View Full Version : SD Pronghorn report

T Bone
10-04-2009, 02:32 PM
SD antelope rifle opened yesterday. My son and I had a great time.

We were in the NW corner of the state and the winterkill really pounded the antelope this spring. There were still enough antelope to keep it interesting. I bowhunted this area earlier this year and had found one buck that was nice. It's public access and we expected lots of pressure.

We left Friday afternoon and slept in the truck. We walked in 3 miles in the dark and waited for light. At light we found we had the place to ourselves. Plenty of orange guys out closer to the roads. We located a herd bedded and with the assistance of Moo Cow we got within 200 yards. Nathaniel laid down for a steady shot. His 30-06 boomed followed by the hollow thump of a hit. But the buck tore off after his does. ???? We went and checked for sign and found white hair, but no blood. We followed the trail in the mud for 150 yards or so, then saw the antelope about 1/2 mile out milling around. The buck was chasing does. I gave him a clean bill of health and put on another stalk.

The morning proceeded with miss after miss after miss. He's good on paper, but not so good on animals. He was getting frustrated.

Here he is after missing an 80 yarder.
http://images1e.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp99%3A%3Enu%3D3233%3E3%3A%3B%3E7%3C%3 B%3EWSNRCG%3D32%3A5%3C388%3A9338nu0mrj

Shortly after the pic above a herd meandered by at 250 ish and Nathaniel took a prone shot and the scope got his nose good....and he missed. From that point on he was afraid of the gun. I'd yet to see a buck that I wanted to put a tag on.

As the day went on, more opportunities presented themselves and his shooting form continued to degrade, which led to another smack on the face from the scope. He was done and I was out of patience and understanding so we threw in the towel and started heading out the 4 miles to the truck. We swung by the area of the 1st buck at first light. I stopped to glass one more time and.....tucked back in a little cubby hole was a buck! The buck from this morning acting sick! We circled and ended right on top of him at 20 yards. We put him down and sat down and enjoyed the moment. We were discussing the turn of events when two little fawns came running by at 100 yards. When they saw us, they ran right to us.........I concluded that the doe had been killed and since we were already getting our hands dirty...might as well make meat out of them. The fell within 30 yards of the buck.

Closest white dot is the buck. Behind you can see the other 2.

A handsome buck. Nothing but luck finding him. He was about 150 yards from where we shot at him. I back tracked him and found he'd done a tight circle after being hit. The other buck which I'd assumed was him was obviously not the same animal.
http://images1f.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp9%3A9%3Enu%3D3233%3E3%3A%3B%3E7%3C%3 B%3EWSNRCG%3D32%3A5%3C482%3C2338nu0mrj

We boned out the critters, put them in the packs and headed out. It was heavy, but not too bad.

3.2 miles later, Nathaniel was really excited to see the truck at last light.
http://images1e.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp9%3A2%3Enu%3D3233%3E3%3A%3B%3E7%3C%3 B%3EWSNRCG%3D32%3A5%3C482%3C4338nu0mrj

My buck tag is good through Saturday.....I may go back. I'm getting frustrated with finding a nice buck this year. Haven't seen a single buck that would clear 13 inches, but we've had a good time.

10-04-2009, 05:40 PM
Sorry to hear that he was strugling with that rifle. Maybe a good recoil pad and muzzle break will help make him comfortable with the rifle. There are other cartridges out there that are easier on the young shooter like 7-08,260 rem or 25-06. A little more training and confidence building will do wonders for newer shooters. Hope things go smoother for you next year.

10-04-2009, 07:30 PM
Also get him out there doing some field shooting. Varmints and predators are great for this. He can shoot prone,kneeling,standing or sitting. Being good on paper at the range only lets you know that the rifle is zeroed. Shooting varmints on the go is much better training.

10-13-2009, 04:54 PM
I really enjoyed your storytelling and photos. Thanks for sharing.

Take those kids hunting!

David in OR
10-13-2009, 05:00 PM
Thanks for sharing. I really want to chase antelope (and with my son) one of these days.

10-16-2009, 03:17 PM
always wanted to antelope hunt- never have. congratulations to your son- are you going to make it to idaho this year?

T Bone
10-18-2009, 07:07 PM
Thanks for the kind words. The kid was cool as ice behind his 308 last year and drilled 2 nice whitetails. This year, we picked up a used Savage 30-06 lefty that he was really excited to get his hands on. He shoots extremely well on paper, but really got rattled on the antelope trip.

I need to get him back behind the rifle shortly to get his confidence back up before deer season.

No Idaho trip for me this year. I blew my allowance last year with the AK sheep hunt so I need to be happy with the local offerings of all-you-can-eat deer and pheasants.

I'm sure missing the high country. I have planned out a hunt where I'll be packing about 4 miles into forest service in November with the Para-tipi if it's decent weather.

10-18-2009, 07:32 PM
Good job on getting out with your son and finding that buck. Looks like you guys had a great day of hunting and good learning experience.

As for the shooting...I was with a guy in S Africa a few years ago in the highveld hunting for springbok (a bit smaller than our antelope) He kept missing, always high. I talked with the PH about this. The guy was shooting a custom .280 and was spot on at the range. What was happening was 2-fold. 1st, he thought the critters were bigger; 2nd, because of their size and open terrain he thought they were further out so he was holding high with a flat shooting rifle and shooting right over them. Perhaps the same thing was happening with your son. Seems like whitetail are often found in fairly good cover, they are fairly good sized and perhaps just make an easier target for some from a mental perspective.

Regardless, great story, photos and hunt:)

10-18-2009, 08:30 PM
Great story. Sounds like the summation of my first 5 years rifle hunting all wrapped up into one day.

Good luck with your November hunt. The weather should be no problem. Word has it that those paratipis will handle just about any weather that comes their way.