Oklahoma pronghorn hunt

WildWill

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Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
3,063
Location
SE Oklahoma
My buddy another Will drew a Cimarron County pronghorn doe tag in the Oklahoma controlled hunts this year. Will is a close friend and we do as many hunts together as possible. I drew the same tag in 2017 and he was there as usual so when I heard he drew I cleared my schedule to help. After one of the best dove hunts of my life we loaded up the truck and made the almost 9 hour trip (never leaving Oklahoma) to Black Mesa state park where we would setup base camp. We got there around 3pm on September 3rd the day before the hunt and setup camp. The camp was a bit crowded due to labor day but thankfully I know the campground well and booked a good shady spot way in advance 😉.-7950920192530348963.jpg.jpg


After a siesta we headed out to do a little scouting. I won't lie we were a bit cocky having done the hunt successfully in the past and knowing the area well. But after a few hours with the sun starting to get low we hadn't seen near the numbers as in the past and I began to wonder how "easy" this easy hunt would be. The tag quotas had been cut in half for bucks and a 3rd for does this year after remaining the same for years so I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised. Still we were able to find some on public including around 20 on a large piece of public we watched till sundown making a plan for the mornings approach.20230903_185518.jpg20230904_102444.jpg20230904_102449.jpg



That morning we got to the stock tank with cover we had chosen before dawn and didn't have long to wait for the sun to rise. Quickly after the first rays of sunshine hit the short grass Prarie we saw our first antelope then another and another until there were 15 does/fawns and a buck 700 yards to our west. They never got closer then 420 yards to our hiding spot and Will decided there was plenty of time and no need to try a long shot yet. They fed around eventually working far to the North with no cover for a stalk we decided to leave them alone and try again tomorrow morning. From our new vantage point we realized a small patch of sunflowers in a low area of the field were actually 5-6ft tall and plenty thick enough to hide in. We headed out to see if we could find a smaller group or single preferably on a stalkable piece of public. A tall order on Rita Blanca wma it's 15,000 extremely fragmented acres of some of the most flat barren ground you've ever seen. Although like alot of antelope country it's deceiving at times as the country appears flat but has just enough of a dip or elevation rise for antelope to hide.20230905_072825.jpg20230904_102207.jpg


We cruised around finding one group in a decent area for a stalk. We decided he should go alone and I stayed at the truck to await a update. He tried to use the sparse cover of a fence but was quickly picked off and they took off. We drove around for a bit longer but eventually it was 96 degrees and we decided to call it a day and get lunch. One highlight was a kit fox we came across cool critters. 20230904_192637.jpg20230904_113553.jpg

We got up early the next morning and headed to the spot getting into our sunflower thicket before first light. Once the sun began to lighten the sky we realized we'd picked the right spot. They were 350 yards away and heading closer. Will got on his tripod and waited when they were at 270 yards he picked out a lone doe and made a good quartering to shot with his 6.5 manbun. She dropped her head ran 40 yards and died the herd stopped and surrounded her for a second before running north. I headed back to the truck and got the game cart and hauled out my buddies first Oklahoma pronghorn.1000004174.jpg20230905_082103.jpg1000004175(1).jpg20230905_090846.jpg


We headed back to camp and sense it was already 11am decided to stay another night we'd already paid and get up early to break camp and do the 9 hour drive. In fact I typed most of this out while Will drove the last half home. Just got here and looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.
 
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My buddy another Will drew a Cimarron County pronghorn doe tag in the Oklahoma controlled hunts this year. Will is a close friend and we do as many hunts together as possible. I drew the same tag in 2017 and he was there as usual so when I heard he drew I cleared my schedule to help. After one of the best dove hunts of my life we loaded up the truck and made the almost 9 hour trip (never leaving Oklahoma) to Black Mesa state park where we would setup base camp. We got there around 3pm on September 3rd the day before the hunt and setup camp. The camp was a bit crowded due to labor day but thankfully I know the campground well and booked a good shady spot way in advance 😉.View attachment 291118


