August/September 2011 EHJ (Issue 126) - As I sat there hunkered in the middle of a sagebrush flat in the wind and rain, I could hardly wait for the chance to take my first antelope. I was anchored on my shooting sticks; all he had to do was stand up out of his bed and I would have the chance I had been waiting for.
I had wanted to go antelope hunting for the past several years, but being from north Idaho and applying for moose tags, I didn’t have many chances in my home state. I knew my best chance was probably in Wyoming, but until my brother-in-law, Matt Hammer, called me in the spring of 2010, I had nobody to go with. Matt and a friend, Mark Farrell, were going to apply in Wyoming and asked if I would be interested in going along. I jumped at the opportunity.
Matt talked to the Wyoming Game and Fish to see what areas they suggested. We weren’t looking for record book goats, just a chance to go and have a quality experience. Mark was the only one of us who had harvested an antelope before. We took the information we got from the Game and Fish and crossreferenced it with information we got out of the MRS section of EHJ, and decided on the two units we wanted to apply for. With a little luck, we drew our first-choice unit.
We decided to go the first week of October. We figured the first couple of weeks would be busy, and if we gave it some time there would be less pressure. It seemed to work out for us; most of the crowds had already left. When we pulled into our hotel there was a group of hunters from Montana getting ready to pull out. They had taken three nice bucks, and also helped point us in the right direction. They said there were lots of animals, and that we were in for a good time. I could hardly wait for the next morning.
With it being the first time we had hunted this unit, we spent the first day just checking out different areas, and marking up maps where we saw the most goats. We looked at as much of the unit as we could the first day. We looked over a lot of animals that day, and Matt and Mark talked me into laying off the trigger or my hunt may have been over much sooner. Excited to make sure I brought antelope meat home, I filled a doe tag toward the evening on our first day. It was a good start to our trip.
On day two, we were ready to get a little more serious. We made a good stalk on a herd fairly early that morning. Mark was able to fill his first doe tag with his muzzleloader. After we got her taken care of, we headed for a spot that held a lot of goats the day before. We started glassing from a good vantage point and were picking goats up instantly.
For a full account of Chris's adventure, go to page 26 in the August/September 2011 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.