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This site has literally changed my life!... oh, and an antelope story!

bigdonniebrasco

Active member
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
465
Location
Kansas
Back in the late fall of 2015 I stumbled across this website, and began reading about hunting "out West". I was 49, and fretting over whether or not I'd ever get to fulfill my dream of going on an actual hunting trip, and not just shooting a deer in a corn field down the street.

With no points, but plenty of help from you all I ended up in unit 16, and worked my butt off for a buck that I was THRILLED to have!! ... I was hooked!

On the drive back to KS after that hunt I was already planning my hunt for 2017, I'd have a single point, and a lot more knowledge!
In 2017 a friend wanted to tag along and we ended up hunting our second choice unit and getting a second point. This was my friends very first Pronghorn hunt so I felt like a pro with a single goat under my belt. Once again I busted my butt for a goat that really defined what pronghorn hunting is. The glassing, the stalking, the long shots (compared to KS deer). My buddy however literally stumbled across a near "Booner" and dropped a 77" buck his first time out. I was happy for him if not a touch jealous.

2018 rolls around, and I have 2 points, and this time my WIFE of all people wants to tag along! She is an aspiring hunter, and wasn't sure what she was getting herself into, but I was happy to have her along. Bought a larger tent, a TWO person sleeping bag, and all the things I could think of in order to keep her relatively comfortable in a tent, out on the exposed plains of WY.

We left the morning of Sept 29th at 5am and drove until midnight, pitched our tent in freezing drizzle and gale-force winds, and I am sure she was wondering what she had gotten herself into. The next morning was the day before opener and the plan was to glass a lot, and try and find a buck that was 77 1/16" ;).
Actually I just wanted a really pretty representation of a pronghorn buck. I loved my first two, but they were the first two that I saw, and I shot them. I planned to listen to you all and NOT shoot the first buck in range, and wait for "the one". Well the first day was so foggy, drizzly, and cold, that we just hiked around and looked at mulies and elk. By late afternoon it was clear enough to move camp, and try and find a shooter. We saw a lot of really nice bucks, and a lot of hunters with the same plan as us! After looking at probably 100 bucks, they all started to look about the same... "oh, that ones nice". They ALL were "nice", but nothing that made you stomp the brakes and fumble for the binos. About an hour before last light we crested a hill and there was a pronghorn buck that must have run all the way up from New Mexico to stand within 134 yards of the trail we were on! He was one of those that almost looks photoshopped, he was so tall! VERY tall, and a perfect heart-shape. He wasn't too freaked out, and I was able to range him and look at him with my binos. EASILY over 80 but season was 12 hours away. We set up our camp within 1/2 mile and hoped he would stay close.

The next morning we sprang out of bed early, climbed out of the tent, and PEA SOUP!! Couldn't see 20 yards. You could barely tell the sun was rising and we were already hearing gunshots. All I could think of was "someone is shooting that stud".

We quickly got dressed and headed out and the visibility was very slowly ebbing and flowing between white-out, and low visibility. This unit had the most road hunters that I had encountered to date and I was getting nervous that all the goats would either be dead or spooked to the next county. It was barely 8am opening day, and I was freaking out that I was going to eat tag soup (still a greenhorn).

We followed a glorified cow path that ONX listed as some sort of "road" until it dead ended at a dammed off creek. We decided to hop out and see how far into the fog we could walk in order to get well away from the roads. We debated left or right of the creek, and eventually settled on the low ground to the right to see if the visibility would improve. We'd gone about 500 yards when I grabbed my wifes arm and whisper-yelled "GOATS" We took a knee and I grabbed my binos, and I could clearly see the silhouettes of 2 pronghorn. I checked ONX, and we were WELL within public, and there were no roads beyond them. I tried to range them but my range finder couldn't cut the fog. I said to my wife "I think I'm gonna take a poke" ... she looked surprised, as it was 8:45 opening morning. I had to guess at the yardage, and I was certain he was right about 200. We have a range where we practice out to 300 on a regular basis. I would never try an off-hand shot or a rushed shot at an animal, and the only reason I was going to take this shot is that we had a fancy new tripod with us that we got just for glassing, but it also has a gun rest on it and it's as stable as a shooting bench. The goats knew we were there but they weren't sure what we were and they weren't too worried. I got a solid sitting base, rested my .270 on the tripod, set my CDS dial to 200 and held a hair high...just in case. I slowly squeezed the trigger, and he dropped. Almost immediately I thought "I did it again...I shot the first buck within range"! IDOT! Randy would be so disappointed LOL.

