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Was my experience normal...or did I somehow F&#K up?

Well you did ask if you effed up and the consensus is pretty much yes. And then you get pissy because you didn't get the "aww poor baby" reaction you were looking for.
Just use this as a part of the learning curve of hunting big game and move on. (y)
Its all good, happily I just recently scored another FCFS tag, this one is a muzzleloader tag for antlered mule deer up in a prime area of Northen NV, and the season starts Sunday, and this time I have managed to arrange to spend five whole days out in the area with a professional guide, and I'm eager to learn all I can from a pro instead of just wandering around on my own.

Of course, if I get a nice buck and post about it online, some people will probably trash talk me for "cheating" by hiring a guide, and that's ok, one has to have a thick skin these days.
 
@DoveEater the only thing you actually screwed up is your attitude. Hunting isn't about killing something, its about the pursuit, adventure and a whole slue of other things. Your decision to go back for another try shouldn't have been influenced by the Antelope you saw (or didn't see). You had a tag for that area and the tag was issued because Nevade fish and wildlife felt there was an Antelope there for you to pursue. Hell, the lack of animals seen would have personally drove me to try again and figure it out. I like the challenge.
 
@DoveEater the only thing you actually screwed up is your attitude. Hunting isn't about killing something, its about the pursuit, adventure and a whole slue of other things. Your decision to go back for another try shouldn't have been influenced by the Antelope you saw (or didn't see). You had a tag for that area and the tag was issued because Nevade fish and wildlife felt there was an Antelope there for you to pursue. Hell, the lack of animals seen would have personally drove me to try again and figure it out. I like the challenge.
This! ☝️☝️☝️
 
Its all good, happily I just recently scored another FCFS tag, this one is a muzzleloader tag for antlered mule deer up in a prime area of Northen NV, and the season starts Sunday, and this time I have managed to arrange to spend five whole days out in the area with a professional guide, and I'm eager to learn all I can from a pro instead of just wandering around on my own.

Of course, if I get a nice buck and post about it online, some people will probably trash talk me for "cheating" by hiring a guide, and that's ok, one has to have a thick skin these days.
IMG_0623.jpeg
 
Its all good, happily I just recently scored another FCFS tag, this one is a muzzleloader tag for antlered mule deer up in a prime area of Northen NV, and the season starts Sunday, and this time I have managed to arrange to spend five whole days out in the area with a professional guide, and I'm eager to learn all I can from a pro instead of just wandering around on my own.

Of course, if I get a nice buck and post about it online, some people will probably trash talk me for "cheating" by hiring a guide, and that's ok, one has to have a thick skin these days.
Most of us aren’t anti guide. I’ve killed bulls in 5 states without one and it’s almost been 20 years since I haven’t punch a bull tag. I hired a guide this year for a Audad tag I drew area has very checker boarded access and I don’t have the time to learn it or want to drive 1000 miles across some nasty country in December. Guys do find it funny when people don’t have the you tube experience and pull up and blow a booner over on the first morning
 
Alrighty, I'm back from my successful guided mule deer hunt, and I'm going to post what I learned, especially in case someone else without much real-life hunting experience comes across or is following this thread.

Though as some posters already pointed out it was basically insufficient glassing.

Here is what I really did "wrong" during my unsuccessful antelope hunt: My idea of "glassing" was to hike most of the way up a hill or ridge (I at least knew to avoid skylining my silhouette) and spend a few minutes or so visually scouring a hillside or valley, looking for actual antelope bodies, and when I did not see any antelope after scanning the area with my binos, I immediately went back to the truck and drove farther down the road.

I now know that for some, "glassing" means spending HOURS IN ONE AREA "picking apart every sagebrush", then moving a little distance away, and again visually picking apart every bush looking for the difference between an antler tip of a bedded down deer and a bush branch.

No offense to guys who actually enjoy doing that, and my guide said he really does enjoy doing that, but that is way too tedious for me.

But it was amazing how many more animals the guide would find. At one stop I scanned the area I thought pretty well with my binos and saw no deer. The guide spent some more time looking with the spotting scope, and then was able to point out to me several deer I had missed.
 
