Being an avid hunter and according to my wife, addicted to the hunting shows, I immediately recognized Rick Kasper with Rawhide Creek Ranches when I bumped in to him at the 2007 ISE Show in Phoenix. I wasnít really looking to book a hunt for 2007, but when Rick told me that I could use my crossbow in Wyoming during the archery season he got my attention. I had to give up shooting a vertical bow about six years prior due to an injury to my left elbow, and there just isnít much opportunity to hunt with a crossbow out west, especially here in my home state of Arizona.
Rick is in no way a ďhigh pressure salesmanĒ, but he did tell me before I left, the deadline to put in for the Wyoming pronghorn antelope and deer hunts was the following Wednesday, if I wanted to go, and boy did I want to go. I got the green light from my very understanding wife, and Rick personally walked me through the application process. (100% draw for pronghorn and deer in the units Rick hunts.)
This was the most amazing hunt I had ever been on. We started off every morning hunting deer and then switched to antelope in the middle of the day, followed up by a late afternoon hunt for deer. The accommodations were comfortable and the food was great. I gained weight which is hard to do when you hunt as hard as I do. All that aside, it didnít compare to the hunting. I made many stalks on mule deer and one big white tail passed on a few and I had a shot at the biggest mule deer of my life. I missed. I was well within range, but the elevation change threw me off and I shot just over his back. I ended passing on a deer in the 140 to 160 class both of the last two days. They just wouldnít do.
The antelope hunting was just as awesome. We made several stocks on bedded down pronghorns and some that were feeding. I got within range a few times but was never able to get off a shot. I passed on several bucks while sitting in blinds over water. Some would have been great trophies, but there was one particular buck that had my interest. He was narrow, but had great mass, cutters and height. This buck didnít seem to drink water, at least not while I was in the blind. Finally on the fourth day of the hunt he got thirsty enough during the heat of the day to come down for a drink. He took his time stopping several times for a bite to eat. I found this to be nerve racking as anybody who has watched an animal coming towards him will attest to, especially when the animal is a true trophy and is within sight for almost 45 minutes. Although I was in the blind by myself, I did have my video camera and it was rolling. I got a lot of great footage of the big pronghorn on his way in. When he crossed the ditch I focused the camera on the spot where I hoped to get the shot. It must be better to be lucky and good, because when he stopped at the water hole he was right in the middle of my viewfinder at 32 yards broadside. I let the bolt fly from my new Horton Legacy 225 Cross Bow. The bolt zipped him so fast I thought I had missed. The big pronghorn never took a step. He stood there, looked around and tipped over in his tracks. He ended up scoring 74 4/8, a pending #3 in the S.CI. books with a cross bow.
Rick was right when he told me that I would never find a better hunt for big trophy deer and antelope, especially with a cross bow. I just canít believe one would exist. I not only rebooked before I left for the following year, I also booked three of my best employees to join me on the hunt as a bonus to them for their hard work.
Thanks for such a great hunt. I canít wait to go back next September.
Horton Crossbow Pro Staff
Sage Country Camo Pro Staff