Category Archives: Successful Hunters 2009

Hunter Henninger – 2009 Oregon Mule Deer Hunt

A great father and son Mule Deer hunt in the Breaks of Pilot Rock – Oregon

Looks like to me that Hunter Henninger has become quite the shooter, following his dad’s footsteps in using the 257 Weatherby.   aka “257 BAD” 

Many years back when I was working for Fisherman’s Marine & Outdoor in Portland, OR, Brian Henninger called me and said “Frank I think I need another Weatherby” “What do you think about 257 as hunting caliber?”

I of course told him that is a great round that can be used for anything in North America for hunting.   Sometimes you might even wanted to tag out a gray digger at 500 yards and see them fly!

The amount of big game that Henninger’s Weatherby MK V 257 has or will have taken at any range shooting will be history and future!  One of the finest rounds that Weatherby has produced for big game hunting.

I remember a big Mulie buck Brian himself took in the Antelope, Oregon area one year.   350 yard downhill running Mulie that was anchored with one shot!

As said by Brian Henninger, Hunter’s Dad!

“This deer was huge…Hunter from 250yds! 257 mag!”


Hunter Henninger’s 2009 Mule Deer – Pilot Rock – Oregon

Ruppel Owyhee Unit Archery Antelope Hunt


Scott Ruppel’s 2009 Oregon Owyhee Unit Pronghorn 

I had gotten an email from Scott asking about Archery Antelope hunting in the Owyhee Unit for 2009, he had been successful in drawing the tag.   I asked him what he had done already to prep for the hunt.

Scott is a great success story; he had already talked with the local biologist for the area and had mapped out the area.  He also did a scouting trip for two (2) days just after the rifle season.

Scott also would dedicated if he had too the whole season which is 9 days to get his buck.  He gave the spot he was going to work and I told him a previous trip that that area looked really good and to trust the biologist.

Here is the short version that I have on the hunt from Scott.   Hopefully I will get a little more detail about the hunt.

“Frank, I killed a nice goat 14 1/4 and 14 3/4 just short of 70 inches.  I sat at a water pond for 10 hours and made a 30 yard shot.”


2009 Oregon Alsea Elk Hunt – Jr’s Hunt


Frankie and his 583 yard shot Coastal Bull 2009

I would like to say that I was down at Waldport for the 2nd Season Rifle Elk Season this year to watch Frankie, my son shoot his bull at long range, but I was not.

 My son Frankie, Jim N. and his hunting buddies down at the coast hunt for different reasons, one being filling the freezers, two for the pleasure of the hunt with friends.   It is not always about hunting for the big racks and at the coast, the hunting for large racks is not even close to the eastern and central part of the state.   So when these guys are out hunting, they are hunting hard for game to harvest and put in the freeze.   The coast can definitly be more difficult with the terrain and plant growth than the other parts of the state.frankie-2009-coast-03.jpg

Jim N. with his Retrival System for the Coast Elk

This has been a tradition of Frankie and Holly of hunting down at Jim & Cindy’s place down near Waldport off of the bay for about three years.   It is a great place for the two of them to go as they have a house to say in while down there during the course of the year and during the elk season.

I do believe that Frankie has grown accustom to hunting with the older locals around the area, they have taken a shine to him and know that he will get in there and work when an elk is down or he needs to do some game driving.

Linda and I gave Frankie and Holly the opening weekend to hunt together as we had Addison for the weekend and brought her down Sunday evening.

The weekend would have proven a winner for Frankie if trespassers had not driven into the private farm they were on.   Frankie was letting the cow elk pass in front of him at 40 yards expecting the rest of the herd with two (2) bulls in it to pass along also during his ambush of the elk coming out of the pasture into the timber.  This was not going to happen as the non-invited hunters drove their pickup into the long driveway and into the remaining herd.   The rest is history and they were left empty handed on what should have been a successful opening morning hunt.


John, Frankie and Jim during retrival and getting a rest.

