Tag Archives: #onXmaps_HUNT

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Sunglasses

Wearing Sunglasses While Hunting

Non – Reflective

I have mentioned this before, but most laugh about the shear though of wearing sunglasses while hunting Pronghorn – Antelope or any other game animal.
A funny thing when a customer of mine told me about his Pronghorn  hunt in Wyoming with a bow. The buck was coming in close to his blind.  Like most humans he blinked and the startled Lope jump and head to the distant hills. By my experiences I have learned to know that especially Pronghorn have better sight than me and can see my eyes above all else. It they can’t see your eyes, they can’t tell your human! Take heed on this! Bwana Bubba

I personally liked the green lens with brown frames. Bwana Bubb
Ray Ban Seafaer are easy to raise when glasses. 
 

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – You just have to ask!

 

Just asking you might gain access…

Getting permission to hunt a parcel of land is just like being a salesperson. If you don't ask for the sale, most customers don't think you care…   You won't get the Sale!

2017 is know ahead for all of us to hunt.  The 2nd Amendment is safe.  Most states have the 2017 Hunting Regulations out.  Doing your research early, before having to put your applications can lead to success.  Scouting prior to application deadline and or long before your chosen hunt unit is critical for success.   I write and talk about onXmaps HUNT all the time about being one of the great keys to un-lock hunting success.  It is all true!  To be one of the 10% that take 90% of the game, then you have to absorb the positive and proven tips that are given to to by the successful 10%…

I want you to think about this scenario, you have been driving by a ranch, vineyard, farm, tree farm or just some private harvested timber land.  There are No Trespassing Signs and No Hunting posted on fence posts and trees, with game animals abounding and you notice a number of Coyotes working the area.  The signs have no phone numbers or names.  What to do you ask yourself, there is no way I am gaining access to hunt…  

There are many ways to get it done and as great salesperson you can make it happen in many cases.  First off I would purchased  onXmaps HUNT and have it on your Smart phone,  I suggest to have a Garmin GPS (colored screen-micro SD chip slot) also.

Working the different parcels of privately own properties your interested in, you will know the land owner's name/names and in some cases the Trustee because you have onXmaps HUNT.   Now via Whitepages, and other public knowledge websites, you can get the phone number.  Relax, take a breath and be sure you have a smile on your face when talk on the phone…

So many times over the course of life, I meet people while in the field, so asking who owns the land when you see a neighbor, should be no big deal.  Even going so far asking the neighbor how can I get a hold of the landowner is not out of the question.  Many times in the remote area, there might b an old cafe or gas station.  Another great way to gather information.

For many years I drove by a large piece of rural land that was growing wild radishes.  I thought they were weeds. I would see a couple of B&C and many P&Y Willamette Blacktails.  Finally when I got my first sample of HUNTINGGPSMAPS (onXmaps HUNT) from the company, I was able to dial in the future vineyard owner's name.  I did a little background on the owner to make sure I had the correct person.  I called and told the owner that I drove by his place almost everyday.  That I would love to be able to take pictures of the deer on the property.  I asked permission to be able to photograph first.  It was early May, within  couple of months noticing the Coyotes and that he had chickens and geese free ranging, I called him again, I told him I could help reduce the Coyote population.  Finally in early August I asked for permission to bow for the deer.  I was informed by Michael (owner) that he intended to raise grapes.  In the State of Oregon to have venue events, you need a vineyard…  The following year with a rifle tag and bow tag, I asked if I could hunt deer with a rifle.  That privilege was also granted.  It also help to have a common bond.  Micheal was a Combat Engineer in Nam and I was a Navy Spook attached to the Marines in Nam. Brothers…

You have to remember that not all ranchers, farmers, and landowners are in it monetary when it comes to hunting.  I would bet that if a landowner is approached in the proper mindset, permission would be granted more times than rejected. 

Over the years, hunters that I have met and talked to about the subject, give me back positive feedback.  Yes sometimes  they mend fences, bring a bottle, bring Salmon, ride a fence line, give a knife, buy dinner in town, but that is from the heart to a new friend.  Myself, I have hunted more ranches and farms than I can count. Many have border public land that I primarily hunt or fish during my lifespan! I have never paid cash for access, yet at certain times of the year, they might have something on their doorstep…

Use onXmaps HUNT products to gain the knowledge to gain access to private land.  It also will be the tool to know the landowners that border public land and vice versa.

