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My sons 2023 Hunt Season

Rzrbk

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
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752
My 10yo son was lucky to draw his first choice antelope and elk tag here in NM for this year. We just finished up his antelope hunt and I thought I'd share the very few photos that I took during the adventure. We departed two days before season began (Aug 24'th) to check spots before season opened on the 26'th.






Camper_Depart_1.jpgI

I was familiar with the unit and so we found a few spots holding nice antelope prior to opening morning. We had lots of bad luck with other hunters. I might do a whole separate post on other tagholders who lack any form of hunter etiquette/morals. We shifted our opening morning plans because prairie dog hunters came to our spot the afternoon before and spooked off the 50 or so antelope we had been viewing.

Opening morning we were up at 4am to be at a backup spot at daylight. The initial spot didn't work out and so we drove to other widely separated parcels of public land to glass. My son had one great opportunity at where a nice buck with six doe came within 100 yards and briefly stopped a couple of times. Again, another hunter came in right on top of us as he tried to get to the same antelope. At least this time the antelope had already departed on their own accord prior to the other hunter charging in.
Luke didn't shoot because he was having trouble quickly adjusting his shooting stance and shooting stick to get comfortable, but I was very proud that he didn't pull the trigger when he knew he was shaky. We covered more area for the remainder of the day and Luke had a couple more brief opportunities at decent bucks. We ended the first day at 7:30pm with Luke disappointed at our bad experiences with other hunters. I'll save the worse run-in for a potential separate post since it's deserving. Without any prompting, Luke spent about an hour at camp practicing with the shooting stick and rifle.

Day 2 we were up at 4:30 and positioned ourselves in an area that antelope had consistently been using. It was a beautiful sunrise and at daylight we had antelope within 300 yards, including a smaller buck.

View.jpg


At this point, Luke was still wanting to shoot a buck even though he was starting to waiver towards shooting any antelope. We wanted to keep the shoot distance to 150 yards based on past range practice experience. We finally tried to put a stalk on a buck, but there were far too many antelope eyes in the area to make that successful.

Tripod.jpg
We broke for lunch back at the truck and had a great discussion about our bad experiences with other hunters and the importance of having personal standards you uphold despite a strong desire to fill an antelope tag. It's better to fail than impose on antelope hunters who were first to an area. I'm pretty sure he bought into it.

After lunch, Luke decided he would harvest any adult antelope. We relocated to one of the larger blocks of land holding antelope and proceeded to cover ground and glass for antelope. We spotted a group of eight antelope including a pretty nice buck at about 400 yards. They were slowly moving in a direction to where I believed we could use a slight rise in the terrain to get in front of them. It kinda worked except the antelope were moving faster than anticipated and we arrived at the other side of the rise at the same time.

The antelope weren't exactly sure what we were, but started running away. They went a very short distance before they abruptly turned 90 degrees to where they were traveling parallel to us and actually coming a little closer. They briefly stopped once and I noticed that Luke already had the shooting stick and gun in place and then he said that he knew he could shoot the buck from where we were standing. I said OK, even though I didn't have time to get the rangefinder on them. I estimated 200 yards. The antelope moved again but stopped one more time to check us out. I started to tell Luke that he might want to raise the crosshairs just a bit, when I hear "BOOM". The buck immediately folded and Luke exclaimed "I got him!". I told him to jack another one in and get ready to shoot again if needed. The buck never got up, struggled for about 10 seconds and then disappeared in the sea of grass. We organized our gear and started walking towards where the buck was. It's amazing how they can disappear in the grass. I was beginning to think it had run off when we weren't looking. Plus, it was some distance further than I had estimated.

Antelope Harvest.jpg
Luke said it was the best day of his life and couldn't quit smiling and talking about it! The distance was 227 yards and he got on it within 10-15 seconds. He definitely made me proud.

It took us about 1:15 to cape, quarter and ice it down and we were back at camp by 5:30pm to bask in our success.

Back home with a final photo before we take his trophy to the taxidermist.

Antelope Cape.jpg

So, next up is his 1'st choice either sex elk tag. Hopefully we can share another success story. He learned a lot on this trip to take into elk country in October.
 
That’s an awesome memory you both made! I still remember the details of my son’s first Antelope and elk and mule deer. Congratulations to the both of you. I can’t wait to read about his elk hunt.
 
Dude omg this is so awesome I couldn’t stop cheesing the whole time reading! I bet you are incredibly proud! I know I would be! Congrats Luke!! Great job, Dad!

