As I reminisce about my past two trips to Wyoming pursuing antelope, a select few words consistently arise to mind: perseverance, self discipline, and just a sheer desire to overcome my mental mistakes early in the hunt. I was very fortunate to be able to punch both my tags on two great Pope & Young antelope.
First trip found me departing western North Dakota August 23 for the nine hour drive to the hunting grounds south of Gillette, WY. I met a good friend of mine from Casper as he was operating camera for me. Spot and stalk brought us a few close encounters but no shots were taken. Day three finally found us a huntable water source; anticipation was high as we were surrounded by bucks on both hillsides. Excitement quickly turned to questioning whether or not we could pull this off as we
discovered there were three water sources within half mile, later revealing the fourth and fatal water source. It was one error after another on my part (adjusting sight to wrong mark and misjudging wind) until I finally connected on my first archery Pronghorn Antelope at 70 yards with a 30mph crosswind, I was ready to bring my goat home! The countless hours spent shooting at 100 yards paid off, however the dismay only got worse from there…
September 7th, three o’clock AM found myself and Garrett Laplant back in Wyoming setting up ground blinds. Our intent was not to hunt from these but to use them to deter goats from watering at these holes. We did not have the right wind to hunt the place we called “THE TREE”, which is where I knew we had to be to find success and where the week prior I harvested the first goat. Saturday found us taking a detour to cheer on NDSU Bison football vs. CSU in Fort Collins, a mere three hour drive, to pass the time while we watched the wind blow from the wrong direction. Sunday blew the wind correctly, however it was not practical to sneak to The Tree undetected. We watched from afar yet one more day. Monday, September 10th was the day, we crept to The Tree before daybreak, Garrett and I both knew it was just a matter of time before bucks we called “Crook”, “Curly”, and another shooter would present me with a shot! My expectations for the next few hours of that morning were exceeded immensely! On that note, I will end.
Stay tuned! DIY, public land, my way!