IF YOU DON'T ASK, YOU'LL NEVER KNOW!

Frank Biggs aka Bwana Bubba

 

 

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Saving Big Game Hunting

Predators taking the place of big game animals

This is one of five Cougars spotted near a town, working within the same proximity of each other.

One might not find this to be a factual statement, but in reality it is becoming increasing reality.   It may not be in every state in the Union, but it surely is in on the Pacific Coast, which includes Washington, Oregon and even into California.  As for the other states in CONUS, I can’t give thoughts on the subject of predators taking a front row seat on the taking of Elk, Deer, Pronghorns and even Bighorn Sheep.

In Oregon the management of all wildlife and fish are managed by O.D.F.W. or better known as the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.   There are 7 members that are part of the commission and they are selected by the Governor of Oregon.   In my opinion for a long time, I do not feel that the Governors of Oregon since 1991 have not had much thought on the importance of  hunting, fishing, shooting or any other sport related to the outdoors in Oregon.

In 1994 in the State of Oregon voters, voted on Measure 18 on the banning of dogs for the hunting of Bears and Cougars.  43,501 votes more votes lead to the ban.  At the time the Governor was Barbara Roberts a Democrat.  A great influence of outsiders (lobbyists – protesters) from the Great State of California came and created havoc and fear into the already changing demographics of from what Oregon use to be.   Oregon use to be much like Idaho in thought and action, but Oregon has changed over the years, becoming a state that the folks from the Golden State could sell their homes and come to Oregon and buy the same home for half price and less congestion in life…

The Black Bear is not Smokey the Bear or a playful toy and the Cougar is one hungry predator that will take a deer a week.  They all might look cute as cub or kitten, but once they get bigger that is not the case.  Since there is no hunting with dogs any longer, these two predators go un-checked for the most part.  As for Wolves, it all started in Yellowstone and has escalated too many other states.  My thoughts are that Wolves hunt to kill and rarely eat the complete animal; it said the other predators will handle the remaining carcass.   Oregon has about 60 Moose (Shiras) scattered throughout the N.E. part of the state.  With the increase in Wolf population, just how long will it take for the reduction in Moose?  One other little notes about Wolves in Oregon, many have been released by so-call do-gooders that breed or breed hybrids.  Many years ago, I had a customer tell me she did… From the information I get, there are more Wolves than reported.   Such is the case in the Mt. Hood National Forest with reports of sporadic with sightings from persons that do know the difference between a wolf and a dog…

Washington State does not allow the use of dogs to hunt for Cougars or Bears also.  This came about in 2001 I believe.  Only under conditions deemed by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife can dogs be used to harvest a Cougar or Bear that are causing problems with humans or livestock.

In the State of Oregon, through my sources with the government, hired government hunters as we call them can hunt year round to reduce Cougars or Bears in troubled areas.  With the used of dogs by the public that hunt, there would be little need for government hunters.  Just think about the revenue that the state would take in, plus the amount of sales at sporting goods stores, guides would be able to guide again.   Oregon has quotes on the amount of Cougars that can be taken in zones and once it met, then the year round hunting stops.  Going onto the ODFW back pages and looking at expected quotes on Cougars, the inside reports via contacts tell a different story.

There is a large area in the 2017 ODFW Game Regulations this year on Cougars. This is the map that showing what ODFW feels is the key area. I do believe there are more areas than on the map…

LINK:  O.D.F.W. Cougar Agenda

A hunter should make contact with a Game Biologist.  In the State of Oregon, these biologist are very happy to help.  As one biologist that I have know for more than 30 years once told me “my job is to help and without hunters, I would not have a job”

ODFW has a major budget deficit and last year came up with idea of special tags big game tags, creating some cash flow revenue.   Those that got one of the special tags through a drawing might just have a chance to hunt most anywhere and with a rifle even hunt during a bow season or extended season.  Many older hunters have just given up hunting, as their old haunts just don’t have the game as it was prior to 2000.   Other than the old boys in the hunting culture, I do not believe that the younger generation has caught up with the problem of predators.

