Monday, September 27

first hunting success

well, friday evening scott and i went out to look for an antelope, and found that one, and we went back out to look for him yesterday. we didn't really ever see him again for sure, but found another nice one after driving around looking at all the goats in the highway pasture for several hours. in the process of trying to get him, we crawled on hands and knees, bounced across sage brush, hopped out and took a shot, went careening down a two-track and bounced over more sagebrush. to no avail, and by that time all the antelope in that area were so stirred up we headed for the house.

after a quick snack we headed out again, this time north of the ranch house, in the north fish creek pasture. we saw one that was ok, but he and his does were pretty skittish and left the country, so then we drove back around by a place called eagle's gap, where there's a reservoir, and there was a whole herd back there, mostly does. (eagle's gap is the same area we went through the evening scott proposed to me out at the ranch several weeks ago).

so we got out our field glasses and looked them over, and this guy i've got here in the photo was the best of the lot, so i decided i might as well take a shot at him. after the blantant miss on the first one at 10 yards - practically - i had taken a few shots at a rock and hit it consistently, so i figured i'd try another shot at a buck.

i hit him with my first shot, but he didn't go down. the next went to high, and the third too low. :-) thankfully i had hit him well enough that he didn't run off in that process. and the process of a bullet getting jammed in the gun and scott saying from inside the pickup 'calm down. don't break my gun!' he came out and helped me get it straightened out, i loaded it again, and took my time with the last shot and he went down.

and, i might add, this was all from a lot farther away than the one at the water tank!

i shot him up on a side hill, so we put scott's new little white mazda 'snowflake' through is paces and got up to him for the cleaning process. it was pretty hot out, esp for the end of september, so scott was anxious to get him cleaned as soon as possible.

this is the side view of him. antelope are scored for their size based on how tall their horns are, and how long the cutters are - the smaller hooks that stick out the front. mine measures 13.5 inches tall, with four inch cutters, which is pretty average. what makes them pretty, i think, is if the horns curve clear out in a wide arc, and if they curl over a lot at the top. mine isn't very wide, but he does curl over pretty nicely.

back in the ranch yard bob and becky came out to look him over, and becky took this photo of me and my wonderful guide. the goat looks like he's not feeling too well, with his mouth hanging open and tongue out. foxy and lucy were very curious as to what we had brought back for them.

then we backed the truck in the shed so we could hanging him from the rafters to finish the cleaning process. i did save the head to be mounted as my first success in hunting, and we took the meat to friend jamie's, who has a friend that wants it. scott absolutely refuses to eat antelope. i've never tasted it, but judging from the smell of them, i don't really want to. a buck antelope smells worse than a buck barnyard goat.

so that was pretty much my sunday, now back to work as usual in the office today.

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