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hunting out west

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  • hunting out west

    let me tell you guys a story.

    once in the mid 1990s, i had the opportunity to do some training with the army at Dougway Proving Grounds in Utah. i was to be there for a month and new i would have some down time so i decided to take my personal scoped match grade AR. Although personal weapons were forbidden on this trip i, being in charge of the units' weapons, was able to disguise my weapon in with those. (shame on me). i, being from the east coast and never been out west, didnt want to miss a free chance to participate in hunting activities that i had only read about in magazines.

    Utah's policy there was for employees (including federal who worked to maintain Dougway) only worked 4-10 hour days so i had friday-sunday off. i rented a vehicle and drove out several miles in the desert (pony express trail , if i remember correctly) armed wih my rifle, which i had shot to varify my zero after remounting the scope, my video camera, binos and still camera to do some sight seeing and possible hunting for coyotes, prairie dogs or anything legal, since it was late august and big game season was a few weeks away. (i didnt have tags anyways). the mountains, desert and just plain terrain was fascinating to me and i got plenty of video footage and photos including some of mule deer, antelope and wild horses. i had always dreamed of hunting out there for antelope or mule deer.

    well, once i glassed an antelope at a distance of close to a mile away, secretly wishing that he was within range in my crosshairs. low and behold he ran a big circle, came across the road and stopped and looked at me from less than 100 yards away,as if to say "here i am, now what you gonna do?". my huntng instincts took over and i jumped out with my rifle, propped on the hood of the vehicle and placed the crosshairs on the animal. all of a sudden i realized that i was about to make an unsportsmanlike and illegal shot, and i backed off.

    later on, the next week end, i teamed up with a local friend i had made and he took me to a place where there were lots of jackrabbits. he used a shotgun, kicked the brush and ran them out and shot them. the ones he didnt get a shot at or missed, i would nail on their way into the rocks from my perch on a hill overlooking him. he and i both killed six. uselless varmiints to locals but quite an accomplishment to me., for i had never seen one in real life, much less, shot one. i took the largest one to a taxidermist in Salt Lake to have it mounted and he laughed at me.

    nevertheless, this was a great experience for me that i will cherrish forever.

  • #2
    Great story! Nothing like hunting out west. I enjoy varmint hunting in the spring and big game in the fall. I really like the part about the antelope....they are very curious critters at times. For the past 3 years (For me)...they've not let me get within 900 yards of them unless I'm driving in my truck...can never tell how they'll act. So, when I get a chance to harvest one...I'm always very thankful.