How do I go about getting a 10 year old an either sex elk tag out yonder?? 🤣
 
My 10yo son was lucky to draw his first choice antelope and elk tag here in NM for this year. We just finished up his antelope hunt and I thought I'd share the very few photos that I took during the adventure. We departed two days before season began (Aug 24'th) to check spots before season opened on the 26'th.






View attachment 290100I

I was familiar with the unit and so we found a few spots holding nice antelope prior to opening morning. We had lots of bad luck with other hunters. I might do a whole separate post on other tagholders who lack any form of hunter etiquette/morals. We shifted our opening morning plans because prairie dog hunters came to our spot the afternoon before and spooked off the 50 or so antelope we had been viewing.

Opening morning we were up at 4am to be at a backup spot at daylight. The initial spot didn't work out and so we drove to other widely separated parcels of public land to glass. My son had one great opportunity at where a nice buck with six doe came within 100 yards and briefly stopped a couple of times. Again, another hunter came in right on top of us as he tried to get to the same antelope. At least this time the antelope had already departed on their own accord prior to the other hunter charging in.
Luke didn't shoot because he was having trouble quickly adjusting his shooting stance and shooting stick to get comfortable, but I was very proud that he didn't pull the trigger when he knew he was shaky. We covered more area for the remainder of the day and Luke had a couple more brief opportunities at decent bucks. We ended the first day at 7:30pm with Luke disappointed at our bad experiences with other hunters. I'll save the worse run-in for a potential separate post since it's deserving. Without any prompting, Luke spent about an hour at camp practicing with the shooting stick and rifle.

Day 2 we were up at 4:30 and positioned ourselves in an area that antelope had consistently been using. It was a beautiful sunrise and at daylight we had antelope within 300 yards, including a smaller buck.

View attachment 290112


At this point, Luke was still wanting to shoot a buck even though he was starting to waiver towards shooting any antelope. We wanted to keep the shoot distance to 150 yards based on past range practice experience. We finally tried to put a stalk on a buck, but there were far too many antelope eyes in the area to make that successful.

View attachment 290114
We broke for lunch back at the truck and had a great discussion about our bad experiences with other hunters and the importance of having personal standards you uphold despite a strong desire to fill an antelope tag. It's better to fail than impose on antelope hunters who were first to an area. I'm pretty sure he bought into it.

After lunch, Luke decided he would harvest any adult antelope. We relocated to one of the larger blocks of land holding antelope and proceeded to cover ground and glass for antelope. We spotted a group of eight antelope including a pretty nice buck at about 400 yards. They were slowly moving in a direction to where I believed we could use a slight rise in the terrain to get in front of them. It kinda worked except the antelope were moving faster than anticipated and we arrived at the other side of the rise at the same time.

The antelope weren't exactly sure what we were, but started running away. They went a very short distance before they abruptly turned 90 degrees to where they were traveling parallel to us and actually coming a little closer. They briefly stopped once and I noticed that Luke already had the shooting stick and gun in place and then he said that he knew he could shoot the buck from where we were standing. I said OK, even though I didn't have time to get the rangefinder on them. I estimated 200 yards. The antelope moved again but stopped one more time to check us out. I started to tell Luke that he might want to raise the crosshairs just a bit, when I hear "BOOM". The buck immediately folded and Luke exclaimed "I got him!". I told him to jack another one in and get ready to shoot again if needed. The buck never got up, struggled for about 10 seconds and then disappeared in the sea of grass. We organized our gear and started walking towards where the buck was. It's amazing how they can disappear in the grass. I was beginning to think it had run off when we weren't looking. Plus, it was some distance further than I had estimated.

View attachment 290118
Luke said it was the best day of his life and couldn't quit smiling and talking about it! The distance was 227 yards and he got on it within 10-15 seconds. He definitely made me proud.

It took us about 1:15 to cape, quarter and ice it down and we were back at camp by 5:30pm to bask in our success.

Back home with a final photo before we take his trophy to the taxidermist.

View attachment 290119

So, next up is his 1'st choice either sex elk tag. Hopefully we can share another success story. He learned a lot on this trip to take into elk country in October.
So very cool! I love taking my boys as well!
 
Dude omg this is so awesome I couldn’t stop cheesing the whole time reading! I bet you are incredibly proud! I know I would be! Congrats Luke!! Great job, Dad!

How do I go about getting a 10 year old an either sex elk tag out yonder?? 🤣
Thanks a bunch, I'm still pretty pumped about it. I'm thinking I should have had seven or eight kids to drive up our odds of drawing a tag. My 14yo daughter I can tell is pretty distraught having to watch her younger brother go on antelope/elk hunts.
 
