Pronghorn Hunting: John Bass Talks about Pursuing the Speedgoat

John Bass with a nice Wyoming Pronghorn Antelope

John Bass, the superintendent of Boysen State Park, takes us on an insightful journey through the art of pronghorn hunting. Join us as we unravel the wisdom and experiences of a true expert in the field, gaining valuable insights into the habits, habitats, and tactics that make pronghorn hunting an unforgettable adventure.

John and Lisa Bass with a beautiful Wyoming Pronghorn

In this episode, we not only explore the secrets of successful pronghorn hunting but also delve into the savory side of the sport. Tune in as we dish out pronghorn recipes and ideas for maximizing the meat potential, shared by passionate hunters who have a genuine love for this remarkable game. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a curious novice, this episode promises to be a treasure trove of pronghorn wisdom, stories, and practical tips that can transform your next hunting expedition into an unforgettable success. You'll find a few unique nuggets of knowledge from Patrick, David and John in this episode

If you missed the past episode featuring John Bass check it out here! In this episode, David and Patrick visit with John about Boysen state park, it's a RAD Cast Rewind. 

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John Bass Speed Goat Pronghorn Hunting

Patrick Edwards: [00:00:00] This episode of RAD Cast Outdoors is brought to you by PK Lures, Bow Spider and High Mountain Seasonings.

Jarrad Anderson: Fish on. Hey, RAD Cast is on 

Jack Schmidt: hunting, fishing, and everything in between. This is RAD Cast Outdoors. Here are David Merrill and Patrick Edwards. 

Patrick Edwards: Well, hello and welcome to another episode of RAD Cast Outdoors. I'm Patrick Edwards. 

David Merrill: And I'm David Merrill. 

Patrick Edwards: And we're back in the studio with a good friend of mine, Mr.

John Bass, superintendent of state parks at Boysen State Park. So welcome to the show, man. Man, glad to be here. Glad to be. It's good to have you back. We've been talking about this episode for a while too, because the three of us I would classify as pronghorn antelope nuts or speed goat nuts. And so we're gonna talk about speed goats today and.[00:01:00] 

Wyoming, I would argue is probably the best place in the entire country for pronghorn hunting. And so John Bass. Yeah, welcome to the episode, and glad to have you on to talk about pronghorn and slash speak 

John Bass: goats. Yeah, everybody calls 'em antelope. You know, pronghorn, I, I love hunting them. I mean, I was you'd ask me to do this.

He's like, we should do a podcast. What could we do one about? And I said, man, let's talk about pronghorn hunting. I hadn't heard y'all do a podcast about that very much. And, and I was like, count me in. I'll do it. You know? And we were talking earlier that, you know, I moved out here from Tennessee in 2017 but not my first time to Wyoming.

When I first signed Wyoming, I actually worked in Yellowstone National Park back in oh one when I was in college. And then my next trip to Wyoming was in 2009. On my first out of Tennessee hunting trip. I grew up hunting wild turkeys, eastern wild turkeys, and whitetailed deer, and. Me and my brother and three of my good buddies decided to all load up and drive across the country, put in for tags and, and come pronghorn hunting, hunted around a place called [00:02:00] Mule Creek Junction.

Y'all ever heard of it? It's right over the South Dakota border, and I'll talk about it now. We actually went out on a walk-in area there because we went, me and my wife went back a couple years ago, and since OnX, that place has kind of got inundated. But this was pre OnX. That should be a hunting term.

Is pre OnX. Yeah, pre OnX. It's a real deal. Yeah. It's a real deal for like, especially walk, walk-in areas and, and, and stuff like that. You had to 

David Merrill: do homework, you had to do research, you had to, to print maps and you had to really figure out like, how am I gonna get onto this 

John Bass: square? Yeah. Print map on a piece of paper.

And then I outlined the walk-in area with red and highlighted it and I was like, okay, we're putting all of our eggs in this basket. Right. And and we had no idea what to expect. Okay. So we, we ended up driving to Edgemont, South Dakota. Y'all wanna hear this whole story? Yes. I want to hear it. So we ended up driving to Edgemont, South Dakota.

We stayed in Edgemont, drove into Wyoming 'cause it's just over the border. And so we're a bunch of whitetail hunters from Tennessee. Right? So what do we have to do? We're, we're hunting pronghorn. We have to be there before daylight. Like a [00:03:00] whitetail hunter. Yeah, yeah, of course. Uhhuh. Yeah, of course. That's what we need.

Yeah. So we had actually drove in, we drove in the afternoon before. 'cause we got there, you know, it's a 24 hour drive from Tennessee. And we got there and we had not seen any pronghorn. I mean, we crossed into Wyoming, we're still not seeing any. And we got to that walk-in area and boom, there's a buck, there's another buck, there's some dos, there's another buck.

Like, hey, they are, they're here. They're actually on this walk-in area. And so we kind of set a game plan, went back to Edgemont by the 45 minute drive. And in the little motel there, it was called the Rainbow Motel at the time, I think it's the Cowboy Inn now. There's only one place to stay. And, and went back to the motel and of course we got up the next morning and when we got up I could hear the wind blowing before we went outside.

Oh yeah. And so it was 60 mile an hour gust was sustained at 40 miles an hour. Here. We get in the truck, we take off in the dark into Wyoming to go on our first Pronghorn Hutt, and we're all like, what is, what are we doing? You know? So we, we had done playing where we was gonna drop each other off at, you know, these little cattle guard area or, you [00:04:00] know, fence areas.

So he is all kind of split up, and me and my buddy was together. We, we had, you know, a tag each and, and I said, well, it's not together. You can have the first shot. Well, we was parked sitting in the truck kind of waiting for it to get a little bit daylight and the truck is just rocking from this wind. I was like, how are we going to hit these things?

Like, they're gonna have to be close, you know, we'd all practice shooting, you know. But anyway, so we got outta the truck, crossed the fence, and it was about a hundred yards till it dropped off into kind of a big basin. And we walked that a hundred yards, and as soon as we got to the crest, boom, there's a buck with a bunch of do at about 250 yards.

But the wind is howling. And my buddy's shooting God, I think he had a, I, I know I had my seven millimeter magnum and he had a 300 wind mag. I think, you know, we, we brought these giant guns to shoot these, you know, less than white tail deer. Yeah, a little, little too much. But but I mean, you, you, you go hunting with what you're most confident in, right?

Yeah. Don't you know the best shooting gun? The one you shoot the best, that's the one you take. You go on a outta state hunt or a [00:05:00] new hunt. Don't buy a new gun and a new scope and try to set it up and take it, get old trustee. You know, that's what I always tell people. But anyway, so he set up and he said, how much should I give for the wind?

I'm like, man, 250 yards in this wind. I'd give it a foot, you know, it's gonna move it a foot even at 300. And so he shot and he thought he missed it, but he, it took off running. And I saw him fall. He went down. I said, no, you got him. You got him. And it was a pretty good, I mean, We didn't really know how to judge 'em.

I think it ended up scoring in the mid seventies or whatever. So it was a great first one. And, and and so as soon as he shot, I was like, we was excited. You know, you know, and then another one walked out, another buck come out kind of behind this little hump, you know, how the Desert Prairie is. And and I said, there's another one.

