I surprised my summer intern by buying her a Wyoming antelope tag. Leah loves to hunt (her parents do not hunt). I've taken her for turkey, deer, prairie dogs and now antelope. She is a 4.0 student at Iowa State University and has a type "A" personality. I could not get her to skip college for a gun hunt so I decided on a crossbow hunt. August 15th was the opening day and Iowa State starts August 22nd so it would work just fine. Leah has a compound bow, however, she was not confident enough to use the bow. The plan was to let Leah use my crossbow, legal in Wyoming (NOTE: I use a compound bow). She practiced for two weeks... getting comfortable with the trigger pull and the ranges on the scope. She became proficient to 60 yards. The plan was for me to range the antelope and tell her which crosshair and how high to aim.
We left on Saturday and completed the 11 hour drive to Wright, Wyoming. That night we visited the ranch, where I have hunted before, and set up a blind by a waterhole. The ranch manager had told us that he has seen the antelope watering at this waterhole. The longest shot would be 50 yards and the closest shot would be 22 yards. He told us to be in the blind before sunrise (I usually do not get to the waterholes until 10 am... so this was new to me). We would hunt for 3 days.
On Monday we were I the blind at 5:45 AM with sunrise at 6:05 AM. On the way to the blind we could see antelope in the early morning light (two bucks fighting). At 6 AM a buck comes from the west and acts very cautious as he approaches. Always with his eye on the blind. He then drinks and gives Leah a perfect broadside shot at 35 yards for about 20 seconds. She passes as she tells me that she thinks that she can do better. He was nice, however, he had very little curl as he was probably only a two year old. I was impressed as she passed on the first antelope that she has ever had a chance to shoot. I was worried that this might be the only buck of the hunt. We later joked "GO BIG OR GO HOME". An hour later from the left and behind us a buck quickly approached. The buck never once looked at the blind and he went to the water. I saw him first at 40 yards and stated, Leah: "A mature buck with curl". She got into position with the crossbow (using a monopod). She looked him over and said... "Yep". I ranged him at 40 yards and told her to hold the second crosshair a little above the white line (on the buck). She was so calm and then the bolt flew as he slightly quartered away. The bolt hit the bank behind the buck and dust flew. Did Leah miss?? The buck jumped into the water and then stood on top of the dam for a few seconds. He then ran and I could see that characteristic "zig-zag" once they are hit. I flew out of the blind (as fast as a 57 year old guy can) and watched the buck run 250 yards. He then stopped and wobbled and did the horse sit and it was over..... except for the hollering and celebrating The shot was a little back and ended up taking out the spleen and liver. As we approached, Leah was happy with her first Pronghorn. A mature buck.
good luck to all the dog
Why would anyone get offended over a crossbow. Oh, wait. Never mind.
Great story. Thanks for taking time to teach someone to hunt.