Contributors to this thread:
LETS GO GOAT HUNTING
OK, lets go pronghorn hunting here in Colorado as the season starts in two days, on Saturday August 15.
The Tacoma is packed, popup trailer loaded, for the 5 days hunt on private property in the NW part of the state.
I have been shooting a lot out to 40 yards with the compound and out to 20 yards with the recurve bow. If a good buck passes with 20 yards, the recurve will be used. Farther than that, the wheels.
I really want to kill one with the stick!
Traveled out last weekend to set up blinds over water and saw some nice bucks.
Good Luck Paul... go get 'em!!!
Get 'em buddy! Thanks for sharing
The weather forecast is for dry and temps in the 80S.
I will be leaving at noon but the time is passing slowly. Well almost as slow as this turtle.
But at 12:01 I will be off and running. Well, you get the picture.
I am excited!.
Will finish this story after the hunt next week.
My best, Paul
PS. Man! Hunting season is here!!!!!!!!!!!
Neat pics Paul, stick a good'n!
Good luck Paul! I look forward to the pictures!
Go get'em Paul, shoot straight. Gottoohunt
Good luck! I enjoy your reading your hunts!
Excited to see this unfold, Paul!
Love the pics!
Best of Luck Jeff
If you really want to kill one with the Recurve then you need to leave the wheels at home.
this will be a good trip for you.
I hear ya Rock. a-men brother.
Sometime us older guys just need a crutch but then I enjoy shooting them both.
And to think, somewhere out there is a big mature buck antelope thinking, "Wow, another month and I'll be chasing does...."
Little does he know, he'll be in neat white packages in Paul's freezer by then.
Looking forward to the update, Paul.
Nice Paul! I can't wait to see how this turns out.
I love that wide open western country. Love it!!!
I'll be watching this post daily.
Go get 'em Paul!!!!
Best of luck Paul! Can't wait for the report back.
Finally!!! Good Luck!!
I am hoping that Teeton will be posting his hunt soon, too!!
Good luck Paul let me know how you do Trackman
Good luck Paul, I will be out in eastern Colorado starting the 26th chasing goats. Keep us posted and keep the pictures coming!
Good luck Paul!
Can't wait for your report & your ALWAYS great pics as well!
Good hunting Paul. I'd hate to be a Lope now. Mike
Paul dont rush the days !!! best of luck
Temps in the 100 here to hot for me to set in a blind. Are season also opens on the 15th. Paul this is what a good one looks like these brothers took these goats one last year and the other a few days ago.
I didn't post that photo but this is the second time that something like that happened on Bowsite
Every year I get more anxious to do an antelope hunt after seeing everybody's posts here. Looking forward to cash in my Wyoming antelope points in a year or two and giving it a whirl.
Have fun Paul. Good luck!
Good luck Paul. I will be following along closely.Looking forward to getting back to Wyoming in a year or two to chase these amazing creatures.
Here is the 4 day ago Goat
Good luck Paul! Love it when these threads start popping up!
Good luck Paul...Good time for sure!
Best of luck Paul and have a great hunt. Ed
The season is now open where you are....so hopefully, as I type this, you are in a blind somewhere watching some antelope out on the prairie approaching your location....good luck.....
Just sitting here in Oklahoma, waiting on updates... get em', Paul.
Missed an 80" goofy horned goat this morning in WY... Good luck to you!
Five days ago I headed west from Ft. Collins Co, and traveled 220 miles to a ranch north of Craig to bow hunt for pronghorn. Here I would meet up with a good friend and fellow bow hunter.
We both would arrive two days before the season on Saturday, set up camp and check the trail cameras. We had set up blinds and trail cameras the week before. Both of us had hunted this ranch 5 years before but it now take 5 preference points to draw an archer tag.
The most pleasant drive took me up to Laramie Wyoming and then west through the Medicine Bow National Forest and the Snowy Mt Range. Later I would drop back down into Colorado.
Years ago, a good friend told me, " when you get to camp, make camp".
We found this Cottonwood tree grove that provide shelter from the wind but also shade from the 90 degree weather/sun.
