Yeti

Border to Border: Bucks in the Summer, Fall, Winter, and the Monsoon

Bluffgruff

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
854
Location
Colorado
I'm an antelope enthusiast. I like to watch them, hunt them, and eat them.
The sweet spot is 2 buck hunts per year, enough meat to eat most of the year, share meat with friends, win some new converts to the culinary excellence, and the mix of type 1 and type 2 fun that keeps me in the prairies and sage flats, despite developing allergies to sage and grass as an adult. I've been throwing my name in the draws in 7 or 8 states for over a decade, and the most buck tags I've ever had in 1 year was 2, so I've never worried about too many...

until this year.


My luck started out in an unlikely spot, an archery tag in New Mexico. I haven't had a NM antelope tag since 1998, and that was a landowner tag purchased by my father so that my brother, father, and I could all go on a big game hunt together. We all killed bucks in 1 day on that hunt, quite a feat considering the two teenagers and three on one client to guide ratio (that guy must have walked 20 miles that day). So this tag, only 70 miles from the previous tag, felt special from the start.

I've been archery hunting for over 20 years, but mostly as an afterthought. I killed my first buck when I was 16. I've killed 2 whitetails and a few hogs and a few dozen armadillos since then. This hunt may change the afterthought part for me.

The bow is not new. It is about as old as my college degree, but belonged to a dear friend who is now gone, long before he should have left. The first 2 few years I had it, I would shoot it in the yard every now and then. I put some painfully errant shots downrange during an OTC hunt a few years ago, but when this NM tag came around, I felt the bow calling me to do better. I asked the 3 people who would care if I could exchange some parts on the bow to make it work better for me, and they all said that I should put it to good use, however I could do that. So I bought a new sight, a new rest, new arrows, new broadheads, and start the process of shooting well.

I get paper tuned, sighted in, and shoot almost every day all summer from the end of May until the end of July.
Tuning in.jpg
Sometimes I shoot 5 or 10 times, but once a week I put 100-200 arrows on target to build up some muscle.

After killing 1 arrow Robinhood style, I start shooting a different aiming point for every shot. Dialing in.jpg

I stretch my range with my dialable sight to 70 and beyond,
Out to 70.jpg
but settle on 65 as my maximum effective range.
I [kid] you not, I don't miss the target all summer, great success!

I take it to the 3D range to get my sequence down for real life.
Nock, range, draw under cover, break cover, check my level and release.
3Drangetest.jpg

So early August seasons sneak up on you, as does lateral epicondylitis (I have never, EVER played tennis) earned by putting together some garden beds that require 72 nut and bolt combos each. But hey, they look great and grow some huge zucchinis!
Zuccs.jpg

I calm the elbow down by taking a break from shooting until the last couple days before season, when I meticulously select 6 arrows that fly 100% true and identical.

The day before the season, I pack the truck, and get out of town late in the morning. I have my campsite picked out, and I'm there in time to save my spot with a backpacking tent and get out to find a few critters.
Glamping.jpg
Safetyonprivateland.jpg

There are antelope around, as well as a few trucks, but the campsite is empty on this Tuesday evening. I decide on a pizza for dinner from town because the days are long, the nights are short, and I want to get an early start in the morning.
After cracking that badboy open, along with an IPA, I learn that I am not fully alone.
Trashpanda.jpg
The wind has kept the flies at bay, but also masked the sound of the trash pandas trying to break into the cooler in the bed of my truck, as well as allowed another to get within 6 feet of me as darkness fell, targeting my dinner.
I chase the thieves from the truck, toss the pizza box inside and close it up, and turn my attention to scaring them all, maybe 6 of them, from my campsite with rocks and chunks of firewood.
Turns out raccoons DGAF about sticks and stones if there's pizza in play. Several times in the night I hear them trying to climb onto and into the truck, but without success as I found everything in order inside the truck in the morning. So much for setting up a "camp." Everything except my bedding would stay in the truck thev rest of the trip unless I was using it.

The next day I'm up very early, planning to get to a spot I had found the day before that held multiple bucks, only to find a truck parked 100 yards from a blind and 2 awkward antelope decoys. That guy probably killed one in comfort that morning as his truck was no where to be found the rest of my trip.

