December/January 2012 EHJ (Issue 128) - I started my hunting career 10 years ago and what better place to start than central Wyoming chasing antelope. I remember the preparation for that first hunt out West like it was yesterday, my dad had me shooting countless rounds of target practice preparing me for my first shot at a big game animal. When that moment of truth finally arrived and I had that buck in my sights, I acted like any excited kid would – so excited that the first shot went sailing high! Needless to say I calmed down after three more shots hit the dirt and finally connected with my first antelope. This hunt ended with my dad, brother and I all shooting nice antelope.
Now fast forward a few years and I had just graduated college, got my first job and entered the real world! To reward me for all of my hard work, my parents surprised me with an antelope hunt back to the state where my big game hunting career began. Before I knew it, I was riding in a Suburban with my dad and two of his hunting buddies making the 18-hour trip from northern Wisconsin to central Wyoming.
We arrived that first day only to be greeted by rain, and a lot of it. Not knowing of the clay roads, I was eager to turn on to the trail and start heading for the ranch we would be hunting on - the rest of the hunting crew said that we had better head back to town and get a hotel and try making it out in the morning. I didn’t understand why we would be giving up a half of day hunting just because of a little rain, but as a truck passed us, I watched it skid out of control into a ditch - I soon agreed with my party’s choice.
After a long sleepless night in our hotel, I was ready to meet up with our guide and start hunting. A quick call confirmed that the roads were dry enough to make it out to the ranch and we were on our way. The 40-mile drive from town couldn’t have looked any more promising pronghorn were everywhere! As we pulled through the last gate, we had counted over 200 animals.
At camp, I was excited to meet the guide that my dad had been talking about the whole ride out to Wyoming. My dad had hunted with Guy multiple times and said that he really knew how to judge animals. As we walked into the cookhouse, Guy was pressed up against a window looking at a group of antelope right next to camp. I expected him to show us where we could check our guns and where to put our gear, but instead he handed us our licenses and told us to get in his truck because we had antelope to hunt!
For a full account of Joe's adventure, go to page 28 in the December/January 2012 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.