I want to be you when I grow up!!!
We spend some time scouting the property and it was evident that my buddies' blind was in the right place near a water hole.
If you love to pronghorn hunt, you got to also love pronghorn country.
Pronghorn country can be deceiving as the grass and sage brush can hid many secrets of interest to the bow hunter.
Would one of those secrets of interest be a reptile?
We both checked our trail cameras and mine had 995 hits and his had 1024 hits after 5 days of setup.
I pulled the chip and scrolled through the pictures with high anticipation of lots of pronghorn pictures.
Well I was very disappointed. The rabbits during the night and the magpies birds during the day had set off 960 of the hits. The remaining were a few pronghorns but no good bucks, mostly does.
My friends camera indicated that lots of pronghorns and mule deer were visiting his water hole and the vast majority of the pics were of animals. Great news indeed.
I still had high hopes for my setup and would be there on opening day to have a first hand experience and figure things out. Five years ago, this place was pronghorn central.
Jake, there is no doubt there are rattle snakes around and the rancher packs a sidearm that shoots 4-10 gage shot. I personally have not seen any but sure do keep an eye where I walk and when I open the blind up, I look before I step in. They killed a 4 ft one while we were there.
But, we all know, they give a warning rattle before they strike. Well, that is what I have heard. :)
Saturday morning, opening day of Colorado's archery pronghorn season..
O dark thirty, ie, 4 am.
Dary's blind was only a mile from camp but I had to drive 12 miles to the north side of ranch. By leaving at 4:15 am, driving cross country on dirt two tracks, and then walking 1/3 mile to the blind, I would arrive just as the first hint of a new day arrived.
I had positioned the Dark Horse Blind in the same place as 5 years before. One can see the trail camera on the post to the right near the water.
Only time would tell if this set up was correct.
Another picture of the set up. The blind was 20 yards from the water's edge and its was anticipated that the pronghorns would come from the right of the blind and within 30 yards as they had 5 years ago.
The first "secrets" of the tall grass and sage brush prairie were these mule deer bucks that showed up just a few minutes after the sun was up.
and an hour last this buck showed up across the pond but too far for a shot.
Around noon, this buck and doe passed by the pond but did not drink. They also were in the field across the pond.
I was getting the feeling that the pronghorns had changed their pattern and were not active at my end of the pond. The camera surely had shown this with the lack of pronghorn activity.
Not a lot of action so around 3:30 I decided to head back to camp and see how my buddy did.
I will pick back up on this story tomorrow.
As I got to the truck, I could see black bellowing smoke to the south east 8 miles, and towards the ranch. It almost looked like someone was burning tires but I knew that was not happening. Maybe just a rancher burning ditches but not in the middle of summer when all was dry, I thought. A half hour before, a thunderstorm and passed by unleashing a few loud lightening strikes.
Below me in a wheat field was the rancher combining wheat but he was now standing on his truck looking to the south east. I arrived there in a few minutes and the expression on his face was worry-some.
He yelled at me, " I need to get over there and check it out but I only have the grain truck".
Come on, I yelled, ( the Tacoma was up to the challenge). We were off to the top of the hill a mile away, bouncing all of the way and holding on tight, where we both had a good view of the surrounding country. It did not take him long to figure the situation and call 911 and reported a raging prairie fire. ( the closest help was 30 miles away.) The sheriff was on his way along with some volunteers with a fire tanker truck.
We then raced for the ranch on two rut roads, where he had a 600 hundred gallon water truck filled and standing ready for just such an situation. This fire was bring back bad memories of a 30,000 acre prairie fire in 2006 that burned part of the ranch and destroyed a lot of good grazing land, fence lines and bailed hay.
Back at camp, we heard the BLM fire trucks pass by heading towards the fire, then a large road grader, and more trucks with volunteers.
Over the horizon, the black and white smoke was blotting out the setting sun.
Great story and as always great pics Paul! Looking forward to "the rest of the story"! Thanks for sharing and I hope you had a great hunt!
