ive had a rough last 2 months at work. lots of unrealistic deadlines so the stress piled up. i have bad knees anyway and the last 2 weeks was especially hard on them. so i informed the wife come hell or high water we were hunting this weekend. she had an antelope tag for north of Fort Peck Resevoir and we both had two deer tags and opening day for them was Sunday. so we went up to with her parents to their cabin at the Pines on Friday night. he had a speed goat tag also so him and my wife were going o be hunting antelope Saturday and Sunday and we would all hunt mulies on Sunday. no one was to ambisious on working hard for a critter, the main thing was we were all away from work and everything else. oh and since we didnt trust the 4wd system on the shops 2003 Ford F150, Skip took his Dodge and we took my 95 Jeep Cherokee.
Saturday wasnt much, saw LOTS of speed goats down Dog Creek but you couldnt get with in 900 yards of them. they were in a more or less flat dranage about a mile and a half across and 5 or 6 miles long surrounded by hills. so we said the hell with them and took off into the hills north of Dog Creek. went through alot of washouts we prolly shouldnt have but i was having fun. its the first time in the 4 years ive had the Jeep that i had done some half way serious off roading. the clutch played hell on my bad knee but it was fun and i could ignore it for the most part. so quite a few muley does but no bucks and no more antelope other than the large herd. called it an early night and started out early Sunday morning
Sunday is when our problems started. after screwing around in the hills for awhile we went back to Dog Creek to check on the antelope herd. they were still there and you couldnt get close to them. we tried but just couldnt do it, the country was to flat. i told my wife that i read, i think in an article, that if you act like a cow and just wondered around a bit you can sumtimes get close to antelope. she said i was crazy and i said the hell with it, lets go find some deer. and we headed back to the Willow Creek road, about a 6 or 7 mil drive away. at the end of the Dog Creek Road it was about noon and Darlas 10 year old daughter was complaining she was hungry so while i napped my wife, her dad, and my step daughter had lunch. when they woke me up Darla and her dad desided we were headed back to the antelope. we would sneak up the closest ridge and Skip would drive up the road and keep an eye on them incase we scared them his way.
so we drive the 5 miles back up the road and at the road that runs along the first ridge by where the antelope were we started up it. going up the first hill i stopped on a lil table and got out and snuck around the hill. sure enough right around the hill was a small group of speed goats with an average sized buck, maybe a 12 or 13 high. they were about 100 yards away. perfect, Darla was wanting to use a 223 and this was about as far as i wanted the speed goats to be. as spooky as these guys were i was setting Darla up to shoot as this may be her only chance. Bad luck strikes, the wind is at our backs the speed goats get a wiff of us, after 2 mornings with no shower, couldnt have been to difficult. and away they went up the coulee, they hadnt seen us just smelled up. i looked at Darla and raised my eyebrows. lets go she said. so we hopped in the jeep and tore off after them, well beside them. they were goin up one coulee and we were in the one beside them, about a mile or so up we stopped. and tore off on foot to a saddle in the ridge between the coulees. i just stuck my head up over top and there the goats were, still moving up the coulee but at a walk and not a run, so we went back down and walked quickley so not to wind outselves farther down, maybe another 200 yards. i poked my head back over top. the goats were moving twords us. YES! so we see up a heas a nice low saddle that we think they are going to pop out of in front of us so we go get set up and wait for them to come to us. bad luck strikes again, they take the next saddle after the one we are set up at to cross in front of us, a good 300 yards or better away. darn. well they spot us and head for the hills BUT half the herd is still in the coulee not sure whats going on and just standing around eating.
Darla looks at me, "pretend to be a cow huh?". i said i heard it can work. lets do it she says. so about 300 yards north of a group of 8 or 9 goats i grab my wifes belt loops and hunch over and we kinda zig zag our way more or less twords them guess what GOOD LUCK. the goats watch us for awhile but dont pay us much mind and go back to eating. the whole time my wife is muttering "I dont f-ing believe it!?!" so it takes us about 30 minutes to gain a 100 yards on them and we are able to drop down into a deep washout out of sight of the goats. before dropping down we mark a ridge with in a 100 yards of the goats. so we walk quickly down the washout, half bent over and crawl up to the lil ridge. look over the op. no goats in sight. what the hell? turns out they saw a the other half f the large herd still out in the flats and went to join them. so we couldnt get close enough for a shot and said the hell with it for this herd. we had done our best.
now for my bad luck. we went and cruised the hills some more but didnt see much. we werent carrying extra gas so we didnt want to go to far down Willow creek. about 4pm we deside to head back to the cabin, pick up Darlas other daughter and my mother in law. and we hunted on the way out. well with about 30 minutes left of shooting time. we spotted some deer out on a big flat with some 2 foot dikes running through to help hold water to keep the road from washing out. there were a bunch of does an a lil buck from what i saw. i asked Darla if se wanted to play cow again for the hell of it. i didnt think we would get close enough but what the hell, it was entertaining. so i get out carrying my 30-06 and we play cow kind of mossying this way and that and got to a dike about 150-175 yards from the mulies. Darla watched through the binocs as i got myself ready. i had a dead steady rest. the set up was beautiful. Darla is saying "SHOOT the one standing on the dike hes a good one!" i look through the scope and all i see is an orange haze with some deer shaped blotches. DANG! there is no way i ould take a shot. the deer got ansy and moved away. Darla was carrying the 223 still incase we could get close enough for a doe. the 06 had a cheap Tasco that had served me well for years on other rifles. however all shots had been daylight with no problems. i found out when sorta facing a setting sun it doesnt work for [bleep]. i glanced through the 6x leupy on the 223, it was clear as day. bbut i didnt see the big buck as it had moved off, and it was to far for me to want to shoot a does this close to dark with a 223 so we packed it up and walked back to the jeep. oh well. you win some you loose some, but i had an absolute blast sneaking up on the speed goats and deer and 4 wheeling all weekend. and the 06 is getting a new scope as soon as i have the funds.