And I had borrowed this range finder from my cousin. That was the only reason I knew what the range was. 'cause in oh nine laser range finders were still kind of new. This was like this big right, big thing. And so I arranged it and it said 410. And he said, how much are you going to give for the wind?

I said, I'm gonna give [00:06:00] him three feet. So I knew what my gun was shooting. So I brought it up over his back, about six inches, brought it back to his butt where his butt was, and squeezed off. And he hit the ground, just slapped the ground. I mean, it put went right behind the shoulder, but that wind moved it three feet.

I knew what it would do, but geez. So you gotta know what you, you gotta do some practice. And we always talk about practice and shooting and know what your gun's gonna do and try to guess what the wind's gonna do. But I mean, it's pretty consistent. You know, you, there's plenty of tables out there, but, and so we were just over the moon, the sun, I mean, technical sunrise hadn't even happened yet.

We're tagged out on our bucks. You know, we had dough tags too. Well during this time, my buddy John, he shot a bucking and his dough, right? I mean, they got up out of their bed right as the day was breaking. He, he filled both tags in the first five minutes. My brother, I think he filled his, the next.

Morning or maybe that afternoon, but we filled all of our tags in less than two days. And so it was a, it was like, well, this is either really easy [00:07:00] or we got really lucky, you know, it doesn't matter. It was, it was a lot of fun. And, and so we was kind of hooked on it and, and we ended up coming back. God, I think we come back in 2011, man.

We ended up, you know, how I ended up in Wyoming was we come back in 2016 with my father-in-law and my buddy, one of my buddies and a couple other friends from Tennessee. And, and I was telling y'all earlier, you know, the reason I'm in Wyoming is because of pronghorn. And David kinda said the same thing, you know when I started thinking about it on the, on the drive down, I was like, you know, pronghorn iss pretty important part of my life.

'cause you know, if I wouldn't have been on that pronghorn hunting trip in 2016, I would not have been up at the Tensleep brewery. A little shout out to them drinking their Golden Nail, which is actually called Speed Goat, named after pronghorn. I was drinking Golden ale. And and I met a friend through work that worked for Wyoming State Parks that was actually the superintendent at Medicine Lodge.

And he [00:08:00] drove over there and we was having a, having a beer, talking about how awesome Wyoming was. He's originally from Michigan. And I said, man, it's beautiful. I just need to move out here. And he said, well, they're looking for a superintendent down at Boysen State Park. Man, that's almost seven years ago.

Rest is history now. Yeah. Here you are. Here I am. And I couldn't, I couldn't be happier. My wife and son, man, we just, we go and adventure and hunt and I sent you a picture earlier of her and him and me and Yep. And it's a family affair. You know, that, that's what we ought talk about next is how it's a if you can draw a pronghorn tag in Wyoming, I.

I mean, it's a very doable, very achievable hunt. It's, it's very high success rates. As long as you can shoot, you should be able to fill the tag and you should be able to find them. I mean, there's plenty of places a lot of walk-in areas, a lot of public ground, and I mean, any alfalfa field, if you're getting desperate just to go knock on the farmer's door, they're gonna say, yeah, go ahead.

Usually, I mean, 

David Merrill: they're, they're not gonna give you permission from mule deer. Don't even ask. But you, you [00:09:00] ask for a whitetail dough or you say, Hey, how about them antelope in that you, you'll hunt antelope. Sure. Go, go take two of them. 

John Bass: Yeah. Yeah. They, they always wish you had more tags sometimes. So, so yeah.

Antelope's are very doable. Hunt. And I, I've had people ask me, you know, even after that first year we come out here, I, and, and especially since moving out here, I've got a lot of hunting friends back home and they're like, man, I wanna come out there and kill the elk. And I'm like, well, that's a little bit different.

That's a much more difficult hunt, harder to do more time. And I said, harder on your body. Yeah, yeah. Harder all the way around. But I said, you know, you can. You can really do a pronghorn hunt. It's, it's, I think that first year in, in 2009, and this was getting a shoulder mount too, I got it mounted at, at up in Newcastle.

Mm-hmm. And it shifted back. But we did the tags, gas, fuel, 'cause everything was split. Food, hotel, everything then, and a shoulder mount. I had $1,100 in that hunt. That's a great deal. That just, you just can't do that, you know? Of course it's higher now. I mean that was, yeah. God, that's 15 years ago almost.

Makes me feel [00:10:00] old. But, but 

Patrick Edwards: I mean, it's, it's kind of interesting to hear you two talk about antelope and, you know, pronghorn and what that means to you. For me, being a Wyoming native, that's typically the first big game animal you go hunting for. It's either that or a deer typically. Right? Right. And so when I was 12 years old, the very first animal that I shot was a real nice pronghorn buck at 300 yards.

You know, that, that was my first animal. And so it has a special place in my heart as well, because it's like, That is kind of the beginning of my big game hunting, you know, journey. And they are one of the coolest animals on the planet. I was actually talking to a guy not too long ago about pronghorn, and he's trying to, you might've read the article, but he's trying to prove that pronghorn are actually faster than cheetahs.

Because back when they did the test to test the speed of the cheetah, there were some things that, you know, are kind of questionable about it. And so he wants to actually have some kind of a, you know, modern [00:11:00] day, you know, with all the new technology, a way to actually test and see who's faster. 'cause he thinks prong owner faster, and he is like, Patrick, how fast do you think those things go?

And I'm like, man, I've been driving down dirt road, you know, and they're, they're passing 

David Merrill: me, they're bound to determine they're gonna, they're gonna run alongside you and cut you off and go in front of you. Yeah. And you can't, unless you've got a paved road, you ain't gonna beat 'em in a pickup. Right.

John Bass: They're fast. Not, yeah. When you spoke 'em, They get gone quick. Oh yeah. I mean, they put that distance on real fast, so they're 

Patrick Edwards: fast. Right. They, they have like no body fat on 'em. It's crazy when, whenever you do harvest one, it's really interesting to look at them because they're just built for speed. They don't have a bunch of fat on 'em.

Their hair is like hollow. They're just such a cool, unique animal and they look like nothing else. Right, right. Like you can say elk and mul deer at least have some of a similar build and, you know, similar antlers and stuff, but pronghorn are just so different and so fast, so cool looking, they are [00:12:00] like my favorite big game animal in 

John Bass: the state.

I'd be just fine, you know, starting my western hunting with a pronghorn and then ending my western hunting with, it'd be the last thing I'd, I'd like to hunt. Yeah. I mean, I mean, the hunt is, is if you, you'll be able to find some, and it's not like elk or, or you know, trophy mule deer. If you mess up your one opportunity that you might get on an elk or a trophy mule deer.

That's it. That's wait till next year, buddy. I mean, that's a lot of times that's the case. Pronghorn. You mess up a stalk, something happens. Show back up tomorrow. Yeah, just be back tomorrow. He'll be back, you know, or drive a half mile down the road and find another one, you know? Right. So, so that, that's, that's why it's, it's a good beginner hunt, you know?

But, but you know, us three sitting here, we're not beginner hunters and we still love to hunt 'em. You know, it's, it's, it's a lot of fun and, and the more you hunt 'em, the more I guess, picky you can get, the better you get at judging them. And it's not about, For me, it's not about the trophy at all. I mean, the [00:13:00] only reason I might let one go is so I can keep hunting them.

