World's longest report for a 3 day antelope doe hunt in WY

Fjold

Traveling Hitman
Jul 18, 2003
775
87
Bakersfield/CA/USA
Name
Frank
Boat
SSBN645, SSBN620, SSN686
I'm long winded and never know when to stop writing, so beware.

What started out as a weeklong hunt for doe antelope, coyotes and prairie dogs turned out to be four of us making a 5 day speed run to Wyoming for a quick doe hunt. My friend “D” drove over to the house Thursday afternoon and we started our 1,060 mile drive to the ranch near Medicine Bow. Arriving at the ranch at 6:00 AM Friday we were met by my brother and his friend (E) from Oregon who had travelled down the day before and had already had the tent trailer and camp set up. We made a scouting run and the first thing that we noticed was that the numbers of antelope were way down from previous years, the range was in great shape but antelope were few and far between.
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We went and talked to the rancher and his wife (dropping off a few bottles of wine and other little gifts) and they told us that they had very little snow over the winter but it had been bitterly cold. The antelope had dropped fawns very late this spring and it seems that the rut was running late also as none of the dominant bucks were herding up the does and kicking the younger bucks out yet.

We went out opening morning and parked my truck over the top of the hill, overlooking a big valley that the antelope moved through constantly in years past. We worked our way through piles of rocks along a finger ridge that overlooks the valley and within a half an hour family groups of does, yearlings and young bucks started drifting by our position.
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One group moved up the valley about 200 yards north of me and I told D over the walkie-talkie that they were on the way up to him and to take the second one as it was the biggest doe. Watching through the binoculars I saw him drop her with his 7mm Mag using the 150 grain Barnes TSX as she got level with his position. D got up from behind the rocks to tag her when another group of does started up the valley and I hissed at him to sit down. These ones crossed below me at an angle which would only bring them within 275 yards or so. I had my 6.5x284 sighted in 2” high at 100 yards which put me dead on at 250 yards. I held halfway up the body in the middle of her shoulder blade. I touched off the 120 grain Barnes TSX just as she stepped in a hole which resulted in a high lung shot and she ran about 200 yards uphill before piling up about 20 yards off of the road that we drove in on.
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As D cleaned his doe, I cleaned mine than walked up the hill to the truck and drove it down. I got my doe loaded into the truck about the same time that D drug his doe down the 150 yards to the road. I told him that he should wait until the doe was facing toward the road, that way he wouldn’t have to drag her as far. D didn’t find it amusing.
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We loaded both does up and headed down the valley about a mile or so and ran into my brother and his friend E walking along and we told him where to set up and they headed up there while we ran into town. We checked the does with the Game Wardens in Medicine Bow and dropped off the does at the processors, went back to the ranch, ate lunch and then ran back to the valley. After climbing back up the valley road we found a new gut pile and E’s truck was gone so we figured that one of the guys had got one there. Nothing else showed up within range for the rest of the afternoon. We met E and my brother at the camper and they were celebrating with some Jack Daniels. Apparently E had shot a doe (no black cheek patch) and when they went to gut it they found stubby male horns on it, a full set of female genitalia, partially descended testes but no penile sheath. They took it into town to check it at the Game and Fish check station worried that they would be in trouble for shooting a buck but the game wardens told them that it was a hermaphrodite and thus legal on a doe tag. (We had nothing but great experiences with checking numerous animals with the WY Game and Fish people there.) This was quite a relief for E as he had been worried sick on the hour ride into town.

