Nevada Speed Goat
It’s early July and Battle Born Wildlife team member, Jacob Roumanos, cannot contain his excitement any longer. His sister, Kathy MacDiarmid, has a Nevada rifle antelope tag for the upcoming season. Even with the season opener being over seven weeks away, he decides it’s time to find his sister a mature antelope. There is one problem: Jacob is on crutches due to an infection in the tissue of his leg surrounding his knee. However, this does not stop him. Jacob and Kathy load their Dodge pickup, crutches and all, and head out to look for some “speed goats”. That evening they find three antelope that are worthy of a dirt nap. Their Zeiss spotting scope made it easy for Jacob to spot these trophy bucks without having to venture far from the pickup. The biggest of the three trophy antelope was definitely Kathy’s number 1 choice on the hit list. Despite not being able to venture far from the truck, the first scouting trip of the year was a success. Later, when Jacob was off of his crutches, he was able to keep tabs on the big pronghorn. The scouting trips continued until the beginning of the season, and Jacob was unable to find a buck to top the trophy pronghorn that they had put at the top of Kathy’s hit list on the first scouting trip.
After weeks of anticipation, opening morning finally arrived. That morning Kathy was accompanied by her mom, uncle, and boyfriend (Mary, Rob and Logan). They decided to go where Jake had last seen two trophy antelope. They arrived to the area before first light, but when the sun rose there were only young bucks there. The big trophy bucks had vanished. For the rest of opening day and the next day, they went to different spots to try and glass up those trophy pronghorn. On the third morning their luck began to change. After seeing some small bucks in the morning, they decided to go back to where Jake had originally scouted the two shooter antelopes. That's when they came upon a small herd with the number one prospect that Jake and Kathy had scouted in the weeks leading up to the season opener. After watching the buck for a little while Kathy made a stock, but as she approached shooting range the wind changed direction and the antelope spooked. However Kathy was patient and waited for the herd to disappear over a hill. Mary, Rob and Logan hiked to where Kathy was and then the group decided to get to the hill that the antelope had disappeared behind. After hiking in the hot summer sun for some time they reached the hill where they had last seen them. As they creeped over the hill the herd appeared just on the other side. But the herd was so close that some of the does had spotted them before any shot could be made. The herd took off with the buck trailing still not knowing why his does decided to run. The herd seemed to be gone forever, but this did not deter Kathy. After seeing the antelope finally stop in the distance, they planned another stock. The group caught up to the herd after hiking for about a mile. Determined to not let this buck get away, they stocked very carefully even crawling at times. Finally reaching shooting range, the group peeked over a rise and saw the buck. Kathy set up for a standing shot with the Primos shooting sticks, and waited for the trophy buck to turn broadside. Steadying herself Kathy made the fatal shot through the heart at 350 yards. The Weatherby 7mm mag made quick work of the buck; he staggered and only went about 80 yards before finally taking the dirt nap Kathy had been dreaming about for some time.
Kathy could not keep her excitement and joy contained. She rushed to her downed pronghorn and was finally able to hold that big boy and get that feeling that every hunter gets after harvesting a trophy big game animal. After taking many pictures with the speed goat the real work began. Kathy gutted her first antelope and they began the long drag back to the truck. Once to the truck they immediately skinned the pronghorn and put the meat in a cooler with gallon jugs that had frozen water in them. With the hot temperatures during antelope season it was important to get their meat on ice as fast as possible.
Always remember to take good care of the meat, even when you get caught up in the moment of harvesting an animal.