Southwest Desert Pronghorn Help

Dark2Dark

Member
Messages
11
I’m down from Oregon hunting SW Desert Pronghorn on a tag I drew through the Hunt Expo.

I did as much e-scouting as I could, but resisted posting on here because I know posts like this are not always well-received.

I’ve spent two days driving around the unit, which is unusual for me, as I tend to put more hunting miles on my boots than my tires.

I spent day one west of Milford (where I am staying) off 21 and Pine Valley Rd. In the evening I went North from 21 past Crystal Peak and to the NW corner of the unit around Snake Valley. In the morning I saw a group of about ten on Pine Valley Rd, but they did not appear to have a buck with them. In the evening the only antelope I saw were in private fields around Snake Valley. I decided not to torture myself with whether there were any bucks there and moved along to public property.

Day two I went all the way to the North end of Hamlin Valley, by way of Modena. I saw one group probably 1500 yards off, that moved off not in a huge hurry but quick enough I couldn’t get the big glass on them. I saw my first buck, inside of rifle range. But he was on the move when I spotted him. He stopped for a few, but moved off while I scrambled to find my range finder (which I discovered fell out of my pack at “camp”).

I have to say I was lured into over confidence by the success rates of the hunt and a bit of online chatter that suggested it shouldn’t be much more difficult than a drive down this or that road. I’m new to antelope hunting, and with how jumpy they are, I’m having a hard time imagining how this will all come together driving around.

I feel like my odds of getting situated for a shot would be much better on foot, but with the pronghorn being few and far between, covering lots of ground to find them seems like a necessity. End of day 2 I spent glassing from a spot I could see a couple miles in a few directions (in proximity to where I saw the other critters up Hamlin Valley) hoping I could see them from afar and then figure out a stalk on them- but no dice.

It was definitely a drive to get here and it will end a fun adventure here either way- but I’m hoping maybe someone has some additional advice or suggestions.

I have seen two big bulls- one for sure 325+ and both on public land, and I’d be happy to swap notes with an elk hunter with the tag for the unit.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I’d repay it with a couple days of salmon fishing in the PNW!

Cheers,

D2D
 

nvguy2

Active Member
Messages
675
Leaving tomorrow for the Muzzleloader that starts on Wednesday. I’m pretty excited and also got some help from someone on this site. There are some good people here. Congrats on the harvest and Yes to wanting to see pics as well!!!
 

Dark2Dark

Member
Messages
11
I met up with Ruger1022, who was nice enough to take me to a few spots he had seen antelope before. It was extremely gracious of him!

We only saw four antelope- one buck with two does and the single buck I ended up shooting. But, we started early afternoon and spent about an hour on each buck before I shot mine around 6. I’m guessing if we had just passed them by and hunted into the last couple hours of daylight we would have found some more.

We were both baffled by how the first group of three antelope slipped out on us. It just seems so impossible for them to disappear in the big, flat country. Obviously, there are lots of dips and cuts for them to sneak into, but it just seems like you can see everything.

Ruger spotted the second buck about the same time it spotted us. It was a fair ways off, but theoretically in range. We spent a little too long deliberating instead of getting myself on the gun. By the time I did, he had walked down over a little edge.

We moved way passed him and then stalked back towards him. It took a minute to relocate him and then be bedded down. We were able to sneak in mostly behind him outside of his field of view, down through a couple cuts and finally sneaking in low to shave off another hundred yards or so. It was not as close as I would have had liked to get, but after just a few days of hunting, it was clear that most of the antelope had either seen a lot of hunters or not seen very many hunters at all, and both were resulting on them being pretty jumpy.

I am super happy with my goat and had a great time as a whole. He’s not an 80” monster, but for a first antelope, I’m pleased. One of the highlights of the trip was definitely Ruger’s willingness to go above and beyond to help out a total stranger.

I would have posted a pic right away, but wanted to get permission before I did.

thanks again for all the help and those following along this post!

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378536C7-5E5A-4148-AC8B-B5C263FE49C8.jpeg
 

Hunter21

Member
Messages
7
Congratulations, thanks for sharing!! It’s great to see two complete strangers with the same passion come together and have a successful hunt. It’s always good to see fellow hunters helping each other out. It’s what it’s all about. It was nice to see a thread about hunting that didn’t turn into a pissing match for a change 👍 I agree with OutdoorWriter Well Done!!
 
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3TOE

Very Active Member
Messages
1,055
Congrats to you & to Ruger1022 for helping out. I have had similar experiences with some of the guys here going above & beyond. That’s awesome that he could lend a hand to salvage the trip. Great looking buck too by the way. 👍🏻
 

devobrodie

Active Member
Messages
334
Congrats to you, and very nice of Ruger to come out and help! I have received help from quite a few folks from MM over the years, I really appreciated it every time, and try to help whenever I can, that is what makes this site a great thing.
 

pushin_30

Active Member
Messages
869
Sorry I just saw this post 🤦🏻‍♂️ I spend a lot of time on the unit and had this tag last year which I mentor’d to my daughter. Fun hunt and would have loved to help you out! That’s to rugar for stepping up! Congrats on your goat!
 

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