I got to Pathfinder Reservoir about 3:00 in the afternoon. It was a mess. The lake level was low. There was no potable drinking water. The campsites were on blowsand and there were no trees for wind brakes. Naturally the wind was blowing about 20-30 mph. I wasted a good hour trying to find a sheltered spot to camp and finally gave it up as hopeless. The fourwheelers and ATV people had just about destroyed the place because the vegetation has such a precarious foothold in the loose sand that any traffic dislodges the roots and of course what few trees there had been had been chainsawed for firewood.
So I trucked on up to Alcova Reservoir where a herd of about eight mule deer were manning the check in booth. I guess Natrona County has been a little short on funds and not able to hire more dependable staff for the Parks Department. Anyway, it was a beautiful little reservoir and there were several campers and people fishing so I found me a halfway decent spot for the night and set up camp.
The next morning I went into Casper to get groceries and see about extra doe/fawn antelope tags. They were sold out of Unit 32 tags but had plenty for the adjacent units which was strange being as the season had already started for them. Having analyzed the data before I left home I knew what units had enough public land to ensure that a person could kill a doe so I got one tag for 70 and one tag for 71. The lady would not sell me more than 2 tags but that was allright being as I really didnít need to shoot a big pile of antelope. I asked if there was anyway to donate the meat and she said that the Fish and Game guy had been mentioning it the day before but she didnít remember the details. So off I went to Wyoming Fish and Game where they seemed to believe I was an escapee from the mental hospital. As a note if you ever wonder who sends you the tags when you draw out it is the three ladies at the front desk. They had big boxes of envelopes and they were just folding paper and stuffing envelopes. Not any wiser but at least having made a memorable uproar at the Casper F&G office I went back to camp.
My hunt in hunt in Unit 32 did not begin for five days but I now had tags for units that had been open for five days. I take a lot of fun out of the planning of my hunts and now all of my careful plans were derailed. Instead of scouting Unit 32 for five days I needed to check the zero on my rifle and begin to hunt units 70 and 71. What a disorganized catastrophic mess. The only saving grace was the bad luck of continuing 20+mph wind. There was no way I was going to shoot in that much wind unless worst came to worst.
I worked for a couple of hours unloading the truck and reloading it so it was transformed from a cross country driving setup into a hunting setup. Once I had my binoculars, rifle, bullets, hearing protectors, wind meter
, etc all handy and my butchering stuff accessible, off I went to Unit 70. I stopped along the way and put my handy dandy coke can out at 100 yards and shot at the ďOĒ in coke. It survived the first shot unscathed and I checked my wind chart and made a correction and the second shot landed exactly correct. One thing about the competition groundhog shots at Mifflin and F-class at Quantico is you become adept at making corrections. I might not be good enough to make first round hits but I can correct a lot better. With the 240 Wby tested and ready to roll I went looking for antelope. Soon I spotted a herd at 550 yards which was easily doable even in 20 mph winds but I was not interested in 550 yards so I just marked on my map where they were and went on. Later I found some antelope at 1539 yards but with the nasty winds it was not something I was interested in attempting. So the day ended pretty well being as I now had three antelope tags in three different units. I found a small town of prairie dogs at about 350 yards and thought about getting out some rifles but decided not to. I only had about 1,000 rounds loaded for prairie dogs but with the change in hunting plans and me being after antelope, the little guys got a free pass. What a bunch of lucky dogs.