It's not, it's not about a trophy on a wall. It's fun because the last good one I shot, it's, it's skull still in the freezer waiting to, for me to European mount it. And that was two years ago. You know, it's, it's not about the trophy, it's about the meat in the freezer. 'cause we're gonna talk about that.

Oh yeah. About how delicious they are and everybody out there that says that they ain't, I'm sorry that you've had a bad experience, but it was how it was treated from the time it hit the ground, but Yep. Or 

David Merrill: even before the time it hit the ground, you, you need to make a clean, quick harvest on them. Clean quick harvest.

Yeah. I've had one, I mean, we moved here and we drew an Archer Antelope tag. I say we, my wife and I were invited to come out and visit my father-in-law in 2000 6 0 7, somewhere in there. And we came out here. From Oregon before we moved to Alaska. And I, I was like, this place is cool even back then. Mm-hmm.

And I'd say Bo Spider probably wouldn't exist without p pronghorn, without that hunt. Right. Having been here, coming outta state, same thing you did. Wife and I hopped in a [00:14:00] car, showed up here, her dad catered all the food, everything. He'd gone out and pre-built archery blinds over water. We came for the archery opener and boy we brought one of those pop-up blinds and it had rained, which made it a little more difficult the first couple days of the hunt.

'cause there was water standing in, in the two track everywhere. And they didn't have to come to the water tradeoffs. But we, we sweated it out one day in one of those pop-up blinds and how I build them now, hog panel canvas, tarp, some plywood and some burlap and some TPOs. They breathe, you put 'em on the lee side of the wind from the water and you'll get a little cool breeze off the pond.

It's a waiting game and a lot of people don't like it, but take a book. And what I like about doing it that way, I've taken three year old kids, set 'em in the blind, give 'em binoculars, they love it. You got antelope five yards away and once they come in that close, they're no longer spooky because they can see 5, 6, 700 yards away.[00:15:00] 

So they've already confirmed that there's no danger there, so to speak. And they've, they've committed to, now they'll come stand a hundred yards away and they'll, they'll stare for 10, 15 minutes. They're looking for a coyote, they're looking for something. And so you're in this little box. It's, it's awesome.

It's really cool. 

John Bass: It's funny that you said that, 'cause I've noticed that with pronghorn, it's like sometimes when they get real close, They, they're almost surprised that there's something moving mm-hmm. That they didn't already know was there because of that long distance eyesight that they have. I mean, 'cause I've been, you know, I get, you get 20, 30 yards from an antelope or pronghorn.

I mean, they're just, they're kind of, they just kind of stand there and look at you with that look on their face of like, how did this big other animal get this close to me without me knowing it was here and like, trying to figure it out, you know? Yeah. And, and, and I, I, I hear people say, wow, they're dumb.

They're not dumb. No. They're, they're, they're just different. They're just a different animal. The ones 

David Merrill: along the highway act like they're not dumb. Get a mile off and step outta the pickup and see what they 

John Bass: do. Yeah. Right. Or wait, you know, not opening [00:16:00] day or two weeks into the season. I usually I was fortunate, me and my wife was fortunate enough to draw two buck pronghorn tags this year.

And and I. I, I usually like to wait till later in the season. I don't like the opening day of everybody driving around in the same area. I just wait. Because a lot of times if you'll wait till later in the season, you know, the, the bucks that's been hanging out next to the road, those get harvested usually.

And then later in the season, some older bucks or bucks from deeper, deeper off the road will come and they'll start tending those. And that was, you know, I've killed a, you know, a couple of really nice ones just because of, you know, just waiting until later in the season. The weather's cooler. Yes.

You know, and you know, it's, and that's archery Elk season two, right, David? So it's like, I'll wait till 1st of October first, first couple weeks of October before I tried to fill that tag. 

David Merrill: That's why I either archery hunt 'em during August when it's hot. So we've talked about this. You need to have coolers with ice and take care of that meat.

I gotta have it. Yep. But last year my dad drew a tag right here around the house, and we went two or three [00:17:00] days before season closed and he killed an 85 inch goat. Yep. And people, we'll people have all numbers. Okay. So, The difference between a 60, a 70, a 80, and a 90, it's only 10 inches. Right? But when you start adding an inch to a prong, an inch to a length, couple inches to mass measurement, it's really hard to tell at distance the difference between a 72 and an 82.

Right? A 92 standing there is pretty easy. A 60 two's pretty easy, but you get into that 70, 80 inch goat, they're, they are one of the harder species to field judge and go, oh, I think he's, 

John Bass: oh, yeah, yeah, for sure. And, and that's another good thing about waste, talking about it's a good first if you're an out-of-state hunter and nine resident hunter coming in, because the difference between an average pronghorn and a trophy pronghorn is inches, right?

It's not like on a mule deer where an average mule deer might be a one 20 and a trophy one's a one 70 or 180. That's a, that looks, that's a vastly different looking mount on your wall, right? When you take it back to whatever state you're from, you know? But a, you know, 65 inch antelope. It's gonna look just fine on the wall when [00:18:00] you get it back, you know?

Yeah. And, and they're very common and not, you know, not hard to achieve that Well, especially if 

Patrick Edwards: you're taking it back east where there aren't pronghorn. You have it on your wall. People are gonna be like, man, that's really cool. You know? Yeah. 

John Bass: They're like, did you go to Africa to get that? Yeah. 

Patrick Edwards: Some people think that, right?

'cause they're like, I haven't seen one of 

John Bass: those before. Well, that's why everybody calls 'em antelope. 'cause first Europeans, when they saw 'em, they had been to Africa and they called 'em antelope. But they're not, they're not related. They're not related at all. At all. 'cause an antelope, you know, the nothing is related to a wrong horn.

They're to end of their evolutionary chain. They had other relatives, but they've all become extinct. They're their own thing. They're their own thing. That's why some of the, you know, the diseases out there doesn't affect them. You know, that affect the other ungulates. And you know, they're the only horned animal that 

David Merrill: sheds that sheds, but it's not.

The horn is, is more carotene and more fibrous. It's almost right. It's really cool. It's almost more like beard hair that grows together. Yeah. But then they shed it off. 

John Bass: Yeah. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. It, they are way cool. I bet it would feel good to shed our beards off. David. Just shed it all at once and start growing it again.[00:19:00] 

David Merrill: For those of you watching all night YouTube, we, we might have a little facial hair. It's Wyoming. It's, it's I think mandatory. 

John Bass: It should be. I, I had a beard before. It was cool though, you know, so 

Patrick Edwards: beard. Me too, man. It's like, man, everybody's grown a beard now, but, you know, but no, to that point, like, it is interesting that they shed that every year because, you know, most torn animals, that's not what they're doing.

And so, you know, well, I don't think any of 'em do except 

John Bass: for pronghorn. Right. So pro pronghorns the only one I know of. So it's crazy that sheds their horns. I've been out in the spring time, so antler shed for everybody out there. Antlers, antler, animals like deer and elk. Those are antlers and moose. Yep.

They shed every year and regrow 'em. But hoed animals, horns stay like doll sheep. There you go. David. Like, so sheep, they just continually grow. But you know, they don't ever shed 'em, they don't ever shed those sheaths like a pro porn does. Right. And they'll shed 'em in. Was it November, late October, early November.

