This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
>>DANIEL: As summer is starting to wind down, we’re gonna celebrate Labor Day, and we want to say thank you to all those hard workers out there that are keeping this nation rolling, especially the health care workers and the law enforcement that are on that front line every day. We appreciate and respect you. Thank you for all your hard work.
>>DANIEL: Several years ago, Grant and I had a heck of a hunt chasing elk in New Mexico.
>>GRANT: [Whispering] Fifty yards and coming.
>>DANIEL: During that hunt, we saw a lot of bulls and had some close encounters.
>>DANIEL: During the last afternoon, we only had about 30 minutes left of shooting light when we crept down into a canyon where two herds had met up.
>>DANIEL: Grant and I’s ears were ringing because there were bulls screaming all around us.
>>DANIEL: Right as we came to the edge of a small clearing in the bottom of this canyon, a big, ‘ole herd bull stepped out of the juniper.
>>GRANT: Oh my gosh! I’ve never. Look at that!
>>DANIEL: Grant and I experienced an incredible elk hunt with Frank and Matt at New Mexico Trophy Outfitters. And I’ve got to tell you, I was really excited to return to New Mexico this summer for a pronghorn hunt with them.
>>DANIEL: While I was in college, I worked with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife on a research project looking at how to administer a vaccine for prairie dogs to prevent plague. I spent a lot of time out on the prairie, and I saw a lot of pronghorn antelope. Of course, I was always trying to take pictures before they sped away.
>>DANIEL: Ever since then, I’ve always wanted to return to the prairie and hunt pronghorn.
>>DANIEL: As I began preparing for my antelope hunt, one of the first things I did was head up to Bass Pro in Springfield, Missouri and have a Burris scope mounted to a 6.8 Western.
>>DANIEL: Once the Bass Pro team had it all set up – it was bore sighted – I was ready to hit the range and start sighting in.
>>DANIEL: Just a few days ago, I loaded up the car and rolled west to New Mexico.
>>DANIEL: When we travel to hunt, whether it’s with a bow or a rifle, when we get to camp, the first thing we do is to shoot our weapon. We want to make sure it’s still sighted in and nothing got knocked off during our travels.
>>UNKNOWN: That’s two inches – like two and half inches high, dead center.
>>DANIEL: I was two inches high at a hundred, which is what I’d sighted in for, so we were ready to hunt that next morning.
>>DANIEL: All right. Here we go. We are loading up, and we’re getting in the – getting in the UTVs. We’re going to ride around and glass. It is very flat. The wind is starting to pick up, so we’re going to kind of go around the perimeter of the – of the ranch and be glassing and looking for – looking for pronghorn. And then we’ll kind of plan our stalk. So, stay with us. This is gonna be fun.
>>DANIEL: This is my first antelope hunt, and we’ve got Heath Martin here, and he’s – he’s got the Prime with him. I’ve got a Winchester with me. So, we’ll see what we can find.
>>HEATH: Off to find an antelope, boys. Wish us luck.
>>DANIEL: When you’re looking across the prairie, other than the mesas and the mountains in the background, it looks as flat as a pancake. But it’s deceiving. There are a lot of dips in the land that critters can bed in and feed without being seen.
>>DANIEL: So, the strategy was to use UTVs to get to higher areas and glass as many acres as we could.
>>DANIEL: It was early into the hunt when we spotted a great buck on the edge of a small royal or drainage ditch. And we believed with this terrain feature we may be able to get low, cut the distance, and get Heath within bow range.
>>DANIEL: As we made our way down the royal, every now and then we’d stop, peek up over the edge, and try to get eyes on that buck.
>>HEATH: [Whispering] We’re like 100 yards maybe from this antelope, and he’s down in this ditch we’re in, and the ditch is actually kind of running out on us. We’re gonna sneak down and see if we can get a little closer.
>>DANIEL: When we felt we could – whether he put his head down or he looked the other way – we’d go back down and try to gain more ground.
>>HEATH: [Whispering] Still 170. Way too far. Well, basically we just ran out of ditch more or less. We run out of terrain. He’s got up and walking off now. He’s a couple hundred yards probably. We got within a 170. It looks a lot closer, but man in this open country, they’re still a ways out there.
>>DANIEL: If you’ve ever hunted out west, you know how important it is to have great glass, and we spent a lot of time behind the Burris looking for another buck.
>>DANIEL: Heath and I were amazed by just the sheer numbers of antelope we were seeing. And on top of that we were seeing a ton of great, mature bucks.
>> ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Also by Reconyx, Green Cover Food Plots, Winchester, LaCrosse Footwear, Thlete Outdoor Apparel, Morrell Targets, RTP Outdoors, Fourth Arrow, HuntStand, Scorpion Venom Archery, Case IH Tractors, Burris Optics, G5 Broadheads, Prime Bows, and Redneck Hunting Blinds.
