Bad Start to a Great Hunt

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I had been looking for a hunt out west for a couple of years but found them all to be too exspensive. Being a collage student working summer jobs my budget was very thin. Then one day while looking at a bunch of western game and fish websites I stumbled across the wyoming leftover antelope tags. I was over joyed to see that a. they were over the counter, b. there were alot left and c. they cost $34 each! I called my friend and hunting partner Tyler about getting these tags. We waited till the day they went on sale and bought three each. We planed the best we could seeing as how nither one of us had hunted anything but deer in Ohio. Tyler didnt even have a rifle so he got one and we shot about once a week all summer. We decided we would leave the first week of September since our summer job would be over and school didnt start untill the last week of the month. We planned on driving stright out there, camping on BLM land and really doing a very affordable hunt.

Finally after waiting for what seemed like forever the day for us to leave came. We packed up his SUV and all we had to do was put coolers on the hitch rack when I did something I really wish I hadn't. I was cutting ratchet straps out of there packaging when I drove the blade of my new buck knife deer into my left hand just below the thumb. After passing out in Tyler's driveway I made it to the hospital. I had a cut tendon meaning I needed surgery the next day. Lucky the surgery went well and we left a couple of days later, me with a cast on my hand. We made the 20 hour drive without incident, thank God, and made camp that next day. We saw antelope everywhere! I mean it was unreal seeing that many animals and we went straight out of camp trying to get Tyler one with a bow. We hadn't been out two hours and had a nice buck at 45 yards, but one thing I failed to mention about those tags we had were for does only so we sadly had to let him go. The next day was the start of rifle season and we drove down the road early the next morning with nothing but excitement for what lay ahead.

As soon as we parked the suv and started to hike I spoted a doe and fawn watching us from the next hill. I eased my rifle off my shoulder and did the best I could to crawl forward. I ranged in the front of the doe at 265 yards and held the rifle as steady as I could. This was my first shot at a big game animal with a centerfile rifle and luckly I have a good one. My first shot hit her hard and she only ran a few yards and fell. Man that was awsome. After taking care of her we went out to get Tyler one. A strange thing happend, we stopped the suv to glass the next vallet and we saw the fawn that had been with that doe I shot walking toward us. Tyler grabbed his new rifle and we just sat there as she walked up the road. He finally shot when she turned braodside at 45 yards! She didn't go anywhere and Tyler had his antelope.

My story is getting kinda long winded but it was a great excperince. We ended up shooting two more antelope before we had to go home and both were good clean kills which isn't too bad for two young guys from Ohio. The country was great, and I am now looking into going to hunting guide school. My thumb had healed and I have 85% use of it so I thank the good lord for that. I will return soon hopefully hunting any animal I can afford to and this time with my good old recurve (but I will use my 7 mag. if I have to lol)


GooseHunter Jr's picture

That is a great well written

That is a great well written story and thanks for sharing it with us.  keep up the good work and soon enough you will have some in some magazines.  Conghrats on a fine hunt and way to stick it out thru the tough times.  Gotta love them antelope hunts...always exciting. 

lance ethan's picture

Thank all of you for reading

Thank all of you for reading my story, I am currently take classes at school to be a writer so someday I can write for outdoor magizines. Also I will be headin out west again this summer to go to hunting guide school so maybe I will be seeing some of you guys out there soon. Hope your all haveing good years and look for my next story about my first buck with a recurve bow I shot this week. again thanks


Ca_Vermonster's picture

Is it okay if I laugh at your

Is it okay if I laugh at your misery???? :lol:  I am picturing you passign out in your friends driveway.  But, i gotta say, I'd probably have passed out too.  That's gotta hurt.

Glad you were able to have quick and successful surgery!  The cast in the photo makes for an excellent story.  Nice looking antelope too.  Congrats, and thanks for the story!

hunter25's picture

Great story with a great

Great story with a great ending. Good to see you were able to salvage the trip after your injury and still put some game on the ground. There are many guys that would have called it quits at that point. I have talked often about the antelope hunts in Wyoming as being the best deal and one of the funnest hunts out there. We have been going up for around six years now and have no plans to ever quit. We do get the buck tags also but those cheap doe tags really help to make the hunt more fun and last a lot longer. Hopefully you will be able to continue your trips and really learn teh areas well for a lifetime of good hunting out west.

COMeatHunter's picture

Great story and pics, Lance!

Great story and pics, Lance!  Of all the Western hunts you could have stumbled across looking for something affordable, Wyoming antelope is easily the best of the best.  For a fun hunt with need for little to no scouting and very low cost, it is tough to beat Wyoming antelope!

I'm glad your hand didn't prevent you from making the trip too.  That is a sucky way to start the trip and a tough way to find out just how sharp knife is.  Good news on getting most of the function back too.  Cutting a tendon can be a tough thing to recover from.

Maybe we'll see you up in Wyoming next year.  This is an annual hunt for us--wouldn't miss hunting goats.  Thanks again for sharing your trip with us!


BikerRN's picture

Great Story


Great story and you have given me the idea of looking in to the same type of hunt. Thank you!



Retired2hunt's picture

  Lance - that was a great


Lance - that was a great adventure you and your hunting partner had.  Cutting yourself that bad is definitely a bad start to a planned hunt but glad yours turned into a great success.  I have more than once accidentally stuck myself with a knife but luckily never bad enough needing surgery - stiches yes, but not surgery to repair a cut tendon. 

That first picture is a great one - especially of your casted hand.  Darn good thing I am guessing that you are right handed so pulling the trigger was not hindered.  Although I bet the cast was great as a steady for your aim?!?!

You chose the best hunt for a college student on a budget.  The car trip out is most likely also a great adventure and story in itself.  I have not hunted they Wyoming Antelope but will sometime in the years to come.  I'm looking to conquer antelope here in Colorado first before venturing up the I-25 for some Wyoming Antelope.

Never think any hunting story I have read has been long winded.  If I am not making my own adventure I love to read about other's adventures in hunting.  It is great that you and your hunting partner were able to plan this hunt, shoot your rifles often to get them sighted in and feeling comfortable, and then make the trek out and successfully harvest several antelope.  Great story and hope you are able to do it again next year and more.  Thanks for sharing with all of us.


jaybe's picture

Way to go, Lance and friend!

Way to go, Lance and friend! I wish I had done what you did when I was college age. Driving straight through from the Midwest, camping in a tent and probably eating out of cans is a piece of cake when you're that age.

As it was, I waitied until I was a senior citizen, then had to haul my 5th wheel camper out there and spend a whole lot more money so we could be comfortable and warm. (It was still worth it).

When I read about your stabbing your hand I thought I would maybe pass out at my computer! I'm really glad that you were able to get the hand fixed and still go through with your trip.

Congratulations to you and your buddy on getting some antelope. I hope that this is just the first of many trips out there.