Seems all great, but we have a real problem with the big game population in this state.   I spend much of my time from April to August taking wildlife pictures and working areas at key times of the day looking for big game.   In just 4 short years many of the great haunts are void of the great bucks that I would find.  The Cougars especially have worked over the area well.  I won’t waste my time to hunt these areas anymore.  I have move into the rural areas closer to the city to find game…  The Cougars use to follow the game coming down from the mountains during the winter months.  Now with the shortage of game to eat, they are now showing up in the lower valleys in the summer months.  It may seem to those reading that I am bias, but I am not.  It is about what is more important, the chance for someone to see a Cougar, Wolf or even a Bear in the wild or preserving the big game that you can see anytime.   Once the game is gone from the area the predators with move to new feeding grounds.   It takes the depleted area a fairly long time to recover the mature bucks and bulls in the area.

Bear season Oregon is a bit different and not all year long.  The draw tag season from April 1st, to May 31st normally.   The general season opens August 1st and ends December 31st on the west side of the Cascades and November 30th on the east side of the Cascades.   So one has to glass and find bears, a bit tougher to do, than getting a do to tree a bear.  Government hunters can do whatever to get a problem area done.  Special tags are issued for timber companies to handle bears in Oregon…

I believe that anyone that is hunting in Oregon should have a Cougar tag and Bear tag on their person.  Many times hunters have run into the overabundance of Cougars in a particular area and shot a Cougar, did not have a tag.  You will be ticketed and in some cases it could have been life and dead encounter, you might or might not get out of the ticket if caught.

In Closing:  I will give a few instances for 2016 from some of hunting buddies, plus I will put out a few key areas with onXmaps HUNT map pictures for those that want to challenger their talents to find a Cougars.  Bear season is just about over, but send me and email and I can direct you to spots in the future.

 

  • 2016 Owyhee Deer Hunt: MJ and BO drew the tags for the great Owyhees in Oregon.   In the day as I remember the Owyhees, the bucks were big and plentiful, sort of a pick and choose hunt for big Mulies.   MJ and BO have private land to hunt on breaks of the Oregon/Idaho border on the Oregon side.  Having done a great deal of planning and making calls, they truly thought they had it dialed in.  The land was in prime condition for Mule deer habitat.   During their week hunt, only a few small bucks were seen, remembering they had made an early scouting trip in August 2016, with the same results.  The local ODFW biologist told them they hit at the wrong time…  Very experience hunters that in the past were used to finding big Mulies.  The hunters over on the Idaho side still have the Mulies of size, as they control the Cougars still with dogs.
  • 2011 Archery Elk/Deer Hunt: Another hunting partner from my past went to a new haunt near an old haunt.  This is an area that the government hunter has taken out more Cougars than 4 times the quota of the Cascades, which are 271.   ST has during bow season taken a Cougar and on the same day could have taken another one.  2016 he had two Cougars at 100 yards from him at this ground blind.  His 1911 could not get the job done at 100 yards in the timber. I also feel they are braver and human scent or the fact Cougars are keen on knowing, fear little.  Deer were very scarce, though the elk were in good numbers.   The Heppner Unit has been known as an elk breeding area…
  • My son this year (2106) during a rifle deer hunt near an RV Park outside of a rural town jumped two mature Cougars. He did not have a tag and knew what would happen if he had killed them.  The deer population was way down and the team only got one 2 year old deer about 2 miles from the sighting…
  • Another comment is from my buddy Mark D., who lives near Oregon City, Oregon on 90 acres. Five Cougars have been sighted during the month of August 2016 around this place.  His place is within 15 minutes of a major city.   The deer are way done on this place, as he has cameras out.  Just recently he caught sight of one decent Blacktail buck.  The elk have not been on his place for more than 6 months.
  • 2016 Pronghorn hunt for one of my onXmaps HUNT hunters. I had suggested him talk to one of the ranchers in the flat lands in the Steen’s Mountains Unit.  He was told by the rancher that the Pronghorn are scare, less than 5 years ago they were pest on the ranches and farming lands.  The big C word (Cougars) came out.  The hunters had to hunt very hard to find a good buck, not a monster.  The Steen’s Mountains of Oregon once produced the #2 B & C Pronghorn…  Those us that have hunted the Steen’s Mountains for big Mulies, which are gone now.  No longer a pick and choose style of hunting there.  The Steen’s at one time was 4X4 or better hunt…  
Let us not forget about the resilient Coyote that roams all of North American. Ever thought about asking a chicken or duck farmer to hunt the Coy Dogs that will lay in wait free roaming egg layers…

So in reality the states that have a problem with predators are the same states (metropolitan cities) that were Blue in the recent election, giving the point that we know those that are the loudest and not using their common sense for the good of all…  

