My hunt resides its start in 2007 where I put in my dues for four 16 hour days with only long distant glassing at these magnificent critters called Pronghorn from afar. 2009 this hunt was not without more dues paying. Hopefully all those dues changed my luck for awhile. My first flight out my home Town at 6:15am lost an engine as we taxied for takeoff. Hours went by before they returned us to the gate. Meanwhile the plane filled up with fumes of diesel fuel. I was feeling it too. Now I was worried about even getting out of town. The airlines then after several more hours helped everyone find other flights. So I was rerouted but feeling the effects of the fumes plus jangled nerves. I flew out to Chicago then flew on stand-by to Colorado Springs. By the time I arrived I was ill, grand headache of headaches. I made my way out of the airport feeling the pain. I pulled into a rest spot along I-25 S. And I slept it off. After a well need rest I was feeling better and I called the outfitter and told them I was sorry for being late but I'm on my way. The outfitter was looking for me and had called my home several times. I got to Trinidad, CO. in time to get my Pronghorn hunting licenses at Wal-Mart's before heading to the lodge. I made my apologize once more for the delays and skipped diner that night. I met the other hunters, seven in all. To my amazement two of them were younger than me and everyone there was hunting with compound bows. The next morning is hunting. We all awake at 3:30am for breakfast and make game plans at breakfast. The top guide asks me for my hat so he could put in pieces of paper with blind names to be drawn from and I drew the "Cross roads left blind". Plus my guide this morning was Fred Eichler, owner of Full Draw Outfitters, to drive me and another hunter out to our blinds. I could feel my luck changing. Once we arrive at my blind Fred helps me get my back pack set in the blind at 5:15am and then walks around the water holes with our flash light scanning the ground around them, a cattle tank to the left of the blind and on the right of the blind a small pond. He points out the tracks made by Pronghorn around both waterholes and they show heavy traffic around them. Fred gives me several other pointers of his extensive experience and then wishes me luck and leaves with another hunter in his pickup for his blind. After arranging my chair for proper position for the hunt inside this small tent blind and getting my stuff out and bow ready I was ready for daylight and any welcomed visitors to the water holes. It was an amazing sunrise on that morning over the flat arid high plains of Colorado. The cool air was comfortable. Not a cloud to be seen. The weather forecast was ideal- no rain for several days, I was pumped. In 2007 it rained almost every day and it ruined my hunting possibilities. Today I felt it, today was the day. At 7:00am my first encounter with a pronghorn. A doe! I was looking out the front windows fascinated by all the birds, birds I have never seen before, coming to the water. I was somewhat glassing out the front windows and looking to the right and left at the water holes. Fred said the right one looked to be the one they preferred so that kept my interest over on the right side. I could not really see out the back or toward the left rear side but a small crack out along the door edge and under a flap of the rear left window. For some reason I looked to my left under a closed window flap and saw movement out a ways. I immediately put my binocs on it to see it was a doe. It circled behind the blind then walked in to the left water tank. She was a bit shy and nerves. She drank several times before trotting off the away she came in. My luck had changed and my adrenalin got a surge just from a doe that close. At 9:00 AM a scheduled checked-in with my guides with supplied radios. I felt things settling in so I pulled out a magazine from my pack and started to read an article by Chuck Adams. I got about half way through reading a page when I looked over my reading glasses out the front window. Something was moving about 300 yards out. I put down the magazine and glassed it. A buck! I couldn't tell if it was legal yet or what size his horns where but he looked to be grazing my way. Minutes seemed like seconds to me now but it must have taken him ten minutes or more to get in close enough where I could tell he had a legal set of horns. He kept looking in my direction checking things out. Finally he walked toward the left water tank. My thoughts started running, is this it? It's 9:25am the morning of my first day should I ended it here and now? Is this Buck big enough (not knowing really from limited experience what is big from just picture)? I didn't want to go off prematurely from being excited LOL. I noticed his horns are all gnarly and busted up do I want to shot him? I did one more evaluation and noticed his ears where definitely below his prong or cutter. I reached for my bow from my ground stand and grabbed my release already hanging from my d-loop. I drew back and settle my 20 yard pin and before I know it the arrow is in flight. The sound is unmistakable when it strikes the buck. It spun to its right and trotted off about 50 yards not acting like it was hit. But I could see the blood stain showing right in the sweet spot on the opposite side; it was definitely pass through hit. It walked about 20 more yards before doing it death walk and wobbled and fell over. Sweet success. 4 hours and 20 seconds is all it took for it to be a done deal after two years waiting for a rematch. The monkey was off my back. I got out of my blind so I could see better from a standing position. My buck was my buck. I then radioed my guides and gave them the word, "I have a buck down"; they asked who is this and what's the blind name? I identified myself but forgot the name of the blind. They came driving in within a minute or two and gave me their congrats. The head guide put a tape to it and he said it will be close to a B & C minimum but is definitely P & Y booking quality. Man I'm pumped and the rest is a photo shoot. Later that day I drove down with my buck to a meat processor in Raton, New Mexico and they will ship it out FedEx in a week or so to me. I'll honor this animal by enjoying his steaks and I'm doing a taxi shoulder mount on it. Sweet success is a very good feeling.
Edited by Rowdy Yates, 06 October 2009 - 07:17 AM.