2005 Antelope / Mule Deer Hunt

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Guest, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Well, Gentleman we have returned very tired but very happy if I do say so myself.

    PICS will follow.... Give us a few days to get caught up....

    Myself, Chris, my buddy Steve with help from his buddy Skip ... turned 10 empty Antelope Buck tags into 10 filled Antelope buck tags! We did this in 4 days!

    Since we had a few hunters from this board on the hunt I will let them tell their own stories.

    We also had 4 Mulie tags and killed two very respectable bucks, with a bit more time I have no doubt there would have been 4 mulies taken.

    I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to Rimfire, JWP475, and the rest of you guys.. ( you know who you are...!! )

    Also, a personal thanks to Chris Matthews... I know this was dream come true for you Chris, well me too... I have always wanted to make a TV show. You deserve all the publicity you get from these 3 shows. You are truly a talented smith that puts his heart into each rifle built. I know this and now so does everyone one on our hunt that used rifles built by you. Let me say I feel we have our foot in the door and ya know what buddy. The producer thinks we have our $&%t together and is already talking about more TV shows for mulies and Elk.

    Thank you Chris! ( Clip)

    The rifles we had on hand to use were...
    3-7mmWSM's , 260 Rem, 223WSSM, 300RUM

    Since I started the post I'll tell you about my goat and mulie adventure...

    This was Rimfires hunt...

    Midnight on the 5th after work I was packing for Wyoming. Up four hour later and off the the airport, 11:30am I arrived in Wyoming. Ric Horst and Steve met me at the airport and less than an hour later I was at the hotel and changed. Off to the hunting area to meet Chris Matthews. Less than two hours later I was belly down in the dirt low crawling up along side Chris glassing a bedded doe on the next hill at 370 yards. A quick dial up and Ric and Chris got front row seats when her nose hit the dirt. When I got to her my first words were OH SH..! The .30 175 SMK exited with most of her belongings Day one over.
    Day two up at 5:30 and off to the area we were hunting bucks. At 9:30am we were glassing some goats when a nice one came out of no where. As Chris alerted us the goat kicked it in overdrive. Another voice (Steve/Ric?) yelled get your gun. I don't know much about goats but I figured it out quick! Seconds later I was on my belly again with Chris along side calling out yardage. As the goat approached 550 yards and a drop off it stopped and looked back, a few more clicks and the SMK was off and my hunt was over. The Goat went a touch over 15", and to make things better it was on video. Ric caught great trace and I hope the video did also. Ric, Chris,and Steve were awesome! as where the other hunters. It was a great time and anoter great buck was taken that day. I'll let the shooter tell that story. I cant wait to hear from the rest of the guys and see how things went after I left.
    Oh yeah the airline lost my checked bag and my LSR 300WSM!!! after a day of searching they were loacated. My gun and luggage have been to the west coast and more states than I have. A delivery service just dropped them off ten minutes ago. Hope to have pics soon.

    Derek ... man you don't give yourself enough credit ... here's the real story...

    Derek almost didn't make it. He's building a new house for his lovely wife. and as imagined. He has enormous stresses and almost didn't make the hunt ... well after some convincing and a reality check by Mr. Matthews, Derek agreed to come. and we are all glad he did!
    As promised we had him in the dirt and stalking the first goat the day he got there...but as a lot of you seasoned LR hunters know. It isn't easy the first time out ... well it is for this gentleman! You would have thought he had been hunting LR all his life... if he was nervous you couldn't tell. He simply took all the information we fed him dialed his dope and precisely placed a bullet into his first LR Antelope!

    On his second hunt he again showed very little nervousness as the excitement meter pegged when a potential B&C goat literally appeared from nowhere with his jets in overdrive! Now keep in mind these things run at over 60 mph when they need to... and this one was doing at least 58 mph! ( LOL ) as this blur passed in front t of me all I could think was, Derek needs his rifle NOW! I yelled to Derek get your gun! Chris was already in the dirt getting ranges. I grabbed the $4000 dollar camera like it was a disposable Walmart one. Nick our producer was a bit flustered by this. I honestly didn't care. This goat had all the making of B&C and at beyond normal ranges. I wasn't going to miss it! I got set up behind Derek and Chris as I heard Chris barking ranges to Derek as he prepared. I don't remember the distances' but I do remember the goat putting A LOT of real-estate between us and in an awful hurry! I checked on Derek and saw him calmly dialing dope. I wondered if he realized the potential of this goat? All of this took place in a matter of 10 seconds. With my final words of "camera is rolling" Chris barked the final range and I saw Derek ( what seemed like routine to him ) make a few minor corrections on his dope and then I heard Chris say "send it" from the corner of my right eye saw the tell tail sign, bullet wash! As the arc lengthened, I could easily tell the wind call was on the money. A quick forward check of the anticipated path told me moments before that Derek's shot was on the money. Milliseconds later the distinguishable sound of contact and the images of a majestic buck crumbling told me Derek was just that good!