My wife said "WOW, that was fast!" (not the first time I've heard that).... We walked up on him and he was looking better and better with each step. All kidding aside, I would rather have intact tips and prongs on a "pretty" smaller buck, than an asymmetrical monster with busted tips and prongs. I just wanted a nice looking mount that was destined to be displayed in my wifes office as a reminder of this trip. Once I reached him I remember saying "he's NICE.... REALLY NICE".

The wife helped process him, and get him to the truck, where we packed up and headed to a different unit with a doe tag in hand.

Once in the doe unit, we set up camp and didn't see a soul for 3 1/2 days! It was awesome! Hardly saw any goats either! We hiked an average of 17-20 miles a day, had fun, drank a few nightly beers and watched the stars, it was a pretty amazing "camping trip"!
On the last day I was sure were were taking a doe tag back to KS with us. In fact, we had packed up camp, and started driving out when my wife said "THERE'S SOME GOATS RIGHT THERE!" about 500 yards in front of where we were camped, 4 does and a buck were trotting straight at us! I turned off the truck and hopped out, and waited for them to drop into a ravine. I crouch-ran about 200 yards to get to a point where I knew they would cross my path at 150 yards. Sure enough, they followed the script, and I dropped my first doe ever at 157 yards.

I'm telling you, if your wife is into it, you should try it! She was such a valuable asset! I showed her how to use the ONX app, and she became the navigator. She earned the nickname "Magellan" for her navigational prowess. Another positive is shared body-heat at night, and I never opened a single gate! :)

At the end of the day, my buck does look to be bigger than my buddy's buck from last year, but of course that doesn't matter... he's beautiful! The trip was amazing, sharing the time and experiences with my wife was something we'll both remember forever, and we got plenty of meat to take back home!

Thanks again for the endless support!! I got my binos used from one of you, some firstlite gear from one of you, My scope from one of you... TIPS from countless numbers of you (PIZZA BARN).... You guys rock!
 

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wllm1313

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
7,834
Location
Aurora, CO ⇄ Boston, MA
Loved the write up! My wife doesn't come on many hunts due to her job, but it's always a blast when she does. Glad you two got to share the experience.

That euro turned out great, what did you put on the horns to turn them so uniformly black? I really like it.
 

bigdonniebrasco

Active member
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
465
Location
Kansas
Loved the write up! My wife doesn't come on many hunts due to her job, but it's always a blast when she does. Glad you two got to share the experience.

That euro turned out great, what did you put on the horns to turn them so uniformly black? I really like it.
There is a guy on YouTube "WhiteBone creations" I think.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lj7DtfsmaA

It's actually Mop n Glow applied with a paint brush, it eventually dries to a satin finish, but that was shot right after application. I coat all my horns and skulls with it. It seals them really well, and makes it easy to dust them when needed.
 

bigdonniebrasco

Active member
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
465
Location
Kansas
Man, I love that story. Thanks for sharing this with us. And congrats on some great results.
This new "addiction" is all your fault Randy! ;) I have watched and re-watched your pronghorn videos like 20 times a piece!! All the rest only 10 times!
 

jnagel32

Active member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
516
Location
Pennsylvania
Sounds like you had the trip of a lifetime with your wife! Glad you two enjoyed it and congrats on a great goat!
 

Addicting

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
3,480
Location
SW Michigan
Congrats on a great trip, I will be taking the wife next year. I hope she makes is as good of a trip as yours did.
 
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