Got out for opening day of Wyoming antelope huntin!
This is my wife's first antelope tag and her second go for big-game (tried with no success for a general elk last fall).
We made it bright and early to our go-to spot on opening morning, just as "shooting light" could be declared. There were 4 of us with tags; my wife, my mother, my father, and myself. We had all elected to give my wife first shot since she had yet to experience the thrill of taking a big-game animal. Ten minutes drive into our hunting spot we spotted a group of 6-7 antelope, two of which looked to be bucks. Binoculars confirmed that 1 of the 2 was a "shooter." Out of the trucks we sprang (not bad considering my wife is 7 months pregnant with our second child). We hustled up the edge of the road to within 350 yards of the better of the two bucks. Our arrangement was that my dad would be the bearer of the rangefinder, make wind calls etc. while I set up my wife for the shot and dialed the scope, thus leaving my wife to concentrate on shot itself. The brush on the side of the road was fairly tall so she set up in a "pregnant-but-try-to-be-steady" low-kneeling position. The wind was killer, 15 mph average coming from about 8 or 9 o'clock, but at 350 yards we felt good about the shot. Well the awkward position, buffeting wind, and maybe a small dose of buck fever resulted in a first-shot miss, just over the goat's back. The herd ran across the road and up a draw to our right 1000 yards or so before stopping, feeling they were safe.
"No worries, just an ice-breaker," we told her.
We decided to pursue them via a two-tracker that led more-or-less up the draw which the antelope were in. As we drove we discussed the difficulty of the stalk as the wind would be blowing from our 6 o'clock, right at the herd. After driving to a satisfactory hidden spot we again parked out of sight and unloaded from the trucks. We scurried, hunched over, up the road towards the hillside the antelope were on. Coming over a small rise we saw them, grazing 500 yards or so in front of us. Chances of getting closer were slim. Dad gave us a range: 525 yards to our buck. Dad looked at us questioningly.
"You'll have to do it prone, on your stomach," I told my wife. It was the best way to keep her steady and hidden from the herd's view.
"Whatever you say," she muttered as she glanced at her 7 month-pregnant mid-section. Talk about an awkward shooting position
Wind was from 6 o'clock, no worries there. I helped her set up the bipod and then dialed the scope to compensate for the 525 yard shot. The goat was grazing, broadside facing right. I had barely got my binoculars to my eyes when the shot rang out. The goat stiffened up noticeably. Then like a slow motion replay he reared up on his hind legs and toppled over backwards! Boy you couldn't have knocked the smiles off our faces with a spade shovel!!
Still smiling just thinkin bout it. After a short wait we hustled back to the trucks to drive within retrieving distance.
He was a dandy! Not bad at all, especially for a first goat. And a sweet shot to boot!! She had practiced to 500 yards but we both felt 300-400 was probably a better bet. Man I was/am so proud of her for pulling through!
It was a great way to kick off the day.
Remington 700, 7mm-08, Leupold VX-II 3-9, Boyd's Stock
160 gr Speer BTSP @ 2475 fps - hit him right through the shoulders, shattered them both and made mush of everything in between, bullet never exited.
Goat measured just over 14" tall.
Thanks for reading. (sorry it's a bit long)