I took a nice several mile walk to ease the rust off. I blew stalks at long range on 2 adult bucks, founds a few deer and antelope sheds,
Day1prize.jpg
And found myself wishing deer tags were easier to come by.
Nodeertag.jpg

It then proceeds to get misty, then starts to rain. I get back to the truck, which had several antelope visitors in range of it earlier that I could see from far away, and pile in to dry off. It rains for the better part of 8 hours, making the dirt roads absolute mush, so I stick to the paved roads and cover what little public land is visible from them. I do find some bucks on public, but I'm not really excited about getting completely coated in mud and sopping wet for the low chance of success on these few. I see more of the terrain than I expected with this 200 mile tour, but I really enjoyed the ride. The rain stops in the evening, just in time to get dinner cooked before dark.

The next day, I'm not as quick out of the sleeping bag, or camp, but 2 cups of coffee and a plan to avoid the few places trucks seem to be congregating has me hopeful. I cruise to a more obvious part of the unit due to its numerous accessible pieces of public land, and proceed to mark bucks out in the flats, and up on ridges and mesas. I drive by a buck bedded just off a county road, try to stop and circle in above him, but he senses me and is 100 yards from his previous bed when I find him. He ultimately walks within 70 yards of me, but never slows down to give me a shot, and he gets moving to the next piece of private land. Next, I make my way into a small valley containing a buck I had seen from the main road. I get to about 60 yards. Then get greedy, fail to find him while crawling, and proceed to blow the stalk by getting on my knees before I locate him behind a bunch of yucca, staring at me. He busts and runs to about 250 yards and comes back to look at about 140, then runs back to 250. This plays out with him some more, and similarly with another 4 bucks that day. I can get within 100 yards reliably, 80 on several bucks, and very close to range on a couple, with either them seeing or smelling me putting an end to it, accompanied by flared rump fur and a snort or 20.

At this point, I'm wondering how to kill one because spot and stalk is getting frustrating, even if it has lead to several entertaining encounters. I don't have a blind, and there is water everywhere. I'm eating well, and enjoying my camp, but I promised my 5 year old we'd be at a baseball game in 2 days, so there is some time crunch happening, even though I could come back for another 2 days at the end of the season.

The next morning, I am going to try the same area as the prior day, figuring i can sweat out one of these bucks. I get locked in on a couple bucks that seems to be contending for a harem. I tried to crawl between them with a buck decoy, and it almost worked, but they ran away after yo-yo-ing between 100 and 250 yards.

First rifle season must feel like ordering off a menu in this area.

Giving up on that group, I make my way over the hill in search of two other bucks i had seen from the road. They were in the wide open, but I thought I might be able to get close and wait one out.
I get to about 150 from the best buck I had seen all trip, and park it in a rare but fortuitous cactus free zone. Outofoptions.jpg
It is so hot, and I didn't bring any water out here, so fa... ahem, 600 yards from the truck.

I pass the time taking selfies to show Khunter to prove that I have a face.
ForKhunter.jpg
I'm really sweating it out, salt crusts are appearing on my requisite brand gear.

Then it happens. Some dude in an unnecessarily loud pickup roars down the road and slides to a stop when he sees the buck bedded in the open. He looks for a minute, then slowly rolls away. The buck doesn't spook, but he gets up and walks the other way and out of my life.

Here's where I do my dejected walk in the other direction, trying to decide if I should be getting lunch and water, or keep hunting. I decide to keep hunting. The buck walking the other way had a buddy with him earlier in the day, and I'm looking for THAT guy.
 

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Bluffgruff

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
854
Location
Colorado
I follow a draw in the general direction the other buck had walked a few hours earlier, and at the top of the draw, I see a doe. The buck is no where to be seen, but maybe he's with her in some terrain fold. As she gets up to feed, I creep towards her, moving when her head is in the grass, eventually coming to a pond dam. Going over the top, I'll be exposed to her for a split second, at about 200 yards. I wait until she buries her head again, and GO!

As I really put the power into my back foot and launch to the top of the pond dam, I see an orange and white blob topped by smaller black blobs in the green bottom of the dry pond. I put it in reverse like a cartoon and skitter backwards behind the dam again. Putting it all together as fast as the dehydrated mess I am can, I realize this is probably the buck from before, and he's pigging out on some of the greenest green he can find. I get my binos up, show the top of my head, and he's decent enough. He's also only 35 yards away. A gift. I'm shaking bad enough to have to think whether I can make this chip shot in my current state. I think I can. I dial my sight back to 35 from the 60 it had been on the last 2½ days. I nock, rerange, draw behind cover, and stand up. He's feeding, but raises his head as I check my level one last time before the shot breaks.

