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Home from Wyoming, My Story

Old 09-10-2009, 09:29 PM
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Boone & Crockett
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Default Home from Wyoming, My Story

Where to start? My plan was to swing by my office for something that needed some attention prior to heading south to twilds. As I left my office, I heard the door click and realized I left my truck keys inside. Frantically I made phone calls to coworkers for access. Finally I made the connection and retrieved my keys and I was on my way.
I got down to twilds (Tim) and he gave me a tour to his new crib. Nice! They got a sitter which allowed us (Tim, his lovely wife and I) to head out for a couple drinks and dancing. We had such a great time before we knew it we were closing the bar and heading for breakfast. Problem was, breakfast was over just after 3:00 am and my flight was due to take off at 6:30 am. I was a half hour from the airport and needed to be there early. So after just an hour sleep I was off to the airport. My flight was on time and I was in the air for my layover in Detroit. In and out of Detroit I found myself in Salt Lake City, Utah. It looked like a nice place but it didn’t take long until I was aboard my plane for Gillette, WY.

Mounts Inside the Gillette, WY Airport.



Frank (Kidd642) was already in camp and successfully took a beautiful mule deer buck. He text me and soon him and our host/outfitter Doug Miller was there to pick me up. It was great seeing Frank again and a pleasure meeting Doug. Doug is a big, jolly fellow with a slow, methodical way about him. He’s a pleasure to be around and fascinating to listen to him talk about things. As we pulled out of the airport, Frank pointed out the Pronghorn standing just off the airport parking lot. The excitement started to build. I thought I’d better get a couple shots in just before the hunt to double check the bow. I pulled the bow out of the case and asked how far it was to the target. Frank grabbed his range finder as the other guide, Billy talked with me. Frank said the distance was 55 yards. I shocked the guide as I sent an arrow just left a couple inches of my mark. That got the outfitter Doug’s attention as well and he stepped out on the porch. My second shot was in the X. I said, she’s on and Billy made a gesture that he never saw anything like it and Doug immediately said, he’s with me and I know where he’s going and smiled. Of course I took a couple 20 and 30 yard shots as well to make sure things were perfect.

Very soon after the rest of the guys, Frank’s nephew CJ, his friend Bill and Kevin arrived at camp followed by Greg/ MO and jmbuckhunter (John). The ribbing, laughs and stories started immediately. I don’t think I stopped smiling from that moment on. Once everyone was in camp and settled in, Doug (guide) wanted to get us out into the blinds immediately as it was hot as heck. The situation was perfect and they wanted a jump on the hunting. I found this very generous as we weren’t supposed to start hunting until Sunday. I was excited to say the least. Doug put Greg and I into one watering hole with two blinds.




Greg / MO was in one blind and I in the other. We spent several hours sitting there in the hot sun. What was amazing was the amount of grasshoppers that existed everywhere. They ate the alpalpha fields all but bare. They were inside the blinds, on my bow and hopping around the cameras. Greg and I could cover the whole water hole including having several overlapping shot opportunities. This group of does came in and was 33 yards from him and 42 yards from me.



Several other groups of does came in along with a young buck that Greg and I both agreed that he would be a 2.5 year old like whitetail. Both of us passed on him although he was at one time in range for both of us. Texts came out that two of our camp mates scored including Bill as well as Frank’s nephew CJ. Both were very respectable bucks. Total for the evening I had seen probably about 30 animals with several being very respectable bucks but for whatever reason, those bucks did not come to water. That evening we celebrated 2 of our compadres successful tagged animals. That left 4 of us with buck tags. We all rejoiced over some cold beverages well as a hearty meal. If someone went away with an empty stomach, it would have been a personal choice. Cold beer, good friends, great food and 2 tags filled, the whole trip was already a success.

The next morning Greg and I headed out with Doug, the owner/outfitter while Kevin and John (jmbuckhunter) headed out with the Billy the guide. Greg and I would be hunting separate blinds about 700 yards apart. We communicated via texts on sightings as well with texting how jmbuckhunter was making out. Frank sat with Doug in a vehicle overlooking both our blinds. In the background you can see Greg’s blind while my blind is way in the distance near the group of 3 trees.




And a close up on my sight.



When the guide dropped me off it was getting light quickly. As we entered the area from far from the left there was already a group/herd of pronghorn in the field about 200 yards out from my watering hole. They remained there as I got out and into the blind but once the guide pulled away, they left the field. Little did I know, it wouldn’t take long for them to return. It turns out, they will tolerate vehicles to some degree but will not tolerate people walking around.
The morning went slow, very slow and sightings were down. I had the occasional doe come by and water but I did not see any shooter bucks for quite a while. Around 10:00 I got a text from jmbuckhunter asking if this was the 10:00 lull. Chuckling aloud I returned, I do believe so!




So I passed the time slowly with a pocket game of Yatzee and texting others on what was going on in their neck of the prairie.


Before long, Pronghorn were making their way back into the alphalpha field. At one point I had 24 speed goats either bedded or standing around grazing.



Suddenly 6 bucks came around the 3 trees and dam and proceeded to drink from the water hole. Unfortunately, none were considered shooters by me and I was content on passing them and photographing the larger one trailing the others.







