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Author Topic: South Dakota Pronghorn  (Read 2339 times)

Offline follow maggie

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Re: South Dakota Pronghorn
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2022, 12:27:15 PM »
Thatís awesome. Great picture!

Offline andrew_in_idaho

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Re: South Dakota Pronghorn
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2022, 10:36:36 AM »
Alrighty, time for the full story start to finish. I had no intention of hunting South Dakota for antelope this year, I just switched jobs in March so I was limited on PTO and high gas prices were telling me this wasnít the year. Iím not the guy that gets lucky and beats the odds, Iím the guy who doesnít draw the almost guaranteed tags so I put in for a unit that averages 6-8 pts as a nonresident with my 3 points. I was in Sacramento for a week in late august and I jumped into the SD license portal to see if they had posted deer draw odds yet and surprise, it says I now hold a antelope license. Fast forward a little over a month and itís time to head to South Dakota. I had decided to take my middle son who is 6 along. His older brother has tagged along on a few adventures with me over the year and it was now his turn. One problem he has a flag football game Friday night and season opens Saturday morning. No big deal. We left Nampa, ID at 6:30 PM Friday and hit the Wyoming/South Dakota border at 7:30 AM Saturday. I stopped to take a picture at the welcome sign and let momma know we had made it safely.


While we were stopped there I spotted a buck on the Wyoming side of the border and a buck with a group of does on the South Dakota side. Quick check of basemaps shows the SD buck to be on private, but barely. Oh well, mostly a window shopping day anyway. Drove a couple miles down the road and turned down the first county road I could find off the highway. Lots of small doe groups were seen without bucks on the public land until finally we found all the bucks. There were at least 5 different bucks and 30-40 does out on a large pancake flat with no real options for a stalk but that wasnít stopping the 6 other hunters coming at them from multiple directions. I quickly decided these werenít the antelope we wanted. We spent most of the rest of the day cruising around looking for any piece of public that didnít have other hunters on it. There werenít really any so finally around 2 I set up a camp and took a little power nap. After waking I spotted a small buck about 1/2 mile out from camp. Silas and I set off after him and I closed to about 350 yards only to decide he definitely wasnít anything I was ready to shoot yet, even if it seemed like the pickings were going to be slim. The rest of the day was largely uneventful, I spotted a buck and doe around 4:30 in the afternoon bedded a mile out into some National grassland but by the time I snuck out there all I was able to find were 20 does. Never saw the buck. I was starting to get discouraged at this point. Wyoming antelope have never been this difficult and I was hoping to have been passing more bucks by this point vs. just hoping to get a shot opportunity. As we headed back toward camp it seemed there was a truck parked every 1/2 mile and a group huddled over another buck within 200 yds of the road. As we were out stalking everyone else seemed to have taken a road buck. Saw a few does out on some walk in fields but no bucks to speak of.

We ate dinner that night and turned in pretty early. An epic lightning storm rolled in that kept me awake wondering if my tent with an 8 foot metal support pole on a prairie where the tallest thing around us were t-posts on the fence line was a really bad idea. Anyway we survived and stayed dry and woke the next morning to a pretty heavy fog which is not what I wanted for antelope hunting. We decided to go down south closer to the Nebraska line and check out some public and walk in areas there. The storm seemed to have missed that area because it didnít have the moisture to create the fog that we did up by camp and we started spotting antelope right away, mostly on private but at least we were back in the game. I drove out to a piece of walk in property that stretched for miles and spotted a group of 6 antelope about 2 miles out feeding up in the head of a draw. I couldnít tell if there was a buck but I assumed there would be one so we set off after them. I relocated them at about 600 yds and found them bedded so we worked around to 200 yds only to find they were all does and fawns. At this point I didnít know what I was gonna have to do to get a buck killed. We trudged back out to the car and turned around to head back north, but as we reached the edge of the walk-in property, I spotted 4 antelope down in a dry creek bed, all does then I took a closer look and there were 4 more does bedded about 100 yds to the left of those ones. I was pulling down my glass when I caught a buck right in the middle of the 2 doe groups. A quick look at his cutters and it was game on. I pulled over behind a little berm and snuck up over and about 100 yds out into the prairie. The buck was on his feet now feeding with the does to the right and we slowly crept out a little at a time. He finally caught me at about 150 yds and he ran across the dry wash and stopped broadside at 200 yds. I fired and he ran about 25 yds and stopped and started backing up then tipped over backwards. Silas was excited. I went back to the car to get my pack and left my rifle there. We did a little picture taking and then got to work



After quartering him up we headed back to camp to get him in the cooler. When we arrived in South Dakota, Silas had seen Mt Rushmore on the sign, and he asked ďDad, is that here?Ē I said yes and he told me he wanted to go, so I told him we could do that as soon as we got an antelope. So we rested a while and ate lunch and then headed off to Mt Rushmore.


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Offline andrew_in_idaho

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Re: South Dakota Pronghorn
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2022, 10:46:53 AM »
Pics of a happy boy and dad at Mt Rushmore, note the ice cream staining the childís lips


While we were at Rushmore another storm blew in, and soaked our camp. Unfortunately I went ahead and only closed the bug screen on my tent before leaving because there was not a cloud in the sky. Lesson learned there

The next morning as I broke camp a rancher stopped by and asked if we were leaving, I told him yea, he asked if we had killed a buck, again yes, he said that was great and said had we not taken a buck yet he was going to offer to let us come hunt on his ranch, having seen us out hunting on the public the few days before. Turns out the guy was born and raised in Nampa, ID where we live now. Just throwing that in to say itís a small world and the people I did meet back there in South Dakota were all stand up folks.

All in all I will say the pressure out there was more than I expected and the antelope were harder to find. I donít know what it is about crossing the border from Wyoming to South Dakota but the antelope numbers seem to halve the minute you do cross. Iím hopeful that they can recover the herds in the next few years though as residents told me of a time just a few short years ago where every either sex tag came with 2 doe tags, and now there are only buck tags, no either sex and no does except for the youth and mentored hunters.

So that was our trip. It was a lot of fun. I shouldíve taken more pics. Gotta get to cutting meat now. Happy hunting this fall.


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Offline follow maggie

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Re: South Dakota Pronghorn
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2022, 11:14:04 AM »
Awesome trip. Iím glad you were able to take your boy along.

Offline mburrows

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Re: South Dakota Pronghorn
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2022, 12:03:28 PM »
Awesome all the way around!

Offline bearhunter99

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Re: South Dakota Pronghorn
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2022, 12:04:14 PM »
Sounds like a great trip!  Congrats!
RIP Colockumelk   :salute:

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." Ė Winston Churchill



Genesis 27:3
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison

Offline Pathfinder101

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Re: South Dakota Pronghorn
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2022, 12:25:00 PM »
Awesome story and great pics  :tup:  Thanks for taking us along. 
Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.  That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

Offline Dan-o

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Re: South Dakota Pronghorn
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2022, 01:59:34 PM »
Great antelope. 

Better story. 

Love your son's smile.
Member:   Yakstrakgutp (or whatever we are)
I love the BFRO!!!
I wonder how many people will touch their nose to their screen trying to read this...

Offline Limhangerslayer

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Re: South Dakota Pronghorn
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2022, 08:19:33 PM »
Great goat, shot my first one this year.  Such a fun animal to hunt, stacking up points in SD too for a hunt later down the road.  Cool experience to take your boy with!

 


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