New Mexico success

okie archer

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Feb 3, 2015
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538
The two years previous to 2022 I went to new Mexico on otc private land tags to hunt Pronghorn. I decided after having a little experience in the unit I would apply for the state tag and bypass paying the trespass fee to the ranch I had hunted on. As a nonresident I drew the tag the first year I applied. At the time I didn't really realize how hard the tag was to draw. Last year the same tag had 82 applicants applying for 2 tags. After the draw results I called a game Warden for the unit. While talking to him he told me a Game Warden friend of his had drawn the other tag. Come to find out the Game Warden was Game Warden in my county in Oklahoma where I lived. How bizarre was that? The two NR tags available were drawn by two guys from same county in Oklahoma. I had met the GW before.
I was accompanied by two good friends on the hunt. One friend is a hunt talker I have known since I was about 9 or 10 years old, thanks shortbowshot! He and his Uncle Bud drove the 4 hours from Arkansas to meet up with me in Oklahoma Wednesday evening. We left for NM at 5:45 pm. We arrived at about 1:30 am. We wanted to scout for two days before opener. We were up at 5:00 am. We drove close two 500 miles in two days looking over the unit. Not only did we drive a lot we also walked about 4-5 miles a day scouting. Our goal was to find several shooters in the unit to have options in case the hunting pressure was bad. We glassed up a buck first evening we really liked. We got up the next morning at 4:00 am to begin our day of scouting. We went back to same area and believe we found the buck again. We also spotted a very big lone bull elk. Plan was to try and put the buck to bed night before opener. We walked and glassed but couldn't find the buck. When we got back to truck we ran into the Oklahoma Game Warden tag holder at the road. He was scouting the same area! We talked for a bit and went on our way. Now we weren't sure what to do. We decided that I would be dropped off at some public land where we had seen a nice buck twice the day before and my partner would walk in and glass the area we had been scouting and continue glassing. Opening day when the sun came up I was already into the parcel of land glassing/hunting. I had not seen a single Pronghorn. From where I was at I could see a truck pull up about daylight watching the state land I was hunting. Within about 30 minutes of daylight my partner called me to say he thought he found the buck we had been seeing for two days. I walked back to road and the road hunters saw me and drove off. I went down the road about 1.5 miles and parked and walked in. I finally got to the area the buck was at and finally got eyes on him. I began a stalk. I got to within about 500 yards and could not believe he busted me. I barely began to peak over the rise and he had me pegged! The buck ran up the hill and snorted at me. He calmed a bit and made some rubs. He then trotted over the hill. I decided to make my way up the hill and see if I could turn him up somewhere. I made it over the hill but couldn't find him to the west so I headed up and over another hill heading south. I carefully was walking and looking. At once I got a glimpse of a black V down the hill. I just happened to be almost directly in line with the only big cedar on the hill. I slowly slid a couple feet over to be hid and looked through my binoculars. I discovered a bedded buck facing my way and he hadn't spooked! I got in line of the cedar and made it up to the cedar about 80-90 yards. Peeking around the cedar I got eyes on him again. I got a range of 445 yards. I dialed up my scope, opened up bi-pods, got on my hearing protection because 300 win mags with muzzle brakes shooting 220 grain bullets not only effectively kill antelopes but they are also very loud. Ask me why my ear is still ringing from last November. I got settled and looked through my scope again. All I could see was his face and head. The buck finally stood up, quartering to me. I put the cross hairs where I wanted and almost pulled the trigger but wasn't quite settled. I exhaled and looked away but quickly got settled again. This time I let the 300 wm bark. Because of the recoil I lost buck in my scope. I looked above my scope but didn't see him. Looking back through scope I saw him lying there. I dropped him where he was standing.
I called shortbowshot and told him. He was about 2 miles away. He said he would walk back to truck and get his pack and bring uncle Bud with him. Uncle Bud is 66 and has COPD but he loves going on these trips and loves a group photo if he can get to the animal. I did not go to the animal. I waited for them. About an hour later they made it to me. After taking pics we grabbed a snack and cut up the buck. Uncle Bud went ahead of us back to the truck. We got our packs on and headed back. I used tracker on onx and we had packed out 1.97 miles. I will never know if the buck I killed was the buck we had been glassing but it didn't matter I wasn't going to pass him up. He was a nice buck and provided great memories, a great public land experience, and some fine table fare. Buck wasn't an 80 incher I was hoping for but those are hard to find, even in New Mexico, at least in my experience. Uncle Bud made the 4 mile round trip. Now uncle Bud can get the group pic enlarged and put it on his wall with all his other pics.
Another note: On Friday evening we heard a squealing in my truck. We couldn't find where it was at for sure. After driving all over the place we made it back to Oklahoma at 11:30 pm. On Monday about 2 miles from my house the water pump went out. I'm so thankful it didn't happen on the trip. I changed the water pump on Monday and smoked meat all day Tuesday.
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Rzrbk

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Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
583
Thanks for sharing! Sounds like you had good wingmen from Razorback land!
 

okie archer

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Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
538
Congrats on the Nice buck! My kids and I saw you guys packing him out and talked to your uncle for a bit at the fence before y’all made it back to the truck. We chased a really nice buck on the parcel just to the east on Monday morning, couldn’t get a shot on him.
That's crazy, never know who you might run across. I wish y'all could have got the buck.
 

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