Saturday morning started early with John taking a shot and Toby taking a doe.
After lunch and dropping off Toby's doe at the processor, we headed back out hiked and drove around for hours and hours not finding any does but seeing a few bucks. No mixed herds like the last couple years. We all had doe tags.
Day was almost over and John and I were feeling a bit low wondering where the animals were.
The last area left on the west side was where all the critters were hiding, maybe 20 animals over the next couple ridges.
The ranch is on the Eastern Slope, very flat ground with the smallest of hills and shallowest of ravines. There's hardly anywhere to hide. And since antelopes can see you just fine a mile away with their built in telescopic vision, sneaking up on them is really, really hard.
The strategy that works well out at the range is to slowly walk up hills or up the sides of ravines and glass just over the top of them for antelope heads. If you're careful, you'll see them before they see you, and if the sides of the shallow hill or ravine is a little steeper than most, you can work your way into a shooting position without being seen.
So Toby and I were able to work our way around a small rise putting it between us and them, and we came across a doe at about 200 yards in a shallow gully. I took a couple of shots but missed.
But earlier we'd passed by a couple of does bedded down on the other side of the hill we were walking around. They hadn't seen us and so I worked back up the hill and could just make them out over the top. They'd gotten up and started walking.
I set up with the shooting sticks, sitting position, took a deep breath this time, then let the rifle settle and line up and boom. I lost sight of the target for a second but when I reacquired the doe was down.
It's been a long several years but this newbie hunter finally succeeded! Did I mention it was a 275 yard shot?
Elk and deer season coming up in a few weeks...
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