Update: I've requested a username change from AntelopeEater to DoveEater, because I was able to successfully hunt a bunch of doves this weekend, yay!

In case anyone is interested, this "lucky but dumb" guy who just started trying to get into big game hunting this year, reached out to several hunting guides soon after starting this thread in the hopes of getting professional help to try to get an antelope.

None of the guides had availability with such short notice, but one of them did mention that Unit 33 has gone really downhill for antelope in recent years. Which made me feel better about not being able to find one there.

I thought for awhile about going back out to give another try for a 'Lope, especially after watching that Adam Sandler clip about finding the dog one of you posted in this thread.......but 18 hours roundtrip drive to a place I had already spent numerous days in without seeing any antelope was just not appealing. Especially because I would have to do it completely solo.

I do sincerely thank those of you who reached out with PM's with advice and spots, I'll try to return the favor sometime as I gain more knowledge and experience.

On the Friday before the Holiday Weekend I called the NDOW office to see if I could return or transfer the tag since there was still some time left, and even if I couldn't get a refund I still wanted to let someone else have the chance, but the lady I talked to there said there was no way to transfer or turn back in that tag.

Yesterday I went jump-shooting for doves at a place that was only a little over an hour drive my home and it was an absolute blast! I think I'll probably stick to action-packed closer to home small game hunting trips for awhile.
I'd suggest trying to have a good spotting scope on future antelope hunts. Another poster already mentioned that you will eventually learn what terrain/habitat is worth glassing. Binoculars are like pea shooters in big country. For antelope, I try to have two spotting scopes with one mounted on my window mount and another on a tripod where I can quickly adapt to the situation. You'll cover a lot more ground a lot more thoroughly with the spotting scope.
 
Alrighty, I'm back from my successful guided mule deer hunt, and I'm going to post what I learned, especially in case someone else without much real-life hunting experience comes across or is following this thread.

Though as some posters already pointed out it was basically insufficient glassing.

Here is what I really did "wrong" during my unsuccessful antelope hunt: My idea of "glassing" was to hike most of the way up a hill or ridge (I at least knew to avoid skylining my silhouette) and spend a few minutes or so visually scouring a hillside or valley, looking for actual antelope bodies, and when I did not see any antelope after scanning the area with my binos, I immediately went back to the truck and drove farther down the road.

I now know that for some, "glassing" means spending HOURS IN ONE AREA "picking apart every sagebrush", then moving a little distance away, and again visually picking apart every bush looking for the difference between an antler tip of a bedded down deer and a bush branch.

No offense to guys who actually enjoy doing that, and my guide said he really does enjoy doing that, but that is way too tedious for me.

But it was amazing how many more animals the guide would find. At one stop I scanned the area I thought pretty well with my binos and saw no deer. The guide spent some more time looking with the spotting scope, and then was able to point out to me several deer I had missed.
So.. let's hear about that deer hunt!
 
DoveEater - No offense to guys who actually enjoy doing that, and my guide said he really does enjoy doing that, but that is way too tedious for me.
It's too bad you feel that way. Looking for game is actual hunting. Seems to me you're more into the killing aspect of it.
But to each his own.
 
Here is what I really did "wrong" during my unsuccessful antelope hunt: My idea of "glassing" was to hike most of the way up a hill or ridge (I at least knew to avoid skylining my silhouette) and spend a few minutes or so visually scouring a hillside or valley, looking for actual antelope bodies, and when I did not see any antelope after scanning the area with my binos, I immediately went back to the truck and drove farther down the road.

I now know that for some, "glassing" means spending HOURS IN ONE AREA "picking apart every sagebrush", then moving a little distance away, and again visually picking apart every bush looking for the difference between an antler tip of a bedded down deer and a bush branch.

No offense to guys who actually enjoy doing that, and my guide said he really does enjoy doing that, but that is way too tedious for me.
I admit it, I can be lazy at glassing. I often find myself scanning instead of picking a place apart. It does help to pick a place apart, but I also find plenty of animals just scanning. I think your difficulty with finding animals has less to do with method of glassing and more to do with your lack of practice.
 
Dove-Eater, sent you a PM glad you got back at it and got to see some deer on your second go around.
 
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