When I first inquired about Hart Mountain on here one of the first of many people that offered help was "bohunr". At first we chatted on my post, then we PM'd each other and finally exchanged numbers. We were either texting or talking on the phone almost nightly. Then he said that he, his wife and their grandaughter were going to take a trip east from the Portland area to do some scouting for my hunt. This was the first time that Larry blew me away. I could tell that he was really passionate about this unit having hunted deer there several time. Then the day before our blinds could go up he said he found a good spring for me to set on and was out their at midnight setting up his blind for me. Blown away again. I was finally able to get away and take my travel trailer down the weekend before the season opener. I finally got to meet Larry for the first time and found him to be one of the most genuine and down to earth people I've had the pleasure to meet. We spent the day together with him showing me around and helping to set up my blind and then finished off the day with he and his wife making me dinner. Blown away again!!!!!
I left the next day to go back home and returned 3 days later with my son Garric. Still intent on setting water we were in our blind by 5 am opening morning. 4 days later and 48 hrs logged into the blind we had only seen a pronghorn doe and fawn and a small mule deer buck. Time to make something happen. While doing some exploring we had noticed some travel routes that the antelope were using to get to various water holes. So we tried to ambush a couple different groups and I did get to draw on a buck that busted me at 30 yrds but it just wasn't meant to be.
It was now day 6 of a short 8 day season so we went back to the trailer and had a good breakfast. I told my son that it was now going to be a daylight to dark spot and stalk hunt for the next two and a half days and I was counting on him to keep me going as my moral was at an all time low. We set out to cover as much ground as possible. We saw a couple bucks that weren't in a good position for a stalk so me moved on. We finally came over a rise and I spotted a doe and a fawn skylined a couple ridges away. We were able to get on the backside of the ridge and had the wind in my favor. Garric stayed at the quad and I continued to climb only to get busted by one of the 15 does that were with the buck. I kept climbing hoping that they would calm down before I got to the top. I was about 15 feet from cresting when I saw the tops of the bucks horns and they were staring right over the top of me. I couldn't range him due to the tall grass so I dropped my rangefinder and guessed him at 40 yrds. Just then his head turned away from me looking back at the direction the does went. I got to full draw and took 3 steps up the hill till I could see the top of his back. I released and watched the arrow arch over the top of the hill and heard the wonderful sound of a solid hit. By the time I got up onto the flat he had gone 40 yrds and bedded down. I was able to get to 17 yrds and put another arrow in him. My forth trip "spotting and stalking" pronghorn was in the books. It took my son about 20 minutes to get there so I just sat and soaked it all in. Then he and I, hand in hand, walked up to him together to see our goat for the first time. And then I lost it. This 11 yr old little boy kept his dad going for 6 days remaining positive the whole way and telling me daily that we were going to get it done. He had as much to do with our success as I did if not more.
I later heard that this was only the 6th pronghorn taken out of 27 tags which made me feel even more fortunate. Harvest success for this hunt is usually around 85%.
Hart Mountain now has a piece of my heart and I can't wait to get back down there to do more exploring. After the hunt we spent another 2 days looking at 100's of animals, finding arrowheads and other Indian artifacts, looking at petroglyphs and seeing some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets I've ever seen. This hunt allowed me to spend precious time with my little boy who is growing way too fast and also introduced me to a fellow hunter in Larry that was my biggest cheerleader, texting words of encouragement every night, who will be a friend for life. Hopefully we'll be back in another 20 yrs for Garric to hunt his Hart Mountain pronghorn.
If you've never been to Hart Mountain you need to put it on your bucket list. You'll be blown away!
Kudos to bohunr (Larry) as well. Very considerate of him and his family to help you guys on your quest!
Big congrats to everyone involved.
Best of Luck, Jeff