Rain Rain Go Away
The freezing rain and snow started last night and continued through the day. With the Grassland roads turning to gumbo and my father’s physical requirements, we were limited to hunting in public access areas immediately adjacent to the road, and scouting areas with our spotting scope. Throughout the day it became readily apparent that the animals were much more skittish than last year when found on public land.
While dad stayed in the truck, I put a stalk on a lone buck on the same small section of state land that I had shot my pronghorn on during the previous year’s hunt. Glassing the from the truck, I could tell he was very young, and I had no intention of taking a shot at him but wanted to stretch my legs a bit and get back into the rhythm of hunting pronghorn on the plains. Using the terrain, I got within 200 yards. Settling into the prone position, the rain and sleet blurred the view of my scope and I settled in to take a look at him. By this time he was aware of my presence and looked back at me in turn, no doubt wondering at the sanity of this man squatting out in the rain when there was a perfectly good GMC only a few hundred yards off. After taking stock of me for a minute or two, he shook his head at my folly and trotted off.
Later on in the day, we spotted what may have been the largest pronghorn buck we have seen in last two years of hunting in this unit. Unfortunately he was way, way off on private land and we could do little else but simply admire him from a distance.
The rest of the day was a story of continual repetition, as was the following day. Drive the main roads. Try not to get stuck in the mud. Glass antelope on private land. Repeat. Two days in and I was starting to get worried. Would the rain and snow stop? Could we locate a buck on public land and get close enough to make a shot? Would my dad be able to sustain even this minimal amount of physical activity, or would the cold and rainy weather be just fatiguing enough to take him out of the hunt?