day.  I'll bet we saw at least a 100 of them before noon that day, and it's the same place you and he went to.  It's amazing the difference a few years can make.

    Regardless, congrats,and enjoy some fine dining!
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,263 Senior Member
    That's great, Luis.  I gave up goat hunting over 10 years ago, but still miss being on the prairie and helping someone else fill a tag.  I tell folks it's about as much fan as one can have with his pants on.  I still stand by that.

    FWIW, I beat you on early kill.  My earliest was probably a minute or two after legal shooting time.  It was the first time Mike had been on a goat hunt, and we had a great day.  I'll bet we saw at least a 100 of them before noon that day, and it's the same place you and he went to.  It's amazing the difference a few years can make.

    Regardless, congrats,and enjoy some fine dining!
    Yep.....fastest hunt I've ever been on, and Jerry solidified his position as the best running game shot I've ever seen, though he's equaled that feat a couple times since. 

    And, yep.....we saw bunches of goats that day......a few years later.....you and I couldn't buy an antelope on the black marked had we tried.

    The continuing droughts here have really smacked-down the pronghorn numbers all over this state.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    Thank you, Jerry! Those quick hunts are the best. My fastest antelope hunt was 20 minutes after legal daylight started, so no contest. End of day with deer, I have killed one in Ohio in the last legal minute. The time rolled over just as I looked at the clock to mark the time of kill on tag when it went down (required out there).
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    edited September 2020 #22

    Yep.....fastest hunt I've ever been on, and Jerry solidified his position as the best running game shot I've ever seen, though he's equaled that feat a couple times since. 

    And, yep.....we saw bunches of goats that day......a few years later.....you and I couldn't buy an antelope on the black marked had we tried.

    The continuing droughts here have really smacked-down the pronghorn numbers all over this state.

    Mike
    The weather patterns are everything in this country, it seems.  Nevada is in the midst of a brutal drought right now.  The downside is that so much if the territory is devoid of antelope.  The upside is that if you can find water and food in close proximity to each other, you can find excellent concentrations and almost firm/fixed transit routes that make hunting easy.  You just have to put in the time and boot leather to locate those spots.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 6,377 Senior Member
    Or you can move around those government satellites Sir 😂
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,121 Senior Member
    Six-Gun said:
    Thank you, Jerry! Those quick hunts are the best. My fastest antelope hunt was 20 minutes after legal daylight started, so no contest. End of day with deer, I have killed one in Ohio in the last legal minute. The time rolled over just as I looked at the clock to mark the time of kill on tag when it went down (required out there).
    and the best thing is that it's just about impossible NOT to have fun when chasing goats!


    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member

    and the best thing is that it's just about impossible NOT to have fun when chasing goats!


    Pretty much.  I don’t know how you couldn’t enjoy this game.  This trip was cool in that some if those bucks were really close and didn’t know what I was.  They came closer to have a look at that lump on the ground.  Also saw an absolute slammer buck in that herd and, of course, had no tag for him.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
    Or you can move around those government satellites Sir 😂
    That would be cheating to do it in real time 😆
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,015 Senior Member
    Probably has an AWACS on speed dial😉
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    sakodude said:
    Probably has an AWACS on speed dial😉
    You want a JSTARS for these guys.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 6,377 Senior Member
    edited September 2020 #29
    Six-Gun said:
    GunNut said:
    Or you can move around those government satellites Sir 😂
    That would be cheating to do it in real time 😆
    Our sage friend Zee has a saying about that.  I think it goes, “If you don’t want it bad enough to cheat, you don’t want it bad enough.•

    🤣
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,121 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
    Six-Gun said:
    GunNut said:
    Or you can move around those government satellites Sir 😂
    That would be cheating to do it in real time 😆
    Our sage friend Zee has a saying about that.  I think it goes, “If you don’t want it bad enough to cheat, you don’t want it bad enough.•

    🤣
    Isn't that what Gus said about a "poke"?
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 6,377 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
    Six-Gun said:
    GunNut said:
    Or you can move around those government satellites Sir 😂
    That would be cheating to do it in real time 😆
    Our sage friend Zee has a saying about that.  I think it goes, “If you don’t want it bad enough to cheat, you don’t want it bad enough.•

    🤣
    Isn't that what Gus said about a "poke"?
    Yep, he did!  I forgot about that one.  Soooooo many memorable lines in that movie...
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

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