Long stalks, long shots

bigoatLone Star Outdoor News Founder David J. Sams is currently hunting 30 miles east of Vaughn, NM, searching for big antelope.

He called in this morning to report his success from yesterday. Here is the account of his hunt:

“We saw this buck two or three times earlier in the week,” David said. “He had a harem of 12 does and he was busy running off young bucks. After searching the entire ranch, we decided to try for this guy.”

David and his guide Dan Bishop of Cola Blanca Outfitters walked two miles from the truck on their initial stalk.

“These antelope are very spooky when they see a truck,” he said. “So we took our time and walked to the area where we had seen him. We snuck up to 450 yards before settling in for the shot.”

Dan told David, “This is about as close as we are going to get and you are going to have to take a long shot.

David was on the hunt to test a new line of scopes and was uneasy about shooting at long range with an unfamiliar rifle, but with Dan’s encouragement, he shouldered the rifle and squeezed one off.

David’s first shot was at 450 yards using the Tika T3 in .30-06 mounted with a Minox ZA3 scope.

“I aimed even with his ears and the first shot went just over his back,” David said. “He just stood there, so I cracked off another one and just missed again. After the second shot, he took off.”

The herd took off and made a huge, 3-mile circle, with David keeping contact behind the group.

“They ended up in the exact same place,” David said. “I used the 1-foot of elevation change to sneak in on another stalk. This time, I held just over his back and the shot was perfect.”

After a few quick pictures, thunderstorms began moving into the area, but the truck was nowhere to be found.

“The guys in the truck couldn’t find us, so we had to walk another two miles to the road before being picked up,” he said. “Just as we got to the truck, it started pouring rain.”

David said the herd genetics on the ranch were evident in his trophy.

“He was a really old buck,” he said. “The bucks on this ranch all have tall, heavy horns but very weak prongs and hooks. This was a great hunt and I’ve never taken an antelope with a shot this far.”