    Man this man can shoot. Later in the week one of the other hunters took Derek out to some sand stone rocks and called out various rocks at various distances and Derek never missed! Well, beyond 1K.

    I was the last one to fill my buck tag...on purpose. I was so intent on making sure that we had all the footage we needed for the TV program that I waited until the last day to make my mark on the show. Although we don't have footage of it (the camera was with our host right where it should have been)! I saw several bucks off in the distance and a quick check of the maturity of these bucks told me there was one unique one in the group. Steve and I set off on a long walk/sneak for a closer look. When we approached 900 yards I saw that there was one buck that had almost full hooks up top and I was intrigued by this. At that moment I made my decision that this was my intended target. As the group milled around feeding I prepared myself for a tough shot in a 10 mph crosswind. The group we were watching became a bit nervous and split into several smaller groups. It just so happened that the buck I was after decided to feed and walk a bit closer. This was a good but bad thing as the ranges were ever changing, so was my dope. For the next 25 min. Steve and I ranged and re-ranged this buck several hundred times. Now this may appear easy but we were totally exposed in the middle of a HUGE grass flat with only 6" of grass as cover! The buck made a few trots off in the direction of the big group...this was bad. He was beyond my comfort zone of 900 yards now. The decision was mad to literally sniper crawl to a closer range. After all we are in the middle of about 4 square miles of grass with only small rolling hills of a few feet as cover. For the next 30 min. with our faces in the dirt we inched our way to within 810 yards. Let me say this. I can tell you were just about where every prickly pear cactus is in south central Wyoming. Matter of fact I brought several pieces of them back to Cody with me!
    At 810 yards I said this is it we shoot from here or we don't shoot at all. Steve got set up with his chin in the dirt. We had my Steiner Big Eyes and the new Swaro laser range finder so I knew we couldn't do better for his optics. I set up twin 1, thoughts of weeks of shooting and practice made me wonder if all the information I had was right. Self doubt in hard on ya when it is crunch time. Extending the bipod placing the rear bag I snuggled into the check weld I have come to be familiar with. This rifle Chris built just plain fits. There was no mistake of my positioning, it was like putting n your favorite pair of old boots they just plain fit.
    I peered through the Nikon 4-16 tactical and saw the buck the first time up close in the past 2 hours. A quick check of his maturity and mass made me sure he was the one. I slowly chambered a round. Steve whispered the yardage's. The buck is at 810, the sage behind him is 930, the PD mount to his right is 785, the PD mound in front of him is 798. I dial in 17MOA and 3.5MOA of left wind. Steve said "send it when you are ready." Deep breath, exhale... deep breath, exhale... "wait!" Steve said, at the moment I saw the buck take a trot quartering to my left. 780, 775, 760, 740, 730, 710, closer he came. Checking and rechecking, redialing my dope every other second. The stress level is building. 700, 690, 685, 680, 670, 665... Steve was continually ranging and barking in a whisper his ever-changing ranges.
    As I watched the buck now became calm again. Browsing on prairie grass again. "Steve, range him again I whispered." 660, 665, 662, 659, 659, 658, 663. "Call it 660 I whispered?" "Affirmative, Steve said!" Checking my dope, I dialed in 12.5MOA and 3MOA of left wind. racing through my mind was all the calculations I made over the past weeks. Was I right? I said to myself. Then I heard the voice of reason. I heard Chris saying. "660 yards you dumb a$$ that's a chip shot with that rifle. You know that, you idiot!" "I'm going hot, I said" "Roger that, Steve said."deep breath ... exhale, deep breath...exhale. Deep breath...half out. The trigger engaged, the pin dropped. with a small puff of white smoke in just visible in the Nikon, the 162 grain Amax was now in supersonic flight for.78 seconds. With a heavy loud "whaaap!!!!" I saw the bullet sink into the lower chest of this tremendous buck not more than an 1" from my intended aiming point. I knew it was over. With one great leap and a kick of the legs this majestic Antelope slid face first into a clump of sage. The on set of a ton of emotions hit me in waves. As we approached the buck I new he was extraordinary, big, heavy horned with great mass! The tops make a full curl like fishhooks 5 1/2" cutters and a total length of just over 15" when he dries we'll see how close I came. As I admired my buck the wave of sadness hits, like I think it does for most hunters who truly appreciate and respect the animals they hunt. I thank the spirits of this truly amazing creature and shed a tear. My hunt is a success! One more chapter is complete in my book of life.