They'll start, they'll, you'll start seeing 'em without 'em. Yeah. And they've got like a bony core on the inside if anybody's ever done a European mount on one. You know what I'm talking about? But they're like, spikes. [00:20:00] Spikes, yep. And I, you know, I've thought about that before. You know, when they shed those things off in November and the wind's blowing and it's cold out here on the prairie, you know, that's gotta be sensitive.

Like a, like a cavity and a tooth or something, you know, there for a little while before it starts growing, you know? But I don't know, maybe, maybe it starts growing from the inside and that it actually pushes that off. I don't know. That would be a question for biology. I think that's the case, but 

Patrick Edwards: I'm not sure.

But I, that's what I've heard is that they start to regrow that, that next year's, you know, horn and it kind of pushes that other one off. But I've found those in the field, you know? I do. Oh yeah. And it's weird. It's like, oh, That came off of a pronghorn, you know? 

John Bass: Yeah. I find them every year. Yeah. And great dog, my golden retriever loves him.

And David was talking about other, earlier he was showing me some of his pronghorn, he has harvested, and he said, I've got a bunch of the left sides, but my dog ate all 

David Merrill: the right sides. We, when we moved everything out to pour the cement, they got put, I think in a file cabinet in the drawer, but then somehow the dog got into the pile and.

She got all the rights. I have three lefts and [00:21:00] I'm missing three rights and one's one of my nice goats. And yeah, it's, it 

John Bass: happens. It happens. It, I mean, it, it doesn't matter At the end of the day, it's, you know, the trophies are, the trophies are in your mind, you know, it's mm-hmm. It's the experiences that we have doing it and who we get to do it with is, what's the best part about it?

Well, it's 

Patrick Edwards: like the, how you let off, it's the story, you know, it's the story. It's like the wind's rocking the truck and your bullet's moving three feet. You know, that's, that's the exciting part about a pronghorn hunt is so, and I've done some where the stock is also super cool. Right, right. 'cause you may be, because of their binocular vision and you're rifle hunting them.

They may be set up in a strategic spot where you can't make a very good stock and it takes you a long time. And that's exciting and that's fun. And I, I did one with my buddy cj, he'll probably listen to this, but him and his dad and I, we were making a stock on this really nice old, old, old pronghorn. 

John Bass: And this is down, what would you call an old old Longhorn?

How many years you think he's, oh my gosh, this will be another good [00:22:00] biologist question. That is a good question. 

Patrick Edwards: But you could tell because he was, his, his base of his horns were just massive. I mean, just gigantic. Now they weren't real glorious otherwise, but I mean, they were huge on the base, like you could see.

Just these massive horns coming out of his head. You know, as big as, they weren't real tall. They weren't real tall, but they were real heavy. And CJ was like, that's the one I want. And we had to, they had water, they had food, they had everything they needed. And they could see for miles, we had to drive like four or five miles around, hike down this little crag.

John Bass: And then 

Patrick Edwards: we went through this draw and we were taking our time, we were going really slow and we actually got within about 10 yards of a coyote, which was kind of cool 'cause we're sitting there by the coyote and the coyote has no idea that we're there. And he's watching the pronghorn as well. And then he finally looks over and he sees us and he is like, 

John Bass: oh, you know, he kind of freaked out and luckily he 

Patrick Edwards: went.

Back up [00:23:00] the draw. So he didn't spook anything, but we ended up getting down and CJ was able to get within about 75 yards and harvest that buck. But I mean, the stock was just so much fun, right? Like the process of having to make sure that you're staying low, you're staying outta that binocular vision that they've got so that you can get up on them was super 

John Bass: cool.

So fun. And, and you remember, you know, being a predator, just like that coyote was, you remember that part of the stock walking right up and that coyote was sitting there, right? Mm-hmm. Or Coyote, sorry, man, I, I guess that's the easterner coming out in Coyote. Coyote that's standing there, but Coyote, coyote.

But I mean, that's, that's the fun part about stalking stuff. And I, I tell my son all the time, you know, he, he got in a bad habit of wanting to jump out and scare me and his mom, you know, in, in the house. You know, he'd jump out, right? I was like, what Tucker? You can scare anybody if you startle 'em. I said, work on being a predator.

  1. I said, you wanna be good? Sneak up on me and just touch me without me knowing, knowing you're there. So that's what we've been working on the last couple of years is like, and he'll, he'll, I mean, he come up to me and he'll reach out and [00:24:00] he'll touch me and, and I won't have any ideas anywhere around. And I look at him, he's like, well, was I being a good predator dad?

And I'm like, yes you was. Yes you was. But like that, that guy there, you know, he was, you were doing the same thing he was. Mm-hmm. That's why we do it. That I think that's why it's, it's down something that we can't describe, you know, the people that love the outdoors and love to hunt. It's, it's, it's just in us.

It's in us as a species. I think that, that we are predators. I mean, I'll argue with anybody, we're predators. And, and when you're, when you're out in the field and, and you're, you see another predator doing the same thing you're doing. And that cow was very happy that y'all harvested that book because I'm sure he claimed that that gut pile up.

Oh, I'm sure. Pretty quick. I'm, you know, so he, you, you really helped him out a lot. You made his job a whole lot easier. Of course. He, he wasn't gonna get that buck anyway, I imagine. But, but but yeah, well it was 

Patrick Edwards: interesting. We got that buck went up to him and started to do the processing and half of one of his front hooves was gone [00:25:00] and he was still moving.

Pretty dang. Well, considering he was missing half of a front. Hoo tho-Those animals are just incredible. Like, I, I'm just always blown away. Like I've, I've seen different weird, you know, things with pronghorn over the years where you're like, how in the world are they still running at like 30, 40 miles an hour?

Oh yeah. They can do it. Yeah, it's 

John Bass: incredible. Yeah. It's, and you know, we, you know, talking about 'em and, and other hunters, sometimes they, like I said earlier, they don't get the respect. I don't think that they deserve, you know, and we were talking, you were talking about earlier before we started just about Randy Newberg.

Yep. You know, he loves 'em. Yeah. He loves 'em. I mean, and, and you know, I, I don't, I don't, I don't like it when any anybody kind of disrespects and now Oh, it's just a pronghorn. No, I mean, they're, I mean, we're out here hunting out here, you know, harvesting and, and is it time to start talking about how delicious, yeah, let's do it.


Patrick Edwards: animals are, let's talk about eating them. 'cause that's my favorite part, 

John Bass: man. Yeah, of course. Yeah. I mean, after, after the shot. Let's, let's, let's let's see, have some stakes and 

Patrick Edwards: well I'm gonna ask you, [00:26:00] so when you shoot one and it hits the ground, what's the first thing you do? 

John Bass: First thing I do is I, well, de depends on where I'm at, but I always, when I go prog on hunting, I have a cooler full of ice in my side by side or in my truck.

Because the only reason I'm not gonna fill that tag is because I miss. Like the tag is gonna get filled. So go to the field expecting to fill that tag, be prepared with a cooler full of ice. And the first thing I do I'll usually skin 'em. I, when I first hunted them out here, I had, I feel dressed everything right.

I feel dressed my first cow elk instead of just de-boning it and leaving everything there because I'm a whitetailed hunter from Tennessee. And that's the first thing we did. It was just by habit. But now usually I'll just, I'll start skinning them immediately on the ground and I'll deone 'em right there.