Talked with Frankie on Tuesday and he was pretty depressed about hunting down at the coast and I told him maybe next year we can use the preference points and draw a great eastside tag for Oregon.  Sounds Great Dad!

I get a call on Wednesday early on and Frankie tells me he has a bull down in the same place that Jim had gotten his elk in 2007.   Wow!  Do you need some help in getting him out, from my past memory of getting Jim’s elk out of the marsh?    NO Dad, we will be all done by the time you get here.


Not a bad way to gut and skin your elk.

Later within about 1 ½ they had the bull out of the marsh area.   I did not remember that Jim had gotten a retrieval season down with a capstan style unit with 2500 feet of heavy rope.   Frankie took the line out the bull which was about 600 yards out direct line of sight.   Once he got the rope around the head, he made comment that he could not keep up with the speed of the removal.


View from the shooting spot to the elk.

From Frankie’s account of the kill, he had been in Jim’s front area of his property watching the timber across the way and watching to see if any game was going to move out and across the marsh.   One of his buddies was on the edge of the timber area moving or pushing the ghosts of the forest.   Frankie said that a really big Blacktail buck came out within 300 yards.   Within minutes he spots a lone elk at about 500 yards, takes a close look and could see that it was a bull (spike) and knew what to do.   The bull was moving right long and he takes the shot, hitting the elk unknown to him in the lower rear leg.  Having remembered from training never stop shooting until the elk goes down he makes another shot and this one is right on target in the boiler room.  The elk goes down within 15 yards and into the deep part of the marsh.   The 1980 vintage 340 Weatherby with 225 grain Barnes X bullets did the job.  The range for the shot was range finder at 583 yards.   Great shot!

During the rest of the week, Frankie was the brush or timber as beater (driver) and the group was able to get a couple more bulls and one cow elk.   So they went 5 for 7 during the Coast Elk Hunt.

I was informed that he had GPS some hotspots and added the waypoints to my Garmin GPS.  Maybe this next year I will check it out for archery on elk and hold onto our preference points.  Hmm!frankie-2009-coast-06.JPG

1/3 of the way back to the barn

Juniper Unit Antelope – Jeremy Boethin’s 2009


Jeremy’s 2009 Oregon Antelope in the Juniper Unit 

This particular was a bit different, I had gotten an email from Jeremy’s dad on ideas for his son’s hunt.

Jeremy had an area that he was going to hunt, but wanted a couple of other areas.  I knew of a Booner taken in 2008 and decide to give him the location.

His buddy Zach had a new Garmin 530CX if I remember and I has able to get the information to him via email successfully.   I would like to say that my information help Jeremy in harvesting his Antelope – Pronghorn but he got dialed into an area and found a real Dinasour Lope.

“Lope hunt was awesome.   I did 90% of my hunting in the ——– Mtn. country around ——- Creek.  I missed a pig I would guess high 80’s minimum score on the second day at 507 yds.  I chased him for 4 more days and ended up killing a nice mid 70’s buck that was hanging with the monster.  I never got closer than 700 yds from the big buck ever again after missing.” 

“Thank you for the points but we did not use them as we had our man so to speak,  just could never get close enough to shoot.  I attached a couple of pictures, thanks for the work.  Have a great day!”

Jeremy was successful in harvesting a very good buck though in the Juniper Hunt Unit. 


Silvies 2009 Oregon Antelope Hunt – Bates


Bryce’s 2009 Oregon Silvies Hunt Unit Pronghorn – Antelope

The Bates Antelope hunt story started a while back at an RV Show in Salem.  As usual when talking about RV’s one (sales person) likes to find some common ground.  I found that that Harold Bates was an avid hunter and outdoorsman.   I also knew that he had a number of points saved up for hunting Oregon Antelope – Pronghorns.  
Whether he bought and RV from me or not,  I told him when he needed some information on where to hunt when applying for a tag, doesn’t hesitate to call or email me.

Well this year (2009) Harold and his son Bryce both drew the Silvies #2 Oregon Antelope Tag and contacted me.   It was nice to hear from him again and I was glad to see what I could do for him and his son.  