Attached link for:  Predator Defense

“There is a place for predators, but they should not replace renewable resources in nature”

“The elected politicians of any state must take in account the outcome of a bad decision that they have made bowing down to a small load group of “Tree Huggers”, much like the Old Growth Spotted Owl farce”

A few photo from onXmaps HUNT IPAD Mobile Mapping:

 

The Warner Unit in Oregon, known for Pronghorn, Deer and even Elk. A key spot for removal of Cougars.
A great deal of B.L.M. in the Steen’s Mountains, near Diamond, Oregon. Elk, Deer and Pronghorn roam these hills. This area was well now for big Mulies…
This is the east slope of the Steen’s Mountains. Big Horn Sheep, Deer and Pronghorn work this area from the valley floor to 10,000 feet. Cougars have been working all of the Steen’s for a long time.
This map is of an area in the Rogue Unit in Oregon. The Cougars have worked close to Willow Lake RV Resort. The Blacktail population is down from previous years.


Frank Biggs aka Bwana Bubba

Bwana Bubba’s RV Newsletter – July 2016

“One of the greatest times in Life is RVing!”

 Sunsets in the east are grand!
Sunsets in the east are grand!

What a great time to be in the RV business, seeing so many RV’s on the road and in the RV Parks!  Now in 7th year with B Young RV, it only gets better.   B Young RV has now move into being in the 10 Ten in the North America in the sales of Tiffin Motorhomes.

The company has expanded with a distribution center in another location.  Inbound RV’s will go there first to get a Preliminary Pre-Delivery Inspection and any minor repairs that are needed from the travel time from the factories.   We also have extra storage at the location that only has only technicians working there.  A very important expansion as we do not have enough space at our main location for all the RV’s we have in inventory.  We also have a full RV Body Repair and Paint facility at the location.  Here at B Young RV, we are the RV Dealer to get all your needs taken care of.

Just after our June Expo show the wife and I hit the road with the intention to traveling into California along Hwy 101, I wanted to do photo ops on Roosevelt Elk.  We headed down I-5 with the first stop being Seven Feathers RV Resort, spending a night and the next morning hitting Mac’s Diner in Shady Cove, Oregon, ordering the best Country Fried Steak, Eggs over medium and hash browns in the state.

Explore the past, Brothers, Oregon Stage Stop open for business. I can remember running out of gas once, crested the hill coming from the east and saw the stage stop sign open and the engine restarted as I was coasting...
Explore the past, Brothers, Oregon Stage Stop open for business. I can remember running out of gas once, crested the hill coming from the east and saw the stage stop sign open and the engine restarted as I was coasting…

Well plans changed and the wife asked me if I wanted to go to eastern Oregon and do some scouting…  It does not take me more than 5 seconds to say are you sure about this and yes was my answer!  So off we head towards the east, with the first stop at Collier State Park, capturing the last spot there.   With not real direction and letting the motorhome take to where ever, we many side trips and even into the Owyhee’s in search of Pronghorns and Mule deer.

Explore the Owyhee area, with a great deal of BLM...
Explore the Owyhee area, with a great deal of BLM…

We stayed a couple nights that Crane Crystal Crane Hot Springs RV Park.  The weather turned from warm sunny days to snow and freezing weather.   As we did not have a set course to take, we headed back towards Seven Feathers RV Park, with it being full, though I know the management there; we were out of luck…   Off the cuff, we did find another park after hitting the Oregon Coast at Bandon, Oregon.   Just a note, the Oregon State Parks were full, my suggestion with the Oregon State Parks, is to use Reserve America and get your spot reserved.  We stayed at Bandon by the Sea RV Park, a small RV Park that does have permanent residents and allows weary travelers to stay.  It is very clean park to stay at.  I was very fortunate that Bruce Young, allowed me to take the extended two weeks during the summer… P.S. We did go into California and saw Elk, in a spot that I have seen them every time we go that way. Interesting that we went through the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park.  Hmm! Big and Dry Camping only.  No one on the west coast beats Oregon State Parks…

A relaxing spot to stop after a long trip. Lots of wildlife abound the area.
A relaxing spot to stop after a long trip. Lots of wildlife abound the area.

