First blood of the season, daughter makes dad proud!!


October 5, 2010, 06:00 PM
Team members.
Tori, Chief hunter, riflewoman, off road truck driver and overall head honcho.
Bailee, Chief game spotter, tracker, keeper of the cooler, defender of the Milk Duds, wild haired antelope attracter and also overall head honcho. Just ask her.
Kim, Brains of the outfit.
H&Hhunter, Porter, manual laborer and game hauler.

Yesterday it was decided to head over to a friend’s ranch to try and fill Tori’s doe antelope tag. We got a late start and began the day with a nice picnic on the peak of a small rise in the plains of eastern Colorado. During our picnic I took a look around with my binos and was treated to white dots everywhere. The Rut is in full swing and the prairie was bursting with white antelope rumps roaming the vast wastelands below.

After packing up, Tori adorned her required safety orange loaded her M-70 in .308 Win and a plan was made to stalk two groups of antelope we’d seen about 2 miles to the north. The first stalk was a classic in antelope hunting and I am glad that the girls got to experience it. We had the wind in our favor so scent wasn’t a problem but with antelope sight is always an issue. The American Pronghorn has vision equivalent to set of 8 power binoculars.
I’ve learned some tricks on pronghorn over the years and one of which is out of sight out of mind. There was one big mature cluster of cottonwood trees out in the middle of pasture we were attempting to cross to get at our quarry. I simply put the trees between us and the antelope taking us out of their line of sight and had the girls line up single file behind me. We were able to cover roughly three quarters of a mile and close to within 214 yards using this simple yet effective technique.
The last 50 yards was on our hands and knees and I set Tori down for the shot. Long story short, she shot high and missed. This was the first time she’d ever missed any game animal that she’d shot at and she took it pretty hard. Another great lesson learned, misses happen and when they do pick yourself up, get back in the game and hunt on. This is what we did after a couple of minutes of self doubt and loathing.
We walked back to the truck at a fast pace with one quick stop for Bailee to inspect some sun bleached cow bones and collect a femur bone, which now lives in her room. Once reaching the truck there was another slight delay. Apparently the box of Milk Duds that was in the cooler had been emptied and all evidence indicated that the perpetrator was most likely in our midst. Bailee stated that Tori had at least 50 Milk Duds in her pockets an accusation which was violently denied. You see Milk Duds are some seriously valuable property out in the badlands and Milk Dud theft is grounds for a hanging. The girls started circling each other and snarling, each looking for an opportunity to deliver a death blow. The little one darted in with a slashing left hook the big one parried and dodged in desperation and dove to the open truck and reached for the only suitable weapon she could find to defend herself with. Grasping the bleached, heavy femur bone high she began her skull crushing swing. When all at once the frenzied action was immediately stopped as the screeching voice of a furious mom penetrated the air and the bloody carnage on the prairie was narrowly averted.
With that little event behind us we loaded into the truck and continued our hunt. It wasn’t long before we were out of the truck and attempting our next stalk. The wind swirled at just the wrong moment sending twenty antelope over the far horizon in overdrive showing us nothing but white rumps and dust.

On the walk back to the truck I noticed that Tori’s cheeks were puffed out like a squirrels stuffed full of some kind of chocolate candy. Hmmmm…I wonder what kind of candy that might have been?:D

As we crossed the fence back and got back to the truck I noticed a lone pronghorn about 500 yards straight to the north of us. I decided to use another age old prong horn trick. I placed Kim and Bailee in plain sight and Tori and I slipped out of sight over a small rise but did it in a fashion in which the pronghorn doe didn’t see us depart. I instructed Bailee to shake her flowing blond mane of hair from time to time to keep the antelopes attention. Not only do these little tricks work but during the rut they will often bring an antelope running in to your position. A white cowboy hat or a white rag has the same effect.

In any case this time it worked and kept the antelope “doe” in position while Tori and I slipped to within 200 yards the only problem was that the “doe” was a very small buck. So we bailed out and headed up a small brush choked and thickly treed coolie. It was getting dark and I wanted to have one more look before we called it a night. We regrouped and headed up the hill into some thicker brush. We hadn’t gone 300 yards when we jumped a small buck with a big doe not twenty yards ahead of us, they’d been bedded in the sagebrush.