The arrow whistles in as he jumps the string just enough for the arrow to tweak his spine, dropping him in his tracks. Knowing this is less than ideal, I sprint (repeat of the first time over the dam, but no reverse this time) to 10 yards, grab an arrow and get a passthrough on this shot.

He takes a minute or two to die, which is hard to watch, but he's lying down, facing away, and dwindling, so I decide not to put any extra chaos into the situation. After he slumps over and takes his last breath, I walk the last few yards to take part in the very personal ritual of giving thanks to the animal for everything his death represents. The meat, the connection with our past, especially with my friend through the bow clutched in my hand.

Twobloods.jpg
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I take my pictures, and I send one to my buddy's dad. He replies, "[he] would be proud!"

I'm all full of different emotions as I punch my tag and wrap it around those rough, dark horns. I double time it back to the truck to get my backpack and other gear needed to get things taken apart.

2 hours after the shot, I'm packed and on my way to the truck. One last look at the spot before I go.

Thescene.jpg

I still have time to get dinner and home that night. None of my hunts are complete without a heroes parade from my girls, delayed until the following morning (sorry, no picture evidence), and a celebratory piece of roasted beast.

Celebratingthebeast.jpg

EuroNM.jpg

It will be 2 months before I get back after antelope, but I have plenty of hiking and camping with a gun to get into shape between now and then.

In the mean time, I get my 5 year old to the ballgame, everyone in the house except me gets COVID, and I get my first snow of the year while hunting mid-september.

More to come, eventually.
 

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Wallydeuce

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Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
1,078
Location
NV
Enjoying every word. Don't be gone for too long.

Congratulations on the pronghorn!
 

jbseamus83

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
207
Location
UT
What an awesome story. Congrats on a hard earned buck. It has to be ultra special to have done it with that bow.
 

Bluffgruff

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
854
Location
Colorado
I need to backup to June 1st.

It's a day for decisions. I currently have 1 antelope and 1 deer tag to my name for the entire fall. I have a NM archery tag in my pocket, and I'm in a couple other low-odds draws for antelope, and decide to go ahead and throw in for both Montana and Wyoming in order to make sure I have at least 1 more antelope tag.

3 weeks later, I'm now sitting on 3 antelope buck tags, and Montana is still pending.

While I'm hunting NM pronghorn, I check my MY FWP account and apparently I have been blessed with my 4th antelope tag.

I figure I have plenty of time to make these hunts, and probably to wedge a quick Colorado day hunt in if I can get a tag for a good unit because it's a cheap and easy tag. No one actually fills this many tags, so I'm feeling like Buzz, planning on a couple of them ending up in the trash at the end of the season.

While sitting on a mountain in mid-September, with 1 or 2 bars of signal, I pull off a miracle and get a tag that takes (notice I didn't say "worth") a bunch of points to draw. I had planned on hunting a different season in CO, but it's a rifle tag.

I now have 4 tags that I will need to hunt in October, and I need to figure out how in a hurry. Since I'm 2 weeks out from the first opening day.
 

Bluffgruff

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
854
Location
Colorado
Early October rolls around, and I'm packed and ready to start a whirlwind tour. I like driving, but I'm a little apprehensive about 30 hours of car time alone without counting any of the actual hunting. I finish a stretch of 72 hours of work in 6 days and get 12 hours of sleep, waking up in the wee hours of a Wednesday morning. I make some coffee, kiss my sleeping girls goodbye, and start driving. It feels like fall, and I'm wearing my "success shirt."

It's a Meateater shirt my wife is really proud of finding on sale for Christmas last year. She doesn't know who or what a "Latvian Eagle" is, but I was wearing it the day I started on my New Mexico trip, so I felt lucky wearing it.

The dawn breaks over the grand river valley, lighting up the cottonwoods for miles.

Cottonwoods.jpg

I weave my way through little towns and mountain passes to what I'm hoping will be one of the best antelope hunts of my life. I had a plan to avoid hunting pressure, so after a tip-top cinnamon roll and a coffee that really could have been better from what seemed like the best local joint in town, I cruise down the gravel roads to my access point. Before dropping into the gorge on a real sketchy road, I get out the spotter to check my intended valley.

