Well, Alabama defense caved in the last couple of minutes of the game and ole Jimm decided to leave the scene of the crime and go pheasant hunting. So while we are waiting I will post up a few antelope stories. Here is the story of the first two I shot.
I meet up with Jimm, his son Jesse and his friend Bryce in Gillette the day before the season opened. That evening Jimm called around on his list and got us a place to hunt does and another place to hunt bucks, So opening morning we headed out and went to the first landowner and introduced ourselves and paid him and then went over to the second land owner where we would hunt the does, so about 10:00 in the morning we were finally ready to hunt. Jimm just wanted to start out at close range the first day to get every body used to hunting together and every body to get one killed. I was more than a little put off by that but being the guest I didnít say anything but I suspect my facial expression was pretty obvious, so Jimm assured me we would get some long range shooting before it was over. We each had four doe tags and one buck tag. So off we went and pretty soon we found a herd and Jesse wanted to shoot a doe with horns and sure enough there was one in the herd so he shot it. While the three of them cleaned and cut up the antelope I cleaned my gun which was in serious need of leaning for various reasons. While I cleaned the gun I observed how they hung, skinned and cut up the antelope as a team. Well, by the time they had cleaned and cut up the antelope and put it in the freezer I had the 240 Wby barrel clean and ready to go. So off we went and soon enough we came over a rise and there was a doe bedded down in the sage brush at 150 yards. Jimm wanted me to shoot it and I was wondering what I had gotten myself into but decided that I had agreed to hunt with them so I went ahead and shot. I killed the doe and this time I helped out with the work and we all formed a four person team of hanging, skinning and butchering. By the time the trip was over we could have an antelope butchered ,wrapped, and labeled and in the freezer in 22 minutes. So that was the first day and the 150 yards shot.
So the second day of antelope hunting
came around and we decided to shoot some bucks. About a quarter of a mile onto our hunting area we came over a rise and spotted two small herds of antelopes. We stopped the trucks and got out and determined that there were several bucks involved with the two herds and so we moved to a place where we had a clear line of fire over the sage brush. The herds were initially at about 600 yds but two of the bucks got contentious over being so close to each other and the does didnít care much for all of the fighting and rude behavior and started moving slowly away. About that time a third band appeared out of the draw and we now have one long strung out herd of antelope on the slow move.
I had the 240 Wby with the Joel Russo thumbhole stock on front and rear bag rests and Jimm was calling out range and wind and I was clicking the dials on the V3 6.5-20X50. Wind was about 3-5 mph and nearly a head wind. Range moved out to 780 yds and the crosshairs settled in on a nice buck only to have him move. This stop and go continued for nearly 15 minutes with the range progressing up to 850 yds and the buck finally got still but the wind picked up and was shaking me so much that the crosshairs would not stay on target. The buck moved again and stopped at 900 yds and we had only a little head wind, so I clicked the elevation up and the crosshairs settled in nice and steady as the buck lowered his head. The trigger broke and the cross hairs never even quivered as the 115grain Berger departed. To everyoneís disappointment, the shot cleared the buckís back easily. We had all worked for nearly a half an hour trying to stay on this buck and wait for him to get still and turned correctly. The thirty or so antelope kicked it up to a run and began a semi circle around us. I ran a new round in the chamber and then it appeared that all of the animals were gone and none were left. I extracted the round, except for the long Berger115 gr match bullet which decided to stay jammed in the lands and all I got out of the chamber was a primed case full of powder. Being aware that I was hunting with jammed bullets, I was very careful to have a cleaning rod handy which was quickly procured to tap out the bullet. About that time 5 animals came over the ridge, apparently having dropped out of the large heard as one of the bucks wanted to isolate his does from the rest. Jimm called out a range of 686 yds and I clicked back down and then for good measure dropped another 0.5 MOA more out of it than the range called for. The buck stood there broad side on guard duty and the cross hairs got steady behind his shoulder. I eased the slack out of the Timney trigger and once more the 240 Wby sent the 115 gr Berger screaming out of the Spencer barrel. The impact knocked the buck over as the Berger hit the spinal column and blew bone out the far side. Still a little high obviously. We checked the dial in in on paper the next day at 700yds it was exactly 1.0 MOA high and half MOA left.
You will see from the first picture that everything looks really great but the second picture shows how high and right the bullet really was.