What an adventure! Sounds like some of the catastrophes I usually run into! Mike
Later that evening over dinner of Kansas whitetail deer burgers, baked beans and mixed salad, and oh, a Fat tire beer, we discussed the day.
Dary said he had the most enjoyable day he had ever spent 9 hours in the pop up blind. There was non stop action from pronghorns and mule deer at the water hole.
He passed up a few bucks waiting for a "16 incher", but then we still had 4 more days to hunt.
Well we both hoped that the fire did not bring our hunt to an end. The next morning would surely expose that.
Four AM would come too quickly!
Sunday, day two, o'dark thirty, 4 AM.
There was still a smell of smoke in the air but we both had high hopes that the hunt would continue. The fire was just across the road to the east of the property but that road was how I accessed my hunting area.
A half hour later I could now see a few fire truck's lights up on the hill. The fire was out but here were some hot spots to be dealt with. As I drove farther up the road and adjacent to the fire area, I noticed many glowing sagebrush trunk/roots, still glowing fire-red in the dark.
I had a few extra gallons of water so I stopped the truck and tried to put out as many as I could. I knew later the BLM fire guys would be around also to do just that.
Well the hunt was still on and day two, a new day, a new opportunity.
Back at the blind the eastern sky was just starting to glow that early morning red.
As it became more light and before the sun came over the horizon, I noticed some movement on the far ridge.
Interesting stuff so far, Paul! Thanks very much for taking the time to share. Good luck!
An hour later this group of does fed by but again on the opposite end of the pond.
A flock of Sage Grouse passed by on their way to the water.
Water attracts many critters.
A little later, this mule deer doe and two fawns, felt the need.
It was now 10 am and with the sun up, the heat build up inside of the blind needed venting so I unzipped the roof vent and then stood up to look around.
To the east, I saw a pronghorn buck racing across the flats just 200 yards away. Something had spooked him but then I heard the tractor engine in the adjacent field. That buck would surely be in the next county in a few minutes.
I sat back down in the blind, gazing out over the water trying to visualize a good buck stand there within bow range. Ten minutes later.......
A movement caught the corner of my eye out of the side window. Tan and white hair for sure and only 10 yards away.
Nice write up Paul. Love the pictures and wish you the best in your quest.
Awesome story paul - keep it coming.
Neat pics and the "suspense" we were counting on...it's already been a great hunt but I hope there's more!
There BETTER be more....his last comment was "A movement caught the corner of my eye out of the side window. Tan and white hair for sure and only 10 yards away."!!!
Thanks for sharing, GREA PICTURES!!!!!!!!!
Great story as usual Paul! Can't wait for the rest!
Ok, ok, the tan and white hair was connected to a buck pronghorn heading down to drink and it was surely in bow range.
But something seemed strange as I observed this buck drinking. He not only waded out a little but put his head down for 5 minutes just lapping up the water. I have never seen a pronghorn stay at water for so long without being on pins and needles and jerking up their head to look for danger.
After drinking with head still down, he turned around and stood there on shore for another 5 minutes. His legs seemed thin and weak while his body looked ok. A young buck for sure.
So instead of walking away, he laid down in the damp mud and stayed there for the next two hours.
My thought was, great, a live decoy!
Even this Magpie found this buck to be a curious critter and tried for a up- close inspection.
This encounter got the buck to his feet but he stood there on weak legs, and then a few minuted later, laid down again.
Around 11 am, this small buck came over the hill, spied the buck on the shoreline and stopped in his tracks.
Seems like he sensed something was wrong and within a few minutes, turned around and walked away. He knew, animal instinct, all was not right.
Well my live decoy was starting to become a negative factor so I crawled out of the back side of the blind to gather a few close by dirt clumps to throw at him.
Well, that did not work.
So I exited the blind and walked towards the buck at ten yards, and finely he arose and walked away on weak legs. When he tried to step over a low wire fence, his legs caught, and he almost tripped and lost his balance. Over the hill he went and out of my sight. I doubt if he will make to through the winter season but I do wish him luck.
great pictures....that younger buck doesn't look too healthy, does he?
Would you have taken the other buck, if he hadn't turned around and left?
