With the app this year all of my hunts were tags that came reissued from the Parks and Wildlife. The first hunt of the year was my muzzleloader antelope. Given that reissued tags can pop up anytime before or even during a season I had told myself to be patient and wait for a good rifle tag. But when this hunt popped close to the muzzleloader opener I couldn't take it any more and bought the tag.
I've hunted the unit just east of here extensively throughout the years for mule deer and know a couple landowners who have a few pastures in this unit as well. I couldn't make it for opening day, but I was able to get out the next day and started searching. Given that I'd never really poked my nose around other than to help with cattle my knowledge was limited and unfortunately my landowners pastures were a complete bust. So I did what I always do when situations like this happen, I banged doors.
Late in the morning I ran across a little old lady who gave the standard, "shoot a couple of them," response to antelope hunting. Cool! Only difference to this little old lady was she had 14 SECTIONS of prime antelope land. Jackpot.
I had only scheduled one day for this hunt cause of how easy I figured it would be, but could have made Sunday work if absolutely needed. Spent the rest of the day looking at dozens and dozens of bucks. Apparently she lets a bunch of rifle hunters have their way with the property so the age structure wasn't that great. Lots of 2 year old bucks and just a few 3 year olds. They hammer them. I wasn't gonna be too picky.
Right at mid day I found this buck with 20 does and figured I could keep him in my back pocket for last light if needed. It was as he ended up being the largest one that I could find the rest of the day. After a short stalk to 98 yards the does started to get uneasy in the failing light. Eventually the herd scrambled a little and I thought for sure I wasn't gonna get a shot. In the end the does ran off and the buck decided to stick around and make sure I didn't go chasing his girls. BOOM!!
More antelope to come.