After a siesta we headed out to do a little scouting. I won't lie we were a bit cocky having done the hunt successfully in the past and knowing the area well. But after a few hours with the sun starting to get low we hadn't seen near the numbers as in the past and I began to wonder how "easy" this easy hunt would be. The tag quotas had been cut in half for bucks and a 3rd for does this year after remaining the same for years so I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised. Still we were able to find some on public including around 20 on a large piece of public we watched till sundown making a plan for the mornings approach.View attachment 291134View attachment 291135View attachment 291136



That morning we got to the stock tank with cover we had chosen before dawn and didn't have long to wait for the sun to rise. Quickly after the first rays of sunshine hit the short grass Prarie we saw our first antelope then another and another until there were 15 does/fawns and a buck 700 yards to our west. They never got closer then 420 yards to our hiding spot and Will decided there was plenty of time and no need to try a long shot yet. They fed around eventually working far to the North with no cover for a stalk we decided to leave them alone and try again tomorrow morning. From our new vantage point we realized a small patch of sunflowers in a low area of the field were actually 5-6ft tall and plenty thick enough to hide in. We headed out to see if we could find a smaller group or single preferably on a stalkable piece of public. A tall order on Rita Blanca wma it's 15,000 extremely fragmented acres of some of the most flat barren ground you've ever seen. Although like alot of antelope country it's deceiving at times as the country appears flat but has just enough of a dip or elevation rise for antelope to hide.View attachment 291144View attachment 291145


We cruised around finding one group in a decent area for a stalk. We decided he should go alone and I stayed at the truck to await a update. He tried to use the sparse cover of a fence but was quickly picked off and they took off. We drove around for a bit longer but eventually it was 96 degrees and we decided to call it a day and get lunch. One highlight was a kit fox we came across cool critters. View attachment 291148View attachment 291149

We got up early the next morning and headed to the spot getting into our sunflower thicket before first light. Once the sun began to lighten the sky we realized we'd picked the right spot. They were 350 yards away and heading closer. Will got on his tripod and waited when they were at 270 yards he picked out a lone doe and made a good quartering to shot with his 6.5 manbun. She dropped her head ran 40 yards and died the herd stopped and surrounded her for a second before running north. I headed back to the truck and got the game cart and hauled out my buddies first Oklahoma pronghorn.View attachment 291152View attachment 291150View attachment 291151View attachment 291153


We headed back to camp and sense it was already 11am decided to stay another night we'd already paid and get up early to break camp and do the 9 hour drive. In fact I typed most of this out while Will drove the last half home. Just got here and looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.
Nice. But the 6.5 Man Bun thing. The last time I did a ball check, I took the ‘06 parent cases or above. Thanks. Looked like a great hunt though!
 
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I leave the 19th for my CO muzzleloader pronghorn hunt this was a great practice run.
I ML just over the OK border. Isn't that some of the flattest land you've ever seen? Definitely one if my favorite hunts, especially with open sights. Good luck, post results, I'm out this season with knee replacements, im living vicariously through you guys
 
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I ML just over the OK border. Isn't that some of the flattest land you've ever seen? Definitely one if my favorite hunts, especially with open sights. Good luck, post results, I'm out this season with knee replacements, im living vicariously through you guys
I hunted muzzleloader in that same unit once a few years back very hard to get that close especially in that terrain.


@WildWill
Nice pics, I can almost see the skyscrapers of Dalhart...good luck in CO.
Thank you sir! Yesterday was a brutal 12+ hour solo drive. But got here got camp setup and am currently having a glass of tea (don't drink coffee) watching the sunrise about to go find some antelope for tomorrow's opener.20230919_171632.jpg20230920_063119.jpg
 
I hunted muzzleloader in that same unit once a few years back very hard to get that close especially in that terrain.



Thank you sir! Yesterday was a brutal 12+ hour solo drive. But got here got camp setup and am currently having a glass of tea (don't drink coffee) watching the sunrise about to go find some antelope for tomorrow's opener.View attachment 293255View attachment 293256
Good luck!!
 

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