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My Wyoming Antelope Hunt


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#1 Leo

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 02:20 PM

This hunt was a fundraiser for another member of this forum (Buckee) put on by another forum (Realtree). I've needed a couple days to compose my thoughts and get this together. We just lost a dog (Sept 10) who was the best faithful friend for us for 11yrs. It hurts. At any rate. Here is the hunt portion of my visit with the Beilgards who were sponsoring this event. User names and names are mostly RT names. Buckee and I were the only HR people there. Since many of you know Buckee I thought I'd share it here. Buckee is recovering from prostate cancer and had a heart attack earlier this year. For a while it was kinda grey whether he'd make the hunt or not.

I met Mike (Ruttinbuc) on the flight over from Denver. We instantly hit it off and I knew I'd have another friend there at this hunt. We got there and picked up our baggage. We got to visit some more before Steve got there to pick us up.

On the way in, we picked up Vermonthunter(Luke) it was raining and he was pretty wet. We started getting acquainted.

We made it to Steve Beilgard's.

This is the view from Steve and Rilda's lovely hilltop home.

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Jim's son Joe had taken a great antelope with some great character bumps on it. It was his first archery harvest. Wow, his first harvest a P&Y animal. Don't spoil the kid too much Jim! :) Jason took one that was real heavy horned. We suspected this was the one Steve had hoped Buckee would connect with. Turned out to be a little shy on the hook length. Still a fabulous antelope. Jim got a great photo of what I believe was Buckee's intended victim.

Kathleen and Buckee showed up the same time. They saw plenty but had no luck. Buckee didn't know I was coming. Thankfully, this did not give him another heart attack. Buckee brought buttertarts and coffee crisps from B.C. I was one happy dude. I like that stuff.

Rilda had salmon for us that Kathleen brought. It was an outstanding start of a landmark adventure.

Next morning I spot one antelope as I get in the blind. I see no more antelope the entire rest of the day. So I take this picture holding the hat in the blind which explains why I'm there in the first place.

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Steve and company pick us up that evening.
Vermonthunter is merely 150yds away and sees plenty of antelope. Unfortunately these were all out the blind side of the blind I was in. Well tomorrow could be worse I knew but odds were good it would be better.

Next morning back to the same blind. The sign is there. I have absolutely no doubt the antelope had been all over this area recently. Tracks and droppings outnumbered the sage plants. I knew this area was recently hot for action but not for me. I see one antelope getting in the blind and one after. 300 yards away in the dawn light. This is the best look I got at him through my 36x camera lens.

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10:00am rolls by. Steve, Tony, Steve (Bowtechhunter) and Mike (ruttinbuc) show up and I lose my release on the way to the truck. Ruttinbuc comes to my rescue and finds it in the sage. Needle in the haystack find my friend. I am incredibly grateful. I owe you one. Ruttinbuc has taken another solid P&Y buck. He's along for the ride to photo document. Tony and Steve (Bowtech) are there to lend their eyes. Let's go put a stalk on one or two Steve B. suggests. After 16hrs of almost complete inaction I'm game. We take off deeper into the ranch.

When it's not raining the terrain looks like this.

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It doesn't take long. A good buck is spotted just topping a ridge. We get out and put on a sneak. "55 yards" says Steve B. "Can you take that poke?" I could and would try. I rise up and two previously unseen small bucks bark and it was game over. This buck was immensely heavy. Paddles wider than my hand. And anything bigger than my meat paws is pretty darn huge I promise. Steve B. estimated the cutter measurement would be about 6 1/2". He's a pretty conservative guy I was finding out. My nerves were on fire.

We spot a doe grazing behind an oil rig. I have a doe tag and use it as cover to put on a sneak. By the time I make it there I draw and turn the corner. The doe is out of range but a small buck is 35yds away. Good thing I remembered about the dark cheek patches or my dreams for a trophy antelope may have ended right there.

Tony spots a whopper bedded in a ravine. Ideal location for a stalk but a long walk. Steve (Bowtech) puts the spotting scope on him. Yep, he's good. Steve B. takes a look. The hunt is on. It's gonna be about a half mile stalk. That's really pushing it for me. The adrenaline of the moment helps. Steve and I are dropped off, the rest of the crew makes it to a tall butt for a view of the action. We make a wide circle of the area and come in the back side. The edge of the ravine is sharp like a table edge. Steve B. says 11yds. I sneak up to the edge draw in crouched position and rise up. It's a gimme shot except for one thing. I can only see neck from top of the second white spot on the neck up. The rest of the antelopes body is obscured by tall grass laying against him. The angle is such that it is like shooting out of a treestand. I know I'll have to aim low. I guess he is facing me and I have a frontal shot. Letting down and checking out the shot further is not an option. At that range a frontal shot isn't nearly as risky. I knew my set up would penetrate end to end. I let the arrow fly. It went exactly where I aimed. His body was off to the left. I guessed wrong. We quickly found my arrow. I didn't even cut a hair. Steve B. says antelope always bed with their butt to the wind. I have just learned a lesson I will never forget. I ranged the shot, 13yds. Steve B. was certainly close enough in his estimation. Not as big as the first antelope I was on but still an outstanding specimen. Oh so close!

