Four men minus one equals antelope memories of a lifetime.
Many hunters from around the United States hope to be drawn for an opportunity to hunt antelope in Wyoming. For five years in a row, four men accumulated points and finally put in for the Wyoming Unit 67 Antelope Hunt. Keith, his son Matt, Alan, and his son Mattie planned to hunt the land together.
This past spring, Alan passed away. Shortly thereafter, the four men were drawn for the hunt that they had talked about doing together for five years running. Even knowing that Alan had passed, the other three men decided to continue toward their goal in memory of a lost family member and friend.
Originally, it was supposed to be a father-son hunt, but cancer tends to do things like that to you.
Making the most
In late September, Keith, Matt, and Mattie met up in Missoula, Montana on their way southeast to Riverton, Wyoming. They were packed and anxious to see what Unit 67 had to offer them. They spent the first night in a Walmart parking lot in Missoula. The next day, they packed up the camper and headed to their end destination in Riverton.
Upon their arrival, they set up camp and proceeded to get a little evening scouting in before dark. Matt, with his father Keith present, had talked to a Wyoming Fish and Wildlife biologist prior to their journey, learning that the unit was managed for trophies, but was missing some age classes due to a hard winter and a few years of drought. The three men were primed and ready for the opportunity.
After only a few minutes of scouting, they came upon a 15-inch beauty. Mattie would proceed to wake the next morning and take that exact antelope with his .300 Winchester Magnum.
It was a memory of a lifetime, though they wished it could have been shared together, with everyone intended to be there.
Later, they found a smaller antelope for Keith. It was the first he had ever taken and he shot it at 150 yards with a Remington 30-06. This was a memory worth holding, even at 64 years young.
Eventually, after the first two had been cleaned and dressed, Matt shot his buck at 318 yards with a .270 Winchester. Their trip boiled down to one eventful day, filling three tags in a short amount of time.
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Reaping the rewards
They stayed the night in Wyoming and awoke early the next day, processing the game into meat packages and filling their coolers. After finishing the actual hunt, they continued to drive around and take photographs of other antelope in the area.
That evening, they ate fresh antelope backstrap for dinner with a toast of some Pendleton Whiskey, remembering the life and gifts from Alan, the father that recently passed.
According to Matt, "This trip is one to be cherished forever by all of us. As well, we feel that Alan was there in spirit, guiding us with soul and spirit and giving us the grace of God."
It was an amazing opportunity for the three men and they look forward to applying for this hunt again in the future.