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Antelope tags: when it rains...

Six-GunSix-Gun Senior MemberPosts: 8,155 Senior Member
This past year, a friend and I drew Montana deer combo licenses and each earned an antelope point for unsuccessful applications on that animal. We had a great time, but really wanted to try again, but go later in the season due to the enormous pressure (deer and elk season start the same day there) and lack of rut activity in late October. We still had fun and also got to use the included upland bird license and fishing license to great success. As far as big game, we didn't want to waste a lot of time looking for top quality animals because it was obvious that we needed livestock to get anywhere near the early season big boys high in the mountains. I ended up shooting a fork mulie buck and he ended up with a whitetail buttonbuck to hasten our other adventures while in Montana.

So, this past application period, we put in again for mule deer and decided to put in for relatively tough-to-draw (15% draw odds for non-residents last season) antelope units in hopes of purposely earning another point. The goal was to show up much later this year and hunt the mulie rut while stashing yet another antelope point and hunting them next year. It didn't play out that way: we now both hold mule deer general deer season and antelope general season (read: rifle season) tags.

Two years in a row, two cracks at antelope. Who'da thunk? I doubt I will see anything as nice as I scored in Nevada, so I will be looking for something unique (broken horn, bent horn, crazy spread) or maybe I will just the first one I see and get to the deer hunt a little quicker...that will let us warm up the fishing licenses a whole lot quicker.
Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.

Replies

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,683 Senior Member
    Use the XP!!! Then, it won't matter what you take. It'll be a great "trophy".
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Already in the plans, brother. Of course, the ever-reliable .243 Win you painted up for will come along for backup. It's record on Western game is too good to ignore. But, the .284 Win XP-100 needs to be formally broken in...and by that I mean blooded. I already told Caleb :)
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    I should make a confession: I have to get off my duff because I haven't even load tested (or fired, for that matter) the XP since Caleb returned it to me. This speechwriting gig is a bear as far as free time during the week and weekend have been accounted for far too often.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,683 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    Already in the plans, brother. Of course, the ever-reliable .243 Win you painted up for will come along for backup. It's record on Western game is too good to ignore. But, the .284 Win XP-100 needs to be formally broken in...and by that I mean blooded. I already told Caleb :)


    An antegoat would be the perfect animal for that.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    No doubt. That was the original purpose for this gun, but when the original issues it had forces me to go another direction (and Nevada's 6-year waiting period before you can even apply for a tag again), I figured that it would be a while before it ever saw the light of day on antelope. Now, here I stand with a tag en route to my house and dwindling days to work up a load + practice.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,683 Senior Member
    Make.......it........happen.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 7,469 Senior Member
    We're did you draw?
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    700-20 aka southeast unit(s). Basically everything under Fort Peck Lake.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 7,469 Senior Member
    Lots of good country there! In my younger days that was my back yard. Lots of big goats around Broadus. One of the coolest thing I ever seen was just north of Biddle. I watched a coyote runout of a coulee at full tilt followed very closely by a doe antelope GAINING on the coyote. That antelope cought up to it and beat the crap out of it with its front feet. The last I saw of that poor unfortunate coyote it was barely moving all humped up and probably going to die.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    How is the unit for mulies? I figure with all of the creeks, whitetails should be no trouble, but I have no clue about the mulies since it's a lot flatter.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 7,469 Senior Member
    World class!!!! "Flatter" ha you funny.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 7,469 Senior Member
    http://www.loydketchum.com

    For your viewing pleasure.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Elk creek wrote: »
    World class!!!! "Flatter" ha you funny.

    Well, "flatter" being relative to the Helena region we were in and around. My friend who used to live in Montana said that it's more rolling than the skyscraping peaks that we saw out in the western units we hunted last year. I, personally, have never even laid eyes on pics from that area until you posted that link. Regardless, you got me pretty excited to give it a go!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 7,469 Senior Member
    There is more up and down in a mile there than out in the western part of the state. And if it rains or snows you will wear most of the unit on your boots, it will stick to you like crazy!

    and it's a lot dryer there too. Think semi-arid.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    That will be an awesome hunt with the XP.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    Luis, What is your load for the .243? It is one of my favorite cartridges, using 100 grain Nosler Partitions over H-1000.......Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    HAWKEN wrote: »
    Luis, What is your load for the .243? It is one of my favorite cartridges, using 100 grain Nosler Partitions over H-1000.......Robin

    I don't know what Luis uses, but my go to .243 load for antelope is Nosler 95 grain ballistic tips pushed by 41.5 grains of IMR 4350.

    I think I would switch to a different bullet, though, if hunting bigger, tougher animals.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    HAWKEN wrote: »
    Luis, What is your load for the .243? It is one of my favorite cartridges, using 100 grain Nosler Partitions over H-1000.......Robin

    I'll have to look up the exact powder charge for my Tikka T3 in .243, but it uses a 100 gr. Sierra Pro-Hunter over a charge of Ramshot Big Game powder. The load produces 3-shot, 100-yard groups in the .3" range. It's been totally effective on Western game (mulies and antelope) with very minimal meat damage. I have yet to recover one due to total pass through, even with using a fairly light bullet past 250 yards.

    Jerry mentioned the Nosler Ballistic tip, and for years both he and Linefinder have spoken to its effectiveness on this-skinned game like antelope. Those are two guys that I definitely trust when it comes to feedback on the subject.
    That will be an awesome hunt with the XP.

    Definitely. I really do have to get it together and do some load testing as I'm now officially on the clock to get a load figured out, collect velocity data for ballistics tables, etc. I love the thought of using such a compact rig in the field.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 7,469 Senior Member
    http://m.landsofamerica.com/property/1080593
    Some typical land forms around Jordan. With one exception this is as green as it ever gets!!! This is the first couple weeks of spring.

    http://m.landsofamerica.com/property/2464498
    Just east of miles city.

    http://m.landsofamerica.com/property/2572652

    Pretty sure this is just south of miles city.
    Check out Straberry hills recreation area.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    That area looks beautiful. Definitely still a lot of mixed terrain to deal with, for sure. If I had a spare $2.2 million laying around, I'd buy that last property for sure!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
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