Ground blind for antelope

Jack O'Conner

New member
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
Messages
131
Location
Black Hawk, SD
My kid brother and me were frustrated that we couldn't seem to get within 30-30 range very easily. The previous season hadn't gone well for us. Our open prairies of Park County, Wyoming gave all the advantages to the sharp eyed antelope. Except one. The ability to plan.

I devised this plan where the kid would dig a pit about 75 yards from a heavily used fence crossing. Then I would conceal it with sage wired to stakes. But as most kid brothers grow up, they lose their ability to follow orders. So we took turns using the pick and shovel to dig into the arid ground. It was tedious and slow. I tried to fool him into working faster by telling of a lost cavalry payroll strongbox of gold coins but the kid was getting wiser all the time.

It took most of the day but we completed the job. Uncle W.A remarked that he dug similar pits in Europe during the "Big One".

Opening day of antelope season a month later found us crouched opposite each other in our pit. Shortly after dawn we heard rifle shots on the gravel road that followed a section line. The kid clutched Grandad's battered 30-30 carbine since he had drawn the short straw at home the night before (Dad supervised). All I could do was wait for my turn to shoot.

Less than 5 minutes later, the goats lined single file up to cross under the wire. The kid rested our Winchester on the little berm of earth and squeezed one off. The carbine barked and a small chunk of hide jumped off the shoulder of a medium sized buck. The rest of the goats scee-daddled and vanished into the sea of sage dotted prairie. But the buck toppled over and kicked a bit before he lay still.

A big grin swept across our faces at the same time. I grabbed the kid's shoulder and said, "That was a great shot, wait till Dad sees this one"! So we dragged his buck about 200 yards from our spot to cut him open and pulled out the entrails. Then we walked back to where our bicycles were hidden and pedaled home.

Four days later, the situation was repeated with me holding the old Winchester. I shot a barren doe for the freezer. Dad said the big bucks were for the out-of-state sportsmen who were staying at Uncle Harold and Aunt Eunice's motel in Cody.

Last summer, I walked out to the old pit with my youngest daughter. It is caved in a bit but still there.
Jack
 
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