I was looking over the top of a set of breaks onto the plateau across the creek and catch a little movement in the bottom of my FOV. Down in the trees and cliffs along the rim is a big herd of antelope.

E-scouting success!

Antelopeorsheep.jpg

In the group is a decent adult buck. It's really hard to tell how big he is, but I'm interested enough to try getting closer.

First buck.jpg

I crawl down the 2 track to a campsite along the water.
20211221_213934.jpg

This is where I deploy my secret weapon.

Waders.

Staying dry.jpg

I walk across, waist deep, and this is supposed to be a dry year. I guess I'll take my kid's little kayak if I do this again.

On the other side, I strip my waders, put on my boots, and forget that I'm good at this, and completely botch the whole thing, never seeing those antelope again. I did see 3 antelope across the plateau, but no adult bucks. I find dozens of deer sheds and deadheads, numerous lion kills, an elk deadhead, and a few pronghorn sheaths. Apparently this is a great place to hunt if winter happens.

Deerhead.jpg Elkhead.jpg

Tired and sweaty, I return to my waders and ease back across the slimy river rocks under the waist deep water.
No mishaps. I'm dry and back at the truck.

I finish the cinnamon roll and make a plan to maximize the rest of the afternoon. Driving back to the west side, I find several antelope herds in mixed public and private, none of which I'm particularly excited about, so I keep covering ground to find where I should start in the morning.

Coming down a hill into a green creek bottom, a giant brown blotch erupts from the ditch onto the pasture above to get a look at my truck.
Mobile brown blotches are usually domestic in these parts, but not this guy. He's a looooong way from the nearest willow patch, maybe 30 miles, and he's the second closest brown blotch I've ever seen, and by far the biggest. I get as much time with him as possible, pictures, video, spotter, even though he slowly moves off, under 200 yards most of the time.

I apply for these guys in 5 states, maybe one day I'll draw, or maybe I'll go to Alaska.
Lostmoose.jpg

After spending the last few minutes of light watching the moose and 30-40 doe mule deer feed in the green creek bottom, I mosey away in my kitchenhorse, back to town for a pizza. Full and exhausted after nearly 20 hours awake, I'm back in the middle of the unit to pitch my tent for the night, and hitch the kitchenhorse to a bedraggled sagebrush.
 

Dsnow9

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
1,751
Location
Colorado
Early October rolls around, and I'm packed and ready to start a whirlwind tour. I like driving, but I'm a little apprehensive about 30 hours of car time alone without counting any of the actual hunting. I finish a stretch of 72 hours of work in 6 days and get 12 hours of sleep, waking up in the wee hours of a Wednesday morning. I make some coffee, kiss my sleeping girls goodbye, and start driving. It feels like fall, and I'm wearing my "success shirt."

It's a Meateater shirt my wife is really proud of finding on sale for Christmas last year. She doesn't know who or what a "Latvian Eagle" is, but I was wearing it the day I started on my New Mexico trip, so I felt lucky wearing it.

The dawn breaks over the grand river valley, lighting up the cottonwoods for miles.

View attachment 206321

I weave my way through little towns and mountain passes to what I'm hoping will be one of the best antelope hunts of my life. I had a plan to avoid hunting pressure, so after a tip-top cinnamon roll and a coffee that really could have been better from what seemed like the best local joint in town, I cruise down the gravel roads to my access point. Before dropping into the gorge on a real sketchy road, I get out the spotter to check my intended valley.

I was looking over the top of a set of breaks onto the plateau across the creek and catch a little movement in the bottom of my FOV. Down in the trees and cliffs along the rim is a big herd of antelope.

E-scouting success!

View attachment 206322

In the group is a decent adult buck. It's really hard to tell how big he is, but I'm interested enough to try getting closer.

View attachment 206323

I crawl down the 2 track to a campsite along the water.
View attachment 206325

This is where I deploy my secret weapon.

Waders.

View attachment 206324

I walk across, waist deep, and this is supposed to be a dry year. I guess I'll take my kid's little kayak if I do this again.

On the other side, I strip my waders, put on my boots, and forget that I'm good at this, and completely botch the whole thing, never seeing those antelope again. I did see 3 antelope across the plateau, but no adult bucks. I find dozens of deer sheds and deadheads, numerous lion kills, an elk deadhead, and a few pronghorn sheaths. Apparently this is a great place to hunt if winter happens.

