I drew a tag in New Mexico about 30 minutes from where I live. I have spent a little while reading up on how to judge the size of them because I have never killed an antelope before. I scouted two days prior to the hunt and saw plenty of antelope so I knew that it was not going to be a hard task to kill one. I just needed to find a decent one to kill. Well let me tell you one thing, they are VERY hard to judge for your first time.
I dragged myself out of bed at around 5am to get ready. I had a buddy meeting me at my house so that we could leave at around 6am. We go to the area in perfect time as the sun was just fixing to come up. We immediately spotted antelope when we got there. None of them were big enough from viewing them in the spotting scope. So we moved on. About 10 minutes later, we spot one that looks good through the spotting scope. Now I have been shooting out to 700 yards with my 25-06 using 115 gr berger. I have been getting consistent 1st shot hits from that distance and closer so I wanted about a 700 yard shot. Turns out that where we had to go in order to be able to see the buck we ended up getting to 525 yds from it which I was fine with. It would have still been my longest shot yet. I get the bipod down on the rifle, turn on my shooter app and begin punching in all the numbers. It called for 8 MOA up and as there was no wind, I did .25 MOA left. I get this all done and the buck is so curious that it starts RUNNING to us to investigate. Lets just say that I was not too happy about him doing that. When it stopped running to us, it was ranged at 280 yds. I dialed down to 300 yards and got on him. He is facing directly towards me so I put it right on the front of his chest, pre-loaded the bipod, took my breath and let it out. The trigger broke crisply and the buck dropped in his tracks. The only thing that he was doing was the death run as he was laying on his side.
We walked up to him and the bullet went in to his chest cavity and blew up. The berger bullet did its job (but I am still a barnes man!
). The lungs were liquified. He was not as big as I had initially thought but a good buck for my first one. I am sure he will taste good!
I have learned a little about judging antelope. First off, it is very tough to distinguish from a distance (when you are new to judging them) that gap between one that is decent and one that you would put on the wall. If I saw a huge one, I would know it right off the bat but it is the DECENT ones that will fool you. Its easy to spot the really small ones. So you really have to study the antelope in your scope to rule out the decent antelope and get to a shooter buck that you would want to put on the wall.
Overall, I am happy with my first buck and glad that I got the opportunity to take him!
Rem. 700 25-06
Leupold VX3 6.5-20x40
54 gr of H4831SC
avg FPS 3070