From the Men – Alan’s Explains a World Surrounded by Huntresses

n October of 2014, my wife (Savanna) drew out a pronghorn hunt in the southeast area of New Mexico.  Since my daughter (Tyler) who was five at the time had been on several hunts with us prior to this we decided to take her along.  Savanna has been an avid huntress most of her life, she grew up in a house where hunting was not just a tradition but also a means of feeding the family.  This is a tradition that Savanna and I have strived to instill in our daughter as well.

The ranch we were assigned to was about 70,000 acres in prime pronghorn country so I was confident that she would be able to fill her tag without too much trouble.  Unfortunately I had not taken into account the last four years of drought that the area had been through and quickly realized that the hunt was going to be harder than most Pronghorn hunts I have been on.  We arrived in Fort Sumner, NM the day before and went out to scout the ranch.  We looked for about six hours covering most of the northern part of the ranch before I found a small heard of pronghorn about one mile out.  There was a nice buck along with about a dozen does in a bowl area.  We decided to stay out of the area with the hopes they would still be there the next morning.

Early the next morning we made it into the area just before the sun came up.  I spotted the herd in approximately the same place we had seen them the night before.  Looking at the map we found a road that would take us around the other side of the large bowl and get us within a half mile of the herd.  For most of the stock the herd was on the other side of a small rise so we were able to cover that ground fairly quickly.  The last quarter of a mile was crawling through the tall grass on our bellies.  While approaching the herd I noticed that they continually kept looking in our direction but I was sure they could not see me or Savanna who was right next to me.  Looking over my shoulder I realized that Tyler was walking upright like she was taking a stroll through the park.  I told her to get down so that the Pronghorn wouldn’t run off.  She replied saying “They Can’t See Me I’m Wearing Camo.” I became fearful that we would run the entire herd off by the muffled laughing.

Fortunately the herd calmed down and decided to ignore us after a few minutes.  We crawled into what seemed to be within range of the herd and attempted to use the range finder but was unsuccessful.  I tried for over an hour to get the range finder to pick the animals or anything near them up but for whatever reason it just wasn’t going to work.  Finally I got a piece of sage brush to register at 350 yards.  By this time Tyler had fallen asleep in the grass between Savanna and I.  Savanna dialed her scope to 350 yards waited for the buck to turn broadside and tried a shot.  The bullet hit the dirt almost twenty feet in front of the antelope.  They all took off at a run and stopped about a hundred yards further out.  I told her to raise her scope 2 mils and try again.  Her second shot sounded like a hit but as we watched the herd disappear into the horizon we quickly realized that it wasn’t slowing down.

We quickly made it back to our vehicle and went the direction they left.  I found them about a half hour later on a hillside about one mile away. Savanna made it close enough to tell that it had been a miss but not close enough for another shot before they disappeared.  We searched the rest of the morning but did not see that herd again.

After lunch we decided to try another part of the ranch.  As we were driving down a two track road I saw a small buck about 400 yards out just watching us drive by.  Since this was only the second buck we had encountered in two days Savanna decided she was going to make a try for it.  I told her to walk towards the buck for about 100 yards and try a shot.  Savanna left the truck and immediately started crawling at an angle towards the Buck.  I watched in horror as the buck stared at her while she made slow progress for about 50 yards.  I sent her a text message telling her to move quickly and that the buck was watching her every move.  She ignored my suggestion and continued a slow crawl through the brush.  Once she was within 300 yards of the buck I watched as she got into a position to shoot.  I anticipated the shot just as Savanna jumped up and ran right towards the buck for about 20 yards and disappeared into the grass.  I wasn’t sure who was more surprised when she again jumped up and ran towards him for another 20 yards.  This continued several more times before a shot rang out.

She had just missed over the back of the buck, which took off as fast as he could go.  I let out a war whoop which stopped the buck and again he watched as she jumped up and ran right for him.  In my mind I heard her yell “Fix Bayonets!” as she charged him.  Again she dived into the grass approximately 100 yards from him. Shortly after a shot rang out as the buck went down.  I have been on many pronghorn hunts over the years but have never seen a buck taken with such a strategy.  Watching it all go down was the highlight of my hunting career and I couldn’t be prouder of her.  Once Tyler and I caught up to her Tyler helped skin and quarter the buck and helped carry it back to the truck.

We took another buck just before nightfall which ended our hunt.  I have enclosed several pictures of the hunt.


May 02, 2016 | Category: Blog, Fan Photos, From the Men | Comments: none

 

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