For those who have not followed the shooting exploits of Phil and Cynthia down in the “Competition” section of the Forum you may go down and read “Why is she Smiling” and “Good Plan Gone Bad”. Cynthia first fired a centerfire rifle in February, 2008, and her first ever 100 yard three shot group measured 0.38 inches and was shot from a bipod at Quantico.
In March, 2008, she went and took the Maryland hunter safety course and got her card.
I started taking her and Phil to 1K yard F-class matches in Quantico. Phil had been shooting F-class a few times and knew the routine. He and Cynthia paired up and shot their matches together; while, I usually would shoot with the LRH Forum member, Dirtball. Cynthia’s first F-Class score in February was 361 with 2Xs. Six matches later she had improved to 462 and 10Xs. Phil had improved to 470 and 8Xs.
Using my methods outlined in “How to Go Antelope Hunting
in the Big Game Section of the forum, I applied for antelope tags in Wyoming. So Phil, Cynthia and I each had one buck tag and two doe tags west of Casper for a total of 9 tags. The first couple of days hunting, Phil shot a doe at 450 yards and Cynthia shot one at 350 yards with the 7mm Allen Magnum. It took a couple of days to find some decent bucks on the public land we were hunting, but we finally found two very nice bucks. We decided to go after the largest one who lived in a bowl nearly a mile in diameter. Because it is a Walkin Area, we parked the truck and got our hunting packs on and began the mile long trek along the lee of the ridge line to a point where we believed we could come over the ridge line and get a shot at the big buck. Phil had the 7 AM and I had a video camera and Cynthia had binoculars and rangefinder. I left them to on the side of the hill and went up to the top of the ridge with the video camera and a pair of binoculars to scout for the big buck. As I was climbing up the hillside, I looked back and saw about 5 does on a small ridge some distance from Phil and Cynthia. I saw no bucks so I continued the climb to the top of the ridge and glassed the valley for the big buck. It looked like he was over on the far side of the bowl and beyond any reasonable shooting distance, so I turned and started down the hill. Phil was kneeling on the ground spinning the dial on the Nightforce and Cynthia was kneeling using the range finder. I checked with the binoculars and the five does had been joined by what appeared to be a very good big buck. She ranged the buck at 600 yards. Phil got prone behind the rifle and I got the video camera on the tripod and running. Cynthia was spotting with her binoculars. As is usually the case, it took several minutes for the buck to turn sideways and when it did finally turn and get still, Phil shot. The buck was clearly hit well but it still ran about 100 yards over the rise and piled up dead. When I get back home and have some time I will post the video.
This is a picture of Phil and his spotter and the buck. The near horn is 15.5 inches with three cutters and the far horn is 16.25 inches with only the one normal cutter. The horns are massive at the fork but narrow at the base. There are big gouges in them from fighting.
So we took Phil’s buck back to camp and gave it away to some hunters from California and went back out hunting. We spotted a herd with what looked to be a big buck and parked the truck. Cynthia got the 7AM out of the case and Phil got the binoculars rangefinder and wind meter
, while I got the video camera. After a slow stalk to a rise Cynthia and Phil settled in and began to set up. I got the video camera set up. Phil got a range on him and kept track of him as he herded his does around. Cynthia passed on several quartering shots and waited patiently for him to give her a presentation she liked. One of the things you learn shooting F-class is when you get the condition you want, don’t waste anytime getting the shot off and she didn’t. When the 200 gr RBBT Wildcat hit himrofht behind the shoulder, he dropped right in his tracks.
The buck had 15 inch horns and the range was 535 yards. All the shooting they had donetogether at Quantico had paid off and they had both made one shot kills beyond 500 yards on very respectable bucks by working together.
Phil and Cynthia found buck antelope behavior to been credibly humorous. Perhaps the funniest thing we saw was one small antelope buck trying to round up two mule deer does and a fawn.
Phil will post up his own story when we get home of his longest shot, which was a very respectable distance (several very long toad frog jumps past his 600 yards buck distance).