2015 MT Opening Day Antelope

OpenCountry

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Joined
Aug 13, 2015
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207
Location
Eastern Montana
After getting lucky enough to draw a rifle antelope tag and a lot of scouting, I was able to connect with this awesome buck. I spent the entire day before season trying to put eyes on a buck that I've been keeping track of since I found out I drew the tag. He must've been held up somewhere in the vast country because I couldn't find him the entire day. I could usually spend a few hours in the general are and end up seeing him with his small group.

I started the morning off by walking into an area and finding a small group of antelope about a mile away. Half way into the stalk the antelope busted out because of another public land hunter driving through the pasture. That's part of hunting on public land and sometimes it can play into a guys favor. I ended up making a five mile loop and spending half the day glassing but didn't come up with anymore antelope. I decided to go back to an area where I had previously seen a couple smaller groups hanging out in. Upon arriving I found a small group with three bucks in it that had just gone over the ridge. I parked and took off through a saddle to try to put eyes on what looked like a good buck. I ended up seeing part of the group in a cut and started the stalk. It was some of the most open country I've hunted and got lucky enough to find a small patch of sage brush to low crawl to from a distance. I judged him the best I could through the rifle scope and crawled clear of the sage brush to wait for a shot. He cleared a couple of times but then had other antelope step behind him again. The third time I got a shot opportunity and squeezed the trigger. After hearing the impact and seeing how he reacted I knew it was a good shot. The herd took off and he only went 40 yards before going down. The buck ended up having some character to him and measured in at 16 1/2 inches on one side and 16 1/4 inches on the other. He had 6 inch bases and 5 inch spades. I got to spend Sunday watching football and adding some more meat to the freezer!
 

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