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Old 08-28-2008, 06:31 PM
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TEmbry TEmbry is offline
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Default Aint Nothin Like the First..SD Success

I figured Id copy the story over to these forums, since I did find out about Randys ranch through you guys. Had the time of my life, and WILL be going back for mulies. Whoever is going for either mulies or whitetails this year will be in for a treat!

http://www.huntingnet.com//forum/tm.aspx?m=2993740

Disclaimer: Long winded post. If only interested in the actual day of the hunt, scroll down and read whats in bold.

Flew out of Nashville Aug 19 with Dad for a senior trip. My sister went on a cruise years back, but with no interest in coconuts and palm trees I chose to head out to the wide open praries of Northwestern South Dakota. We arrived in Rapid City around 11am. Plenty of time to squeeze in a trip to the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and a drive through the Black Hills. Devils Tower and Cabelas was for Wednesday morning before we drove up to camp. Plenty of spectacular views in SD...

Badlands.



Then Mt. Rushmore.



Then Crazy Horse, 60 years in the making.



Next Morning Found us at Cabelas. Just Opened in Rapid City, SD.



The Mounts in a Cabelas just blew me away, BPS doesnt hold a candle.



Last Stop before the Ranch was Devils Tower. HUGE rock, pretty cool sight.



Then it was on up to the 15,000 acre Routier Ranch. I was to hunt the next morning and was excited to finally meet Randy. Hes confined to a wheelchair now after a Rodeo accident several years ago, but this man has a better attitude about life than 95% of people I know still walking around. He is an amazingly strong individual and a guy Im proud to now call a friend. Nicest person you could ever hope to meet, and a fellow member here at HNI. His family takes you in as one of their own during your stay. I cant speak highly enough of these folk. Anyone interested in a hell of a place to hunt while being treated like royalty by down to earth good people...check out huntsd.net seriously. I will be returning in a few years to do a archery mule deer spot and stalk hunt. Cant say enough good things about the number of animals out there. and talk about absolute GIANT whitetails and mulie bucks. Antelope are very plentiful as well.

First two days were 13 hrs in the blind each. few smaller non shooter antelope came in, but nothing worth taking. The blinds were not as productive this year because it was a very wet year, and waterholes were everywhere. In fact, Randy's Mom was telling me that this was the first year they got a double cutting out of their hay fields since 1978...not a very dry year. But 26 hours of watching prarie grass made me the ultimate master of BlackBerry Brickbreaker. LMAO



Third day we moved on to my new favorite style of hunting, spot and stalk. The 30+ mph winds didnt fare well for sitting in a blind all day. Riley, Randy's Brother, took me out and we put in a few very close calls. Crawling through Cactuses, and loving every thorn of it. In fact, I still have some of those hairy spikes in me. First stalk of the day we crawled to the edge of a ridge that a nice buck and doe were bedded near the top on, we got to 25 yards belly crawling and as we were peeping over the top one of them spotted us and they bolted. Another stalk later on that afternoon yielded the same results, but a closer call. belly crawled to the edge of the ridge but this time I was even pulling back on the quartering away buck when one of his does busted me and tehy bolted as well. They stopped and stared at 75 yards for 4 or 5 minutes, seemingly rubbing it in.

4th day was another slow day in the blind. A few smaller does and a spike buck barely over his ears got thirsty but the big boys never came in. Its frustrating to watch them from 300 yards the entire length of the day but never have him come in. It was coming down to the wire as the sun set on Sunday afternoon.

Then came the 5th and final day of my hunt, which started with a surprise. I woke at the normal 5 am to find my Dad and the rental car nowhere to be found. Found Lori, Randys Mom, and she told me my Dad was at the ER with Terry, her husband. He got severe pains in the middle of the night and they went to the doctor to find out he was passing two kidney stones and had a third to come at a later date. I reluctantly headed for the blind without him since those were the orders he left for me in the note, telling me not to worry. I sat till 11 am with nothing getting parched enough, and decided to go find Riley and try to make something happen. Walking out to the truck not 600 yards away I walked over a rolling hill and saw horns. Dove to the ground and reached for the binoculars, found out I was watching 6 does and a buck feeding in the very corner of the several hundred acre alfalfa field near by. The buck bedded down not 5 yards from a bale of hay, perfect. The does kept feeding on out into the prarie. Problem was no way of approaching from anywhere near me. I dropped the coolers and backpack, keeping the binocs, rangefinder, and bow only. I took off on a 2-3 mile loop playing the terrain to stay low and loop around to get behind the hay stack where the truck was parked.

Sweating and looking like a porcupine from cactuses...I finally got to the truck, which was about 600 yards from the buck. Reglassed for him and found him still bedded not 5-10 yards from a bale, still perfect. this is when things got tricky. I ditched the binocs and took off belly crawling until I got behind the bale from the buck. From Here I got up and while crouching low to the ground began tip toeing from bare dirt spot to bare dirt spot trying to remain noiseless. the wind was blowing almost directly at him, but it was now or never. luckily it shifted and blew at an angle just slight enough to keep my scent from him. I dont know if you guys know what walking through dried cut alfalfa sounds like, but it certainly isnt quite. Each step leaves you cursing yourself for sounding like a **** elephant. Very difficult to sneak up to an animal on. Prarie grass is the same way.