The next morning we set up on the same finger ridge with the four of us in separate rock outcroppings a ½ mile of the ridge. About an hour into the wait while glassing numerous family groups, D who was positioned just uphill from me told me that a buck, doe and yearling had come out of the valley directly underneath me and was travelling up toward my position. I waited for about 10 minutes and asked him where they were and he said “Shhhhhh”. Apparently they were just below me on the ridge but I couldn’t see them. So I moved forward about 6 feet to look between two rocks and found myself staring right into the faces of the doe and yearling about 10 yards in front of me. They bolted directly up the hill and passed D at about 40 mph so he couldn’t shoot either. They then cut across our ridge between D and E who was in the next set of rocks. They spotted him and turned back across the ridge and cut up toward my brother. They slammed to a stop looking for a safe escape path about 40 yards in front of my brother’s 25.06. He put a 125 grain TTSX right behind her last rib that exited dead center out of the brisket. The doe somersaulted twice and left a blood trail that Stevie Wonder could have followed 20 feet down the hill.
I walked up to D’s position and we both walked uphill to where my brother was cleaning the doe. E walked over the ridge and left his pack and rifle up with my brother’s rifle about 10 yards up the ridge. (This will be important later.) D set his gun and pack down in the shade of some tall mesquite and went to give my brother a hand field dressing the doe (you know what’s going to happen now, don’t you?)
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About 5 minutes later three does and two yearlings walk over the side of the ridge near the fence road. I hissed at everyone to drop and told E “shoot one”. E tells me “my gun’s up there” so I tell D to shoot one and he says “my gun’s over with my pack”. So I put my reticle on the on the lead doe’s shoulder as she walked right to left and sent the .264 caliber bullet on its way. I saw a big puff of dust on the bank behind her as the doe shifted to a dead run disappearing over the ridge. E said “you missed” and my brother said “low”. I said no way that I was going to miss an antelope at 250 yards, shooting off a bipod. All three of them insisted that I had missed low so I left to walk over the ridge to get my truck and drive up the fence line road to get the truck down to where my brother’s doe was laying. I drove up the road and along the fence and about 150 yards from where I shot it was the dead doe. It had an entrance hole through the back of her shoulder blade and an exit hole coming out the off ribs, the size of a golf ball. I went down the first valley and picked up my brother’s doe and came back up the hill to mine. D had already started to field dress it for me and called me over after gutting it to look at the chest cavity. He had cut the diaphragm and couldn’t find the lungs. We tipped it over and literally poured the heart and lungs out of it, I have never seen anything like it. Apparently the 120 grain TSX and the pieces of the shoulder blade and rib bones hit by it had totally destroyed the entire pulmonary system. There wasn’t a piece of the lungs or heart bigger than a square inch left in her chest. How she made 150 yards with no heart or lungs amazed me.
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We loaded the does into the back of my truck and my brother and I took them to town to check them in with the G&F guys and drop them off at the processers. Back on the ranch we spotted a large herd of antelope under the power lines a mile or so north of the valley that D and E were hunting so we went up to look at them. They moved over the hill as we got close so we stopped short on the road as they worked their way up the hill across the wash from us. My brother jumped out of the truck and loaded his M70 as he dropped into a sitting position behind his bipod at a lasered 314 yards. We had a left to right wind and he sorted out which doe to take. He held on her nose and sent the Barnes TTSX on its way. We saw the doe flinch and start to limp up the hill with an injured right leg as the rest of the herd took off. She slowly worked her way to the right and my brother said “I left my spare ammo in E’s truck. I only have one round left”. I grabbed my rifle and emptied my pockets and came up with two rounds. (I had only brought 5 rounds on the hunt, 1 to check the zero and four in the magazine for the two does.) My brother shot his last round at 350 yards and hit low behind the doe. I set up my bipod for a prone shot and spun the dial on my scope up to 5.2 MOA and told my brother to hold dead on. Just then the doe lay down behind some sage brush so that we couldn’t get a clear shot so we decided to let her stiffen up. My brother reset the scope to my 250 yard zero and then worked his way across the wash and up the side hill south of her. My brother took my rifle and his pack and started up the side hill. As he neared the top I saw the doe stand up and start limping over the top of the other hill. My brother was still working his way up the first ridge and didn’t see her going over the top so I pointed to where she went and he went over the ridge following the doe. About 30 minutes later he came back to top of the ridge and put his pack and my rifle down and started waving his arms. I figured that he must have got her so I started up the 800 yards to the top of the ridge. I hate Wyoming sometimes. (Did I mention that we were hunting at 7,000 feet and I live at 300’ of elevation?) About 100 feet from the top of the ridge I see my brother put the doe down that he was carrying up from the other side. He told me that he got to the top of the ridge and a doe, yearling and younger buck were laying about 200 yards away. He walked up about 20 yards and the doe stood up on three legs, he saw the bloodstain on her leg and finished her off with my custom Montana Rifle Company rifle. I carried his pack and my rifle down while he carried the doe down to the truck.

We got back to camp and D and E told us that they got skunked when a mule deer buck and then a coyote busted two groups of does who had worked their way to the edge of rifle range. So we had six does down and D & E both had one tag left. We butchered the last doe back at camp as we couldn’t get it processed in time and hung it in bags in the barn to cool over night.Unfortunately D and I had to leave Monday morning as he is running for the City Council in his hometown and had to be at a political forum on Wednesday. We packed up and then went into town to pick up the meat that we had dropped off Saturday (my brother was going to pick up my Sunday doe that evening). We loaded up our cooler and then doubled back west to start the long drive home. About 6 hours down the road I called my brother and he said that E had gotten his second doe on the same hill that my brother got his on the previous day and they had butchered it and were packing up camp before going into Medicine Bow to get the remaining meat and start home themselves.

We got home at 2 AM Tuesday morning
 
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hatchet1

Member
Jun 30, 2010
268
0
boneyard
dude..thats a great story..i personally think barnes bullets are crap..but to each there own..great follow up on the bitches..sounds like a great time..congrats:hali_olutta:
 
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dbar

Mmmmmm Backstraps
Jun 26, 2004
6,225
160
53
With your Mom
Name
Jim Perkins
Boat
18' Center Console " D-Bar II "
Very Good read.....Thanks
Congrats on your hunt, sounds like a fun trip 4 all!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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DV8Pilot

Pilot
May 17, 2009
601
0
Temecula, CA
Name
Orion
Boat
In training
Nice job! WY is a fun place to hunt!
 
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