Sunday, August 13, 2006

opening weekend report

Well this is the story of my first pronghorn hunt sorry it is kinda long.

FRIDAY- the day before the season opens and we arrive at camp around 5pm set up camp and ate and went out scouting for pronghorn. Not a mile from camp standing not 50 yards off the road was one of the biggest pronghorn I have ever seen talk about goose bumps it was going to be a long sleepless night this big boy would have got 16 inches at least if not more. So we move on to the ridge I had scouted before and spotted a few other herd. We retired to bed about 10pm.

SATURDAY (opening morning)- We started out day not two miles from camp in a small saddle just north of where we seen the big boy the day before hoping with all the action of the morning he would head through the saddle into the heavy timber. Well about 20 minutes after sun up we spot the pronghorn coming across the sage flat a long ways off on private land headed our way in the saddle as we had hoped in between him and us is about three miles of sage and the main road. Well this is the part that makes me sick we see a blue suburban SUV stop in the road a guy in a white tee shirt gets out and takes and off hand pop shot at the pronghorn buck from about 400 yards spooking this big boy the other way in to timber and more land we had no access to. Needless to say this tool shot from the road using his truck as a gun rest shooting onto private land very well posted no hunting I was so mad we did report him to the ranger so I hope he gets busted and if you read this I hope you feel ashamed ( I cant see and Ifisher doing this) so after this we moved on to an area of timber referred to me from and good friend and did not see much of anything a lot of tracks but no pronghorn. We drove up a small road a long was back into the middle of freaking no place up to a ridge and got out and glassed at this point I wanted to cut cross country back to another place I had scouted so off I went on what will know be know as the longest hike of my life while not lost at all there was a lot of un scene things between me and my designated end I will only tell you of a few there are a lot of rocks under them sage flats lots of rocks and things that like to move your legs in ways God has not intended them to go. That is not a problem for me. Another thing in which I came prepared for but not wanting to meet up with was rattle snakes them dang things are everywhere and are hard to spot till they want to let you know they are there I ended up shooting a few of them that came a little to close for comfort and well they were in my way of where I needed to go. The last thing was a very deep ravine I had not seen on the map needless to say one way down and one may up or ad another three miles to my already to long of a hike so down I went seen a few more rattlers along the way down the rocky hill side but they were out of my way so no need to shoot them they were no worry to me. I made it down then back up which was no east task for my fat but for those that don’t know me I am a big boy tipping the scale at 340 or so. Needless to say it took me longer to get up then get down. The best part of the clime was as I crested out over the rock ledge there was one of the biggest mule deer bucks I have ever seen 4x4 and a spread twice the width of his ears he just stood there looking at me like where the heck did you come from and what are you. He was less then 30 yards from me and was not one bit scared of me. It was awesome and something I will remember the rest of my life he finally hoped off happy as a clam. So I made my way across the platue on top and back down the other side seen a really old grave stone and back to the road where my uncle picked me up.
AFTER LUNCH opening day there was not much to say after the mornings 8 mile hike I did not feel like much more hiking so we drove to a few places where I has seen herds before but they were no place to be seen there seemed to be hunters everyplace. We stopped buy the store in Paulina to get some gas and a soda and spoke with a few hunters there one local guy had gotten one of the most unique pronghorn horns I had ever seen he called them Wyoming flat top they went out and were super flat truly and awesome trophy. We drove back into an area and drove up a road we had not bee up before and from the looks of the dirt on the road no other hunter had been up since the last good rain storm. We got to the end of the road and spooked a pronghorn buck and he took off before I could get where I could get a shot at him but we had out place to start in the morning. Off to bed back at it again in the morning.

SUNDAY Day Two- we started the day where we left off in the same meadow we had jumped that back out off the night before we did not see nothing after about 3 hours of glassing and checking the hills around there we moved on back to pack up camp and go out for another drive into and area we had not tried before. We ran into some people my uncle new in Prinevile spoke to them about where we should go now so off we went through some very back roads that took us from Pauline valley all the way to the south side of big summit prairie. We did not see any pronghorn it was like a ghost town and kinda strange we got out and walked into a few places and still nothing so once we made it back to the big summit area we called it a day it was 4pm and I was dead tired after two three long days. Over 12 miles hiked and no meat in the freezer I was ready to go home.

I will be back next Saturday for one more day

Things I learned on this hunt were, Pronghorn love private land we saw several great herd all on ranch land, Also I can hike like a pro who knew this fat man could cross country it for 8 miles, The ochoco’s have more deer then you can shake a stick at I have never seen so many deer in my life my God it is amazing, And lastly pronghorn while be it are a highly visible animal are not easily hunter but I will keep trying you got my grantee till next time Rp


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