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just a no body
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This is a story of a friend's (from the Chiefs Coalition) recent Antelope hunt in NE New Mexico.

thought you guys might enjoy the read.. Also he is the guy ram rodding my Elk Hunt in October. The censored language has ben edited by me as the CC has no censorings.

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I couldn't get the time off to scout the area where we drew our tags, so we had to go up blind. It was a little ranch outside Clayton NM. 5 miles from Texas, 15 miles from Oklahoma, 30 miles from Colorado and 60 miles from Kansas. Who'da thunk it? It was green as hell, OT. It's been raining out here for an entire month, something like 5 times the normal rainfall. The goats (and the cattle) were fat and happy. The one I got was big as a buck mulie. Rained like a son of a ***** the night we arrived, and woke up to more rain opening morning. In fact I was drenched by 8am and didn't have much of a change of clothes. Good thing was, the temperatures stayed low.

Well, got out of camp at daybreak and headed out to a ridgeline about a mile from camp. Wanted to take a sit and glass awhile. Get a feel for the topo. Got about halfway to the ridge when we spotted a herd of about 20, and a nice buck was hanging around 'em. We worked up an arroyo (which is spanish for dry wash, which wasn't too dry this day) and got to within 300 yds and poked our head up over the rim. They were still near by, and that buck was giving me a good angle so I put the glass on him. When he came into focus my heart started racing. He was huge. I figure 17-19 inches with a nice, fat base. Problem was, the herd had mosey'd into some of the rancher's steers. Couldn't squeeze one off with all them moo-cows hanging around. So we waited. In the rain. Then, something spooked the lead doe and the whole danged herd started to bust. In twenty seconds they were totally out of site.

I tried to figure which way they went, and took a route that I figured would 'head them off'. I was wrong, of course. They were nowhere to be found. By this time it was about 10am, so we decided to get back to camp to put on some dry clothes and get some coffee. Just before the coffee started boiling, my buddie said "Hey I think I see that buck!" Sure enough, it was him. The herd had moved to a spot about a half mile from camp, in (go figure) the complete OPPOSITE direction that mex (mr. big time hunter) had figured they'd go. My buddie had never been on an antelope hunt, and spotted him with my scope. Pretty good for a rookie. So I turned off the coffee, and headed out. Only this time there was no arroyo, so I had to use my brain. Advantage, goat. (Thought I'd beat maui to the punch)

So I started walking to the south of them, around a little rise. I had my buddie go to the north about 15 minutes later. I told him to stay high and obvious, and to stick out like a sore thumb. I got into position, and my buddie played it well. He got the herd moving towards me, but not close enough. They were still a quarter mile away, so I had to open up my rifle strap, put it on my back, and belly-crawl 200 yards to a sagebrush that would give me enough cover to take a knee. My chin was dragging in the mud. I was soaked, covered in mud, and having a blast. I finally got there, but by then the buck had mosey'd a little futher out. When I set up he was about 400 yds out. I tried my rangefinder, but the damned thing was getting by the raindrops. So I dead reckoned and let one fly. Low. He jumped forward and then stopped again. I raised it up about two inches above the back, and just as I started to squeeze, a doe stepped in front. Dammit! When she finally took off, so did he. He ran about 30 more yards and stopped, quartering away slightly. In desparation I squeezed off a hail-Mary, and it went low again. And then he was gone. Son of a BEEEYATCH!

Went up to find his tracks and look for blood (yeah, right) but didn't find the latter. I did find the tracks where he jumped at my first shot. And by then it had stopped raining. I put the rangefinder on the sagebrush and it read 439 yds. I estimated good. Just blew the shot. Twice.

Got back to camp at the same time my brother-in-law did, and he had very similar luck. Those nice bucks don't get big by being dumb and unlucky.

While I was putting the sneak on that first buck, I kept seeing a white Ford pickup going back and forth real slow along the main road about a mile to the east. I figured he was seeing something, but didn't stop to think he was glassing the ranch we were hunting. The old rancher who lived there had checked his mailbox on the main road, and on his way back told us he figured they were looking at a buck. We decided to go over to see where they were looking. As we topped the ridge, I saw a flash of tan and sure enough it was a solitary buck. Those guys were trying to spook him off our ranch and onto their ranch. He wasn't as nice as the first one, but he was worth a try. My bother-in-law slowed down the pickup so I could get out without the buck noticing, and kept it rolling. I closed the door beside a big yucca bush and he kept driving. The buck kept his attention on the pickup. I set up about 225-250 yds out, but didn't have a good stance. The shot went high and I was cussing myself bigtime. I figured if I missed another shot I was gonna use the last one on myself. Fortunately, the buck couldn't tell which way the shot came from, and ran away from the highway right towards me. I shouldered the butt and told myself if I missed this next one it was time to take up knitting.

Folded him at 175 yd. His rack is a beaut. Not quite 15 inches. But what is impressive is the mass. The base is 7 1/2 inches diameter. Diggers were almost 9 inches. He's gonna score fairly high. Don't think it'll make B&C... if it does it'll be barely. Probably not worth the listing fee. I can't get it netted for a quite a while anyways. But he wasn't the big one. :mad:

That country would be derned near impossible to bowhunt.

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Originally posted by DShootnstGentemn
Yeah Beanpile, but what you are goin after here directly is a lot better eatin. :cheers:
That is for sure, DSG!!!!!:cheers:
 
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