Since my last RV Newsletter, B Young RV has added some new product lines to our inventory with Winnebago Travel Trailers (Micro Minnie – Hot small trailer) and Thor Class A motorhomes (Windsport) and Class C motorhomes (Quantum).  The highly styled Dynamax Istata 3 Class B+ has been a top seller with it options and just overall great appearance.

Our lineup of Little Guy teardrop style T@B’s, T@G’s, T@G XL’s and regular Little Guys do not hang around very long.  What a phenomena of who are buying these vintage perspective of the mind…  It is simply amazing how many are sold and the fact we run out at a moment’s notice!

Recently, such as July 7th, we had a visit from Bob Tiffin, the owner of Tiffin Motorhomes.  A man that believes in his company and the family he gains with customers that buy Tiffin.  It is all about service and a long time relationship.   It was very enlightening to have a round table discussion with Bob in the 36UA Bunkhouse Allegro Open Road motorhome, a number of us were able to make a few suggestions.  Bob, pulled out folded over paper and made notes of the comments.  Rest assured when he gets back to Red Bay, Alabama, he will review and make some small changes…   Bob brought up the new Phaeton 44OH on the Powerglide Chassis and how it will be the new change in how RV’s will be built.  The Phaeton 44OH has a flat floor throughout the motorhome.  It is all about how the floor is built and how the walls are set.  Come by B Young RV and learn all about it if you are interested why Tiffin leads the way!

Phaeton 44OH, New concept in the RV Industry.
Phaeton 44OH, New concept in the RV Industry.

Interesting thing about RV’s, they all have one thing in common to me, and that is to use to escape from the daily grind and the cluster of life.  So, many like to hunt, fish, hike, explore unknown places and even venture to where just maybe no one has ever stepped foot before, so I am going to give you all a link to onXmaps HUNT.  Just touch the following logo and let your mind take it all in.  The product can be used on mobile devices, Garmin GPS’s (handheld or vehicle).   It is not all about HUNT, but that is where it started, but it is an adventurer into the mountains, desert, beach, and life.

Wildlife or Bird of the Month

Can anyone tell me what this bird's name is?
Can anyone tell me what this bird’s name is?

Oregon – Sleeper State – Pronghorn Hunting

Through time in the field, knowledge comes to all!

None us come out knowing everything.  So over the years I have absorbed a great deal of knowledge about hunting Pronghorn – Antelope that roam the high plains and arid lands of the United States. Pronghorns are one of the most magnificent mammals that has survived since the Ice Age.  It is one of the few living links to the Ice Age.  They are an ancient species dating back about 20 million years and are the lone survivors of a family of hoofed mammals found only in North America (Antilocapridae)  A little history class for hunters!

A nice heavy buck, maybe next year!
A nice heavy buck, maybe next year!

Oregon truly is a sleeper state for hunting Pronghorn – Antelope – Lope or Dinosaurs!  Problem is getting a tag for resident or even non-resident.   Many non-resident hunters put in for many states, with the hope of drawing.  As for those of use that live in Oregon, getting a tag runs from 8 to 25 years for a rifle tag and 1 to 3 years for archery.   Sometimes you might be lucky and draw a tag based on the hold back tags put in random draw.  As a biologist friend of mine once told me Oregon’s Pronghorn units all hold Boone & Crockett warrantable bucks. Biggest problem is holding out for the big buck, judging bucks, know the whereabouts and what unit has the best possible chance for a trophy buck.

This archery buck scored 78" 13 1/2" with 6 1/2" Prongs.
This archery buck scored 78″ 13 1/2″ with 6 1/2″ Prongs.

When I first started out with my first tag for an Oregon Pronghorn, I had help from a Naval Officer that I knew while on active duty in the Navy, he had great deal of knowledge, plus his friend a young BLM summer help student that knew the area.  His name was Rod Briece, who later became my Commanding Officer and was a long time hunting friend.

We did not go blindly into the hunt unit, as there was a game plan to check out many different areas of the unit in a short period of time.  We did get into the unit prior to the hunt by one full day to scout.   We had about 4 game plans with the A, B, C, and D plan changing with the sighting of bucks.  The final plan of the day became a A plan for the opening morning.   I was successful on my first Pronghorn hunt to get a buck that scored 85″.   He and his does had come into the same waterhole that we had seen them at, the evening before.  At about 0715 the buck came to the waterhole.  The rest is history at 250 yards from the rocks! Point being prepared and having options on the hunt.

