This hunt really started several months ago when a friend of mine ask if i would be interested, I told him i would love to depending on cost (in my mind i thought this would have been very expensive). After some research on out of state tags, hotel and gas costs, we determined we could do this hunt for about $850.00 each (this was factored if all 6 adults and 1 of my friends daughters went).
Rather then put in for tags we had decided to buy left over tags, through more research it was determined that unit 29 is what we wanted. The problem was 29 did not have very many tags left over. The back up was to get unit 26 as there were more tags left over in that unit and the too units border each other. The day came when the tags were available and we were all logged onto the system, then it seemed like all hell broke loose as the system kick several of us off multiple times. After 45 minutes of trying i got unit 26. in the end 3 of us had 29 (2 adults and one kid) and 4 of us had unit 26. This was not a bad thing as we planned to take 2 trucks anyway.
When the doe tag became available we all bought 2 tag each. So now our party of 7 hunters had 21 tags to fill. Then it was time to deiced when in the season we wanted to go. We all agreed we did not want to go on the opener, we figured it would be packed. I also had one problem to deal with and that was i had promised my wife i would take the family to Disneyland and we had book the flight for October 6Th to go and the 9Th to come back. So the group decided that we would leave oregon on the night of the 9Th. We went ahead and book 2 hotel rooms in the town of Douglass Wyoming for Monday the 10Th. Everything was set, until we got phone call number one, one of the guys could not go due to money problems. Then phone call number 2 came in due to back problems another member had to cancel. Then phone call number 3 came in and due to a new job we lost another hunter.
At this point i am the only one with unit 26 tags and there are 2 adult hunters and a kid with unit 29 tags. We had to make some decisions on the hotel and on the trucks, then out of the blue my buddies kid decided she did not want to hunt anymore!
Now we are down to 3 hunters and 9 tags to fill, so we cancel one of the hotel rooms, and decide to take one truck. We talked about how we would handle the fact that we had different units. At one point the 2 hunters with unit 29 were going to just drop me off in my unit and then go hunt there and come pick me up at dark. We all decided this was a bad idea as i have always been told that you have to cool antelope off faster then any other animal of the meat will taste horrible.
we then deiced i would hunt with them everyday for 1/2 the day and they would hunt with me for the other 1/2 of the day.
October 6Th came and i had to be packed for Disneyland and packed for hunting (that kind of sucked packing for both). the family and i headed off to Disneyland, we had a great time but got very little sleep. When the 9Th rolled around i think i had gotten like 10 hours sleep total for the weekend. we headed home and when i got to my house my hunting buddies were there waiting for me, 20 minutes later and we were on the road (this is now 10pm Sunday night). we took shifts driving and sleeping, at 8pm on Monday we got to our hotel (22 hour drive). Tuesday morning rolled around, we stopped to get gas and guess who i see in the station, Jim burnworth of western extreme hunting (small world). We headed off to the hunt area and we stopped at a few glassing areas and did not see anything, at the 4Th area we spotted 5 goats feeding at about 800 yards. A stalk was planed out and away Tim and Gerald went (i stayed and watched through my spotting scope), about an hour later and they were 125 yards from the goats (which had bedded by then) Gerald made a great shot on the biggest doe and she went no where. Tim was in position to take another one but he just could not pull off a shot.
I headed down with the sled to help drag her out, we took some pictures got her gutted and back to the truck we went. About 3/4 of the way back another doe comes running towards us so Tim gets his shot and drops her. I took the first goat to the truck and head back to help with goat number 2. We get them both to the truck and well it looked like this
By the time we got them broke down it was time to head to my unit so off we went. We had found a small piece of public land on that far away and so we decided to check it out. That turned out to be a good decision, we got there and spotted a group with a big buck in it. I worked my way around on them just to see them go onto the private land. I kept going on the public until i found a great looking area and not 5 minutes into glassing i found a goat below me about 150 yards. I did not know if it was a buck or a doe and i thought i could get closer, as i crawled over the hill i was greeted with a big buck staring my direction. I did not know if he had seen me or not but i got setup quickly and rushed a shot, he spun and ran taking about 12 other goats with him. I watched then run out and was in shock i had missed (i knew i had at the shot). One doe made the mistake of stopping to look back and see what had happened, i ranged her at 419 yards i held my cross hairs on the top of here head (she was facing me) and let it go. I could hear the hit, and watched her run about 20 yards stand there for 5 seconds and then drop. cool goat number 1 for me down, here is a picture of where i shot her from and where she died
after getting her taken care of we spotted the herd again back on the public so Tim and gerald told me they would take my doe back to the truck if i wanted to go after the herd. Away i went, i came to the last hill i thought was between me and them just to see them run out over the top of another hill on a dead run. I am still not sure what from as i know they could not see me and the wind was right. So i headed back to the road, as i was about to the road a herd of 4 does comes out over the top of hill the road is on and looks at me. Well at 75 yards i had to shoot another so now doe number 2 is down. Tim and Gerald come driving down the road just in time to see me gut the doe. They then tell me that there are 2 bucks bedded just on the edge of the public and in a good position for a stalk. Off i go again, this stalk it about a mile long and takes me well over an hour to get there. As i am going i keep glassing back at Tim to get signals on where to go, as i crawl up the last hill i see a buck feeding from my right to my left he looked good to me so i got the gun setup and let him have it, goat number 3 for me is now down. I look back at Tim to see him jumping up and down, Tim grabs the sled and heads my way. while i wait for him, i have time to think about the day and the success and miss i had. i could not believe that we were hunting an area that none of us had hunted before, we were hunting an animal that only Tim had ever hunted before. I had taken my first antelope ever so had Gerald and now we had 5 goats down. what a great day!!!!
Tim gets to me just in time to take a few pictures and then the rain started. The rest of the evening was spent skinning and breaking down the goats.
We decided to stop at a little restaurant/bar and while talking to them about hunting we had a local guy offer to let us hunt a goat he hated because it destroyed his trees. Well needless to say we did and Gerald took his first buck (well he doubled up and killed a doe also), his buck was a 15" goat that had a broken cutter on one side. what a great goat! so Wednesday we had 2 more down then Thursday Tim doubled up on a buck and doe, TAGGED OUT. Friday we headed for home and got home yesterday.
What a hell of a week very little sleep, longgggggggg drive and a hell of a lot of fun. Not to bad for a geezer, kind of reminds me of collage days and road trips i use to take.
Here are some more pictures for all of you to enjoy.
The buck on the left is Gerald's, mine is in the middle and Tim's is on the left.