Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Above is a picture of a pal o' mine from the Iowegian Flatland territory out here in Montana last fall for his first antelope hunt. It shows typical "speed goat" country; i.e. miles and miles of miles and miles. My wife and I are headed there this weekend for Montana's antelope opener on Sunday the 7th.
Conventional wisdom says that antelope meat, to quote Michael Richards as Stanley Spadowski in the cinematic classic UHF, "Tastes like poop." We beg to differ. Then again, where we hunt speed goats, they are usually found under the irrigation pivots eating alfalfa or winter wheat every morning and evening. The wife and I put it right up there with whitetail venison.
Conventional wisdom in the form of the glossy outdoor magazines also says that you need the latest greatest flat-shooting .256-1/2 short-belted ultra super turbo Magnum cartridge. It's true that antelope hunting sometimes requires a long shot. But then again, if you're willing to get your fat butt out of the truck and do a little walking and stalking, you can shorten the range considerably.
In the photo you can see the type of country we hunt. And there's something special about antelope hunting out there. I have spotted them literally miles away and used my truck and my feet to make a detour of many more miles to be able to belly crawl over a small rise and be right in amongst them. Their normal vision is the equivalent of me and you looking through 8X binoculars, so when you can sneak up on them beasties unseen and unscented, you have accomplished a stalk you can be proud of. My first antelope, I shot at about 50 yards with my old .30-06. Just be aware of prickly pear cactus when crawling around the prairie; it once took me several months to get all the teensy little spines out of my knees after "sneaking" through some of that stuff.
Still, I now have my pet load for pronghorn whacking. An ordinary .30-06, when loaded with 130-grain Hornady bullets with a muzzle velocity of around 3,100 feet per second, has a maximum point blank range of 360 yards. That means if the critter is anywhere from fur-in-the-muzzle range way out to 360 yards, you just hold your crosshairs dead center on the boiler room and you will hit the vitals. If you can't sneak within 300 yards of a speed goat, you should either give up the sport or get out of the truck. This load, by the way, is more than enough medicine for deer and black bear as well, but a tad light for elk.
Remember, if God didn't want us to kill and eat animals, He wouldn't have made them out of meat.


Stevencap said...

We’re looking for bloggers who can cover a national Town Hall meeting hosted by John Ratzenberger in Des Moines at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Hy-Vee Hall of the Iowa Events Center (730 Third Street, Des Moines).

I’ve pasted some info on the event below. Please feel free to contact me if you might be interested in attending and/or blogging at the event. I’d also be very grateful if you could please post this notice or pass it along to anyone who might be interested in blogging.

Many thanks,

Steven Capozzola

Communications Director

Alliance for American Manufacturing

Phone: (202) 393-3430

A national Town Hall meeting, hosted by John Ratzenberger, will be held in Des Moines at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Hy-Vee Hall of the Iowa Events Center (730 Third Street, Des Moines). Iowa bloggers are invited to attend and cover the event. A brief summary:

1. The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), a national, non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC, is sponsoring the event.

2. The meeting will be hosted by TV’s John Ratzenberger (‘Cheers,’ The Travel Channel’s ‘Made in America’).

3. The event will focus on Iowa’s continuing loss of manufacturing jobs. Voters will be encouraged to ask candidates blunt questions about what they’ll do to help save U.S. manufacturing.

4. Attendance is free, and is open to the general public. Bloggers are encouraged to RSVP in order to reserve media seating and prime Internet access.

5. Post-show interviews with John Ratzenberger must be arranged via RSVP before the event.

To RSVP, or if you have any questions, please contact Steven Capozzola at:, 202-393-3430. Official website:


Ben said...


I won't be able to attend, as I'll be shampooing my ferrets that evening. Maybe if Norm was there too... Just kidding. This homeboy just lives too darned far from Des Moines. Good luck on the event, I'll watch for it online.


You'd be proud of me. Although I'm more of a gun-nut in theory than in practice, I did put in a little trigger time at the local range last weekend. I took out the CAR-15 and the M1911. A good time was had by all, except for potential tyrants who were trembling in their jackboots. ;)

Unknown said...

Way to go Ben.. get out there and shoot that AR.

Bawb, I don't think I have shot a prarie goat at more than 200.. most have been in the 100 range or less. Yep, get out of the truck and do some walkin..