This buck scored 85" after be on the fireplace mantel for a year. He is 16 5/8" with 6" Prongs. Prongs are high on the horn, a key element.
This buck scored 85″ after be on the fireplace mantel for a year. He is 16 5/8″ with 6″ Prongs. Prongs are high on the horn, a key element.

Over the following years in this particular unit it put out many trophy Pronghorns.  This does not include the ones that a few missed during the hunts and the hunter came up empty handed…

One of the greatest lessons that I learned with hunting Pronghorns is the use of the binoculars and patience. Finding vantage points and glassing over massive areas.   Pronghorns have always been the animal, you don’t see me now, but wait long enough I will be standing there.  Amazing creature that has intrigued me for many decades.  Even on that first hunt, we glassed from afar and it paid off.  I always look for mass from a side profile of the head.  If warranted, I have a spotting scope to do a better judgement of the buck.   Many times the heat waves in the high desert are so bad that there seems to be an illusion of what you see.  So seeing the side profile is most important.  Length is not always as important as mass and the high of the prongs (cutters) on the horn.

Mapping is very important for hunters, whether it is Pronghorn hunting or any other movement in the outdoors. I find it is almost as important as the optics and the weapon of choice.

Until recently, lets say 1998, most of us would have B.L.M. maps or other maps to find places to hunt.  The GPS came along and it was ok, to know where you were, but not much good to know where to go.  A few software companies tried back then, but were crude and not very accurate.  Along comes onXmaps HUNT (2008) and what a success story for the company and the people that use their products. It is a lot of fun to have knowledge of places to hunt (landmarks), take them and mark them in the mapping software on the computer and then move them to the GPS.   A great way to share information that is accurate.   Like having a snapshot of a hillside that you have seen, but now you get to remember where it is.  Better yet, at times when using the software and Google Earth via the laptop to Garmin GPS, it like watching TV…  Remember by using this software, you might even be able to find a rancher or farmer that dislike Dinosaurs and will give you permission.  For DIY you’ll find that you just might not need a guide for out of state hunts.  Many got it figured out how to hunt public land for Pronghorns!
        onXmaps HUNT

BLM and the Private Food Plot via Google Earth and onXmaps HUNT
BLM and the Private Food Plot via Google Earth and onXmaps HUNT
You figure it out how you want to hunt. Find legal land and game! From onXmaps HUNT Viewer
You figure it out how you want to hunt. Find legal land and game! From onXmaps HUNT Viewer
onXmaps HUNT mapping from the computer.
onXmaps HUNT mapping from the computer.

 

We all have options on what caliber to hunt with for Pronghorns and my thoughts are no different.  Having many calibers to choose from, I am a firm believer to go big on this medium size mammal.   It is not the fact that a 243 Win, or 257 Weatherby won’t get the job done, but I don’t remember to many times that the wind was not howling after the sun comes up.   My favorite light caliber is the 257 Weatherby, but if I get one chance to get a tag in 15 years and I have to make that 500 yard shot due to not being able to crawl within 250 yards, I will take my 30cal to get the job done.  Shrugging your shoulders with that comment, just think about not getting there with the shot… There are many great calibers and my first was taken with a 7mm Remington Mag.  Overkill, ya it might be, but still a 30 cal 180 grain that is going to make a hole in and out most likely.   I do know I will have a kill shot and and not have to track the buck very far in most cases.   One has to be comfortable with the rifle and trust what it will do or what you can do.

This archery buck score 86" 14 1/2" with 8" Prongs. Very heavy mass.
This archery buck score 86″ 14 1/2″ with 8″ Prongs. Very heavy mass.

This brings up another subject:   Making sure you have great shot placement and anchor the Pronghorn down.  Tracking for trying to find a Pronghorn in the sagebrush after a hit from afar, might just lead to not finding it.  Years ago one of my hunters that I gave waypoints to shot a monster lope in a large sagebrush flat.  It was late and darkness was fast approaching.  He decide to wait for morning!  A great mistake as one loses focus of what he or she might have seen with the shot.  With a Pronghorn left overnight, the coyotes have already taken are of it. You might be lucky to find the horns, but in many cases the horns have been taken care of also.  Anchor the animal as with any animal in it’s tracks or close proximity.