    Thank you Chris Matthews.


    More stories to follow... as guys get home and back into the swing of things.
     
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Ok I got goose bumps reading that. What a story! Can I go next year /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif. That was one awesome story...All the stories are great. Makes me want to get in shape all the more for next year.!!!


    Chris, you da man!!! So, when are we going to see this on the tube??

    Joe
     

  3. riof16

    riof16 Active Member

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    Chris, I didn't realize you just got home. No wander you sounded tired on the phone. I hope I didn't wake you up when I called!

    Ric, you need to stop writing stories like this and the one about the "bow-kill elk stollen by a grizzly, and we almost died". Why? because you make me have crazy thoughts of dropping everything and moving out there.

    Excellent work fellas, that's the real thing. (By the way, Ric, I humbly commend you for the simple comment about sadness after the kill....God bless you for your reverence and respect for His awesome creation).

    Gentlemen, THIS is what gives me purpose in defending freedom. It isn't the cry-baby whiners yapping about how bad guns are, it's about true Americans living out the dream that God and our fore-fathers gave us, and doing it with heart and respect. Thanks, boys, hope they eat good.

    Now after reading that, I guess I'll just go ahead with my little meager Ohio whitetail rut bowhunt here in a couple weeks and dream of 600 yard shots while I'm sitting in a tree for hours looking for that "long range" 40 yard bow kill. (Ok, so I like it anyway).

    Listen, was that a grunt?...."rup, rup"...man, I bet it's that 6x6 with 10 inch drop tines on both sides that I saw by the treeline last evening chewing off a limb and looking fired up for does....he's B&C if he's a hundred. Why is my leg starting to quiver?......
     
  4. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

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    Ric Horst,
    Well written, excellent reading, really exciting!!!
    Congratulations to you all!!! Makes me want to shoot more and be always ready. Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    note: Don't forget to post the pictures.

    Javier O Moncada.
     
  5. gonehuntingagain

    gonehuntingagain Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely fantastic story! I can only dream of having a hunt as fantastic as that.

    I still feel the "awe" that you describe after the kill, even when I shoot a doe.
     
  6. oso

    oso Well-Known Member

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    WOW!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif Great story, sounds like you fellas had a great trip!! I would have loved to have been there. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  7. Boman

    Boman Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations and Thank you for the story. I'm sorry I missed hooking up with you. I think I emailed you right after you were gone already. Oh well. Thanks again and Congrats to you.
     
  8. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Congradulations Ric, great story. Did your 260 see any action? Whats your load with the A-Max? I'm going to load some testing loads this week and thought you could save me some powder. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  9. kwanjangnihm

    kwanjangnihm Well-Known Member

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    Ric, Chris, & Crew,

    Excellent Hunt /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif - Excellent Story! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif Please post pics ASAP! Chris can you please get back to work on my rifle! LOL Congrats!

    Jeff
     
  10. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    Great story you and Rimfire write well.I had a great time on this hunt and met some great people.I also was lucky enough to collect an antelope at 777 yards and as Rick said Steve is awsome at giving great dope.This was my longest kill to date and I want to thank each and everyone for making it possiable. THANKS
     
  11. hunt724

    hunt724 Member

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    JWP -
    It was a plesure runnin' and gunnin' with you. Hope to see you out again next year. Glad I was able to be a part of it.
    Steve
     
  12. eddief

    eddief Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    As I admired my buck the wave of sadness hits, like I think it does for most hunters who truly appreciate and respect the animals they hunt. I thank the spirits of this truly amazing creature and shed a tear. My hunt is a success!


    [/ QUOTE ]
    It's nice to hear the gratitude you showed toward your experience that was given by the animal. I myself feel the same when taking any game animal. In a physical sense the accomplishment is "earned" by your hard work. The way I look at is we have been privileged with this as a gift by the good Lord and the Spirits. We are owed nothing in life, and I feel everything is gift. Health, education, good job, the use of both legs...etc. This puts things into perspective for myself and reminds me always to be grateful for the smallest of things. This is why I applaude you in sharing your awesome hunt and true feelings of it. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Eddie Fosnaugh
     
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    There are several other "stories" but I can't give away the whole program.

    But I think I can tell this ne.. I'll try to remember the details..

