Poison Spider Antelope

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Buffalobob, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    To get to Poison Spider Creek in Unit 71 you go out Poison Spider Road past Poison Spider Elementary School about four miles or so. There is a hill/butte or what ever that overlooks the creek. You can see for about 2.5 miles. The Swaro SLC’s and Kowa are simply wonderful optics and you can see antelope forever and ever.

    The Wy F&G guy came along and checked my licenses. He was mystified that I had been there for two days and not killed a doe. After looking at my license plate on the truck he decided I was probably too mentally retarded to kill a doe so he offered to take me down the road to where there was a doe about 200 yards away. So I finally told him what I was really doing and showed him my rifle, wind meter, drop charts and PDA. He asked if I was some kind of sniper or Marine so I just pointed to the bumper sticker on my truck and that satisfied him that I was certifiably crazy. He was nice and very pleasant but still all business. Having run that kind of an organization I was pleased that he was friendly and courteous and still got his job done.

    Some days you win and some days you lose and some days you just get rained out and that was pretty much what happened. A cold front blew in with high winds and drizzling rain and for two days I only got a one hour window of winds less than 10 mph. The third day started off with winds at 4 mph and I had a doe at 1200 yards and missed completely. I was only partially confused and immediately grabbed my wind meter and rechecked and the winds were up to 8 mph. Lying on the ground in the lee of a hill is not good technique for feeling wind changes. Nonetheless the winds were under my limit of 10 mph so after a little another doe came along at 1400 yards and I jumped up and measure the wind and got back down on the rifle but of course the doe was not cooperative and would not pose for me correctly for a little while so when she finally did the wind had already changed again and I missed again. This was greatly bothersome and troubling and I sat up there on the hill for most of the day trying to figure out how to outsmart the wind and how I could completely miss. An 18 pound rifle on a one piece bipod and in a heavy sand filled rear bag does not wriggle when you pull the trigger, It just sits there like a rock.

    I found an old real estate “For Sale” sign someone had bee using for a target and stuck it out there at 150 yards and reverified my zero which was still dead on.

    Late in the afternoon the wind had been constant at 14 mph for hours and I was considerably irritated with myself and the world in general and decided to try one more time. Well, by this time the ground had dried out from the rain and I actually saw the bullet impact. The final bullet strike was way beyond anything computable from the winds where I was. I decided to fire one more round at an object at 1000 yards and watch the impact. Apparently down along the creek there were some extreme wind velocities that were just not predictable.

    I decided to call it a day even though I was greatly disappointed with the results of my efforts. I stopped by the guyas in the next campsite who were hunting does also and asked if they wanted a doe if I shot one and they said sure so I now had a way of getting rid of the meat without paying a $70 butchering fee.

    The next morning was too windy to shoot so I decided to run down to Unit 32 and scout for antelope even though I doubted the winds would permit me to get a shot. About
    2:00 I turned on the radio and it said that tomorrow would bewarm with a high pressure area stationary and then t he following day another cold front would “blow” in. Well it seemed to me that the best plan would be to go back to Poison spider Creek and make the best shot I could find and give the doe away and then concentrate on trying to get the buck the one day that I might have some shootable winds. So with that plan in mind back to Poison Spider Creek I went.

    Things were pretty frustrating at Poison Spider Creek being as the winds were running at 15 mph and the antelope were either spooky or suicidal. Finally, I got a doe and fawn ranged at 600 yards and laid out Roy C’s drag bag and placed on it the Clay Spencer 240 Wby in the Joel Russo thumbhole stock with Roy C’s bipod. I remeasured the winds and the max reading was 14.8 so that is what I used in Exbal. With everything dialed in and ready to go, I just watched through the Luepold 6.5-20X 50 until the doe got properly positioned and then the fawn walked up by her so I had to wait some more. Finally, the doe walked forward but turned away from me and that left the poor baby fawn properly positioned so I just went ahead and eased the slack out of the Timney and then let it break. Once the gas cleared away you could see the impact on the shoulder and he went up and back and was dead by the time he hit the ground.

    I got out a plastic 1 mil tarp and skinned the antelope on it so it wouldn’t be dirty and carried it back to the guys at the next campsite who were happy to have it.

    Interestingly enough even with using the max wind I measured instead of the average I was still 1.0 MOA off. The 115 Berger did exactly what it has always done and what Berger says it does. It makes a small entrance and then just blows a four inch exit hole out the other side, just a perfect bullet for antelope


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  2. James H

    James H Well-Known Member

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    BB
    You sound like a NASCAR driver, however you left out the brand of rangefinder and windmeter.:D
    Oh and good shooting.
    James
     

  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Yeah, but he got the important ones in there.

    Roy C's:D
     
  4. MachV

    MachV Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to Wyoming!

    Your adventure sounds kinda familiar, exept I'm fool enough to be a dogger. An antilope is a huge target compaired to a prairie dog but it dont stop me from sitting up on a hilltop hopeing the wind allows a shot to at least get close :eek: The tags for prairie dogs are cheaper though :D
    Hope you have better luck in 32 but the forcast dont look to be much help! Winds are suppose to be normal @ 20-25 till Tuesday at least. Put the wind to you back and wish it well!
     
  5. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

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    I'm with you Roy.
     
  6. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    NascarBob, that's got a ring to it! thanks for the story and pix. great stuff as always.
     
  7. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    As the song says "If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all."

    Poor ol. BB was miffed by the wind in WY now his worse enemy is falling at the 4450' level in Idaho. And its doing a pretty good job. Earliest snow we've had in years. Ya just gotta love this place.;)
     
  8. urbaneruralite

    urbaneruralite Active Member

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    "he offered to take me down the road to where there was a doe about 200 yards away."

    That cracked me up. Nice post!
     
  9. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    I met four game wardens in Wyoming and Idaho and they would all look at the "Special Forces" bumper sticker and then down to the Washington DC license plate and become confused about whether I was an expert or a total idiot. But that bumper sticker makes me lots of friends in places far from home.

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  10. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    This is the spot where I did my shooting. It is public land and is the "second" crossing of Poison Spider Creek under Poison Spider Creek Road. A little windy but a nice place for long range shooting. There were always about 50-75 antelope visible but many were on private land.

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