One of Oregon’s Premier Pronghorn – Antelope Spots
Mick’s hunt did not go as planned, can happen to anyone!
Disaster! My help all bailed. I went Tuesday before the opener, camped at store. Highway noise negated sleep. It was 94 degrees and dryer than I’ve ever seen it there but road hunted on Wednesday. Quad was leaking gas so I was afraid to take it out.
Saw a small group later in the day where you had marked them by water. Several people were staking them out. Thursday much of the same! Met a farmer around 4pm, Hoot Raley! Great guy! Took me right to his farm, glassed a herd on his alfalfa field, and spotted a DANDY walking towards field. Snuck down to a spot he knew this lope would cross to, got into position, waited, guessed at about 300 yards, and took shot, missed 6″ high. Circled around to rest of herd, spotted a smaller buck and they spooked. Gave him Salmon hoping to try again on Friday, Hoot never showed.
Saturday took the Quad and followed your map markings to the “T” jumped a doe on the quad, pulled up rifle, scoped a buck on her tail, and took shot even though it was on a dead run, missed 6″ high. Spent the rest of the day on quad, help arrived at end of the day and he got drunk and didn’t show Saturday. Packed up and headed home.
Devastated, broke, dirty and tired. Your directions were spot on and much appreciated. I still wake up almost nightly wishing I could have either shot over again. Still pretty bummed but Sunday morning took a nice little buck here locally as I had to cancel my Malheur trip due to finances.
My dog became sick while Antelope hunting and had emergency surgery when I got back on his foot. Likely has cancer as his health is worse and new lumps on chest and hip have arrived.
But the conditions over there were brutal. To make matters worse the guy camped next to me took a beautiful buck in the same spot I scoped and it was at or near the spot you marked with an “X” to signal the old scruffy buck about 2 miles from the store. But the experience was good. To have shot and missed is better than most. I was surprised at the number of hunters out road hunting but I guess there was a cow bow hunt going on at the same time. I didn’t see any elk but saw several deer daily. I am confident that had I stayed or if the quad wasn’t freaking me out leaking gas, weather cooler any of these things I probably could have tagged one.
The farm incident was frustrating as hell, but a great guy. I should have gotten his number but the fact that he didn’t return told me he didn’t want to share another try. Plus, had he returned and I missed again I would truly be a wreck. The rifle is still sighted in but I know my judgment of distance is off. The deer I figured at 225 and I shattered its back about 6″ too high.
So I need a range finder, should have sighted in if for no other reason than to be used to the shot. I hadn’t fired it for over a year and might have been jerking the trigger in anticipation of its fury. But as usual in a like situation I didn’t feel or barely hear the shot. I am also confident of the area now but will likely not ever get the chance again. That tag took 15 years and if I get lucky I know exactly where to go.
Thanks again for your wisdom and sorry to let you down but your knowledge was spot on and appreciated. Thanks again. Mick!