I quick quarter, you know, I skin 'em quarter and then I'll quick quarter most of the time because I can throw all that in the cooler on knives. I got a, you know, bigger size cooler. But my goal is from the time that they hit the ground, they're on ice and their skint and on ice in the cooler [00:27:00] within an hour.

Patrick Edwards: I'd say that's perfect goal and that's great advice. And it's if you want good pronghorn, if you 

John Bass: Yeah, yeah. I mean, if you want any kind, good meeting. Yeah. I mean, you just can't, you can't ride around in your truck. It's September when, when a lot of these seasons start, you know, it's, it's late, it's mid to September, early October and, and back in Tennessee, you know, when we didn't have real cold winters anyway.

I mean, it get, have cold snaps, but we didn't ever hang. Animals in our garage. Right. But I've seen, you know, people in Wyoming hang 'em in September and October, you know, 'cause that's what they do with their elk in November and December and you just, I just don't think it does the meat any justice. So when I come out here, you know, the, my Wyoming buddies, you know, I'll, I'll, I actually kind of brine 'em.

I'll put 'em in ice and salt water in a cooler and let 'em sit for three or four days. I do it with, I do it with all my meat, elk, deer, antelope, everything. Instead of hanging 'em. It's just, it's really just a brine is what I'm doing. Mm-hmm. And and they kinda made fun of me at first until they, I invited 'em over to my house to eat some of [00:28:00] this, you know, wild game that I've harvested.

And they're like, this is the best meal deer, or this is the best elk, or this is the absolute best prong horn I've ever had. And so it's all about preparation and how you take care of it. I think, you know, just, just being prepared. You know, have that confidence. Have the confidence that you're gonna fill that tag and have that colorful ice with you.


Patrick Edwards: taught me something I had not thought about the salt in the water. That's a great idea. Yeah. 

John Bass: Yeah. Yeah. I, I think a true brine is sugar and salt, right, David? And it's sugar and salt. I usually just put salt in there. I'll just pour a bunch. And, and, you know, after a couple days, the water's pretty red.

'cause that, that salt's helping to, you know, draw some of that blood outta the meat, which is, which is good. I mean, that's with anything. And so I'll drain the water out, add more salt in ice, and sometimes I'll actually put water in on top of it in that ice. So it's in a, you know, a salty ice bath. So 

David Merrill: I think one thing comes to mind is there's a couple units in Alaska where you cannot de-bone the moose.

You can quarter it, you can cut a quarter in half, but you can't cut the meat off the bone. And the thought process there is [00:29:00] when you actually cut into the meat, into the muscle tissue, you're interjecting bacteria. There's bacteria in the air, in your saliva on your knife. It's just there, right? Mm-hmm. And so by just taking a quick quartering and having that whole chunk of meat with the bone inside it, right, you're actually doing a better job of preserving.

Because on the outside, by putting it in that salt, you're killing all that bacteria. Right? And so the, there's a, that's important. B you know, deer and elk. I'm not gonna pack a cooler full of ice around 'cause I may not get one today. Right, right. On an antelope punt, you're packing ice. We're packing ice because if we go out there with a buck tag in two dough tags in our pocket, you're gonna get one.

Guys, the the hardest, the what I've seen with non-residents is they get too excited and they shoot the first buck. They see, they come around the corner like you guys, oh, daylight, there's a buck. And when you were driving out here on your 20 hour drive, you guys must've been tired 'cause you hadn't seen antelope yet because they're everywhere.

Right? Right. If you bid driving to daylight now, same thing. You, you guys getting [00:30:00] up there at four 30, getting out there and sitting there in the dark waiting, I probably would've left the house about about 7 30, 8 o'clock. And I've had a couple family members draw, non-resident do tags and they, they're, Hey, we wanna come hunting.

We gonna put 'em for, I'm like, Get a dough antelope tag right here around my house. We'll go for an afternoon and we'll cut it up and we'll send it home with you. And we've made jerky sticks and snack sticks and right. We'll go get their antelope. Process it, come home here, stick it in the fridge for a day, and then we'll, we'll butcher it up, grind it up, and I'll send 'em home with actual finished, edible product.

So for sure, all those things you've said are, are spot on. 

Patrick Edwards: So one thing that would have you do next time is leave some of that bone in like either a hind quarter 

John Bass: or something like that. Well, antelope, I usually dig the bone in and then slow cook that thing. Oh man. That is amazing. Actually, I've got one in my freezer vacuum packed and seasoned already.

All right, let's do it. Yeah, it was a, it was a dough tag that you know, at a distance when an antelope's by [00:31:00] itself, it's kind of hard to tell how big the animal is. Mm-hmm. And so it was a, it was a real small dough, 

Patrick Edwards: but yeah. But I'll tell you what those bone in, you know, like if you're gonna just smoke that or slow roast it in a slow cooker or whatever, some of the best pulled meat you'll ever eat, right.

I mean, it's just amazing when it comes off the bone. I don't know what it is about cooking stuff with the bone in, but man, It just makes it, it's great for like carnitas, you know, so you don't wanna like shred it up, make it, 

John Bass: it's all that flavor to it, you know? Like a porter house, man. I'm a porter house steak.

Gimme a steak. I'll take a porter. Hal, I like Porter house. Okay, you, you can bring something to my house next time I cook. You bring them, I cook them 

David Merrill: i'll Sounds good. Young cow elk back strap is not as good as antelope backstrap. You put both of 'em on the smoker, you know, make a little log out of them, however you wanna prep 'em and season them.

You cook 'em the same time, the same place, cut 'em up the same and serve them. It, it's, it's nine to 10, you know, nine outta one. It's, you put, I hand you two plates [00:32:00] and the antelope back. Straps always gone. And elk backstrap goes. But people are like, Hey, you got any more of that antelope? You're right. 

John Bass: It, it is better.

Well, since you breached the subject, everybody's gonna be mad at you. Yes, it is my favorite game meet that I've ever had. I mean, I've had, I've had, I've had all of it, and you have too. 

David Merrill: And I think people, I'd rather listening to this screaming saying, oh, you're, I think they've either, There, there's, there is something to the fact that if you run 'em really hard and then you wound them and get 'em a bunch of lactic acid adrenaline and then finally finish 'em off, there's something to be said there.

If you're not prepping 'em and putting 'em on ice, if you're throwing 'em in the back of the truck, gut it and driving to the butcher and throwing it on the butcher's floor, and then they leave it there for 2, 4, 6 hours until they get to it, it's not gonna be good. It's a 90 pound animal, and the hide, you 

Patrick Edwards: gotta get that hide off because I mean, it traps that heat and it just goes quick.

John Bass: Mm-hmm. Yeah, they're insulated. Yes, they're an insulated, well, 

Patrick Edwards: that hollow hair I was talking about, they insulate great. That's why they don't have to have tons of fat on them, is they have that special hair. And [00:33:00] yeah, it cooks the meat. If you don't get 


John Bass: off well in the winter you'll see 'em laying out in a prairie, wind blowing and, and snow and like the only thing, but a head sticking up outta the snow drift, where they're just under a big pile of snow out there.

I mean, they're a hearty, and, and that's, we didn't talk about that yet, but I mean, we all live in Wyoming. We drive down these roads, you know, El can deer. I mean, they're up in the, you know, the trees, they get down in timber, not antelope, man. They'll be laying out there in the. All open Sagebrush Flat, 

David Merrill: but you can find them from the, I've found them at 9,000, right?

