My first Antelope hunt (with pics)

Discussion in 'Antelope Hunting' started by 2fewdaysafield, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. 2fewdaysafield

    2fewdaysafield Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    September 2010 was my first Western big game hunt. Used this board regularly as a reference before I went. Now I am getting revved up to head back to Wyoming in September. Figured I should post a few pics.

    The buck I killed was nothing "special" but I knew in advance it wouldn't be. This was my first traveling big game hunt and I had made up my mind to shoot the first buck I got a "can't miss" shot at.

    I was so darned excited that I didn't notice that one of his prongs was broken and one of the tips was too. But it was a GREAT "trophy" to me!

    After my buddy and I had filled our tags, we spent a couple of days glassing and doing a few mock stalks before we went to Western Wyoming to hunt Sage grouse. While we were doing the mock stalks, I got within 150 yards of a buck with almost perfect heart shaped horns. I'M HOOKED! There will be no "if it's brown it's down" for me this year.

    I won't kill a monster this year (unless it is by pure luck) but I am going to hold out for some well shaped horns.

    I'm getting itchy!!!!:D:D:D

    Pic from camp.....

    [​IMG]


    Moon from camp....

    [​IMG]

    Camp....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My first ever Antelope....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,021
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Nice first buck! Sounds like a great trip. I got addicted to Wyoming in much the same way
    30 years ago. Disagree about the buck being special he's much like my first one, I've shot bigger since then, and those first ones still have a place within arm's length of where I sit now.
    Not to many folks running full stock guns, I'd like to hear more about what your shooting, and how it came together.
    Good luck this year!
     

  3. 2fewdaysafield

    2fewdaysafield Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Thanks HARPERC!

    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! [​IMG]

    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! :D 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....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My buddy got a 14 3/4" buck.

    [​IMG]

    The country was breathtaking!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We got a few Sage Grouse too!!!

    [​IMG]

    September is only two months away. The Antelope and Sage Grouse are waiting!!!!! :D
     
  4. WyoElk2Hunt

    WyoElk2Hunt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,193
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Great story. I don't measaure or score animals. To me a trophy is in the hunter's eyes, the hunt is the trophy to me. I may never get a boone and crockett unless it just happens but each animal is a trophy.
     
  5. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,779
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Congratulations!

    When I saw the first pic you posted, I thought:

    "Oh no... He shot a horse thinking
    it was an antelope!!!"

    My bad! :rolleyes:
     
  6. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,350
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    wouldnt be the first guy to come out and do that
     
  7. 2fewdaysafield

    2fewdaysafield Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Happily.....I avoided that mistake!
     
  8. NCKen

    NCKen New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Just now joining this forum, and looking to do a similar hunt. Your's is a wonderful story and outcome; inspirational. The photos and memories are priceless. Several years ago, the notion of a High Plains antelope hunt was born while riding my motorcycle through ND, SD, WY, etc ... actually, I rode my bike through all 49 States to Hyder, AK, and then back home to NC via the Canadian Rockies ... That was in 2003, and the antelope were fairly numerous all along their range.
    At 65 years old, I'd better get on with this bucket list that includes taking an antelope. Looking at an X-Bolt in .280 Rem, with my 30-06 as a maintenance 'spare'. Your CZ 550 is a real treat. CZs are tops in my book. I have a CZ 454 Lux, and it is as sweet a rim fire as you can find. Got a couple of CZ pistols, as well.
    Lots of homework to be done to get this all right. But, your story gives me confidence it can well be done.
    Best to you, and good luck in your planning for next year. Please keep us posted on your progress.

    Best,
    NC Ken
     
  9. 2fewdaysafield

    2fewdaysafield Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Thanks NC Ken!

    This years hunt is already planned. I'll be driving this year and leaving about the 19th of September. It's going to be great to be out there hunting with friends again. :)

    My trip was a DIY hunt with the advantage of having a buddy who has done it for many years on the same ranch. My entire hunt including airfare, tags, overnight motels while traveling, food etc cost under $1200 including a 2 day side trip to hunt Sage Grouse. So a Pronghorn hunt does not need to be an expensive check to add to the bucket list. At least in parts of Wyoming there is lots of public land and landowners seem to be far more receptive to requests for hunting permission than they are here in the Northeast.

    Many ranchers will let you hunt for a modest "trespass fee" and some will even allow you to camp on their land.

    An Antelope hunt doesn't need to be an expensive guided affair. Some work and research on your part can yield a very affordable "Dream Hunt" and many guys here will help you figure out how to do it.

    I'll be sure to post about this year's hunt and look forward to hearing about yours!

    Best.....Kris
     
  10. NCKen

    NCKen New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Kris: Thanks for your note and encouragement. Just re-read your original post and now realize I had the timing wrong on your next hunt, which is just around the corner! Understand your eagerness.

    I grew up in Mass, at a time when access to hunting land was super easy, and I took advantage of it as a boy nearly every day after school on woodcock, pheasant and 'paahtridge'!

    Now, retired from the Army here in NC, gaining access to hunting is not such an easy proposition, although I've got a dove field locked in for the season, which starts on Labor Day weekend. We have deer in (over) abundance. The shooting 'horizon' here in Central NC, unlike in Wyoming, might range out as far as 150 yards.
    Tell me, did you investigate South Dakota in your preliminary research? I'm considering South Dakota as well as Wyoming. If there is anyone out there with insight into South Dakota, your views will be welcome.

    Good luck with your final planning. Will stay in touch.

    Best,
    Ken
     
  11. 2fewdaysafield

    2fewdaysafield Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Ken....

    My apologies for taking so long to reply. I had to go participate in a foul 4 letter word....work. I'm "semi-retired" but for some reason I find cooking in a 120 degree kitchen more entertaining than being a "WalMart Greeter Guy". Which just proves that there is no accounting for taste.....

    I never looked into South Dakaota as a Pronghorn hunting destination. My Pronghorn experience was handed to me on a silver platter by a guy I met on a Pheasant hunt organized on another Forum. He, I and a bunch of other guys hunt pheasants together every year in Oklahoma and I also travel to Texas for doves with a guy I met on that Pheasant hunt.

    You lived in Mass back in the good old days....probably in the Berkshires. I live in NW Connecticut about 5 miles from the Mass line. I remember when hunting permission was easy to get around here and the woods were loaded with partridge (or grouse if you're hunting with a fancy sort of guy) and woodcock. There were even some pheasants.

    The birds are mostly gone now. and getting permission on private land is next to impossible now. The old-timers are dying off. In the last 10 years I've gone from having permission on over 300 acres to less than 30.

    So I travel for most of my hunting. Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma. Wherever some kind soul I have met on a gun forum will have me.

    Gotta go to sleep now. They want me in the kitchen at 7:30 am. Doncha just love "retirement"?!

    Best.....Kris