Doesn't sound like he will make it to next week. Mother nature can be harsh!
Love the pics and story!
It's why I love hunting them so much.
Right before noon this buck came to drink at the opposite end of the pond. When he left, I decided to make a move and reset the blind at that end.
Within 20 minutes the move was made. The farthest shot would be 55 yards to the far right near the fence line. I was hoping for a 20-30 yards shot where the mud shoreline was just to the right of the blind.
The wind was blowing my scent across the pond but since there had been no action on that side, I was not worried about that.
Smart man. When the choice is obvious but requires risk - it can be the toughest decision.
I think it will work!
Awesome thread, sure hope you stick one soon! Have you had any luck with roping off the water hole to funnel them in? Im leaving next Wednesday for an eastern Colorado goat hunt and am contemplating doing this to try and funnel them into longbow range.
Well, this is where the hunt becomes very interesting.
I had not been in the blind but for more that a half hour when behind me and out of the side window, a caught movement.
This group of bucks were passing by at 50 yards, but slightly on alert. Maybe they saw the top of the blind, something they had not seen before.
Another 200 yards they disappeared and circled around the hill to the far right only to top the hill farther but now down wind 200 yards away.
They knew something was not right.
But in need for a drink they advanced until they picked up human odor. (yea, we all smell bad to wild critters)
The best buck in the group might be a 12-13 incher.
As soon as they had appeared, they turned and disappeared back over the hill.
A half hour later, they joined up with 4 more bucks, and all 12 of them were heading away to a place unknown to me. With three more days to hunt, I might have educated most of the bucks in the area of my location, my odds of killing one just dropped a notch or two.
With dark rain clouds forming in the SW..........
Tomorrow would be another day.
Back at camp, Dary had sat in the blind until 3 pm and only saw one small buck during that time. Remember, this was the same place the day before where he had lot of action.
I convinced him to return instead of trying out a different blind a mile away. I was sure the bucks would return as then do circle their territory to check things out and visit other water holes.
He would try this same blind in the morning and I would revisit my reset blind also.
After a good meal of steak, green mixed salad, and good conversation, we hit the sack. The nightly temp of 60 degrees made sleeping comfortable.
Day 3, dark as usual in the early AM. Our hopes were high for a good outcome.
That night the sky was full of a billion-billion stars and we both saw a few shooting stars enter our atmosphere and burn up.
We might have both wished upon a star, I know I did.
Maybe Dary did also.
At 5 am I was in my blind and ready for the day.
As I looked out into the gray of first light I caught movement across the pond.
Seems like this good buck was also up early but moving away.
This might be the longest horned buck to date.
He went over the hill 200 yards, and stood there looking over the country side for an hour. His horns just visible.
Later he just walked away, like he had never been there.
Maybe that 'wishing on a star' was just a tall tale and "wishful" thinking.
This prairie dog was on alert
as this hawk landed nearby looking for its breakfast
and this shore bird was just the right size
now it was 6;30 and the sun was shinning off of a distant hill which then exposed this small buck. He was safe.
a half hour later, as I stood up and looked behind me this buck was in my scent trail, only 90 yards way.
Needless to say, he walked away.
At 7:15 this buck was walking up and down the fence line and in the same direction as the other buck, 500 yards away trying to figure a way through the fence but it had a woven wire bottom which made crawling under impossible.
He then turned in the right direction and headed for the three wire gate opening at the bottom of the field.
He was still down wind and I was sure he would find me.
Ok, think!. I would close all of the windows of the blind but only keep the shooting port open to the front, and one small side window in his direction.
I sprayed the window openings with a liquid sagebrush masking scent and then hoped for the best.
I held my breath!
This is good Paul ! I'm ready for the rest of it.
At 7:58, there he was coming down the hill to water from the right. He had not winded me.
He gave the blind only a slight glance and continued on to the water's edge only 25 yards away. He passed directly in front of me giving me a good look at him.
I was horns were longer than his 6 inch ears and maybe 5 inches higher.
You know the saying about, a bird in the hand....
The compound bow was up, the sight picture was clear, the release smooth, and arrow was on its way.