10,000 feet up in the timber, all the way down on Meadow. 4,000 down 

John Bass: here in the sage. But they can put up with those winters, they can put up with them, 60 mile an hour winds and snowing and blizzard and negative temperatures, and they're just sitting there taking it. And I'm like, man, tough. 

Patrick Edwards: I, I grew up in Cheyenne and I would watch that man.

You'd see 'em, they'd, they'd lay on the hillside storm would roll in, it would snow, and you'd see these little lumps on the hillside that would get up and it was, you know, pronghorns covered with snow and they'd trot off and do their thing. But, [00:34:00] They can survive some of the most hostile 

John Bass: conditions. Yeah.

On the planet. They, they don't like deep snow. And that's what hurt 'em. This year in Wyoming, deep, deep snow gets 'em, they're, they're made for these high desert, you know, sagebrush flats, you know, steps and stuff. Wind blown flats. Yeah. Yeah. They gotta, they got, that's, yeah, they gotta have places where the wind blows the snow off so they can get to get to their food source.

You know, that snow really hurts. Let's talk about that too, like 

Patrick Edwards: what they're eating, because I mean, it's, it's really interesting to me. I gotta tell this funny story. So the guy that I'm actually named after, he's got a big ranch up by New Castle, Wyoming, and he's been around antelope his whole life.

You know, he's up in his eighties now. He's still ranching by the way. He's tough. And he was arguing with a game and fish biologist about this, no offense game and fish, but the biologist was like, oh man. Yeah. Those those, those pronghorn don't eat anything but sagebrush and grass. They don't eat alfalfa, they don't eat this, they don't eat that.

And he's, he's looking at this guy like, Are you outta your mind? You know, because he knows. And so he was taking pictures [00:35:00] of the pronghorn out eating the alfalfa and sending it to this guy, you know, just to prove a point. But I mean, they eat, you know, sage brush in the winter for sure, like, especially this winter, right?

If you looked at, we had two feet of snow on the ground, 18 inches to two feet of snow, just about everywhere. The tops of the sagebrush was chewed off, and that was the deer. The antelope, you know, anything they could get to it was eating that off because that's all they could get to. 'cause it crusted over.

It was hard. It was really hard for them to move around and it was tough on 'em. But I've seen them eat just about anything. I mean, they're very opportunistic and they can 

John Bass: handle it. Oh yeah. They love alfalfa, you know? Oh yeah. And we talking about how delicious they are. Now I do think you get your dough tag and you find your rancher farmer that's got an alfalfa field.

'cause they want 'em all out of it, you know, and you, you shoot a, a dough or a buck antelope out of an alfalfa field to spend kind of using that as 30 to 40% of their diet. Yeah. It, it takes it to another level. [00:36:00] That's good. That was my 

Patrick Edwards: last one. It was a little bit north of here under a pivot shot. A nice buck out from under the pivot.

And it was, it had been out there according to the rancher all summer. You know, eating alfalfa. And boy, that was the best prong one I've ever eaten 

John Bass: in my life. I, I've, I've seen them, they eat so much alfalfa, they'll get the scours. 'cause I don't think it's real good for their digestive system. I mean, they love to eat it.

I mean, it's like candy to 'em, I think. But, but I don't think it's real great for their digestive system. Well, 

Patrick Edwards: it's like putting a just a, a cow out there on green alfalfa. It's not great for their gut. Right. It can blow 'em out and make 'em sick. But yeah, pronghorn I think are by far the best. You know, it's my favorite as far as big game.

David, how about you? 

David Merrill: It's gonna sound a little pretentious, but I will tell you that doll sheep is above antelope, then antelope, then moose. And the only reason doll sheep beats. Antelope, n i s It's pretentious. I know you can't get it very often, but they have marbled fat in the meat, and so when you cook it out, it's, it is just, it's a little more [00:37:00] cattle 

John Bass: esque.

Oh, so you already have some thought out for, after this podcast is, we'll dig around. There 

David Merrill: might be. I think it's, it's long gone. Oh, no, that would be, I'm 

John Bass: sure it is worth, it's white and gold. I'm sure. If it's 

Patrick Edwards: that good, you know, it's gone. I mean, that's just the way it works. 

David Merrill: But no, I the, the one that I can get annually by far, and moose is better than elk and deer, and the, the lowest on the list is mule deer.

I'm sorry, but it just, I, I'll take a white tail. A corn fed whitetail do. Pretty, pretty good, but not as good as moose And antelope is better than moose 

John Bass: for sure. Yeah. Yeah. If you had to rank 'em, for sure. I agree. I've never, now I've never had doll sheep, but, but yeah, my wife, so when we put in, when I put in for tags every year and when we moved out here, I was like, oh yeah, she's elk, you know, we're elk hunting, we're deer hunting.

So at this point now we've been out here, you know, this is well be seven years in January, I think. And, and she's like, don't put me in for anything but pronghorn tax. So she loves to hunt 'em and she loves to eat 'em. And she's like, we are not, not filling a pronghorn tag. You know, we do not [00:38:00] eat pronghorn tag sandwiches, you know, because she loves to eat 'em.

She's like, I don't care if you get anything else, but let's try to get pronghorn tags. And we were lucky enough this year to to draw a couple tags, so with the, with all the cutbacks in 'em and stuff like that. So, 

David Merrill: I will say, growing up in Oregon, when you were lucky enough to get a tag and get it filled, I was cutting stakes off front shoulders.

I was cutting stakes off of hawks. I was cutting stakes off anything that was, you know, big enough to make a stake out of anymore. I, Patrick's gave me a good tip of, I think I'm gonna save some front shoulders for a, a whole little brine, smoker roast, but pretty much if you're having steak at my house, that's backstrap hams get turned into a couple different products and then the rest is burger.

We, we got three kids. We eat a lot of 

John Bass: hamburgers. That, that's what we do. You know I've got my, I've got a, you know, a threequarter horsepower limb grinder, you know, Excellent. Bought it, wanna come out here. And we moved out here. I said, gonna get me a good heavy duty grinder. So we, me and my wife and son, we do it all in the kitchen.

[00:39:00] And I mean, that's a whole nother aspect to these hunts, to this. It's, it's the whole thing that, that you do. It's just, it's living, you know? Mm-hmm. And it's different than some people. And it's the same as some people. And it's just what we enjoy doing. I think it's cool. 

Patrick Edwards: And you'd agree with this, it's, it's fun when you have your family together and you're processing that as a family.

Because like my kids, we cut and wrap, you know? So I'm not usually vacuum sealing much, and so I. You know, you got that butcher paper there, you know, that you've wrapped up all nice and you got it taped shut. And then my kids draw like special things on there. So like this year with elk, you know, they were drawing all kinds of stuff on there.

And that's, that's even more fun 'cause you go to pull it out and you're like, oh, I remember when Katie drew this on there, Leah drew that, you know, and. You pull it out and you thaw it out and people are like, your kids did that? It's like, oh yeah. And then you show 'em pictures of you processing it. And I just think it's part of the culture here, and it's really cool.

John Bass: It's just part of the experience. It's just part of the life of, of, of doing [00:40:00] it, you know. But yeah, processing it ourself. We, we've always out, you know, we've lived off of white tails in Tennessee for the most part. Like David was talking about eating burger, you know, so, so on a, on a elk or a deer, you know, of course all the back straps, that's steaks.