Soon more shooter bucks started to show up including the one I ultimately ended up tagging. At first he came in from behind me and to my left and actually came into bow range but didn’t water. I had my video camera all set up and rolling but something changed his mind. I caught him by camera as he walked away and shortly thereafter, bedding about 75 yards out behind me in the alphalpha field. Another shooter buck came strolling by which caused “my” buck to get up and move closer to my blind. At this point he was about 50 yards out but bedded.




A text came in that Greg just shot one and it was coming my way. I was watching behind me when I saw a bruiser goat stroll across the field. Try as I might I could not put a hole in him and ultimately it turned out that his shot went high and back and only brushed his back side. I watched that buck make a scrape and routinely go about his business unharmed. The outfitter was glassing on as well as Frank and both said the buck was unharmed. Turns out a stiff wind took Greg’s 42 yard shot errant. Time passed slowly as I kept track on the bedded buck behind me. I got word that Greg arrowed and successfully recovered a buck.


continued below:
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:29 PM
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Suddenly my buck was on his feet wanting to come to the water hole but he was just very reluctant. At the point I thought he was dedicated I had moved my camera to that side of the blind and opened that window while closing the other. Like animals do so many times, he didn’t do what I thought he would. He headed behind my blind and appeared to be coming in on my right so I quickly closed that window, moved my camera and opened the right window. All this was taking place as Matt / PA was texting me from Oregon wanting a play by play and I did my best to keep him in the hunt.
I was shocked to see about 5 does/fawns and a small buck already drinking from the water. I assumed this is what made the large buck comfortable enough to come in. I about panicked and was afraid to move but I slowly lowered the window, readied the video camera, turned it on and settled into position with my bow in hand. As predicted, my buck walked right into my video camera’s window and soon was in position for a shot. At 15 yards I sent a Snyper tipped Gold Tip Pro 22 arrow into the buck’s chest. He was slightly quartered to however, this is the time that one has to know their equipment as well as their ability and on the ground at 15 yards I had zero doubt of my effectiveness. As the video camera ran, the buck wheeled at the shot, spinning like a dog and tearing up dust as he exited the water hole. I laid down the bow, grabbed the camera just as he zoomed through the screen. I turned it just in time to see him stagger, rare up and crash in a cloud of dust. It happened in second and I successfully arrowed my very first American Pronghorn. Little did I know, Doug, Frank, CJ and Greg had been looking on with their binoculars and saw the whole show! Later I learned they were all making commentary and laughing at the wonderful hunting show put on before them. They were pulling across the field driving right beside my buck to come pick me up. I asked the guide, is it a good one? He immediately replied, Oh my yes, he’s a great antelope, will make P&Y for sure. I was elated.
Looking back at my water hole:



My very first Pronghorn which finished roughly scoring 72 5/8” which surpasses the 67” minimum.




And seen with Greg / MO’s P&Y Pronghorn as well as our incredible outfitter and guide, Doug Miller.



With these two and the word that Kevin shot one left us only with jmbuckhunter to fill his tag. Once back at camp, it didn’t take long until jmbuck (John) rolled in with Billy with a fantastic Pronghorn of his own. With that, we were six for six on day 2 with Doug Miller Outfitters. That night, the cold beer and wonderful food never tasted so good.

The next day I spent the day with Doug after putting Frank (Kidd642) and his nephew out in a blind to fill their doe tags. It was more than a pleasure to ride around with this man and learn about his operation as well as his stories. I was able to catch pictures of these gorgeous mule deer bucks.


And check out the Whitetail characteristics of this mule deer. Doug said, there has to be some cross genetics on many of these deer.



Texts came in late in the afternoon that both CJ and Frank filled their doe tags all the mean while the rest of us were back in camp cutting and butchering our meat for the fly home. Again, that night cold ones were flowing as well as the fantastic grub.

The next day, our last we all went to Devils Tower, Wyoming. The day itself was nasty and Doug, our outfitter was certainly glad we all got the job done as the hunting itself would have been terrible. The Pronghorn won’t water on rainy days as they can get all the moisture they need from the vegetation not to mention it was cool out and they wouldn’t need much water. Fortunately, we were all tagged out and could enjoy the day together not only at Devils Tower but in Huelett for a hearty Bison burger.




L-R/ jmbuckhunter, Kidd642, Greg / MO, Rob/PA



Doug then took us back country on the way home so we could watch for wildlife. Not only did we see more Pronghorn which was a given but we caught mule deer as well as whitetails throughout the country. Wyoming is an incredible state and one I could live in, in a heartbeat.

Needless to say that was the extent of our trip as the next morning most of us PA guys needed to be at the airport for our 9:00 am flight home. As I sit here in my log home in the woods of PA, part of me will be forever on the prairie plains of Gillette, Wyoming.
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:30 PM
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Nice story Rob! Glad to hear of everyones success and great time. How was it sitting in a blind all day in the heat?

Derek
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:11 AM
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Thanks for sharing sounds like you had a good time. Congrats on the Antelope!
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:29 AM
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Great story and great pictures , Nice shooting Rob thats a dandy buck you got . I hope to try Antelope myself one day .
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:11 AM
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Awesome trip, thanks for sharing...
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:19 AM
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Congratulations , nice pictures.
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:49 AM
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Very cool........... congrats on your first pronghorn. Beautiful pic's

Last edited by dyb3and88; 09-11-2009 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:12 AM
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Awsome pictures/great read also. ( you mean we went for breakfast?) lol wow was my wife ever drunk!!!!
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:50 AM
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cool pics and story!

rick
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