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2 & a Hook

Gunner46

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Dec 6, 2003
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Frigid Ohio
Only 2 & a hook. (military /families will probably only get that).

I finally got off from 40 hrs of work, in 3 days, slept thru the contractors pounding in the new flooring, and checked off about half of of the 'Gotta have's' on my ready to go list. 90% of the rest is primarily laundry, or 1 hr out on the reload bench. The rest can be bought along the way.

Actually.....All in All.....I think I'm good to go.

HEY, Wyoming. FEAR ME !!!

More to come, as it goes.
 

Gunner46

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Dec 6, 2003
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Frigid Ohio
Got loaded up and hit the road at 0530. No real sleep last night, still on midnight shift I guess. Made it 650 miles to Des Moines, and called it a day. Bad headache for the last 325. Made good time though.

690 to go tomorrow.
 

VAspeedgoat

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Sep 4, 2014
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Timberville, VA
Thats like 100 miles on the east coast, you'll be there before you know it. Try not to wreck when you see the first pronhorn or mule deer.
 

Gunner46

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Frigid Ohio
Yeah, the only real traffic I ran into was around Chicago, and that was pretty freakin' tight & above normal big city stupid, but not unexpected. The rest of the trip has been easy-peasy, mostly trucks, and they generally know how to drive sanely.

Iowa is not what I anticipated. I expected pancake flat. It's more like long gentle swells of ocean waves, rolling along. Corn is everywhere ! How the hell do people hunt whitetails here, with shotguns & MZ's ?? I'd be completely lost.
 

Gunner46

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I made it to Newcastle, Wy by 3:30 pm. The route brought me in through the Black Hills NF and I got to see my 1st Bighorns, up close and personal right off the side of a twisty/turning path leading out of the NF! 30 ft max.

So, I checked into my >$300/wk motel, unpacked the truck, hit the grocery, and have the day pack ready. I'll be 3 miles off the nearest road by dawn.

21 hrs of solo driving just wears ya out. No conversation, 'cept your's directed at other drivers, no stimulation 'cept the radio and caffine......I'm beat til tomorrow.
 

Gunner46

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Dec 6, 2003
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Frigid Ohio
I woke up really early because I'm still on East coast time. Delaying myself as I may, I was headed to a walk-in area well before dawn. Got to see the sun cresting over a crisp, clear Western horizon after so many, many years. Learned some Lope hunting lessons early on, the 1st day.

1) Ya don't need to be out there at day break, unless you already know exactly where they're going to be.

2) Wind is your friend, or your nightmare.

3) THEY ARE SMALL !! OMG, I had a 20'ish doe/fawns casually just stroll up, as if I were nothing more than a cow turd, and linger for over 10 minutes within 20 yards. (See, eastern whitetail hunting skills DO have applications out West) Wish I could have got a pic, but they were right on me before I could get ready. We're talking about out in the wide open and me doing my best sage bush look alike, please don't see me pose...no blinking !!.

4) This is FUN ! I think I'll do it again tomorrow !!
 
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Gunner46

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Dec 6, 2003
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Called it quits early today. I had five dead to rights, inside 200 yds, and couldn't hold steady enough take a shot. No, it wasn't buck fever, the wind was simply screaming across the flats !! Over 45mph. It's supposed to calm down tomorrow, and I know where they're at.
 

choc dogs

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Apr 12, 2006
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boise
Good luck Gunner, tomorrow is another day. I hate wind, it's one of my least favorite elements. I think it's tied with heat. My wife on the other hand says I whine more about wind, so there you go, Find them and make your presence known.
 

Gunner46

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Dec 6, 2003
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Frigid Ohio
I found 'The One' yesterday.

I'd been driving along some two-track that used to be an official Wyoming Hiway about 75 yrs ago, and was paying way more attention to the ruts than looking for game. It took me 3 days to find that dirt path, called a road, into a walk-in area I wanted to look over. The place just reeked Lope all over it, but not one in sight for miles. Called it a day and headed back for something warm in my stomach & a cold one.

I didn't spot them until they were already alerted to me. A group of 5 on a narrow strip of BLM. They gave me 3-4 minutes to get out of the truck and put the bino's on them. And there he was. 350 yards-ish.

Nice wide spread and cool curl. Prongs at the top of his ears and about an equal length over that. Have no clue to total score, but really don't give a flip either.

Two days left.
 