View attachment 206330 View attachment 206331

Tired and sweaty, I return to my waders and ease back across the slimy river rocks under the waist deep water.
No mishaps. I'm dry and back at the truck.

I finish the cinnamon roll and make a plan to maximize the rest of the afternoon. Driving back to the west side, I find several antelope herds in mixed public and private, none of which I'm particularly excited about, so I keep covering ground to find where I should start in the morning.

Coming down a hill into a green creek bottom, a giant brown blotch erupts from the ditch onto the pasture above to get a look at my truck.
Mobile brown blotches are usually domestic in these parts, but not this guy. He's a looooong way from the nearest willow patch, maybe 30 miles, and he's the second closest brown blotch I've ever seen, and by far the biggest. I get as much time with him as possible, pictures, video, spotter, even though he slowly moves off, under 200 yards most of the time.

I apply for these guys in 5 states, maybe one day I'll draw, or maybe I'll go to Alaska.
View attachment 206332

After spending the last few minutes of light watching the moose and 30-40 doe mule deer feed in the green creek bottom, I mosey away in my kitchenhorse, back to town for a pizza. Full and exhausted after nearly 20 hours awake, I'm back in the middle of the unit to pitch my tent for the night, and hitch the kitchenhorse to a bedraggled sagebrush.
What state is your second hunt in?
 

RobertD

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
1,629
Location
Southwest Georgia (GA)
I knew you'd been having more fun than should be legally allowed this fall. Didn't know you were going to share the whole saga in story form. Looking forward to more!
 

Bluffgruff

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
854
Location
Colorado
The next day I'm up just as the sky is getting pale and the stars are fading. I slept pretty damn well in my heavy down sleeping bag, and it was tough to leave for the cold pants and shirt that I hadn't warmed in my bag overnight. Out of the tent, I get cereal and coffee going. Kitchenhorse doing both of its duties perfectly so far.
Kitchenhorse.jpg

From my hilltop vantage, I can see 3 groups of antelope, but also 4 different campers. Jeez. No way to separate myself from the pack here. The one herd with a buck in it gets blown out over another hill onto private land by a truck with a camper top crawling right through them.

It's day 6 of the season, and I was hoping to be alone, or nearly so, but as I move from spot to spot, occasionally getting out to get the spotter on a buck, I'm realizing two things. First, there are dozens of people still out hunting this tag, and second, the bucks that remain are not the high end animals I expected.

I find one herd with a couple bucks well over a mile from the nearest legal access and pack up to get a closer look. I ease down one draw, and walk, then stoop, then crawl, until I'm in range of the 20th or 40th buck I had seen, and he and his 2 buddies end up being 10" goats with 5" bases and 3" prongs, much like the others I had seen that day.

I wander off, stalking a lone buck in different direction, getting to about 220 yards, and he's about the same. This feels more like Wyoming 2nd choice units than the decade-wait Colorado tag. I find several more bucks on a distant ridge, so I move that way, drop down and across a shallow valley full of Spanish Sword, walking within bow range of a yearling buck who runs off to join my target animals. When I get there, I'm feeling deja-vu, 10"x5"x3". I take a seat amongst some brush on the top of hill as I scan the surrounding country. I can see 30 or 40 antelope, but I'm starting to see vehicles too, including one (Honda CRV!) driving well off any established route. Sitting here, a bunch of mule deer boil out of the brush a couple hundred yards in front of me, spooked by another off-roading F150.

Mulieparty.jpg

I eat my lunch, watching all these critters running this way and that, hounded by over two dozen different trucks, SUVs, UTVs and ATVs. This isn't at all what I expected, and I am debating the merits of doing this for 1 or 2 more days to end up with the same type of buck, versus moving on to my next hunt in another state, when I notice a decently heavy buck has appeared on a hilltop I had crossed an hour before. I decide to get closer, since he is 800 yards away. I mark him in line with a spiky bush just below the rim of the hill, and motor down and across for about the seventh time that day. Creeping up the other side, I fail to locate him as I crest the rim, and so I unsling my rifle to keep a lower profile. After another 100 yards, an orange and white streak shoots out of the Spanish sword only 40 yards away. He has the advantage of speed and seeing me first, but the predator instincts kick in as I sprint 50 yards to the lip of the hilltop. He takes the long way around the bowl in front of me, stops to look back from 244 yards (7mm08, 145gr Barnes LRX, 2850fps) and receives some hot copper through both shoulders as I "Randy" over my backpack frame. All the grim disappointment about the pressure and little goats melts away as he flops once and is down. I close the gap to make sure he is finished, and I have a heavy horned, mature pronghorn to kick off this roadtrip.

