It was certainly a trophy to me! I hope to shoot more than a few more Antelope and probably some bigger or more symetrical ones. But the memories of this first Western hunt will stay fresh until I take the big dirt nap.
Thanks for noticing the Full Stock! It's a CZ 550 in 30-06. Not the ideal Antelope gun, but the fulfillment of a 40+ year old dream.
Long ago and far away when I wasn't even yet a "young buck" I used to read anything I could get my hands on that talked about hunting in Africa. Ruark was a favorite, but if it included hunting in Africa, I read it. Must have been along about '71, I read a book (don't recall now if it was a novel or fact) but the "star" of the book was shooting a "Mannlicher" and somehow the word just struck me. Somewhere not long thereafter I came across a picture of a Mannlicher Schoenauer with a full stock. Love at first sight!
You know how it goes, at the time I was almost still "shittin' yella" and there was no money for such things. That first Winchester 94 30-30 at $99.95 OTD didn't come along 'till a few years later. And after that came chasing skirts....and the Army....and marriage....and mortgages....and kids...and divorces....and and and and......
And there was always no money for the guns of my dreams.
But 5 years ago, with the kids grown and the wives gone I figured it was time I maybe grew up and decided what I wanted to be now that I was "all growed up".
And I decided I wanted to at least have some of the guns I always wanted. And a Full Stock was still top of the list all these years later.
I really wanted a .270, but this 30-06 came along and the wood was OH SO NICE!
I did a lot of research and read all the stuff about changing POI and all the other bugaboos that seem to haunt Full Stock rifles, but I never could seem to find anyone whose CZ Full Stock had a problem. In fact, many rimfire junkies seemed to feel that their Full Stocks CZs were the most accurate rifles they had ever fired.
So I bought this -06....and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I've bought a few other rifles since and some of them certainly better suited as a Western Rifle, but there was never any question in my mind which rifle I would carry on my first Western Big Game Hunt. Being from Ct, hunting in Wyoming was a big deal and only a big deal rifle would do.
How accurate is it? I don't honestly know. I don't shoot from a bench much, preferring to practice from hunting positions. But I can say for certain that this rifle is more accurate than I will ever be. In the case of this Antelope, 218 paced yards and the bullet (Hornady Superperformance 150 grain) went right where it was supposed to. The Antelope did not even twitch.
As for how the hunt happened and I actually got to do my first Western Hunt....
All thanks to a guy I met on the net. Internet friend of mine organized a pheasant hunt in Oklahoma a few years back (its an annual event now) and I signed up. But I am not a rich fella and travel from Ct to Oklahoma, licenses, lodging, meals, guide fees etc was going to tax my finances. So I asked on the forum if any of the other guys attending the hunt would be willing to pick up a "hitchhiker" at a nearby airport to save me the cost of renting a car.
The guy that did became a good friend and invited me to join him on his annual DIY Antelope hunt in Wyoming. He's been hunting this ranch for over 10 years now for a trespass fee of $100 including camping permission. So I joined him! And am getting ready to go back again. Checked the Wyoming site and I was again successful in the draw!
So I am heading back to Wyoming come September for 5 days of antelope hunting and 3 days of Sage Grouse hunting. All DIY at a price even I can afford!
This year I am driving out to meet up with him instead of flying. Doing so will allow me to take a doe or two. Fedexing a butchered Antelope from Wyoming to Ct is EXPENSIVE!!!!
A few more pics from last years hunt......
One day we went to a "bowling alley" to chase loose women....
My buddy got a 14 3/4" buck.
The country was breathtaking!
We got a few Sage Grouse too!!!
September is only two months away. The Antelope and Sage Grouse are waiting!!!!!