We spot another. This time we pull out the decoy and call. I'm crawling like a baby. Ouch! I check him out. Yep, I want him. He's not really interested in challenging the decoy. The rut is just trickling in. A couple more days and it's gonna be intense with the decoy.

One more stalk for the day. A good one on a fence line. We stalk close enough to check him out. He's good but now I want better. Steve B. agrees. We cut off pursuit.

We have sweet and sour halibut and Ohio venison from Whiskyswamp. The Randy's are there. Senior and Jr. Oitkers. We hit it off. Kathleen, Luke, Jack and Buckee have toughed it out in the blinds. They saw plenty but had no opportunities. What a day!

Next morning it's raining. Again! So much for Wyoming being super dry.

We head out. Spot some mule deer right off the bat. Everyone is checking those out and Mike (ruttinbuc) not forgetting why we are there, spots a good buck bedded down. I go for this one. Mike gets a picture of the buck when he stands up.

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We get close enough I range him at 53 yards on my Bushnell. Steve B. says that's too far. The buck starts walking to my right at an angle towards me. I draw I figure the distance has closed to 47 yards. I put my 45 yard pin on him and drill right into the white corner on his shoulder. The 2 inch cut Rocket Stricknine sails through him like he was a sheet of paper. He runs 100yds in seconds and crumples stone dead. The arrow went thru the front shoulder and exited the opposite side hip. We never found the arrow. It made a hole like a cannonball. Field dressing I find I've punctured one lung and cut off the bottom of the heart.

I'm ecstatic! The rain makes for really tough picture taking but we endure it.

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Not as heavy horned as the first buck I tried for but probably the second heaviest. A solid P&Y antelope. I am absolutely thrilled.

Not to be out done, Jack makes an outstanding poke on a great antelope at 50yards just 30 minutes later. I'll let him tell the story.

That night we dine on some smoked sausage and silver queen corn I brought with me. After having Salmon and Halibut I was concerned folks might be disappointed with this tablefare. But not to worry, hunger is the best seasoning and everyone devoured this with relish.

I certainly have more to tell and more pictures to share. This post covers my hunt. There will be more later :)
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#2 Whip

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 03:43 PM

Awesome leo, nice goat!
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#3 davepross54

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 06:10 PM

beautiful that's great

#4 paturbo

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 07:09 PM

:thumbsup: way to go Leo. Thanks for sharing your hunting adventures with us and the pictures are just fantastic. I am glad that you had a great time and the hunt was for a great cause. Will be waiting for some more pictuers.


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#5 Leo

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 10:35 AM

I feel blessed for having this great hunt. God guided my arrow. I'll give credit where credit is due.
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#6 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 10:35 AM

Nice goat Leo. Rain and speed goats make for a very tough hunt with a bow and arrow. Darn nice shooting. Thank you for sharing this here.
"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#7 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 08:46 PM

Leo you are da man. I am very happy for you. :D :D
If God had a refrigerator would your picture be on it.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.

#8 Phil

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 04:54 AM

Awesome Leo !!! :clap: :D
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#9 Leo

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 06:28 AM

Leo you are da man. I am very happy for you. :D :D


Thanks but, please don't call me "da man". I'm sure you don't mean anything by it but where I live that term carries some very bad blood.
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#10 sticknstring

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 01:30 PM

:clap: Good deal Leo! Pulled off a nice shot to boot! Thanx for sharing!! I need to contact you once you get settled in-I'd love to hear your feed back on the outfitter.

#11 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 02:42 PM

Oops sorry Leo You are right I intended nothing more than to say you are the man we all look up to (in more ways than one).
If God had a refrigerator would your picture be on it.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.

#12 bonecollector34

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 07:45 PM

Congrats my friend, a beautiful speedgoat and arrowed to boot! You da' man

S&S you need to give my area another try before getting an outfitter IMHO


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#13 Leo

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 11:22 PM

I won't be doing an outfitter report on this outfitter because he is retiring after this season.

Marty, I couldn't get my lope down to Laramie (which is what I wanted) without a lot of ha$$le.
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#14 Larry $

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 07:11 AM

Great story Leo and nice goat!
Elk: it's what's for dinner!

#15 REDGREEN

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 04:06 PM

Nice goat Leo. Congrats!




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