I could tell from the way they got up and moved that they didn’t know what we were, only that something was there we had the wind in our face and the sun at our backs. Tori and I quickly sprinted up a small hill to our left, as we topped out the doe was looking back trying to figure out what we were. Tori didn’t miss a beat she dropped into her bipod, welded her cheek to the stock flipped the safety off and sent a 150 gr Sierra Game King on its way. I was watching through binos as the big doe collapsed kicked once and relaxed. Tori had taken her high through the shoulder just as I have taught her, killing the doe instantly. I lazed the carcass from where we shot before proceeding it was 142 yards away. I was so proud of my big girl she is fast on her way to becoming a fully self sufficient big game hunter.

As we walked up to our trophy we had something happen that I’ve never encountered with an antelope. Earlier in the day I’d watched this pair the doe was a fully mature animal the buck that was dogging her was a youngster and she would have nothing to do with his advances. He’d been trying to cover her all day and she wouldn’t have anything to do with him.

Now here she was holding perfectly still. What an opportunity his young hormone charged brain must have been thinking. He ran over to her and stood. We slowly started to walk towards the pair and he held his ground. By the time it was all over we were within 15 yards of the sexually charged buck were we stood quietly talking and taking pictures of him, heck we even used the flash a couple of times and he wouldn’t leave. Finally after several minutes he decided that his hot date plans were canceled and took off with a snort and a puff of dust. He went off to find his next best love affair hopefully one that didn’t have a mature buck guarding it.

We took our pictures and enjoyed the last moments of daylight before getting down to the business at hand.

A picture of Mr. Love Bones. Kim took that picture just at dark with a regular old pocket camera no telephoto lenses. That should give you an idea of how close we were standing.

A proud hunter with her trophy doe which will supply her family with tasty organic meat. Notice the shot placement if you want to start dropping critters in their tracks that is a good place to put bullets.
The crew
The best part about having tough country girls in your house is that you get to sip a brewsky while they skin the game. These girls love doing this stuff! I just sit back unless they need help which they seldom do.

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October 5, 2010, 06:19 PM
Jealous? No, 'jealous' doesn't even begin to describe me. :o

Good work!!

October 5, 2010, 07:20 PM
Great story, that's what it's all about. I sure hope my daughters want to hunt with me when they grow up. Congrats!

October 5, 2010, 07:59 PM
Here, I'm looking for one girl like that, and you've got three!

Great post, and don't sell yourself short, "porter": it's evident they've had some good training.

CSA 357
October 5, 2010, 08:08 PM
looks like yall had a great time! my daughters used to hunt with me now they dont care about it, i still have a 9 year old ill start this year

October 5, 2010, 08:51 PM
Damn...makes me with I was a country boy. I want that

Arkansas Paul
October 5, 2010, 10:26 PM
That right there's the good stuff.

October 6, 2010, 10:49 AM
It's great isn't it?

I took my 8 year old daughter dove hunting with me this year. She went were I went, covered in prickers from the waist down. Not one complaint, not one moan, no begging to go home. She steadfastly watched the trees for resting doves and the air for incoming birds.

She outlasted the dog who, in an hour, found a spot of shade, curled up and called it quits.

October 6, 2010, 09:39 PM
I will be going up the stand with my 14 year old for the first time on Youth day a week from Saturday. SHE signed up and took the hunter safety class all on her own to have something to do with her dad :) I hope we have the same success... Nice pictures, nice family.

October 7, 2010, 10:51 PM
Way to go with the girls. :D

Mine drag me along too ~~LOL!!~~

October 8, 2010, 12:41 AM
Yep I don't have to ask if they want to go anymore. Mainly I have to just try and keep up.:D

October 8, 2010, 02:56 PM
Great story. Thanks.

October 8, 2010, 04:46 PM

Do you play 8 man in rugby?

I was a prop and a lock for years.

October 10, 2010, 11:28 AM
we had the wind in our face and the sun at our backs.

Those factors, and a little luck, really help, huh! Make sure she understands how that helped. A lot of hunters never realize how important that wind direction is.

Tell her welcome to the .308 club, the caliber is addictive; great accuracy and it knocks 'em down hard, without too much recoil. Congrats!

Oh yeah, and tell her that's a good shot she made, too!

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