And then I'll cut steaks outta the hams. But then almost all the front shoulders and a lot of the back hams, I'll just put into the, to the grind pile. And we'll grind all that up for burger. And we don't mix any fat with our burger. We just, we grind it straight. A lot of people put fat in it, and if you do, that's fine, but we, I never have now you can't patty a hamburger out of it and make a hamburger patty.

But if I want a burger, I'll go buy me a. You know, a pound of, you know, cow meat to make me a big old greasy, you know, 

David Merrill: Hamburg burger. So I got, I got a solution for you there. Alright, well we got, because, and the, the reason we don't put fat in our burger anymore is it actually continues to de degree degrade in the freezer, right?

You can tell six months later if you've mixed fat in with your burger, it doesn't taste as good as if it's just clean straight burger. So the easiest solution to fix this problem [00:41:00] is get you a pound of burger. Oh, half a package of Ritz crackers and an egg or two, mix that egg in that cracker in there, that'll act as a binder to all the meat together.

It's not quite cow patties, but it's enough to hold it together where you can fry and have a. A burger and it's, it's not that hard to crack two eggs and Yeah. Sound like 

John Bass: that's gonna be good with the doll sheet we're gonna have after this fight. I'm all for 

Patrick Edwards: it, man. 

John Bass: But yeah, I mean, so yeah, the, the grind and so, but like on, but antelope, my grind pile on antelope.

I try to make as small as possible. I cut as many steak kebob antelope fajitas. So the rib meat in between the ribs Tucker loves cutting that rib meat. Of course, it's not much, I mean, you clean out both sides of the ribs and you have enough for one meal of antelope rib meat, fajitas. But they're fantastic.

I mean, they're already in the strips and, and we fry 'em up and put some seasoning on 'em, and they're just fantastic, you know. But, 

David Merrill: but to your point, you [00:42:00] know, there's years we get multiple tacks here. I won't, I won't brag at how many, but we're, we're gonna. I just set up a production line. We set up a couple card tables.

We got the grinder, we got the vacuum packer, and we get all the kids and I hand them knives. Right? Yeah. I hand the three-year-old, the sharp knife and say, don't cut yourself and have fun and, and go to town. 

John Bass: Right. We actually got Tucker, one of those cut proof gloves that's just like slides on, on, on the, you know, the nine knife hand.

And I liked it so much. I ended up buying me a pair of 'em and put in my kill kit for elk hunting because you know, when you're trying to hurry up, especially if you're in bear country or something like that, you kinda get in a rush sometimes, or if it's cold. Mm-hmm. And you can't feel what you're doing when your hands are cold Sometimes I've 

David Merrill: got the tip of a, a couple different fingers, couple different times with the, with the oh, I've got the outdoor edge change of blade and that thing is wicked.

John Bass: You gotta watch those outdoor edge ones. I've got Oh, what's some other change of blade ones with the scaffold blades in 'em, whatever, Valon. Yeah. I got a Valon a couple of years ago and I, I like, I keep breaking 

David Merrill: those blades. Yeah. Any side pressure and dinging. 

John Bass: [00:43:00] Well, and the, the other problem with it is, is sometimes swapping 'em out, you know, to swap out on them, you almost have to have a pair of multitool to swap the, once you get to, you know, meat and stuff on it.

So, I don't know, good old buck knife, fixed blade buck knife on your side's. Just about as good as anything I think, you know. 

Patrick Edwards: But it's always good to have a sharp knife no matter what you're doing. Right. Especially when you're processing. But I think all of us have stabbed ourselves once or twice with a.


John Bass: knife. My favorite processing knife, y'all are gonna laugh, is the old wood handled filet knife, fish, filet knife, rapala. Oh no. Yeah, them out know several, but it's, I people have done that. What, what's the, I don't forgot what the name of that company was before Rappa brought, bought 'em out. But anyway, I've got a wood handle, filet knife, and it is my go-to knife.

I mean, I, I usually have it in my pack when I'm mail cutting because it's so good about, you know, de-boning and stuff like that. Mm-hmm. But I mean, it's my, I use it all the time and I've got an Alaska ulu mm-hmm. Alaska Knife Company, Ulu sharpener that I, that is on that leather sheath that they come in and I've, you [00:44:00] can.

Run that thing through it twice and she's back as sharp as a scaffold and back at it again. So I'm a, I'm a filet knife guy for game. I like it game for big 

Patrick Edwards: game too. Yeah. I like to use it on the hims, you know? Mm-hmm. If you're taking the bone out. Yep. The filet knife works really well. You can get in right along that bone cut right through those, you know, syne tissues.

Yep. I think they work as good as anything. Yeah. 

David Merrill: I like it. Once we get done de-boning using some sort of de-boning knife, I, I really like the Victor Knox filet knife. The one I take to Alaska filet and fish with. I sharpen that thing up and I can go through, especially the grind pile and all, I can just strip that sinew right out real fast on a cutting board, just like you would filet a fish.

Yep, yep. And I don't even, we don't even waste that. That's, dog loves that pile. 

John Bass: Well yeah, my golden retriever loves it, but I've noticed it backs her up a little bit. Oh yeah. So, so I have to be careful. So there's two things that I've learned not to feed my golden retriever too, and Ruby, she's at the house and anyway is too much send you.

Or beaver meat. Oddly enough, it doesn't set well with her, [00:45:00] so I'm know when I'm cutting up beef. Y'all ever ate Beaver? We're we're, we're way off the wrong point at this point. But Beaver meat's really good too. But I mean, it don't, don't feed it to your dog or, or mine anyway. It don't set well with 

Patrick Edwards: her.

Well, when you're processing for the dogs, there's a couple things you gotta remember. One, it can back 'em up, right? All your scraps. I, I throw 'em in the oven, cook 'em, and then I feed 'em to the dogs. You know, you cook them for your dogs. I do that because, well, I'll explain here more in a minute, but it helps 'em not get backed up as much, but.

The bad. The bad part about it is you feed a dog so much of that, you can get what we call green gas floating around in your house. 'cause they get really gassy. 

John Bass: You talking about Molly? 

Patrick Edwards: Oh yeah. Molly. Molly. The Bernice Mountain dog. Yes. She can have some of the worst gas you've ever smelled it in your life if you feed her.

We're way off the bra. One subject at 

John Bass: this point, 

Patrick Edwards: but, but if you are gonna do it for your dogs, if you do cook it, it does help with the backup issue a little bit. But it 

John Bass: does not help with the gas issue. She just sits there next. I, I have a five gallon bucket sitting next to my, it's [00:46:00] kitchen island. Mm-hmm.

And then Ruby's right next to the five gallon bucket. And so the pureing goes in the bucket and it's a good meat scrap. You know, I'll, that's, you know, I'll have to throw her some every now and then, you know, just to keep her interested. She's a good dog. 

David Merrill: I always just throw the rib cage out in the dog kennel anymore too.

You know, once we're done with getting straps and loins and stuff off of it and towards the end of season, I notice the dog just. Doesn't care anymore about meat. Like yeah, whatever. But we don't buy dog food for at least a month during the hawks. Yeah, a hundred percent. Oh yeah. 

