Just noticed that I never posted about my antelope hunt this year. Had a buck rifle tag for northeast CO, and took my neighbor on a doe tag for his first antelope hunt.
We started the day off early driving around to spot antelope in areas where we had permission, and might be able get close enough to give it a try. Rather quickly, we spot a group of 10 or so about half a mile away in a bottom. We make a good stalk to within about 100 yards. I try to get a shot on the lone buck in the group first, but never see more than just his neck head on. I opt not to shoot, and the antelope decide to haul out of there.
We head back to the pickup to try to find the next opportunity. Less than a mile down the fence line, we come across 2 more bucks. I am able to get out and setup on the fence. I get a nice shot at ~200 yards on the larger buck. The shot feels good and the antelope drops right away. I put another bullet in, and the antelope gets back up. I make 2 more bad shots that I will blame on the adrenaline. The antelope is injured, but still covering some ground. I make chase on foot, and the terrain works in my favor. The buck passed over a hill, and when I crest the hill, I have a shot opportunity at ~150 yards. As I am getting set for the shot, I see movement out of the corner of my eye. It was a coyote headed towards the wounded antelope. Just as I worry that the coyote will spook the buck, the coyote changes directions and runs away. I reset on the antelope, and finish the job.
After I get a moment to appreciate my buck, my neighbor comes walking up. We take some pictures, and then I send him on his way towards 2 groups of antelope I had spotted a little ways off. I walk back to the pickup hoping to hear shots from his hike. When I don't hear shots, I get curios, so I walk to a nearby hill to try to see what is happening. From my vantage point, I can see me neighbor and the antelope, but he isn't shooting. Eventually the antelope leave, and my buddy starts walking back. Turns out he never had a good shot, and they were further away than they looked from my position.
While loading my buck up in the pickup, we spot one more group of antelope in favorable terrain. We decide to give it another try before going to process mine. We cover ground quickly and are soon climbing the small hill between us and our prey. I hold back while he tries to get in position for a shot. He is able to take a kneeling shot at ~80 yards. From my spot, I can't see if his shot connected, and I top the hill to see antelope running away. He is pretty sure he connected, but the grass was tall enough that we couldn't see any antelope on the ground. After a quick look around, we find our 2nd success of the day.
Very successful hunt with 2 antelope hanging, including one first! As a cautionary mesaage, after processing both animals, I had cut the skull cap off my buck, and left them on the floor of the shop. We gathered the carcass' to take them out to a corner of a nearby pasture. When we got back a couple minutes later, my horns were missing. The dog had drug them off. We searched for a couple hours, and weren't able to find them. Luckily, a week later, the dog dropped them on the lawn unharmed. Once I have the horns mounted, I will get a picture posted.