Went out for a one day hunt to get a little jump on next weekend's group hunt. Also wanted to get my girlfriend her first big game animal without the added pressure of other people being around. Really wanted to video tape it, but she wasn't too keen on that... maybe next week.
Anyway, next week we've got a lot of tags to fill in just a short weekend, so banging out one for her and one for me would make it a little easier.
I think antelope make a great beginner hunt, as long as you resist the temptation for long shots.
I took her to our Honey Hole where at least 4 members of my group have killed the first Wyoming antelope. After passing up the first group we saw because I didn't think they were easily stalkable, the next group was in a perfect position for a stalk and short shot.
We tucked the vehicle off the road alongside a hill, just out of sight of the antelope, then climbed the hill, where they were bedded, just 100 yards away. When we crested and got Katie in position, we had a nervous doe stand up. I tried to tell her to take her time, not wanting to rush the shot, but it was just a little too much time as she spooked and took the herd with her. However, the merely circled around us while I kept Katie calm, now offering up a 75 yard shot. Most of the herd was in a tight bunch, but the doe on the end present an easy head on shot that Katie took perfectly.
She was little surprised that the doe ran 30 yards, as I guess I forgot to tell her about the death run. She had never been present for any of her dad's moose or caribou kills growing up, so she didn't know what to expect there. Anyway, the 165 grain Grand Slam for her .308 took the doe perfectly in the neck/chest/bowtie junction, blowing the heart to pieces and exiting the belly between the rear legs.
After taking our time gutting and deboning, it was my turn to knock one out. I quickly got an additional stalk that turned out poorly as the buck got a little amorous and began chasing the doe around, taking them both out of range in the horrendous winds. I figured I'd just leave them be, as there should be more approachable antelope. However, it was 3 hours before I found the next huntable group.
This next one was a first for me, as no antelope I've ever hunted has had the unfortunate luck of hanging out in a greasewood bottom where I could make an easy stalk. As I got to within 100 yards of this herd, I decided to just set up some where that would give me a nice prone shot off the bipod. A small rise alongside the greasewood worked perfectly as a doe eventually popped her head up from below and I put a 7mm 150 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip through it. That was her first blood too.
Tikka T3 .308
165 grain Speer Grand Slam
46 grains Varget
Hornady Match Brass
Winchester M70 faux Sporter Deluxe 7mm Rem Mag
Eddie Fosnaugh Cerakoted extractor
Vortex Viper 3-9x40
150 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip (2nds with the grey tip)
73 grains H1000
Her doe's heart:
My doe and the rifle. Not much of a way to pretty this one up.