New Mexico Antelope Hunt Recap/Antelope Rifle build


Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2011
N. Texas and S. Africa
The hunt started out with the high chance of rain, but since none of us had ever actually hunted Pronghorn in New Mexico in the rain, we didn't think it would actually happen...Well we spent all day on opening day in rain gear and soaked to the bone with very few antelope buck opportunities.

One of our buddies connected in a break in the rain on his first antelope at 280 yards and we at least had some meat on ice. We were all exhausted but hopeful we could get a break in the weather on Sunday and make it happen for the whole group of 5 of us.

We hunted hard until about 1pm but only had 2 opportunities on bucks and 1 of the guys decided to take a legal buck before lunch so he could head home at a reasonable time. In the past 4 years, the latest we had hunted was 3pm on Saturday for all 5 of us to tag out, so this was definitely a tough hunt.

At this point, 2/5 of us had tagged out and both of those guys decided to head home to West Texas. I had spotted a huge buck on the neighbors property that gave me hope for the rest of the afternoon and decided to stay and hunt until dark.

We hunted the rest of the day and only saw does on the ranch we had permission to hunt. With about 15 minutes to hunt, we started cruising across the prairie to get to 1 last spot to check before dark and it happened. 2 does came over the rise being chased by a shooter buck. They all stopped to check us out and I got my opportunity at 454 yards and made it count. He was slightly quartering to us, so I aimed for the point of his front shoulder and sent it. I watched him go right down in the scope, like you turned off a light switch!

High fives, hugs and a few prayers were exclaimed and we drove over to the area where he saw him go down. Little did we know what we were about to walk up on...the biggest antelope I've personally ever seen on the ground. I had no idea he was so big, all I honestly saw in the scope was wide and he was a shooter. Frankly, I wouldn't have passed up any buck on the last day in the last 15 minutes of the hunt.

I couldn't be happier with the way the bullet and rifle combination performed on this hunt. It was one of the hardest, but most memorable hunts I have had in the last few years. Not to mention the meat will be fantastic as it was cool for this time of year, around 85* and we were able to get him cleaned up and on ice very quickly.

We all were so excited, we had to put a tape on his horns to get an idea of the score - we are not certified B&C scorers but we came up with a low 80's number! After getting home and taking him to the taxidermist, he was green scored at 82 2/8" - by far the biggest antelope I've ever shot and the largest our group has ever taken in 5 years on this ranch.

Thanks for following along this long read, and good luck to everyone else in the woods this fall!
A great tale well told, glad it all came together for you.

Spending about half of my life in NM and with over 20 antelope hunts in the state I can tell you honestly you can spend the rest of your life trying to top that buck and probably won't.

That's about as good as it gets so again, congrats.

Short Case

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2012
That is a nice goat I keep putting in for a tag for NM and Co
but have got one yet I'll keep trying. What does your new