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Wyoming Antelope Update

October 15, 2008.

Most of Wyoming's antelope season have been open for a few weeks. Some are ending right about now, but a few have up to two weeks remaining.

I filled my buck antelope tag on monday, October 13, near Newcastle (way over near South Dakota). Rain, snow, and mud complicated the hunt.

The ranch on which I hunted had quite a few bucks in the 12-inch range, and each herd was typically watched over by a dominant 13-inch buck.

I was on one 14-incher for several hours on Sunday, but could never get a shot on him — he always bedded down on the far side of the herd, then would move straight away as soon as he stood. I kept waiting for him to make a mistake, but he never did.

The one I shot was at around 300 yards, my longest shot ever. He went down pretty quickly, but needed a finishing shot when I got up to him.

On one of the two shots — probably the finisher — the 120-grain Nosler partition from my .257 Weatherby blew up. When I went to field dress the buck, there was a little wound on the inside of his rear leg where I believe a chunk of shrapnel had exited (both of my shots were through the chest). When I gutted him, his stomach had been laid wide open. Very messy.

This was my first time using the .257 Weatherby. I believe it's flat trajectory was probably very instrumental in making the long shot seem easy, but the bullet failure and the resulting meat damage were very frustrating. Need to find a Barnes TSX load for this gun.

If you've still got a Wyoming tag to fill, be aware that rutting activity seems to be over. The herd bucks were letting smaller bucks hang out with the herds. If you get on a herd, be sure to check out all the animals to make sure you're not missing the biggest buck.


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