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NKQualtieri

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Jun 4, 2015
Messages
250
Location
Bozeman, MT
Iowa is not what I anticipated. I expected pancake flat. It's more like long gentle swells of ocean waves, rolling along. Corn is everywhere ! How the hell do people hunt whitetails here, with shotguns & MZ's ?? I'd be completely lost.

I love that drive! Iowa is really beautiful in its own way, I feel like it's America at its most classic. One of my best memories is when I drove solo cross country to move from Colorado to Boston after I graduated college and hitting that Iowa stretch on a bluebird late summer day. Tall corn, blue skies, perfection.

Happy hunting!
 

npaden

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Feb 3, 2011
Messages
3,775
Location
Lubbock, Texas
21 hrs of solo driving just wears ya out. No conversation, 'cept your's directed at other drivers, no stimulation 'cept the radio and caffine......I'm beat til tomorrow.

The only way I can pull it off is audio books. I check them out of the library online for free and play them on my iPhone.

Really helps pass the time on long drives in the West.

Good luck on finding "The One" tomorrow.
 

Gunner46

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Dec 6, 2003
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Location
Frigid Ohio
"The One" is in the cooler.

I left the motel before dawn this morning and took the dirt hiway, then two-track back to alllllmost where I tagged the buck on my On X Hunt map. About a 1/2 mile from where I last saw him there was a high knoll in the road, so I stopped well short of that and pulled off to the side of the skid mark of a road (Just in case some other fool decided to trek that way).

I tossed the Alice pack on and walked a few hundreds yards just cresting the knoll, dropped down a little to not be sky-lined and just took a seat to watch another Western sunrise.

It wasn't but a few minutes before the sun broke over the Black Hills, to my right, and pretty much shut out any chance I had at seeing anything in the direction. Wind was pretty in my face and surprizingly mild, maybe 8-10.

It wasn't long before I made out a couple of Lope wayyyy out there. Too far to worry about.

Ya know what? It gets pretty freakin' chilly out here in the morning and I was drawing the hood just a bit in tighter when I caught a flicker of a flash of color out of the corner on my right eye. If you've been in the field for more than couple days, you know what that flash of color means. I threw to bino's up a saw SUN ! They were useless. If I used my hand to shield the glare and squinted, I could just make out a small group (5-6) working in my direction.

That was a long 30 minutes.Yeah, they kept coming closer, but that did me a ton of good looking into more Sun than Lope.

They were still a good 800+ out from me, when I pulled out my phone to check the On X. This isn't a big BLM tract and I wanted to be sure everything was still legit. Ok, still good. Switched the layer over to Topo. That gave me a better idea of lay of the antelopes travel path. I still couldn't see well, and I didn't even know if there was a buck in the group. But, if I dropped back over the knoll and made my way across the back side I thought I'd be able to circle in behind them by, provided they kept moving. at their pace, and the sun would be at my back then.

I tossed my crap into the pack and lo-balled it back off. When I got around to where I thought I should be, I found a low run of ground I could scoot along by just ducking over at the waist.When it ran out I shucked the pack, pulled out the bino's and knee crawled up the last few yards.

Who sez you have to take a 400 yd shot on a Lope? There they were, maybe, MAYBE 75 yds and clueless as a new recruit the 1st minute at Marine Corps boot camp, and all 6 of them showing me their posterior. I didn't need any optics at this point.

And then I learned yet another lesson on Antelope hunting. They will drive you crazy, by not raising their heads, when feeding. I swear, all 6 of them were doing it on purpose... just to piss me off !

After about 3 1/2 weeks brain-time of inwardly cussing at them, the far left one looked up.

MR."The One" !!!!

Oh no, after all these years this can't be this easy. I rolled the back pack around as slowly as I could and bunched it up for a rest. And Thank God I learned a long time ago to never, ever, ever have your scope cranked up to 10X. Set at 3.5. He was quartering facing away to the right. Put the crosshair right behind the back rib and let my MC training follow through.

He flinched forward a little and I caught a ripple of hide before the recoil took my sight picture off target. AND THEN HE JUST STOOD THERE!!! The girls? They took off hell bent for anywhere but here, kicking up dust, he just stood there.

I didn't even think to chamber another round because I was so dumbfounded. He's hit... Hard. Now drop dammit !

Step, wobble, step, step, wobble, kinda step, flop...................

Now here's the pisser of all injustice..........I lost my [email protected] Phone crawling around. WTF !!!

NO PIC"S. Really??????












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