>>DANIEL: Each buck we saw was unique – had different characteristics – just like whitetails. No two were the same. Some were tall that curled in or maybe back; others were wide and had a lot of mass. One buck even had a horn that bent down and grew towards his face.
>>HEATH: Yeah, that one’s unique.
>>GUIDE: That’s a unique buck right there.
>>DANIEL: It wasn’t a matter of finding bucks; it was trying to find the buck that we wanted to make a stalk on.
>>DANIEL: As we were glassing a large herd of about 80, we spotted a great-looking buck that was wide and had a lot of mass.
>>DANIEL: We knew it’d be difficult to get close to the herd because there were so many eyes. So, we just waited to see what would happen.
>>DANIEL: All of a sudden – almost like reading our mind – that buck broke off from the herd, went about 100 yards and bedded down.
>>HEATH: Sure did.
>>DANIEL: We’ve got some terrain features here. We’re gonna try to sneak down in this low spot, cut the distance, and see if we can get a shot on this buck, so we’re gonna go after him.
>>DANIEL: [Whispering] He just stood back up, so we’re down here. We’re just gonna watch and see what he does.
>>DANIEL: [Whispering] How far is it? Have we got to three?
>>DANIEL: [Whispering] What’s the range?
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] 313.
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] 308.
>>DANIEL: [Whispering] I’m almost over the roll. Yeah, I’ve lost him over the roll.
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] What’s that?
>>DANIEL: [Whispering] That roll of the hill.
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] Let’s get up and move a little bit. We’ll go to the crest of that hill.
>>DANIEL: [Whispering] Yeah. Man, he just laid down. He’s in with the cows. And when he gets up, waiting for a clear shot. It’s looking good. We’ll see if we can pull this off.
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] He’s around 330 [indiscernible].
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] There he gets up. He’s getting up.
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] I’m getting 309.
>>DANIEL: [Whispering] Okay.
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] You got [indiscernible] him away from that cow.
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] 300.
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] 285.
>>DANIEL: [Whispering] Awesome.
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] 270.
>>DANIEL: [Whispering] Oh, don’t do that.
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] He’s gonna be under 250.
>>DANIEL: [Whispering] You ready, Heath?
>>HEATH: [Whispering] [Indiscernible] Get on him.
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] 234.
>>HEATH: [Whispering] Whoa!
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] He’s done.
>>DANIEL: [Whispering] Yes!
>>GUIDE: [Whispering] You did a good job, man.
>>DANIEL: Holy cow! That’s 6.8 right there – 6.8 Western.
>>DANIEL: That’s my first pronghorn. I can’t wait to go get my hands on him.
>>DANIEL: Man! Yeah, that mass is getting big.
>>DANIEL: Man, the mass on that. Golly!
>>DANIEL: Well, here he is. I am – I can’t tell you how happy I am. This is a heck of a pronghorn antelope. Just carries his mass out, has ivory tips. I’m – I’m just super happy with this, and what a great hunt.
>>DANIEL: Just seeing him come across the prairie there, bed down, be able to make a stalk on him, it was – it was just a thrilling hunt seeing just – there’s antelope everywhere. Everywhere we turn, there’s just antelope. And we’re just kind of trying to figure out which one to go after. And this one really caught our eye, and it panned out.
>>DANIEL: I am super happy! So, blessed. First morning here in New Mexico, and this is my first pronghorn hunt. And that 6.8 Western just dropped him in his tracks. So, we’re gonna be taking a – some meat back to Missouri and a great set of horns.
>>DANIEL: This buck was the first critter the GrowingDeer Team has tagged with the 6.8 Western. The 6.8 is designed for long-range accuracy and knock-down power. I got to say, it crushed this buck at 234 yards, and I can’t wait to take it to the deer woods this fall.
>>DANIEL: That afternoon Heath tagged a great buck with his Prime. Unfortunately, it happened fast. We didn’t get it on camera.
>>DANIEL: But if you ever hunted out west, you know those shots can be long. And even at a long distance, the Deadmeat punched through the shoulder on that antelope, and Heath had his pronghorn. Congratulations, Heath.
>>DANIEL: During our hunt, Heath and I saw a pile of critters, including elk. And it was a great reminder of how this habitat can be very productive if managed appropriately.
>>DANIEL: When I returned home, it was time to get to work to start processing the meat.
>>DANIEL: You can bet I’ll be enjoying some great-tasting meals with my wife later this week.
>>DANIEL: If you’d enjoy a great pronghorn antelope hunt and the opportunity to bring fresh, great-tasting meat home to your family, I encourage you to contact New Mexico Trophy Outfitters and learn more about hunting with them.
>>DANIEL: Whether you have a travel hunt planned or you’re preparing for deer season, I hope you slow down this week and enjoy Creation. But more importantly listen to what the Creator is saying to you and the purpose he has for your life.
>>DANIEL: Thanks for watching Growing Deer.