With a second, the tell tail whack of a hit was heard.
The buck stumbled, and disappeared into the ravine just 50 yards away.
The blood trail showed a good hit
and then a major pool of blood just a few yards farther.
Well, there is no better sign than a downed buck
Just to make sure, I circled around with bow and arrow at ready.
He was down and I was a very proud hunter to have taken the life of this fine buck.
Back straps, stakes, burger, wild game meat at its finest. Great nourishment for sure.
I thanked him for giving up his life.
And never once did I consider using the term, " I smoked him!"
Now the work starts to field dress and then pack him back to camp where I would skin, and quarter him.
On ice he would make his way to my freezer and then my plate in a few days.
To the casual observer, the sagebrush and grass prairie may look void of life.
We hunters of pronghorn know if there is water, animal life will flourish, not only pronghorn but all of the other critters that make up this mighty prairie environment.
Secrets in the tall grass, you bet. One just has to look and understand what really is just under their nose.
That was fun. Hope you enjoyed.
My best, Paul
Nice job bud, and thanks for taking us along on another fine adventure! Pronghorns are my favorite animal to pursue, can't wait til our season opens in mid-Sept...hope your buddy is successful too!
Congrats Paul!! Awesome story thanks for taking us along.
Congrats Paul! Great pictures and write up as usual!
Cool story Paul and great goat. Well done.
Congrats Paul on the buck and a great story.
Nice job. Thanks for the hunt.
Congratulations, Paul! Love your write ups and photos. True gentleman you are.
I called Dary when I returned to the truck and stated when he answered, " buck down".
He said, me too and I am field processing at this moment. A 13 incher.
Both bucks were killed at 8 am.
Maybe there is something to be said about, "wishing upon a star"".
My best, Paul
Paul good hunting good story best of luck
A great adventure for sure Paul! Congrats to you and Dary!
Congrats! Fine pictures and story telling
Congrats Paul! thanks for the follow along!
Thanks for taking us along, congrats!
Thanks Paul! Always fun to read your adventures!Great buck! There is a reason August 15 is always circled on my calendar. Chasing Pronghorn on the Colorado prairie is 2nd only to high country elk in my book!!
Congrats Paul. I'm putting a few days at Estes Park since I go my buck on opening day and I don't have be home till Sunday. Got to see a lot of nice stuff today. Enjoyed your story. Thanks for posting... Ed
Great post and photos. That was great. Hunt
Great story Paul! Thank you for sharing. I love pronghorn hunting.
Great writeup & pics as usual Paul. Congrats on your adventure!
I'll bet "Put the smackdown on him" probably never crossed your mind either;>)
Thanks for not using "dirt nap," .."a giant", "don't get no better than this," (I hate double negatives in a sentence) or "that's what it's all about, right there."
Fun read, glad you had another great hunt.
Any details about the angle of the shot and what all you hit, please?
Perfect, hunting with a camera! The joys of the mature hunting years! Appreciation and awareness! Good for you Paul!!!
May we all have as long and successful a hunting career as you my friend. Thanks for posting!
Writer, "shot placement"?
The buck was drinking and hard quartering away at 25 yards.
The sharp three bld BH gazed his lower left hip, entered his body and sliced through the heart.
Charlie, yea, I appreciate every year I can hunt now (one year at a time) and surely all of the grand wild animals I come in contact with, big and small. The camera, yes the camera really does add another dimension to the hunt and added memories. Looking for good camera shots does make me more aware of my surroundings and makes me take that second look.
I am now preparing for my Colorado archery elk hunt and will be leaving on August 27, and yes, with bow and camera in hand. I will spend 3-4 weeks out if needed and I will be taking every photo opportunity I can on that trip. Most will be back packing, solo and bivy hunting. ( I did purchase a SPOT Messenger this year)
Looking forward at the end of September to share another memorable hunt with my friends on Bowsite.
One step, one year, one hunt, one photo, one story, one heart beat at a time but always moving forward. Life, yes life is good but it is what one makes of it.
Good luck to all.
My best, Paul
Congrats on your antelopes. Any pictures of your hunting partner's goat?