    After Derek made an incredible shot on his buck we loaded our gear back into the vehicles and proceeded to the next section we were given permission to hunt.

    Steve spotted some Antelope in the distance and made our next shooter ( Jim ) aware that they were there. After a few minutes of glassing Jim found the buck he wanted... but here's the hard part the buck had heard Derek shot and was about as calm as a bank robber stuck in traffic. He was headed for a distant ridge.. and he wasn't about to look back. "Let him go, I said" if we pressure him he'll just keep running. " Steve, Chris and I decided that if he drops off the back side of the ridge he'll more than likley drop into the sage and rest and relax.
    We drove to within 500 yards of the ridge. Jim decide he still wanted to take a shot at this buck. "Game on" Chris says... With that, yours truly gets the nod for the camera again. Steve grabs the bino's and Chris grabs bino's and a range finder. Outta the truck and a quick sneek to 300 yards from the ridge. I am about 30 yards from the group of 3 and get the camera set up. I see the 3 hit the dirt face first .. so I do the same. "must be a nice buck " I thought to myself. The 3 start to belly crawl to the edge of the ridge. All I was thinking was about how I forgot my knee pads and elbow pads in the truck! "crap, you dumbass Ric" I take a drink of water thinking next time I do this after this crawl I'll look like a garden sprinkler after crawling though the prickly pears.
    In the dirt I go with the camera and bi-pod cradled in my arms like a sniper rifle. I glance up to see Steve, Jim and Chris frantically ranging and glassing. The sharp, quick movements tell me there is a bit of stress and tension. "Wow, must be worth shooting" I think to myself. I move my crawl into high gear. OUCH, OUCH damnit!! F&%$*ng pears...
    I see Steve look at Chris motioning him to the right. I know the look on Steve's face. Determined with excitement. "gotta be a good buck" I say... I slowly inch my way to the group. I slither my way up onto the back of Chris and Steve and painstakenly manuver the camera into position. Steve and Chris have a dialoge with Jim. There are 3 bucks in the group and they are evaluating each one. I pan the camera through the group looking for the buck they are describing. "Bingo!" I say to myself ,there he is on the right. Jim is now asking for yardages and Chris is continually giving updates. 402, 400, 402, 404, 402... Steve is methodically giving advice, quatering to your right, dead away, doe behind, stopped quatering away to your right... Jim's senses now are near overload. There is alot to compute when you are trying to make your one and only shot count. Jim is checking his drop chart and begins to apply the evelation clicks. Jim asks Chris for wind determination. Chris barks in a whisper 10-12 mph quartering from your 2 o'clock. In the corner of my eye I see Jim apply right windage. Chris reminds him to cut it in half because of the quatering wind. "Roger" Jim says... Chris asks Jim "is he the one?" ..."yeah!" Jim says in a stern whisper. Steve is still whispering updates on the positioning of the buck. "he's moved back left and is broadside in the group." "Check" jim says.
    No shot Steve and Chris say almost simultaniously... this buck has himself positioned in the middle of 6-8 does and is making his rounds checking for the right one with the right smell. "Be patient", Chris reminds Jim.. "we have alot of time left, lets wait him out." " am I going somewhere?" Jim says with a confusing tone.. we all sorta chuckle and the tension is lifted for a brief moment... Steve barks back in a whisper.. he's outta the group on the left. Chris give him a.... "423, 423, 424, 424, 424.." Chris already knew what to do..."424 , 424, 423", Chris continues... Jim readjusts his dope and windage. Chris whispers "when he breaks completely free, send it." "he's gonna be broadside." Steve adds... "roger that" Jim says...
    the next 3 seconds become a melting pot of words..."I'm hot, Jim says" "send it" Chris adds... milliseconds later you here wwwwhhhhaaaaaappppp...."on the money, he's down" from Steve... in the view finder I see the does jump and bolt through the sage. A quick check on the heard buck lying motionless in the sage tells me another LR segment was done right. "By the book" as they say... I keep the camera rolling to capture the audio of true emotions... everything is still surreal at this point... everyone is getting up from the prone position, shaking hands and congratualating... pointing back and commenting on the 300 yard crawl they just made... pats on the back and a 400 yard walk begin... in a few minutes Jim begins to examine his buck... a mature heard buck with outstanding mass and alot of character... I see that he admires this awesome animals and is pleased with his trophy....
     
  14. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    Thanks again for sharing.
    I have enjoyed reading your hunting accounts. Steve and I have some preliminary plans to hunt in Wyoming for antelope next fall. I haven't goat hunted for about 6 years or so and I miss it.