Harold has hunted Antelope in Montana and Wyoming many times, but this would be their first time in Oregon…  So he is a very experienced hunt of great success.

I was able to get waypoints to Harold and he put them on this Garmin Nuvi.   We did have to work on that a bit and came up that the Nuvi works with gpx format extension files.

During Harold and Bryce’s hunt, my son and I were over in the area on the closing weekend I thought we could find them and see what we could do.   The following is the notes that I got from Harold on the hunt.
“Our antelope season was not a complete bust!   My son got a nice one, and comparing it to what the guys at the Artistic Taxidermy were displaying, we were very pleased, it was a full 15 inches and fairly heavy with very nice shovels.  Our search for my buck was long!  I had chances to shoot smaller bucks, but was not going to settle for one smaller than my sons.  It’s better to not take one than to take a smaller buck; Dad would never live that one down.  I do have another chance, heading for Montana this week for Antelope and Mule deer.  So I’ll have another chance.”

Frankie and I had tried to find Harold and Bryce at Chickahominy Reservoir and could not find them on Sunday.   Sent him a picture of the sign at the lake and said we are here, but your not, so the following is the comment back.   I should have looked harder as we past through Silver Creek on the way out.

“Frank, we moved the Motorhome up Silver Creek to cut down on drive time.  We did run into some Lopes west of Dry Lake, been hunting there for the last couple of days.  We did jump a couple of shooter bucks, and a few does.  I passed on a small buck.  My son Bryce connected on one, you see in the picture.
We checked out the Buck Creek area, spent 1/2 a day there, we did see a few does.  There are a few bow hunters camped in the area.”

I would have to say that Bryce and his dad should be very proud of Bryce’s Lope.  Very heavy horn and great prongs.    The new state record for Montana at almost 92 points has only 14 1/2 horns.   It is not always length that makes a great lope, but mass and prongs.

Great Job Bryce!

Osbon’s 2009 Oregon Elk Archery Hunt

Doug had drawn a 2009 Gerber Archery Pronghorn-Antelope tag this past year and emailed for some information.  The information was good and Doug had a dandy Lope come to the waterhole that he was on.  The distance was about 50 yards and he thought the buck would come in closer, but opportunity changed and he did not get the shot.   The Gerber Unit had a lot of water this year and the Lopes were scattered far and wide. 
I recently got this email from about his success story on an Oregon Archery Coastal Bull this year.  I really appreciate Doug sharing his story with me and my website hunters.


2009 Osbon Successful Oregon Archery Hunt

“I thought that you might want to see the bull I got this year. Maybe I will get my Antelope next year!”

“My Brother, Nephew and I went out bright and early on a coastal elk hunt.  We started the morning finding the herd bull and his cows.  After a few set ups we finally got him to come in to about 24 yards, I drew on him but it was not to be. My peep had water in it and that was the first time that had happened to me. By the time I got things back together he had moved on.
So I was bummed because I though I had just blown my shot.  We had some other clear cuts to look at so we went to look at them.  About mid afternoon we decide we were going to go back after him because he was all wound up.  So we got to the road that we needed to take and stared up to where we were going to take off walking.  We had just started walking on a gated road when a Cow and a Calf stepped out into the road.  We could hear other elk coming so I got out an arrow.  Just as I had knocked my arrow here came this bull, he step out just far enough that I could see his front shoulder and back about 10 inches.  I centered on him and let it fly. The bull went back down into the creek and started up the other side then we heard him go down.
The shot was 34 yards and I got both lungs.”

Doug Osbon


Doug Osbon and his nephew with Doug’s 2009 Roosevelt Bull

Ruppel’s 2009 Oregon Archery Antelope

Scott is a great success story; he had talked with the local biologist for the area and had mapped out the area.  He also did a scouting trip for two (2) days just after the rifle season.  In this case, I looked over his area, which was a good area to hunt.   Scott did all the work on this hunt and he should be very pleased with the P & Y Pronghorn that he harvested.  This is a beautiful buck with great horns!

