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November 2019
Story by Kirk Allen
State: Nevada
Species: Antelope - Pronghorn

Monthly priorities during the hunt application season are to flip through the Huntin’ Fool magazine and review new and updated information for the application season in each state. It is really great having so much information in one publication. When we consider the value of time and effort invested in our hunting futures, hunt services like this are truly amazing. What a time it is to be living the “good old days!” A big thank you to all the Huntin’ Fool staff for that continued research effort. As with any draw, the odds are what they are, but with a little bit of luck, you will draw. My strategy is to apply for the top hunts listed and just play the odds being what they are these days. Top hunts, no matter the species, are just difficult to draw, but after the 2018 Nevada results were posted, a top unit antelope tag had my address on it.


After getting the tag in the mail and reviewing unit boundaries, general landownership, and major road/trail access through the unit, contact was made with multiple Huntin’ Fool members from the Member Draw list to gather their takeaway. Most members hunted on their own and had reported very good success. After considering that the tag had taken 15 years to draw, much of the unit had burned, only a small antelope population existed in the unit, and no time could be afforded to do my own pre-season scouting, I turned to an outfitter to help make the hunt a success.


After speaking to the past clients of Mountain Man Outfitters, Inc., a deposit was sent and hunt dates were scheduled. When booking with an outfitter, the most important thing you can do is talk to recent clients for their experiences on that species. What a relief that decision was knowing that the hunt would be in good hands with a professional guide who knew the areas, used top end glass, would handle the pre-season scouting, and was dedicated to giving 100% on the hunt.


As the opener approached, the pre-season scouting had turned up a few great bucks. One weather issue that affected the glassing was the smoke drifting in from some of the California wildfires to the west. The haze, which was out of our control, had limited the ability to judge the size and keep track of the animals out past a mile. Using good spotting scopes and trying to pattern the animals as they moved around in the open country was key to the success of the hunt.


On opening morning, three nice bucks were located at first light with no other hunters in the area. The guide was great and extremely encouraging and told me to really think about which one stood out the most to me. These kinds of options are great to have, and we were in a good position to start the day. One had some really neat character, not to mention heavy mass and big cutters. He stood out.


After making the decision to move on the buck, we used the terrain to our advantage on the stalk. The  target buck was relocated with his harem bedded up below us. The buck got up to chase off a smaller one and never looked in our direction as we got into position.  At 250 yards, a steady rest was made on the bipods for the 6.5 Creedmoor as the buck finally stopped moving for a moment. After a couple of deep breaths, the crosshairs settled on his shoulder. With a light squeeze of the trigger, the buck dropped in his tracks.


After taking photos, the guide made quick work on the cape and field care for the meat quarters. The weather was hot, heading into the triple digits, so we hurried back to the hotel to ice down everything. It was such a quick hunt but definitely one I’d do again in a heartbeat. I'm wishing everyone luck and enjoyment on building memories in your next hunting adventure!