Congrats to you both! As a dad of several young hunters, I especially loved the part where, without being told, he practiced with the sticks and rifle in camp, after they frustrated him in the field. Looking forward to hearing about the elk hunt!
 
My 10yo son was lucky to draw his first choice antelope and elk tag here in NM for this year. We just finished up his antelope hunt and I thought I'd share the very few photos that I took during the adventure. We departed two days before season began (Aug 24'th) to check spots before season opened on the 26'th.






View attachment 290100I

I was familiar with the unit and so we found a few spots holding nice antelope prior to opening morning. We had lots of bad luck with other hunters. I might do a whole separate post on other tagholders who lack any form of hunter etiquette/morals. We shifted our opening morning plans because prairie dog hunters came to our spot the afternoon before and spooked off the 50 or so antelope we had been viewing.

Opening morning we were up at 4am to be at a backup spot at daylight. The initial spot didn't work out and so we drove to other widely separated parcels of public land to glass. My son had one great opportunity at where a nice buck with six doe came within 100 yards and briefly stopped a couple of times. Again, another hunter came in right on top of us as he tried to get to the same antelope. At least this time the antelope had already departed on their own accord prior to the other hunter charging in.
Luke didn't shoot because he was having trouble quickly adjusting his shooting stance and shooting stick to get comfortable, but I was very proud that he didn't pull the trigger when he knew he was shaky. We covered more area for the remainder of the day and Luke had a couple more brief opportunities at decent bucks. We ended the first day at 7:30pm with Luke disappointed at our bad experiences with other hunters. I'll save the worse run-in for a potential separate post since it's deserving. Without any prompting, Luke spent about an hour at camp practicing with the shooting stick and rifle.

Day 2 we were up at 4:30 and positioned ourselves in an area that antelope had consistently been using. It was a beautiful sunrise and at daylight we had antelope within 300 yards, including a smaller buck.

View attachment 290112


At this point, Luke was still wanting to shoot a buck even though he was starting to waiver towards shooting any antelope. We wanted to keep the shoot distance to 150 yards based on past range practice experience. We finally tried to put a stalk on a buck, but there were far too many antelope eyes in the area to make that successful.

View attachment 290114
We broke for lunch back at the truck and had a great discussion about our bad experiences with other hunters and the importance of having personal standards you uphold despite a strong desire to fill an antelope tag. It's better to fail than impose on antelope hunters who were first to an area. I'm pretty sure he bought into it.

After lunch, Luke decided he would harvest any adult antelope. We relocated to one of the larger blocks of land holding antelope and proceeded to cover ground and glass for antelope. We spotted a group of eight antelope including a pretty nice buck at about 400 yards. They were slowly moving in a direction to where I believed we could use a slight rise in the terrain to get in front of them. It kinda worked except the antelope were moving faster than anticipated and we arrived at the other side of the rise at the same time.

The antelope weren't exactly sure what we were, but started running away. They went a very short distance before they abruptly turned 90 degrees to where they were traveling parallel to us and actually coming a little closer. They briefly stopped once and I noticed that Luke already had the shooting stick and gun in place and then he said that he knew he could shoot the buck from where we were standing. I said OK, even though I didn't have time to get the rangefinder on them. I estimated 200 yards. The antelope moved again but stopped one more time to check us out. I started to tell Luke that he might want to raise the crosshairs just a bit, when I hear "BOOM". The buck immediately folded and Luke exclaimed "I got him!". I told him to jack another one in and get ready to shoot again if needed. The buck never got up, struggled for about 10 seconds and then disappeared in the sea of grass. We organized our gear and started walking towards where the buck was. It's amazing how they can disappear in the grass. I was beginning to think it had run off when we weren't looking. Plus, it was some distance further than I had estimated.

View attachment 290118
Luke said it was the best day of his life and couldn't quit smiling and talking about it! The distance was 227 yards and he got on it within 10-15 seconds. He definitely made me proud.

It took us about 1:15 to cape, quarter and ice it down and we were back at camp by 5:30pm to bask in our success.

Back home with a final photo before we take his trophy to the taxidermist.

View attachment 290119

So, next up is his 1'st choice either sex elk tag. Hopefully we can share another success story. He learned a lot on this trip to take into elk country in October.
Congratulations. That is what hunting is all about.
 
Excellent in every respect. Thanks for sharing the story here. Congratulations to your son. He showed maturity reflective of good parenting.

Looking forward to the rest of the season story.
 

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