I kept getting closer and closer though. 400 yards, 200 yards, 100 yards. finally reached another bale and took out the rangefinder. 67 yards to his bale. Gametime. Nocked an arrow, and continued on. 50 yards. 40 yards....once I reached 30 yards I began second guessing myself, did I pick the wrong bale? Surely this cant be unfolding into a good plan. I was in range now, so I clipped the release to the dloop and held ready to draw at any moment. Continues crouching and creeping...my legs were on fire from the awkward stance of the last 600 yards, but who notices that in moments like this. 20 yards to the bale. my heart was above my adams apple. Thumping at 3 times the normal human rate. sweating profusely, but not from the heat. 15 yards. 10 yards. OMG What do I do, I kept creeping.....5 yards and I figured any closer and he may see me above the bale. I dropped to one knee and began peering around the right side. BAM! His face not 10-15 yards out. Jerking back quickly praying to the prarie gods that he didnt spot me. luckily, he was eyeing that group of does feeding off into the distance. I got back up on my feet and slowly made my way to the other side of the bale. His rear end appeared first. then his hams....then ribs....then chest....I got to where I could view the entire body but his head remained out of sight, unable to bust me. It was only 3 steps over there, but they had to of taken atleast 5 minutes to reach my destination. My heart was like a hummingbirds wings now. I stood to full stance, tried to calm my breathing for 30 seconds, got my footing right, and FINALLY drew my bow. I was actually relatively calm, besides that damn little voice reminding me things to not forget at 100 miles per minute. Hard to drown him out, as GMMAT eluded to in the other thread. Held at full draw for over 20 seconds steadying my breathing and finding my hair to place the pin over...at this distance knowing the exact range is irrelevant. It was now or never, He couldnt have been bedded any better. Perfectly broadside with his near shoulder slightly forward. I touched the release.

This is where I admittedly messed up, caught up in the moment, I forgot to track the arrow. I heard the thwack of a hit, but wasnt sure of where. He immediately bolted but started stumbling not 10 yards later...I knew it was a good shot as the blood sprayed from both sides with each bound. The Striker flew true. He made it maybe another 20 yards before locking up, and tumbling over. It was over. This is when I lost it. I nearly dropped my bow from shaking so bad...

I ran over to him only to my horror see him struggle to his feet, halfway, and drop again. I nocked another arrow...he kept struggling for a few more moments to try and get to his feet...I felt no need to sit and watch an animal suffer like that when it was unnecesary, so I let another one zip through his chest at 7 yards. Both were double lung shots. It was as if I flipped a switch, his eyes glazed over, and he was out instantly....I had one, my first big game animal with a bow and a decent buck at that. I retrieved my two arrows and drove the truck over. I was pulling him up onto the tailgate as Dad and Riley drove over the hill. They both were nearly as happy as I was. Brief picture session, gutted him, and headed to the house. Lori gave me a huge hug before we hung him up to cape em out. Hes now soaking in a salt solution at the local taxi out there, waiting to be shipped here by November or December at the latest. Perks of being one of the firsts of the season on his list.

Now I will shut up and post a few more pics. Sorry for the long post, but I'm still on cloud nine and thought you guys could relate.







Me and the best man I know in my life...He got me started in hunting and made this trip of a lifetime possible. Best Dad a son could ask for.



I also have some pics of a silver phase hen turkey, two absolute stud whitetails, and a bachelor group of 6 big mulies I need to pull from my tapes.
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Old 08-28-2008, 07:33 PM
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Once again Trevor great job! Randy sure runs a good outfit doesnt he.
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:23 AM
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Looks like an awesome hunt...congratulations on a great goat.
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:28 AM
Coodster Coodster is offline
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Nice lope, and great pics, I was in rapid last week and wanted to go to cabelas but the wife and time didn't permit.

If you are in the rapid area and need some help I have had good luck with blackhills archery.
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:47 AM
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Wowza......I feel like I just hunted at Randy's!!!!! Great story!!!!

35 days and counting and I'll be keeping Randy up all night with my snoring

What did you think of all of the antelope on his place?!?!?! Goats everywhere!!!
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:28 AM
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That is absolutely 100% awesome!!! I am so glad that you got to go this year!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:42 AM
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Man I was holding breath while reading about you sneekin' around the bale! Almost like I was right there!

Congrats on what looks like a great antelope! So much the better that you got to spend the time with your Dad.


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Old 08-29-2008, 10:32 AM
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bowing4bulls bowing4bulls is offline
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Hey CONGRATS!!!!!
Antelope sure are fun to hunt!
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:49 AM
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Totally felt the hunt the way you wrote it and a very nice speed goat at that, congrats.
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Old 08-29-2008, 05:32 PM
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Awesome Read, Awesome Pics !!!
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