3 year Wait

Trayball20

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 10, 2019
Messages
53
Living in Wyoming you sometimes take it for granted that you can hunt antelope each year. After having an antelope license for many years in a row I decided to try and draw an area with much lower draw odds, but a higher chance of finding a big buck. Well after 3 years of not drawing an antelope license I decided that I was going to put in for a higher draw odds area. Luckily I was able to draw my first antelope license in 3 years. I set my goal of finding a buck that would be in that 76"-78" range knowing that the area I would be hunting doesn't produce those mid 80s bucks, but it is Wyoming so you never know. So over the summer I scouted pretty much the entire area looking for a good buck that I could go after once season opened. IMG_2758.jpg IMG_2757.jpg
After scouting this was the best buck that I find. I made many trips to the area keeping an eye on him and also looking out for any other bucks that I may have missed. A couple days before the opener I made my last scouting trip to make sure he was still there and hadn't been bumped or maybe killed during the archery season. I thought after watching him on many different trips that he was just what I was hoping for in the area a good buck in that 76-78" range. I found him right where he has been since late July, so I was pretty excited for the opener.

Opening morning finally came and I was pretty excited to be hunting antelope for the first time in 3 years. As the sun came up I was right where I wanted to be, but no antelope. I thought maybe they are just in a draw that I can't see, so I decided to just get to a good glassing spot and wait to see if they feed out to where I could see them, didn't want to bump them. After about 30 minutes I start to see a few does start feeding out of a small draw at 478 yards, this has to be his herd, but I wait to make sure he is there. After just a couple minutes out he walks, after 3 years of not hunting man did I get excited. There is a small hill between us that I think I can get to and have a 250 yard shoot. As I am just getting to top of this small hill a doe has feed all the way to the top of the ridge that the antelope are on and spots me before I can lay eyes on the buck, which is 50 yards below her. I try to get to a spot to where I can shoot, but she takes off and takes the whole herd with her. I figure no big deal give them time and they will be in the next draw over. When I peaked into the next draw over there were no antelope to be seen. So I spent the rest of the day looking for them, which I never found them again that day. So, I gave them a couple days hoping they would come back. When I went back they were nowhere to be found, so I gave them a couple more days and once again nowhere to be found. Now I am starting to worry that I bumped them into another hunter or they are gone from the area. So after a week I go to a completely different drainage and start looking, hoping to find them there. In the last small draw in the drainage I find him again he has one doe and seems to be rutting her. After a long stalk I am able to get to 180 yds and make the shot count.
IMG_2739.jpg IMG_2740.jpg IMG_2736.jpg
After taking a few pictures, sorry not best I was solo and had my phone taped to my tripod, I quarter him and made my way back to the truck. When I got home I thought I am going to score him just to see if my prediction was correct, which was 77 to 77 1/2". As I started to tape him out I thought maybe he is bigger than I thought. That night I came up with 82 4/8", WHAT NO WAY. The next day I took him to a taxidermist to have the head boiled and the horns removed and packed back on. After I got him back I measured him a lot more carefully and came up with 82 0/8" net. I took it to a friend that is an offical measurer to have him score him and he came up with exact same thing as I did. I am guessing after 60 days he will just miss the all-time by a few eighths. He is an antelope that nothing is special, but everything is good. He is heavy above the paddle which make them look short. Hope I don't have to wait another 3 years to hunt antelope.
 

ThunderNocked

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
680
Location
North Pole, Alaska
Awesome, I need to harvest a few more things up in my neck of the woods but want to come down and get an Antelope!

Great hunt and great write up. Congrats on a successful harvest!
 

Trayball20

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 10, 2019
Messages
53
Thank you for all the kind words. It was a week of hunting, 3 months of scouting, and a 3 year wait. It was certainly a roller coaster, but wouldn't change a thing, well maybe the 3 year wait.
 
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