Traveling to Wyoming to pursue Pronghorn Antelope with my Dad is something that has been many years in the making.
The purpose of this experience was in part to celebrate entering my 30's, and in part to share a memory with my Dad that would undoubtedly last a lifetime. We landed on Pronghorn Antelope as the goal, both because of their fascinating taxonomy, and abundance of them in the West.
Once the goal became a Pronghorn hunt, I made it my personal mission to learn everything I could about them. I read articles online, bought and devoured books, and enlisted the help of my grandmother to draw me a detailed pen and ink sketch, so I could print a life-size pronghorn target. (Overkill, I know, but this was about more than traveling to Wyoming and shooting an animal that many of my friends couldn't identify by name.)
Thinking well ahead, I decided early on that I was going to field dress the animal myself, because if I was man enough to shoot an animal, I'd better be man enough to dress it myself. (Big thanks to Steven Rinella, Randy Newberg, and others for your informative YouTube videos on the subject.)
Adding to the significance of this hunt was the unique nature of my equipment. For starters, I would be using a rifle that was gifted to me by my Grandfather a few years ago. It is a knock-down, stunning Winchester Model 70, chambered in .270 WIN.
Not only has my Grandpa taken several game animals with this rifle, but it was handed down to him from his father.
My Great-Grandfather was the original owner of the rifle, and he hunted with it dating back to the 1940's. (I did a serial number lookup online, and the estimated date of manufacturing of this rifle was 1941.)
"They sure don't make them like they used to"
My Great-Grandfather was a gunsmith and inventor, and my Grandfather is a hobbyist gunsmith, and all around brilliant guy. Grandpa Jay was kind enough to work out some hand-loaded .270 ammo for me to use on whatever hunting trips may arise. Why take factory ammo afield when your Grandpa can "do you one better"?
So, after failing to draw tags in 2015, and over-preparing for the last 18 months, we finally headed to Casper, WY last week to meet the gents at SNS Outfitter for a real-life Wyoming Pronghorn hunt.