We had a great time on our Colorado Goatalope hunt. It took us 5 PP to draw these tags, so we wanted to make the best of it and spent some time scouting a few weeks back. We narrowed down our hunting area and thought we had found the majority of the bucks in this area, so we camped and planned accordingly. On opening day we drove in 2 miles or so and dropped one guy off. We then went another 3/4 mile and dropped off another, which was me and the Cort continued on for another mile or so and park his Truck and started hiking. I hiked in a little over a mile and starting seeing some antelope, so I dropped down and hid behind a Chola cactus and started glassing. I saw a few does and smaller bucks about 500-600 yards away and a herd of 30 or so a mile out. I stayed put for a hour or so and then noticed some other speed goats working my way. 2 bucks and a doe, the larger buck looked pretty good and might be a shooter so I got set up and ready, just in case he was. They finally came into range and he looked like a decent 13"er with nice cutters but his bases weren't really thick so I decided to pass. I watched them rut and chase the doe for a couple of hours, which is one of my favorite things to do on a antelope hunt. A few more antelope passed through but no shooters, so I decided to try to reach Cort on the walky talky. He responded and we decided to meet up for lunch and get a new game plan. On the way out I kicked up that 13"er and he ran right toward Cort. Cort saw him coming and got ready for a shot but the 50 yard-50 MPH shot was to tough. That would be a hard one to practice.....
After lunch we headed back out and tried another area and saw a few bucks but nothing worthy of the 5PP tag, so we decided to pass. On the way back with Brett we see Cort staking this buck about 1,000 yards away and then Cort disappears into the Chola. This buck is curious and continues to come into Cort. We have our shooting sticks up with our binos firmly rested on top of them, taking it all in and waiting for a rifle to bark but the bark never comes. We started for the truck and was excited to hear about Cort's close encounter. It turns out this buck wasn't big enough. On the way back to camp it starts to rain, the rain will continue for the rest of the trip. The next morning we headed back out to the same area but a little farther west. I hiked in around 2 miles this time and set up behind a big chola and started glassing. I saw some a ways out and after 45 minutes or so, I decided to try to get closer. I had only went 100 or so yards and saw something out of the corner of my eye....Busted!!!! Some does are walking toward me and the lead doe sees me. I freeze and when it turned it's head I dropped down to the ground and tried to hide in the 6" grass. As I study them through my binos, I notice a few bucks with them. In the next 10 minutes a dozen more bucks and does make their way into view and one buck really stands out.....finally a shooter. He's 14" or so with big cutters and thick, thick horns. I crawl on my belly to a chola and get my rifle onto my shooting sticks and start lining up when all of a sudden the does take off and the bucks start chasing them, away from me. I keep glassing them but they move a long ways off. I don't think they saw me, just rutting and chasing each other. I stayed still for the rest of the morning waiting for them to come back but they don't show. I didn't want to try to stalk them as I had very little cover and it would have been near to impossible to get into shooting range in taht open country without being seen. I decide to see how the others are doing and call them on the walky talky. Cort answers back and tells me that Brett killed his doe, great his first antelope. I'm pumped for him and decide to start toward them. On my way over I see a 11-12" buck 400-500 yards away and I keep walking. This buck starts to parallel me and is keeping up with me and now has walked close to a half of mile paralleling me. I call Cort on the radio and tell him to look 400 yards to my left. I asked him if he sees the buck and if is interested in it. He said yes and he's going to get in front of it and hide. That buck walked the whole way back with me and got within 250 yards of Cort. Cort chooses to pass on him. I enjoyed that experience and it never seizes to amaze me how curious antelope are. I see Brett and we rejoice together over his speed goat. We then drive around for a little and look over some new country that we might hunt later that night. We head back to camp, eat our big meal for the day and talk over the days events. The rain really starts to pour and the roads become a muddy mess. Brett takes off back home with his prize and Cort and I go over to another area on better roads. We saw a few bucks and even 2 shooters but both of them were on private land.
The next morning we head back to the same area we hunted the previous two mornings. I hike all the way back in, beyond the area where I saw the nice buck from yesterday, it is still raining, really muddy and my socks, pants, coat are soaked through. I'm cold and shaking like a quakie leave on a windy day. I put on my rain coat and started glassing. I see the big herd a mile away. I then see a couple of antelope bedded 500 yards or so out. A couple of bucks and a doe. I glass for some time and decide that one of the bucks is worthy of some lead poisoning, so I start the long stalk. I had only a few chola to hide behind and the doe was bedded looking my direction, so I had to be patient and wait for her to turn or get up to feed. An hour later she decides to stand up and starts to feed and one buck stands up with her. They move out a little and I start crawling on my belly and make it a hundred yards or so before they bed back down next to the other buck. I can only see the horns of this other buck and now can see them well. After 30 minutes or so, I never see his head move. By now I am freezing and my teeth are chattering and I start doubting to myself if these horns are really attached to a antelope.
I haven't seen him move in over a hour but hey maybe he's a sleep. By the way their heads are tilted I can tell the other two are sleeping now and decide to get closer and be ready for a shot. I move in 300, 250, 200 yards and they still don't see me.....I keep pushing it and get within 150 yards before they jump up and scream out of there. Only two run off and sure enough the other is a perfectly shaped antelope horn, STICK!!!!!!!!! ,) I stalked a stick for three hours! ,) I sat down in the mud and ate some lunch and thought of how much I love hunting, even when things don't turn out. That's why they call it hunting and not killing.
I am soaked all the way through and am looking forward to getting dried off, eat a hot meal and this afternoon I plan on hunting that big herd. I head out toward Cort and the truck. I was about a mile into my hike and noticed a small buck. I didn't pay him to much attention and kept walking and glassing, when all of a sudden, three bucks come up out of the bottom. They must have seen me and were running as they passed in front of me. I throw my rifle up onto my shooting sticks and find them in my scope and the second one is a shooter. I wait for them to stop but they only slow down to a slow walk. They are a ways out there and I don't have time to get my range finder out to range them so I guess where to hold and sweeze one off. Boom and I thought I saw it drop. I take a look and only two bucks are running off. I watched for a little while to make sure he was down. I start over towards him, thanking The Lord for giving me a buck. As I approached I'm taken back by the bullet placement. He was walking and he must have stopped as my bullet hit right where I aimed but a foot or so forward, right in the base of the neck. I never take neck shots, matter of fact I don't think in all of my big game animals that God has blessed me with, I have ever hit one there. I get on the radio and call Cort and tell him, "I got my buck, yahoo" and he said I'll be right over. It took him about a half hour to arrive, and he says come here, I have something for you. I knew he was up to something and sure enough he also killed his buck that morning.
I'll try to post some photos of the bucks.......