In my time I have done a great deal of scouting and researching of Pronghorn or Antelope as most call this great animal from the past in Oregon and the rest of the Western States, where they roam in huntable numbers.  For archery hunters in many of the Western States you have a chance to hunt every year for Antelope.  Whereas with a rifle you might have to wait some 8-25 years to draw a tag, at least in the Oregon.  I have hunters in Oregon that are now hunting almost every year with the bow.   A  great challenge to hunt with the bow, but what a rush and accomplishment to harvest up close and personal.  You’ll find hunting with the bow for Antelope a great sport that you won’t be able to stop doing.   I have been told by my hunters that they have had the best experience hunting Antelope over anything else they have hunted in North America.  It could be that they see a lot of Antelope while hunting them.   Since competition for tags is so great, some of use will wait the whatever years to get the rifle tag, get it done and the following years put in for a bow tag.   Not many years ago in Oregon and I am sure in other states, you put in for a rifle tag and make your second choice a bow tag.   I do believe that I did this at least 10 times over the years.   Very fortunate to have harvest a number of great bucks with the arrow.   Now I find that many are taking great bucks with the arrow in many hunt units in many states.

This is a great buck, worthy of any wall! Didn’t have a tag, but hunting season was upon us. 100 foot photo op!

I one thing I have learned after all these years and not even being in some of my old haunts for many years, is that Pronghorn are animals of habit from generation to generation.   They cover the same ground and do the same things from one generation to another.  Most of the land in which they live never changes.   There was one buck that my friends & hunters chased for about three years and never got.  I really wanted him for myself is what all thought.  He would be located in the same spot within a 1/4 mile and escape basically the same way.  His escape route was not one you could cover and he knew it.  Now if we ambushed him in his normal spot he could have been taken.  He was one of the biggest Antelope I ever hunted.  I did get one hunter on him at very close range with a standing broadside at 250 yards.  He missed the buck and the hunt was over for him!  The hunter who I knew well told me he had been a Marine Sniper…  A few years back I went back to a spot which I hunted and guided about 20 years ago.  The only thing that had changed is the B.L.M. put a solar power water pump on a water hole in one of my favorite spots.   Even the old ranchers sign was still there and he had been gone for a long time.  The sign had stated in so many words that you were crossing into his lands.  This happen to be B.L.M. that he leased, but did not own.  Now you know one of the reasons to have a mapping and gps system that lets you know your legal.  Many times my hunters tell me, “WOW”, you were right on the money for Lopes being there…

This is a great buck taken in Oregon also in a 2 season unit.
This is a great buck taken in Oregon also in a 2 season unit.

I have seen mature bucks standing in the middle of a back country road in B.L.M., marking the road.  No, not by scratching but by urinating in the middle of road.   Once someone knows some of the peculiar habits of Antelope, you can use it to your advantage.   Such is the case a couple of years ago when I spot a group of Antelope in a 5 tag unit.  I wanted the picture of the buck and just knew he would go around the mountain and want to get back into the hole.  He did just that and my son asked how did you know?

Not a big buck in a 5 tag unit, but it was nice to be able to read his mind! He cut my path at about 75 yards, trying to double back to the basin!

 

I have taken a great deal of Antelope with the bow and all but a rifle kill has been from stalking.   A great deal of the bow hunters I know do wait on water, but you have to have patience.  One of my GPS Hunters – Bowhunters sat for two (2) days for more than 12 hours.  He as been successful two (2) years in a row on the same waterhole.   I do love to stalk them and arrow them before they know I am there.  Antelope do lay in the sagebrush flats and with a lot of glassing from a vantage point you can find them and stalk within bow range easily.

Which one is the shooter in this crowd?

Note:  Then there is the issue with sunglasses, I will always wear sunglasses (favorite are Ray-Ban Wayfarer-easy to lift with bino’s with no bind) during the day and “Photo Grays” for the evening hunts.  I felt if the game, especially Antelope can’t see my eyes or movement then I could close the gap on them even easier once spotted.  I always wore a hat and a backpack with the spotting scope & tripod sticking out of the top.  It is what it is with habits and wearing the same pants on every hunt!

Most experience hunters have their ways to hunt game, whether it is from stalking, waiting, ambush or just being lucky and walking into a shoot-able animal.  It is whatever works for you, that makes the hunt!

You also have to be patient and let the smaller bucks (“VILLAGE IDIOTS”) go by, so you can harvest the trophy buck.

Just a short little video of a nice buck ( we had him set for the following year) in the Grizzly Hunt Unit in Oregon:  Pronghorn in the Big Muddy!

Bwana Bubba