Well yesterday we returned from our trip for my wife's antelope season, and boy was it interesting. This is our second hunting season here in SD, since we are both from IL, and it's been a learning experience.
Our hunting area is 90 miles from our house so we borrowed a pop-up camper from a buddy, and stayed at a state camp ground with water, electricity, and bathrooms.
Now we were about 25 miles from our area.
The season opened on Sat and Jen killed a yearling doe in the first 20 minutes of the hunt. After we spotted the doe, we noticed some strange things about her. The doe was by herself, no other antelope within 800 yds, and we walked within 400 yds of her without trying to be sneaky. If you have ever hunted antelope before, you know this is very unusual. Jen made a great shot at 391 yds with a 9 mph cross wind. The 162 gr A-max hit 1" to the right of the "corner" (the corner of the white on the front shoulder) aiming point. The doe dropped like a ton of bricks. Upon closer inspection, the doe was very thin and half starved. I feel we did her a favor and saved her from a very long and painful winter. Here is the exit of the A-max, just in case anyone doubts their effectiveness for hunting.
The rest of Sat and all of Sun were filled with frustration from the weather (highs in the upper 70's or 80's) and other hunters (driving where they weren't supposed to and such).
Monday was much better, very little wind and few other hunters. We made several stalks and finally were able to get into position for a shot about an hour before dark. We noticed a good buck in a herd of 9 goats and of course, the wind kicked up just before the herd walked into a good position. I gave her the sight adjustments and she just missed at 742 yds because I miss read the wind. The herd ran off and we stared our 2 mile walk back to the truck, but even after disappointment we were rewarded with a fantastic sunset.
Tuesday we went out to the same area where she missed the buck the evening before. She spotted the same herd about 2 miles in. As we closed the gap, the herd walked down into a small bowl and ended up bedding down. We were able to get within about 400 yds and set up to wait for them to get up. After 2 hours of waiting, we decided to try a small push. I figured the antelope would run up a small hill and follow a fence once I walked a big loop around them. I had Jen set up on a small ridge (about 4' above everything else) 300 yds from the fence. I made my big loop to get around the herd and they followed the script exactly as planned. She shot the buck at 224 yds and he fell in his tracks. Needless to say, we were both super excited!!!
After we quartered and packed him up, it was a fun 2 mile walk back to the truck.
The buck ended up measuring 70-7/8" and it is her first book animal.