The grill is heating up!

My wife accompanied me on this trip so it started out special as she's never come with me before. She doesn't hunt, or even eat the meat but it was nice having her on the trip.

I'll fast forward to Saturday although we saw some awesome and unusual storms on Thursday and Friday. I'll include some pics of this.

Saturday morning started with me on a section block, Tim in a Canyon and Carlos in the South pasture. We had THICK fog and couldn't see past 100 yards for over 30 minutes. Finally the fog lifted and we were able to begin hunting. I brought my 4-wheeler and started down a road.

I went maybe 1/4 mile before I spotted 3 bucks. One was walking from left to right and the other two were to my right - all about 700+ yards away. I looked at all of them through my bino's and the one walking was the biggest. The other two appeared to be much smaller. I couldn't gauge really how big the walking buck was through the bino's and almost left him alone but decided since I brought a spotting scope I might as well use it. Boy am I glad I did.

Through the spotting scope I could see he was tall and had heart shaped symmetrical horns. He was absolutely beautiful. I decided right then that I'd spend the day stalking him if necessary but he was the one I wanted to take home. The chase began as I started up the road on foot.

He continued walking to my right and went out of sight below a slight hill. I thought this would be my chance to make up some ground until a group of Doe's to my direct right started running toward the buck and then took him with them. He changed directions and began going to my left. For over an hour he wouldn't let me get within 400 yards and then start running. I was moving slowly so there were times when he would stop and feed only to bust me again and move off.

These animals have incredible eyesight and are very spooky. Several times I lay down and got on the rifle with bipod only to see that the grass was too high and I ad no shot opportunity. I would have to find a high spot to take a shot. I managed to find the perfect spot but by this time he had walked down by the road 500 yards away. I couldn't shoot in that direction so I made a game plan to cut him off and bump him back to the right where I could shoot.

He had 3 Doe's with him and it worked like a charm except when they bumped they ran and kept on going. I walked slowly to my mound and got into the prone position. The 'lopes were on the other side of a small swale and I could see their heads and backs but that was it. They fed for 6 or 7 minutes like this and finally moved up where I could see their bodies. My buck stayed either quartering hard to or away from me for another 5 or more minutes. I was on the rifle the entire time and my neck really started to hurt.

Finally, he stood broadside. I steadied the rifle and put the crosshairs just behind his shoulder. I couldn't get a range on him but I figured 350 or so and can shoot straight on out to 400 with this rifle. I began pulling back on the crunchy trigger (that's getting replaced this weekend) and before it broke he quartered hard away. I let off and waited some more. He did the same thing to me one more time. I was going crazy!

After the third time praying that I would make a killing shot when I got the chance he gave me the shot. I put it in the right spot and the trigger broke. When I got back on the scope - nothing! All of them were standing in the same spot looking around to see where the noise came from. OK, let me try this again. Same scenario and result. Both shots felt great so I knew they were farther out and my bullet was hitting short.

My gun is a 2-shot due to the length of the round so I put one more in the chamber manually. I steadied the scope 7-8 inches above his back and took the shot. For the first time ever I heard the bullet hit. When I got back on the scope he ran to the left 25 yards, hooked back to the right and fell over.

I completely lost my composure. The whole experience was the most incredible of my life. Prior to last year I had never killed an animal past 200 yards. Last year it was 300 and I knew this was much farther. I called Tim on the cell phone and know I sounded like a babbling idiot.

I walked 400 steps and looked around for my buck. He was no where to be found. Another 100 steps to 500 and still no buck. After another 50 or so I started scanning around in a circle and saw him laying 75 or so yards to my right. I was beside myself when I walked up to him. He had a big body and a fantastic set of horns. Oh, and he has ivory tips. The one thing I wanted more than anything else if it was possible. I stood there in awe until I grabbed the rangefinder and determined that he was laying 563 yards from where I shot. I had just killed this magnificent animal at approximately 550 yards!

Words can't describe my feelings last Saturday or my gratitude to my friend Tim for introducing me to Antelope hunting and long range shooting. He's in the freezer and I'm about to enjoy some backstrap. Here are a few pics for you to enjoy.

Here's my beautiful buck:

Picture of his headgear:

Edge of hail storm you're about to see:


NRA Life Member