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Location: New Mexico
Joined: 07/08/2008
Posts: 84
always the late comer

I had two guys from Texas hunt my place in 2005 with supposed "similiar shooting skills" They bosted about their 600 and 800 yard shots on exotics so I figured it would be two quick and clean kills and they would be on their merry way. Well they ended up wounding two of my biggest bucks on the place and I kicked their asses off the property after the middle of the second day. If you think you can somehow simulate the shooting conditions your going to experience antelope hunting in the western plains in Aug or Sept. your just plain wrong. Glad your doing a "do it yourself hunt," cause an outfitter would never take you all as clients. Sorry but stay at the range with your longshots. My regular clients use the terrane to get withing 250 yards and make a clean kill, they will always be invited back..

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Location: Texas
Joined: 08/29/2008
Posts: 14
always the late comer

NMBlackGold,

Let me start by saying that my understanding of this forum is to enjoy each others stories and learn from their experiences. If you have some sort of issue with long range hunting, keep it to yourself. I don't get on the deer or bear forum and blast guys and girls for baiting, and I don't complain about people hunting under high fences. Even though, I think these practices are wrong on many levels, I just read them and see if there is any knowledge I could impart on them to help with their hunts. Next time you have an issue, be a bit more mature and try to keep your fingers off the keypad.

That said, allow me to reply to your post.

1. The guys you had sound like typical "I'm a great white hunter" guys. I have guided elk, white tail deer, mule deer, turkey, javelina, coyote, bobcat, and exotic hunts in Colorado and Texas for a number of years, and if I have ever learned anything, it is to watch your client shoot before you believe what they say about how good they are. If you were really concerned about your bucks, you should have never let them shoot unless you yourself were comfortable with the shot.

2. Long range shooting is not about having a gun that is capable of doing it. It is about studying and learning the effects of nature on ballistics. It's not just distance when shooting long range. It also includes measurements of elevation, humidity, barometric pressure, temperature, and most of all wind. If you will notice most of these are changed by day to day weather patterns. So, can I "somehow simulate the shooting conditions [I'm] going to experience antelope hunting in the western plains in Aug or Sept"? the answer is most definitely -- YES!! It's called getting up in the morning, go scout the area you are going to hunt, find the right animal then leave and go to the temporary range that you should have set up prior to even thinking about taking an animal. Use what you saw from your scouting expedition to mimic the same shot you will take on the game animal. Prove yourself. Then back to the field for the final shot. If you don't prove yourself, there should be no shot taken. We have successfully used this tactic on a number of game animals. I won't say it never fails, but out of all the hundreds of animals I have shot and witnessed being shot from long range, only 4 were not killed immediately. There are people who can make long range shots without going back to the range first, but I am not that good yet.

3. When you say an outfitter would never take us as clients, you are exactly correct. I would never allow my clients to take a shot over 500 yd, and even at that, they had to prove their prowess at the range first. Not to mention, guides are to get you close enough to the game animal to shoot it. If I can't get within 750 yds of an animal by myself, I've got no business hunting in the first place.

4. I'm sorry, but staying at the range with my long shots is not what I have trained for. I have spent years trying to learn this game, and as I mentioned above, I'm not even close to as good as many people. I've got a long ways to go, and just shooting at the range does not build confidence which is a MAJOR part of long range shooting.

5. I'm glad your new hunters aren't jack asses. My hat is always off to anyone who knows what they are capable of and doesn't try to "impress" me with their shooting ability.

Finally, if you want to learn more, I strongly recommend a 3 disc DVD set called “How to Shoot Beyond Belief”. John Burns is extremely adept at teaching and hunting. Watch it. You might just learn something.

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Location: North Dakota
Joined: 09/28/2008
Posts: 24
always the late comer
7 Mag wrote:
Watts, Antelope meat is good as long as you take care of it in the field as soon as possible. You'll want to cool it down quickly & get it to a locker or cooler. I like to get the skin off as soon as i can. As far as shooting long range, that's up to you & your skills to ethically harvest your antelope. My advice is pay close attention to the wind which you will find there's A LOT OF WIND in Wy. & pay attention to other hunters which there will be a lot of if you hunt the opening few days of the season.

I'll buy that for a dollar. Antelope season is early and temps are still up in the 60's so getting it gutted and on ice is the key. I take coolers with bags of ice and after gutting it I stick 2 or 3 bags inside of the cavity and get it back to the ranch, skinned, and in the freezer immediatly. After it is almost/slightly frozen the meat is easy to work with (firmer) and makes deboning ect easier. I can tell you first hand that if you take care to get it cold fast the meat will be great, not gamey at all. It also depends on diet of the animal - if they are out eating sage brus they will taste pretty wild, but if they are in the alfalfa and clover field they will be hard to distingush from beef.

Practice and knowing you ability will determine distance. Hunting is not just about good shooting - it's also about ability to close the distance without being detected and ensuring you make your shot count.

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