Bestoftherest.jpg FrontCO.jpg

I spend some time carefully quartering this buck, making sure to get all the brisket, neckmeat, and as much rib meat as possible. Carefully weighing each piece of the carcass, I come up with 123lbs live weight.

After the estimated 1 mile hike back to the truck stretches to 2 and over an hour with my 100lb pack, I am thoroughly beat. I make a quick calculation in my head about misery, and drive to town, get a burger and a brown ale from a taphouse, and settle into a very comfortable king size bed for the night.

"No Ragrets!" I shot the best buck I had an opportunity at in 2 days in what should have been a better unit given the points needed to draw, but when I look at 70 or 80 bucks and nothing stands out, it's time to move on. I know my time will be short on these hunts and that I will need to take advantage of my opportunities.

Tomorrow, Mega-kota.
 
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Bluffgruff

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
854
Location
Colorado
The gap between where I am after my Colorado hunt and my target national grassland section in Mega-kota is broad. Effectively a full day, so I use this time to take a deep dive into the punk rock of my youth in the '90s and early '00s. What nostalgia! Makes me yearn for my skateboard and some Vans. Another part of this ride is a taste of the promised land of antelope in southern and central Wyoming. I drive through or on the edge of 10 of the best 15 units in Wyoming, and see thousands of antelope. As usual, some of the animals look really nice, so I drop some waypoints in places I would feel lucky to spend more time in someday.

I also cruise by units I hunted on leftover tags 10 years ago, on second choice regular draw 8 years ago, and special draw second choice in recent years. Funny how things have gotten more popular.

Antelope in Wyoming used to be my only western hunt each year, but now I've gotten greedy and each is one of many hunts each year. I can probably afford to re-evaluate my needs, especially after the 2021 pile of tags.

I didn't take a single actual picture on the ride, but a buddy of mine keeps sending ram pictures from Great Rams IV, mostly of a HTer's ridiculous winter ram from several years ago. I promise I only look while at the coffee stops in Rawlins, Casper, and Gillette.

Motoring onwards, I arrive well after dark. The forecast calls for heavy rain, and my chosen USFS chunk only has motorized access to a low lying grassy parking lot. Choosing to suffer in dryness, I get to sleep in the front seat of the kitchenhorsetent, drifting off to the herald drops of almost 1" of rain. Good choice, this time.
 

Bluffgruff

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
854
Location
Colorado
I only have one goal for this next tag, any legal buck in the northern part of MK.

Waking up to fog and rain, I switch to my already salt-crusted and malodorus hunting clothes and boots, only stepping out of the truck to relieve myself. One can't really make good coffee in this weather, so I just put the horse in drive and start east into the gray. Occasionally, visibility hits 100 yards or more, but I'm seeing very little promising terrain. There are way too many fences, enormous cattle herds, and not a sage in sight.
I finally see a group of mule deer bucks just off the road. I stop to get a quick picture in the mist, and then keep driving.

20211009_072621.jpg

I end up driving on gravel backroads and a few sections of blacktop as I look for anything resembling an antelope. Finally i find some, fenced in with a bison herd on private ground.

Continuing my drive, I almost run over a large herd of antelope cutting across the road, the buck cuts back from whence he came to corral a few stray does. I try my hand at road hunting and fail. I can't get on the buck in a large hay meadow 100 yards from the truck, and then I stalk to 300 yards and miss on the opposite side of the dirt road. Looking back, my last miss on a big game animal was 2017. Sad day. I'm pretty sure this my only shot at a buck here given what I have seen so far.
A picture of the field where it all went down, and the kitchenhorsetent in action again with a brief pause in the rain. 20211009_142114.jpg
20211009_141133.jpg

I begin covering more ground, but the rain starts again gets heavier and heavier. I see no animals at all.

20211009_171511.jpg

And this is how I came to spend the night in a hotel in Bismarck, ND. Lovely place, and the waffle was whimsical and delicious!
 
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