Dad's First Pronghorn
My dad is the one to blame for getting me into hunting, well blame is a harsh word but that's what my Mom always tells him. I personally thank him for getting me started in hunting as it has become a great passion for me. From waterfowl to big game, I hunt it all and I thank him for introducing me to the outdoors. Although we hunt elk and deer every year it has been 20+ years since my Dad has harvested an animal. We have always thought that hunting was more about time together in the field than the kill itself, so with that alot times he walks around without even loading his gun. He always wants to be the one shooting, must be a Dad thing as I am sure I will do the same thing with my son.
This was going to be a different story. I talked him into putting in for some doe antelope tags in Wyoming, and with a sucessfull draw this was to be his first try at antelope hunting. Needless to say he was very excited to be going. He has never really spent much time working up loads or shooting at the range, but this summer was different. He worked up some good loads for the old trusty 30.06 and he spent more time at the firing line. He is not a real confident shooter at longer distances, must be the eyes getting old...HAHA! After some time he was getting more comfortable about taking a longer shot. But I knew deep down that the goats we hunt in our location most of the time we can get them to under 150 yards.
Opening morning brought Dad and I to a natural spring where I shot two antelope last year opening day. With the full moon the antelope were acting a little different as they were not coming to the water first thing in the morining. However it did not take long for them to decide to come for a drink. They came into a different spot than we had hoped but we had them at 200 yards and Dad was ready. With a very unfortunate miss the antelope ran up the hill and I was able to take one at 269 yards. After that things got real quiet so we decided to get my goat back to camp and Dad would work anther water hole and I prepared my antelope for the cooler.
Before I got to the water hole, my dad had another miss on a antelope that was 175 yards away because he misjudged the distance as he forgot my rangefinder back at camp in my pack. We spent the next 2 hours sitting, talking and carrying on watching the antelope on the hill, watching and waiting for them to come down the hill. When all of a sudden from behind us I spot a doe coming to water from behind us and she is going to walk right by us at about 125 yards. That was her fatal mistake and Dad let one go and it was a good shot she went about 20 yards and was down for the count. I was so proud and happy for him. I think I yelled like a little cheerleader girl. I was so glad I could be there and to help him with his antelope. We actually ended up killing 3 antelope that evening all within about 45 minutes of each other. So he got his 1st and 2nd goat. Best part of the whole trip is I was finally able to give something back to my Dad just as he had given me. He now has a renewed spirt for hunting and elk hunting is right around the corner. I do think he will let me shoot first this time, but I am OK with that. As far as antelope hunting goes he is hooked and he is already talking about next year and he is not going to miss any shots!! Thanks for everything Dad!