When the drawings came out, Andrew had not drawn a tag. However, I did draw my second choice doe tag. A new excitement came over me as I told the kids we were going antelope hunting! Not sure who was more excited, them or me! Laura however, looked at me like I was crazy. She said, "You actually think you can take me, Kalli who is 4 and Rylee who is 2, on an antelope hunt and actually get close enough to shoot one?!"
I like challenges and I told her, you bet and we will have it done by noon the first day. She still thought I was crazy, but went along with it and said lets go see what happens. We planned to leave Friday after school. This way we could get out there that evening and hunt opening morning. The entire week leading up to the trip, Laura just kept asking how I actually thought this was going to work. I just said, don't you worry we got this and Dane has been updating me with a scouting report.
The girls, they were pretty excited to go on their first hunting trip. Was that for the hunting or for the truck ride with lots of snacks and a two night hotel stay with a pool, I am not sure. 3:30PM Friday October 1st, 2021 came and we were on the road after picking Kalli up from school. The road trip went rather smooth, and we were in Belle Fourche to the hotel around 10:30PM.
Along the edge of the alfalfa field, there is a corral of hay bales. We would make our way to those bales to set up in. This way the kids could move around, if it took some time for me to be presented with a shot. That did not prove necessary. We were just getting the kids set up, and the rifle ready, when a herd of antelope worked out into the alfalfa field. As I prepared to get ready for a shot, a few does started to walk around the hay bales only about 75 yards away.
As they saw us getting ready, they trotted out to join the herd in the middle of the field. They quickly calmed down and went to feeding. I got set up with the rifle as the girls observed and told me where the antelope were at. I settled the crosshairs and squeezed the trigger. By the sound of the bullet, I knew I had a clean miss. The antelope jumped but soon settled down back to eating. I again settled the crosshairs and squeezed the trigger.
She dropped in her tracks right there. The others had no idea what had happened. We talked about what had just happened and we headed out to retrieve her. Along the way, Kalli found some baling twine to take along on the walk. This proved very useful for the drag back to the truck. As we got to the antelope, the girls had some questions about what happened to her now. We answered those questions and told them that we don't kill unless we have a use for that animal. This one was going to be our food throughout the fall and winter.
As I gutted the antelope, Laura gave the girls an anatomy lesson as they had more questions. We took photos, high fived, hugged and talked about the mornings hunt before dragging her back to the truck. From there we took her to the ranch so that we could skin and bone out the meat to get it on ice and cooled down quickly. This ensures that we will have great meat to enjoy.
This was our first trip hunting together. Everyone enjoyed it so much, they said they want to do it every year! Sounds good to me!