I enjoy your stories and your pictures. Well done.
Congratulations Paul... thanks for taking us along!
"One step, one year, one hunt, one photo, one story, one heart beat at a time but always moving forward. Life, yes life is good but it is what one makes of it"
This is a great quote! Thanks Paul!
Great write-up Paul. I always enjoy your stories and pictures
Congrats Paul! Thank you for sharing your story and pics as always. A beautiful buck and a great story make for memories that last longer than our time in the field. Best of luck as your fall continues and I look forward to more pictures!
Congrats Paul!!! Thanks for taking us along and good luck on your elk hunt.
excellent on all accounts. well done as always, Paul.
Thanks for the chance to follow along. Fun story and great photos!! Way to go!
Paul is a great story teller. Thank you sir!! Congrats!!
Thank you all for your warm replies.
Makes the effort well worth it to share. I know some of you might never pronghorn hunt but I hope I and others on this site, give you a feeling for the hunt of the "speed goat".
A few of the pronghorn buck hunters who spot and stalk, now that is a real challenge. My hat is off to you all.
Just finished processing the buck into back straps, tenderloins, two ham roasts, and the rest will go for burger.
My best, Paul
Thanks for a great read on my lunch break, Paul. Great stuff as always!
Awesome story as usual, I had to check back today to see if there was an update! Thanks for posting, and this is definitely something I would love to do.
Great pictures! Thanks for sharing!
Enjoy your elk hunts.
Good job Paul! Nice write up
Thanks Paul for taking us along very nice story. You made me really look forward to my muzzleloader hunt in a month.
Thanks for taking us along Paul. Great recap as always congrats!
Thanks for the story Paul, was fun to follow along.
Congrats Paul! Thanks for taking the time to share. Will you be heading to Kansas again this fall?
Great hunt, Paul! Thanks so much for sharing! Really enjoyed that.
Excellent tale.....known fire damage?
Congrats Paul! Excellent story and pictures! Thank you.
Reading your hunt sure brought back some memories of my speed goat hunt, not to mention some of the best eating wild game I ever put in my mouth!! Congrats!!
Paul nicely done. Congratulations. I really enjoyed the photos. A goat hunt is on my list for sure.
KB, no Kansas this year for WT. I did draw a unit 91 deer tag for here in Colorado so that should keep me busy in late Oct and Nov. Thanks for the question and good luck to you.
Butts, It seems that mostly sage and grass burned, along with some fence posts and 8 round bails. There was one ranch house that the Fire Dept protected. All in all, it could have been worst if it had got out of control like in 2006, but with a quick response and lighter winds, the fire was brought under control. The BLM fire dept sat over it for the next two days making sure there were not any hot spots that might flare up. I would guess, 200 acres. The rancher told me that if there is a fire on BLM leased ground for grazing, that that ground can not be graze for the next two years. So one can see how this might affect a ranching operation that depends on those leases along with their own private ground.
Bonecracker, Tricia and I had a house guest last night and I grilled a fresh-unfrozen pronghorn back strap,room temp, seasoned, rapped in bacon, and cooked med rare. Had a baked potato, green salad and then, I picked some fresh sweet corn from my small sweet corm plot (first picking) in the back yard. With a glass of red wine, we all thought we had "died and went to Heaven", after that meal. Know what you mean! Within two hours, the buck was skinned, quartered, cooled down and placed on ice.
My best, Paul
Paul your photo of the packaged meat made me hungry but your description above has me drooling. I've shot one pronghorn and it was some of the best eating game I've ever had IMO.
I always tell guys to enjoy every moment - even when things are tough because it only takes a minute for everything to change.
Antelope hunting is the epitome of this.
You can sit for 8 hours and not see a thing and the next morning a buck can walk in and you are smiling!
Enjoyed every minute of your story!
Sage Buffalo...... A-Men to that.
Congrats Paul! Once again you did a fine job taking us along with you. Thanks
Sweet, thanks for sharing!!
Paul as always great pictures and story. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Paul for taking us along! I thoroughly enjoyed it!!