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Other Big Game / Re: Field judging Antelope?
« Last post by DOUBLELUNG on Today at 05:19:22 PM »
I have some experience.  The article is spot on with regard to mass>prong>length, although if you are shooting for the record book all three are important.  One place I will take exception to the author is the contention that "most" trophy antelope have 15-16" horn length; my experience is most book antelope are 14-15", and I've seen book antelope as short as 12 1/2".  I've also seen antelope over 16" that are shy of the mark (even one 18").  There is more to antelope hunting than trying to get into the book, but most of the rest of what I have to say is about inches.

It is very important to get a view of the horns from the side and straight on to judge mass.  Some horns are wide from the side but narrow straight on, others are much rounder.  A pronghorn's eye socket is about 1.5", a horn base seen from the side should be noticeably wider than the eye socket, and at least as wide as the eye socket straight on.  This is your most important measurement, it is rare that a buck with heavy bases won't score well.  Be cautious of a buck that appears to flare up from the base, they look really big at first glance but if the 1st quarter is heavier than the base it is usually because growth slowed.  Antelope horns grow from top down, the base is the last part to grow. 

Once you are confident he has heavy bases, the prong is next.  Here you really need both those views, some prongs are flat while others will curve up to 90 degrees.  Here you are looking for a prong with the length forward of the shaft at least two eye socket widths long.  After a good base and prong, you are looking for a 1st quarter measure that is equal to the apparent size of the base; the shaft below the prong should appear uniform, not tapering.  The prong measurement is from the tip along the top surface to the back of the shaft, so if he has a good base and a comparable 1st quarter, you can be pretty confident that prong measurement is going to be at least 5-6".  If he has all three of those factors going for him, he is a really good, solid buck - as long as he has both prongs and tops intact, he will score well. 

Now, if you really have your heart set on making it into the book - and assuming there are antelope of this caliber in the herd - in addition to the above look for prongs that start above the ear, and horn length above the prong at least as long as below.  Pay attention to the tips - horn tips that point down are deceptively long, whereas those that have tips that point up look really tall but aren't as long as you think.  The variation in the 2nd and third quarters is quite small, the variation in mass between those 4 measurements in total is usually only a couple of inches.  It is unlikely you will have enough great bucks to look over to have the luxury of selecting for the greatest mass above the prong unless you are in a select draw unit in the southwest.   

Antelope horn growth starts after the horn sheaths are shed in November and stops by late July.  Really serious trophy hunters who have the luxury can scout their unit for a couple of months and know the potential and have the best bucks picked out.  Most Washington hunters don't have that luxury,  but there is a lot you can infer by looking at the climate data for the previous year.  Optimum horn growth occurs when above normal summer/fall precipitation is followed by a mild to normal winter and normal to above normal spring/summer precipitation.  This is because antelope store much less fat than deer and are more dependent on forage for survival; they are the first to die in a severe winter, and also the first to rebound.  A drought summer/fall is going to impact length of the top half and prong, a hard winter impacts prong length and length and mass of the 2nd quarter, and a dry summer MAY impact the length and mass of the first quarter, depending on whether they have irrigated or riparian foraging areas available.  Antelope horns are modified skin, not hair like true horns (bison, sheep and goats) or bone like the deer family, and growth is more affected by annual climate variation than either of those groups.  If you are serious about score, and are building points, there is little you can do about the spring/summer precipitation, but some serious trophy hunters will gauge the previous fall moisture and winter severity when deciding whether to burn points.       

If you are hunting Wyoming in a public land area or on a large private ranch, I'd encourage you to look at at least 100 bucks before thinking about pulling the trigger on your first hunt - really.  That is really very doable in most units and is one of the great fun factors hunting antelope.  Once you have judged a bunch of bucks in your area and have a better idea of what the potential is, apply the criteria above and you will take at least a good buck, and maybe a great one.   
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I only bought 10 each whitetail, moose, ne pkg this year, so $290.  Last year i bought more, and got the whitetail tag.  Was a hell of a fun tag to have in my wallet, and even though i didnt get the biggest buck i made a move on, screwed the pooch on a couple real beasts, i still got the biggest buck of my life.  Was a great experience.  If im standing by waiting for a phone call this year, its a call from my taxidermist im expecting, not a call from wdfw.  But a 360 call would certainly be gladly recieved.  Figure i have a week or so to daydream.  I have a laundry list of worthy bucks and bulls id be glad to hang a raffle tag on.
good luck! I got 100 eastside elk, 56 three deer, 75 ne, 20 mule deer, and 10 moose. Even with that it will take a ton of luck. I have a raffle ticket fetish with absolutely 0 luck. Hope things change this year! :tup:
:yike: good luck!
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Elk Hunting / Re: Blue Creek - GMU 154 Archery Bull Tag
« Last post by BowhunterPNW on Today at 05:12:56 PM »
Scouting report?
Sent you a PM.  Thanks
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Elk Hunting / Re: Colockum Quality Archery
« Last post by NOCK NOCK on Today at 05:12:05 PM »
@E35alex,
Good lookin bull, that one would work just fine  :drool: Looks like he's been doin a little bathing.  :chuckle:
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Elk Hunting / Re: Colockum Quality Archery
« Last post by jstone on Today at 05:09:35 PM »
Lucky. Had it in 2006. Shot the first bull that got close. A nice 5x6. Next time I will wait. Good luck
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I only bought 10 each whitetail, moose, ne pkg this year, so $290.  Last year i bought more, and got the whitetail tag.  Was a hell of a fun tag to have in my wallet, and even though i didnt get the biggest buck i made a move on, screwed the pooch on a couple real beasts, i still got the biggest buck of my life.  Was a great experience.  If im standing by waiting for a phone call this year, its a call from my taxidermist im expecting, not a call from wdfw.  But a 360 call would certainly be gladly recieved.  Figure i have a week or so to daydream.  I have a laundry list of worthy bucks and bulls id be glad to hang a raffle tag on.
good luck! I got 100 eastside elk, 56 three deer, 75 ne, 20 mule deer, and 10 moose. Even with that it will take a ton of luck. I have a raffle ticket fetish with absolutely 0 luck. Hope things change this year! :tup:
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Guns and Ammo / Re: What cartridges do you load for?
« Last post by mountainman on Today at 05:02:27 PM »

Yep! Not a lot of "gaps" between what is out there and has already been tried, done, and proven. But where's the fun with leaving it there?👍
Loonies will always try to improve, if only for a few fps.  Fun to experiment for sure, but true improvement is hard to find, even if it's only a few fps from a, say, 7-08 to 7x57..

I think of wildcatting like merging onto a freeway; even if there's not a good gap, just force your way in there and kick everybody else out of the way.  :chuckle:
☺👍
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Scopes and Optics / Re: Swaro ATX/STX or ATS/STS
« Last post by whacker1 on Today at 05:01:44 PM »
I am running the compact medium with pistol grip and quick release panner.  The 95's I think would be to heavy for the pistol grip to use them effectively anyway.  Outdoorsman is by far the most steady glassing setup I could find for long extended periods of glassing.
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Bow Hunting / Re: 2018 Northwest Mountain Challenge @ Stevens Pass
« Last post by jstone on Today at 04:59:35 PM »
How many people do you think will show up? Hundreds? If I get there Saturday at 7 will there still be room
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Elk Hunting / Re: Colockum Quality Archery
« Last post by eastfork on Today at 04:48:45 PM »
So jealous. Kill a masher
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