In the box...Contributors to this thread:
WV Mountaineer 23-Aug-21
I wrote this story for the CBA 8 years ago now; it is just as relevant now as it was then. When you draw or purchase a Colorado OTC pronghorn tag, there is a good chance that you will be subject to the following conditions… If the area you are hunting has limited topography, (lack of hills, large brush or sage to hide behind, anything that resembles cover) you will be spending your days in the box, if you are hunting water holes or stock tanks, spend a day in the box, if you are hunting with bow and arrow, spend a day in the box… you get the idea.
For some lucky souls this technique can work out pretty well, for others, after 3-4 days in the box and we start to feel like Cool Hand Luke and we develop those “rabbit” legs. It is a humbling experience and you will see things that seldom are seen. Take a good camera and capture these images so to save and share. They will become memories long after the duration of your punishment has passed.
One day, while serving out my sentence, I had a pile of horned larks flitting all around the remaining puddles of my once deep and wide water hole, now it was reduced to a mud hole with the most water pocketed in the depressions left by the rancher’s cattle. Anyway, the horned larks were flitting around flapping and chirping when I heard what sounded like an F1 fighter jet descending fast on my location. Without warning, other than this burst of sound and the flash of wings and feathers, the prairie falcon stooped upon the cluster of small birds and snatched one from the pile and was gone. There was a rush of wings and feathers; however, within minutes everyone was right back where they were trying to get the last drink of water before this water hole was consumed by the hot dry prairie. The falcon was dinning on horned lark.
On another day, while napping… hey it was not like a buck was going to show up all of a sudden, yea well that is another story. Anyway, I heard what sounded like a dog lapping water from his bowl. I looked out the narrow oval shaped window being careful of my movement and not 20 yards in front of me was a young coyote drinking from one of the deeper puddles still remaining. I watched him, just observing his keen sense of awareness as he drank his fill then skirted off back up the hill off to chase grasshoppers and maybe a mouse.
This is how it went, day after day… oh I saw pronghorns too from time to time and even a few came to drink.
I decided to pass on two young bucks and my license would not allow me to take a doe. The older wiser bucks seemed to know that I was limited to close range shots so they stayed just outside my comfort zone. So just because I didn’t drop my string on a pronghorn buck, I was able to witness nature from close range and will have those everlasting memories. Before season ends, I hope to get those rabbit legs and try to decoy a buck into bow range, the rut should be getting started any day and with the month + long season there is still a chance I will be enjoying pronghorn steaks this fall. It will take a little more scouting and preparation however, before I make the conscience decision to spend another day in the BOX.
3 of the 4 bucks that came to water the first day, all got a pass...
3 of the 4 bucks that came to water the first day, all got a pass...
Fast forward to 2021. I relearn this lesson every year. Spending time in the box can be torture and this year after passing on several bucks opening day (waiting for the best of the best) I was successful the second day.
Even though he wasn’t the biggest buck on the prairie this year he will taste great and I am done serving time in the box for another year!
From: WV Mountaineer
Good stuff. Congrats on time well spent.
Congrats on your pronghorn. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the “box.” Many years ago I was in a blind in Wy well before light. I was under a windmill that pumped into a pond that was roughly 10 yards by 30 yards. This was pre laser range finders, so before light, I paced off 20 yards from my blind and stuck a stick in the ground at the edge of the water. As the sky started to brighten a bit, I heard something like a chicken clucking. Thought I was hearing things. But i glassed the area and spotted 5-6 sage hens coming to water at the far end of the pond. I watched them for a minute or two and caught movement in the sage brush 10 yards from them. It was a red fox stalking them. In a moment, the fox charged the sage hens, they flushed and the fox leaped into the air and just missed catching one. That scene, with the fox in the air, mouth open, just below the sage hen could have been a front cover for an outdoor magazine. So the fox started walking the edge of the pond. When he came to that 20 yard stick that I stuck in the pond edge, he turned inside out to run from the area. Thirty minutes later I’m glassing several pronghorn at 200 yards that were grazing toward the water. As i was doing this I heard slurping at the pond. I turned and there’s a decent buck at about 20 yards broadside drinking. I arrowed him. He ran 30 yards, bedded down and in a minute was dead. It was quite an interesting hour of hunting.
Neat story Dale06. It still amazes me how pronghorn can seem to materialize out of thin air.
Congrats! I have certainly done my time in the box the past two seasons and have been successful in my quest to put antelope stakes in the freezer. This year though I have the "rabbit legs" and I'm determine to kill one decoying in the rut. Congrats on your beautiful pronghorn buck! Thanks for sharing your story!
"Nicely done Mr. Stone", she stated and then moved on.
Way to go Dave! My favorite meat!
Great pix, thanks.
Congrats on a nice looking goat!
Thanks for posting and a big congrats on your patience!
In 2019 I sat in a "box" in WY and had lots of visitors. One of the coolest things that kept me busy was to watch a Muskrat chasing small ducks around the pond. It went on for hours. The ducks seemed to stay just out of reach the whole time. Never saw the Muskrat catch one but he sure didn't give up.
Dave, here is something to ponder about another box. The Thing Song by Charles Randolph Grean Lyrics While I was walkin' down the beach One bright and sunny day I saw a great big wooden box A-floatin' in the bay I pulled it in and opened it up And much to my surprise Oh, I discovered a... Right before my eyes Oh, I discovered a... Right before my eyes I picked it up and ran to town As happy as a king I took it to a guy I knew Who'd buy most anything But this is what he hollered at me As I walked in his shop "Oh, get out of here with that... Before I call a cop" "Oh, get out of here with that... Before I call a cop" I turned around and got right out A-runnin' for my life And then I took it home with me To give it to my wife But this is what she hollered at me As I walked in the door "Oh, get out of here with that... And don't come back no more" "Oh, get out of here with that... And don't come back no more" I wandered all around the town Until I chanced to meet A hobo who was lookin' for A handout on the street He said he'd take most any old thing He was a desperate man But when I showed him the... He turned around and ran Oh, when I showed him the... He turned around and ran I wandered on for many years A victim of my fate Until one day I came upon St Peter at the gate And when I tried to take it inside He told me where to go Get out of here with that... And take it down below Oh, get out of here with that... And take it down below The moral of this story is If you're out on the beach And you should see a great big box And it's within your reach Don't ever stop and open it up That's my advice to you 'Cause you'll never get rid of the... No matter what you do Oh, you'll never get rid of the... No matter what you do Source: Musixmatch
Justin, I agree. Pronghorn is one of my favorites. Priority one is turning this into this... and thanks for the support for those that posted, maybe next year I can make it 3 days... ha
Paul, I don't know what you have been reading but I don't think that is the other type of "box" I would be thinking about! However, after reading it again the poem does make sense. The box keeps pulling us back, just when we thought we were out... we get pulled back in! ha
That doe looks like she is standing in water...
Some of day one action, I probably should have shot at least one of these...
I was hoping to get a better look at either of these. Both decent bucks.