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  1. stanley

    Another first Antelope

    Last year was my oldest son's first pronghorn hunt, and this year it was Nick's turn. He's going to Creighton in Omaha, so I drove up to Albuquerque and met him at the airport there on Thursday night. Quick 4 hours of sleep, and we hit I-25 for the 2 1/2 hour drive up to the hunting area (Lancetkenyon and Zeke-BE know where it is... LOL). We rolled into the property right around 7AM and began seeing pronghorn immediately. We glassed for just a bit upon getting there, but then drove on into the ranch headquarters to say hello to the owner and thank her for letting us hunt there. Like last year, she was gracious and we had a nice chat. She mentioned that there seemed not to be as many pronghorn this year as in past years, but after hearing other reports and seeing Lance & Zeke's reports here we were optimistic. We had already seen one nice buck early in the morning upon getting on the property, and he quickly did what basically ALL others had done last year; As soon as we stopped the pick-up, he and his squad ran out to about 3/4 mile. When I got out to glass them with the 15s, they proceeded to run even further! So anyway, with that in mind I had a brought along a secret weapon. A couple of years ago when I had an archery bull elk tag, I had bought one of those fabric pop-up cow elk decoys. (Her name is Miss September! Got a good laugh at that when I bought the decoy....) I decided that I would try holding her up in front of us to try to get closer to some of those spooky bucks. Well, after visiting with the ranch owner we drove off and quickly spotted another nice buck and some does. He did his usual antelope-thingy and was in the next county in short order, but I hadn't had time to break-out the secret weapon yet. We drove up on a large knoll and glassed all around, and I eventually a nice buck popped up at about 1/2-3/4 of a mile out. I broke out Miss September, and held her up in front of me and started walking directly towards the buck with Nicholas walking right behind me. I walked a steady pace, stopping every 50-75 yards or so and the buck never broke his stare. We proceeded along closing the distance, and when we were at about 500 yards I was thinking it was actually going to maybe work. We are not big on super long distance, with about 400 yards generally being our max shot distance. Well, we kept strolling and eventually got to a nice little tuft of grass on a little mound of dirt. I stopped and check the range-finder, and the buck was still staring at us from just about 350 yards. The 30-06 is zeroed for 200 with 180gr. PSPs, and I told Nick to hold just slightly over it's back. He got on the bi-pod in between Miss September's legs and let it rip! The buck bolted for about 50 yards, then stopped and started to look sick. Within about 5 more seconds he was down. 9:30AM on opening day, and it was all over! Went and got the truck and drove right to him (we had met up with a ranch hand just prior to that and he said it was no problem driving across the pasture....). Anyway, two hours later and we were done cutting it up and enjoying a couple of sandwiches. Overall a GREAT hunt!!! Drove back last night so that Nick could spend the weekend with his mom (really, the other way around... lol). A 36 hour round trip for me, with only 4 hours of sleep but lots of great road-hours with my boy! He was nice enough not to nap it all away, and we had a great time the entire way! Getting done early let's me spend a couple of mornings at the dairy shooting doves before I leave for archery deer in Utah on Tuesday morning! I'm blessed! S.