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Stock Tank Pronghorn - the sequel
I will try to stretch this into a story; albeit looking back it went fast…
I let opening morning come and go again. Something that has not become as important over the last few years, however this time I was on the road heading to my location Saturday evening and I would be ready come Sunday. Nothing but clear skies except for the billowing clouds of smoke coming off the northern mountains forming a band that poured out over the eastern plains. Looking at the weather forecast it called for hot and hotter. Perfect conditions for stock tank hunting. Sooner or later the pronghorn would be coming in for a drink.
As I rounded the corner and came down the hill, I could see a few does and fawns milling around in the pasture where I place my blind a week earlier. I pulled up where I figured I would camp and started glassing, 3 to 4 does here 2 or 3 over there and a nice buck between them.
I had not seen this one when I set up the blind and he looked good from a distance. No scope pictures but here is one with the zoom.
I watched them until they fed over the rise and the light faded. I waited a few more minutes to make sure they were out of sight prior to driving to the blind for a little house keeping.
After scouting the ranch and talking with rancher about where he needed to keep his cattle on grass, I decided for this first trip I would forgo the camper since I would not be on the plateau and I was not sure how long I would stay, knowing each day towards September it would just get better and better. Better yet, I get lucky and go home early
While the new location is different it was every bit as peaceful other than the distant drone coming from some of the fracking operations in the area. Camp was a chair and cot. Nothing like sleeping under the stars on the eastern plains. You can almost reach out and touch them.
I was in the blind and ready before light. I did hear a few distant blows on the way in, but it was still plenty early, and it was going to get hot. Around 7:15 two does and a fawn came through. They didn’t even look my way as they filtered across the prairie and disappeared. I kept my head on a swivel with anticipation, but nothing was stirring except a few larks. At this time, you start kicking the uninvited guests out of the blind (spiders, crickets, and occasional grasshopper).
wouldn't it be nice if they all did this?
wouldn't it be nice if they all did this?
Around 11am the temp is almost 90 and I see a doe coming in behind me from the east. She is making a straight line to the water. She walks by the blind at 10 yards and does not even look my way. She steps up to the tank and takes a long deep drink. Satisfied she jumps back and trots out a few yards, looks around and continues her day. I keep looking to see if she had any company but no, all alone. At one point she stopped and looked to west for long enough that made me think something was over there. If there was, I never saw it.
As is gets hotter the tank is attracting more action. This young coyote came in for a drink and I thought he was going to jump in the tank for a swim. He sure looked like he wanted to.
Soon after he loped off, I looked to see if I could still see the doe and there was another pronghorn coming my way. I glassed it and it was a buck. As he got closer, I thought I would take a few pictures for reference. Unfortunately, all my windows were closed and all I was able to take were shots through the screen. It didn’t take long to realize I was going to kill this buck given the chance.
He came straight to the water but hesitated before committing to drink. He then turned to curl around the tank where some of the overflow as creating a mud hole. I have seen pronghorn pass on a full tank of water to drink out standing water in old cow hoof tracks.
Once he turns, he may drop behind the tank leaving me little options. I settle and squeeze off the shot. I hear the distinct sound when you know you made contact. It was a sharp quartering shot but as he came bolting out of the pinch on a dead run, I could see this wasn’t going to take long. He made button hook and cartwheeled to the ground. A few kicks and he was done. I have come to expect very quick kills when both lungs are compromised.
Take away; do your homework, set up a blind early 5-7 days or longer if you can. Try to hunt when it has been hot and dry. The hotter and dryer the better. Take the first good shot once you decide it is an animal you want. Get lucky!
Great stuff! awesome buck. congrats
Nicely done Dave. Heading back out east this day for the next 5 days. i have had does but no bucks at the water tank. Maybe the trail camera will prove me wrong as I have been away for two days.
Thanks Paul, build it and they will come... good luck!
Congratulations on yet another great antelope, Dave!
Congrats, Dave! Nice antelope!
Very nice pronghorn, congratulations!
Great looking buck; well played.
Love it when a plan comes together...nicely done!
Congrats Dave and taking the time post pictures and your story!
Out of curiosity how long/tall are his horns?
Congrats on another beauty!
Congrats Dave, beauty of a buck!
Congrats on a nice goat, Dave!
Very nicely done and a great looking buck!
The draw and Covid conspired to kill my chance at trying to copy you.
That’s a great goat Dave. Thanks for sharing the story.
Thank you all for the congrats and encouragement.
I am going to quote bowhunt from another current thread (470” AZ public land bull), he said “For the most part we all come here to read stories and see pictures of other bow hunter’s success. It keeps us excited and entertained through the off season, and during the seasons.”
I couldn’t agree more. The stories and the photos are a big part of why so many of us check in each day. There have been so many great stories over the years, and I am hoping that trend continues, especially throughout the coming hunting seasons. Best of luck to everyone with their current hunts and throughout the fall.
Thanks for sharing! Nice work man!
Nice Job, Thanks for taking us along!!
Nice story Stoneman. Congrats
Congrats! Good looking buck.
Great hunt and story. Thanks for sharing!
I am leaving for Wyoming next week so this was a great time for me to read this. Congratulations on a beautiful buck!
I am getting ready to head to WY in a few weeks to hunt elk, but I am jealous of every person hunting antelope this year. I love hunting them. Thanks for sharing and great buck!
Nice write up! Missed one with the recurve this morning. Hoping for redemption this afternoon! This gives me hope
Oh man that was awesome but your killing me as I should but can't be in a blind just like that in a couple weeks ! That first pic of the road going in almost made me cry lol !!
Thanks for making this a story and congrats on a very nice buck!
Congratulations. they are a beautiful animal.