Only in a small town


Well-known member
Aug 6, 2011
Fair warning, this write-up is almost more about the connections within a small town than the hunt itself.

My wife and I met in Chicago while I was in training, and although she’s a bit of a city girl, she still likes to keep me company on many of my hunts- especially antelope. She grew up under communism in Lithuania and moved to the US in her early twenties. We have a nine year old daughter who decided this year, she didn’t want to stay with the grandparents while we hunted, and instead join with us.

We arrived in Small Town, MT late Friday afternoon the day before the opener to scout the area and make a plan. That evening while on a dirt road about twenty miles from town, my low tire pressure light came on which usually I would ignore until I’m at a gas station, but my wise wife insisted I check it out right then and there. And wise she was! The tire was totally flat and although it was easy enough to put the the spare on, my plans for the next morning were in serious jeopardy as I couldn’t in good conscience drive around all day on dirt roads hunting with no back-up tire.

Once the spare was on, we quickly made our way back to Small Town and luckily the local tire guy agreed to come back to his shop and help us out. While he was working and chatting with us, he noticed my wife’s accent. After telling us how he also had been to many Eastern bloc countries working in the wind industry, he mentioned that the town mechanic recently married a Lithuanian lady within the last six months. We smiled at the coincidence but didn’t think much of it after that. While patching the tire, he found the guilty culprit rattling inside- a Phillips head attachement had pierced clean through.

As the bright dawn of opening morning broke, our perch on a small rise overlooking a valley that had held antelope the day before was now vacant. Lucky to have five good tires, we all piled into the car to search for our quarry elsewhere. About a half hour later, my wife’s keen eye spotted a group of three tucked between some hills on public land about a mile away.

One flaw I’ve had with previous hand held rangefinders is their inability to range in flat fields which is common during antelope hunting. This year, I upgraded to Zeiss Conguest rangefinding binos and they were outstanding in this regard. My initial stalk used a broken shed as cover, but thanks to the binos, I knew I was still over 400 yards away which is my upper limit. I backed out carefully and came in from a different angle using a gentle hill as cover. Belly crawling to the peak, I was happy to see the three antelope, two does and a decent buck, were unaware of my presence. This time they were only 260 yards away. Carefully sitting upright with my rifle on shooting sticks, I put a shot into the lungs and after a 75 yard run, my buck was down. My wife and daughter watched from a few hundred yards back with their binoculars and were just as excited as I was!

After taking getting everything back into the truck, we headed back to small town for well deserved breakfast. The waitress again noticed my wife’s accent and asked where she was from. After being told Lithuanian, the waitress’ eyes widened and she exclaimed that we should meet the newly arrived Lithuanian. We laughed and told her the tire repair guy mentioned that too. The waitress told us that Small Town only has less than a thousand people so everyone pretty much knows everything. The the waitress wrote the mechanic’s phone number down and insisted we call him to have the wives meet.

As we left the restaurant, I asked my wife if we should call and she thought it might be kind of weird for the mechanic but she was fine with it. Bracing for an awkward phone call, I dialed the number, and not ten minutes later, I had two new friends meeting us in the motel parking lot. The wives were happily chatting away on Lithuanian while her mechanic husband and I talked and thought what a pleasant coincidence it was and how charming small town friendliness can be.


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Well-known member
Jan 30, 2013
Such a big world but so small, cool story and great Pronghorn. My wife always spots the animals first as well, luckily she passed it on to my son.


Well-known member
Jul 30, 2011
So cool to find new friends while on a hunting adventure.

And so awesome to have your family join in as well.

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