Scott also dedicated if he had too, the whole season which is 9 days to get his buck.

Here is the short version that I have on the hunt from Scott.   Hopefully I will get a little more detail about the hunt.


 Scott Ruppel’s 2009 Oregon Archery Qwyhee Unit Antelope 


“I killed a nice goat 14 1/4 and 14 3/4 just short of 70 inches.  I sat at a water pond for 10 hours-30 yard shot.”


Grauf Family – 2009 Paulina Unit Oregon Antelope Hunt

About a month back Tracy Grauf contacted me about hunting Antelope in the oregon Paulina Hunt Unit!  He and his dad were both fortunate to draw tags.  Tracy also planned to have his 9 year old son accompany them on the hunt.  This is the best part of the hunt, just think that there are three (3) generations on this on big hunt. 

“After a 12 year wait we finally received the good news that we had drawn antelope tags.  Given our busy schedules there wasn’t time to scout so we were going to have to wing it.  I found this web page the weekend before we were to leave and figured what the heck nothing to loose.  In no-time I had received a response from Frank and a good starting spot.  We spent opening day checking out the county for water and sign without much luck so we decided to move a little to the south on Sunday.  Within an hour of daylight we were in the lopes… two we had found a couple of what we considered shooters, but managed to miss them both.  After trying to burn our truck to the ground with sage in the skid pan we decided to head for the main road.  We were just about out when we spotted a lone buck running across a big sage flat.  We quickly found a spot to set up and for some crazy reason he turned and ran straight to us, stopping at 125 yards.  One shot from my .284 and he was on the ground.  I have him green scoring 67 with 6” bases and being 13-1/2” tall.  With the way his horns curved back he must have liked to run fast, a lot.


Tracy Grauf’s 2009 Paulina Unit – Oregon Antelope


 Sr. Grauf’s 2009 Paulina Unit – Oregon Antelope

Tuesday of our first lope adventure, found us working the same ground we had found plenty of bucks roaming on Sunday, problem was they weren’t there today.  After six hours of nothing we decided to move to the agricultural ground on the south end of the unit.  Hopefully we could spot some lopes roaming the BLM ground around the alfalfa pivots.  The first pivot we drove by had 17 does and one good buck, one problem, the farmer was working the field right next to them and we didn’t think he would appreciate stopping to talk.  We turned down another road and spotted some does coming out of the sage into a pivot.  We could see the owner coming down the road from his barn so we waited for him to arrive.  He stopped to talk and in a short while he had given us permission to try to take the buck that he said was with them.  Long story short we made a mistake or two and succeeded only in running the heard out of this guy’s field, the last we saw them they were headed for the next county.  We stopped at the ranch house to let them know that we had blown our opportunity and checked to see if we could return in the morning.  He asked where they had gone and when we told him he said that he would bet they had stopped on the back side of his farthest pivot and that we should check there before moving on for the day.  We did, he was right, they were there.  It was getting late, we needed to decide to make a stock or leave them until morning.  The decision was made to leave them until morning so we headed out only to find an interesting road a couple of miles away.  It lead us to a small rim rock that headed all the way back to the area we had left the heard.  Plans changed, I got out and started my stalk back along the depression while my son went back to hold their attention and watch things unfold.  After about 45 minutes I found myself within 200 yards of the heard peaking over the sage brush.  They saw me!!  I quickly got in a sitting position, wrapped the sling around my arm and settled the cross airs on the buck’s vitals; he turned his head to go as I squeezed the trigger.  The 220 Swift barked, the bullet slapped him and they were off.  I put another round in and looked up only to see he wasn’t with the heard of does running off to the east.  Now the hard part, figuring out where he had gone down on this huge sage brush flat, it didn’t take long to find the trail left by the fleeing does and within minutes we found him laying in their trail.  This buck green scores 76 with 6” bases, 5” cutters and 14-1/2” of length.”


Tracy Grauf