Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Al Ward: Kansan, Pregnant Wife Shoot Antelope during Hunt in Wyoming

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Al Ward: Kansan, Pregnant Wife Shoot Antelope during Hunt in Wyoming

Article excerpt

The fall hunting season has arrived and Rodger Schmidt stopped in to tell me about his antelope hunt.

Rodger and his dad, Bob Schmidt, drew a pronghorn or antelope tag in Wyoming in 2013, and both were successful on opening day that year. They enjoyed the hunt so much they have continued trying to get a tag for the last four years. In 2017, Rodger and his wife, Kelsey, both drew a tag for this season.

Rodger, who has an uncle who lives in Laramie, Wyo., did some scouting and knew of a promising piece of a large ranch to hunt. After getting permission slips and having the rancher sign the tags, they scouted for four hours in the morning. They saw multiple animals and picked a good place to set up the next morning. They found a small, log-sided barn that sat alone by an old corral with a great field of view.

They arrived before 5 a.m. on opening day. As the sun came up, they were able to see antelope in the distance. The problem was, not one was within 1,000 yards.

They decided to wait and watch them, hoping they would move toward where they were set up.

After two hours, they decided to move and took their time and tried to use some terrain and humps of ground to conceal their movement. They walked for 2 miles and spotted a solo buck that was bedded down. Stalking antelope is an exhilarating adventure. Antelope have incredible eyesight and can identify people by their upright profile, so they had to get down on their hands and knees to prevent being spotted. After closing some of the gap, Rodger decided that in order for him to get within range, he would have to belly crawl over rough terrain, with things in the grass that would stick you, for 120 yards to a fence line. Once he was at the fence, he used his range finder on the buck and got a reading of 315 yards. Rodger knew that if the buck got out of his bedded position, he could put a good shot on him. Eventually, the buck stood and Rodger was able to place a good shot and bring him down. …

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