First antelope hunting trip equaled slight embarrassmentDuring my recent trip back to my parent’s house in Watertown, S.D., I took a day to travel more than 100 miles south to visit my grandma in the hospital.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
During my recent trip back to my parent’s house in Watertown, S.D., I took a day to travel more than 100 miles south to visit my grandma in the hospital.
While sitting at the Sanford hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., I realized two events in my life my grandpa, Ralph Timmerman, will never let me live down.
The first is the year I worked at McDonald’s.
The second is my first antelope hunting trip.
Even if a person knows the story, he’s going to tell it to them anyways.
Though I will admit the story is a little embarrassing, I’m going to set the record straight.
When I was in high school, I took a trip with my dad, Russ, and my grandpa out to western South Dakota near Sturgis for my first antelope hunt. I had been deer and elk hunting before, but I had seen nothing move like an antelope before. My dad and grandpa both told me the chances of hitting an antelope on a dead sprint were going to be slim.
They were both right.
On my first shot on an antelope in a dead sprint, I gave about five sprint lengths in front and saw the bullet hit the ground two lengths behind.
In fact, out of all the licenses filled during our trip no one dropped an antelope on the run.
I was separated from my dad and grandpa, because they went to scope out a different location less than a mile away from where I was. They told me, “You should stay here in case they start running toward this location.” I said all right and I waited.
It only took about 15 minutes until I saw my first antelope, which happened to be a young buck standing on a side of a hill. I shot three times and saw the antelope flinch, but it didn’t fall or run away. I pulled my gun back and starting walking toward it.
As I continued to walk closer, the antelope still didn’t move. When I was standing about 20 feet from the antelope staring at me, I was worried it was going to chase after me, but instead it just laid down.
I hovered over it and it was staring at the ground. I quickly found out the reason why it didn’t run away. I had shot out all four joints where the thighs connect to the rest of the leg.
My dad and grandpa came over the ridge and asked, “Did you get it?”
“Kind of,” I answered. “All four legs are gone. It’s just laying here now.”
Both my dad and grandpa started laughing. Looking back on it, I even started to laugh a little bit, because out of all the places to take three shots. The legs were the last place I thought I’d shoot my first antelope.
Like my grandpa always does by trying to shed a positive light on what could have been an embarrassing moment for me, he said with a laugh “At least you didn’t damage any meat.”
After pats on the back from everyone in our group, putting my tag and gutting on the antelope, we headed back to campsite.
It’s been nearly 10 years later and my grandpa is still telling the story like it happened yesterday. He will never let me live the story down. Though if you knew my grandpa in the slightest, he tends to embellish every story he tells.
However, one thing I can guarantee is that my next antelope trip two years later went a little bit smoother and also a little less embarrassing, but obviously not as memorable.