John Bass: Leg bones. Give ruby the bone bones it.

I think it's the first year we was out here and I, we harvested our first cow elk. Me and Lisa both. And I give ruby one of the cow elk legs, but the foot still. Mm-hmm. I still had the foot on it and I left the house and I went to come back in and we have a dog door coming into the house and I looked down and that cow.

Elk leg was half in the dog door and half out the hoof was just hung where she had tried to take it back in the house. Mm-hmm. Because I didn't want her chewing on it in the house. But she got hung in the [00:47:00] dog door with that cow elk leg. And I kinda looked at it and I, I think we had, we've been out here about a year and I said, that looks like a live in Wyoming cow elk leg hanging out the dog door.


Patrick Edwards: you ever been to Murdoch's or one of those ranch stores and you find like the cow femurs that they smoke up? Mm-hmm. And you can buy 'em in their vacuum sealed. I did that with that cow elk last year for Molly and for Johnny, my other dog. And they've loved those man. I mean, that's another thing you can do with the femur bones is throw 'em in the smoker when you're smoking something else, you know?

And it smokes up real nice and then, you know, you can cut 'em in half and they can get to tomorrow. The 

David Merrill: only thing I despise is. You know, in the fall I give her multiple quarters in her kennel and she's got a big kennel, but they migrate out into the yard and then when I'm running the lawnmower around, I find them and she really loves them.

Once the lawnmower hits them, 'cause then it breaks, shatters them into pieces, she get into that marrow. So, 

John Bass: yeah. How did you, the insurance company, how did you break your windshield? Piece of a piece of a doll, sheep leg. Went through my windshield. [00:48:00] 

David Merrill: Yeah. That would be pretty weird, wouldn't it? Mm-hmm. 

John Bass: Get that call if you were the insurance.

Yeah. That might make one of them insurance commercials where they talk about the crazy stuff that happens. Yeah. Exactly. You call the insurance company, man, I've, I've run into an animal. Oh, what'd you hit? A fish? 

David Merrill: You might be a redneck if, yeah, right, 

Patrick Edwards: right. For sure. But yeah, I, I think the to get back to the pronghorns, I think probably one of the coolest things about them here, living here in Wyoming, right, if, especially for the people that live here, is that, you know, other than after this last winter, they are fairly plentiful, you know, and there's, and they're great to get your kids out on their first hunt.

My daughter and I, we put in for 'em. She's. Gonna hunt for the first time. We didn't get a tag, but we did get a late season Kellogg tag. So hopefully we can make that as enjoyable as possible. Not killer on that hunt. We 

John Bass: we got a good spot. Yeah. So you don't wanna make it too easy, but you don't wanna make it so hard to lose interest to.

It's, that's a fine line to walk, right? When you mm-hmm. We start talking about starting kids off on, 'cause you know, Tucker turned 10 this year and, you know, he's got a couple of years and, and he [00:49:00] was talking about, oh, we did a hike this past week. You know, you saw it on Facebook and so cool. Yeah, it was a good, it was that, that would be a whole nother podcast talking about that kind of stuff.

But we was coming out and he said, and he said, dad, when I get a cell phone, the first app, I'm gonna download this on X. And I was like, oh, there's a own x. Hit right there. But anyway, but but yeah, I mean, it's been a, that's, that's a game changer for, for hunting and really any outdoor activity. I use it all the time.

Hiking, fishing, hunting. I mean, what a game changer that's been. But but yeah, he's like, first step I'm going get, he's like, can I have your old cell phone take pictures with? And I was like, yeah. He's like, can I download on X? I'm like, no, it's not hooked up to anything you can't download. But, but but yeah, 

David Merrill: you could, you could do save some online maps off of that thing.

Yeah. Hook it to wifi real quick. And he could at least have a, have the map there. Yeah. I used OnX yesterday looking for firewood, trying to make sure I got the right road in them, the unit. Right. Oh, right. It's, it's now a, a pre OnX, you had to do a little bit of legwork, right. And you could find some spots that even [00:50:00] bank fishing, right.

You could find spots. The people didn't know were there and you could get away from the crowds and now it's kind of, it's, it's highlighted neon flashing go here. Right. It kinda ruined some spots in 

John Bass: some ways. Yeah. That well, that's what that Mule Creek junction spot, you know, like I said, we went back a couple of, you know, we drew the tag couple, I guess it was last year.

We drew that tag and we went back and 'cause my, I had some friends from Tennessee that put in for it. So we put in for it. And when you put in for tags, you can't party hunt if you have, with non-residents in residence. I don't know if anybody knows that, but you can't have non-residents in residence in the same party.

So you have to actually put in separate, and they didn't draw. And I had it as my third choice and I drew it. 'cause it's a fairly easy tag to draw over that area. And so me and my wife and Tucker went over there and, and I filled mine. She, she unfortunately missed her, missed her shot, but it was tough hunting.

It was real tough hunting over there. And it was like every pull off there was like three trucks at every pull off. And I, I was like, yep, this is on OnX has kinda kind of got to, and, but that's okay. I mean, that's, that's fine. That's just a, [00:51:00] that's a part of the state that it's a little, it's a lot less public land over there.

Yeah. But you can make 

David Merrill: an antelope hunt as difficult or as easy as you want. Right. You can't do that with an elk hunt. You've gotta put the work in and you know, it's, if you're wanting to just road hunt an elk, Yeah, you most likely not gonna fill the tag. 

John Bass: Well, and even if you do fill an elk tag on a road hunt, it's you're, you might fill the tag, but you're gonna be unfulfilled, in my opinion.

I mean, I mean, the part of the, part of the draw of the elk hunt is, I mean, what you, I mean, you get a lot of meat off of'em for sure. But it's the, it's the challenge. It's the push, it's the pushing yourself, it's the, you know, that type of stuff. You know, pronghorn hunt. It's not, I mean, like you just said, you can make it challenging if you want to and making it archery hunting.

Yeah. Oh, 

David Merrill: it's huge. What I love about the archery hunting antelope specifically, and not spot in stock, just building blinds, is I'll go out, I, if I had, have had a tag, I'd been out June and July looking for antelope, right? Finding my target buck and then getting on OnX, finding the closest two or [00:52:00] three water holes, building blinds on those, or building decoys to scare 'em off of the other ones.

And now a's minute, really funny. 

John Bass: I don't wanna interrupt you on that. Building decoys to scare 'em off of the other ones, would they not get used to anything? You put 

David Merrill: scarecrow, take a pair of coveralls. So if I have a water hole that's, I'm gonna hunt that they, I build the blind on and they've shied away and they go to another water hole that's less desirable, but they're still there.

The day I'm gonna hunt, I'll put up a, the day 

John Bass: that you hunt the day you just leave it up. 

David Merrill: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But I take a P v C pipe duct, tape it together in the shape of a cross and put a pair of coveralls and a milk jug on top of it in the dark. I'll go put that up and then we'll go get the other blind.

And a lot of times we're talking two water holes that are 400 yards apart. Right? Right. And so they're gonna, they're, they're gonna have gotten habituated. They were going to the primary, I built the blind. They started using a secondary right. For two or three weeks. My blind's been sitting there. They're going, the other one [00:53:00] I'll run over there, or you can park a pickup on that other one.

It kind of forces them to go 

John Bass: to the. Well, anybody that's still listening to this podcast at this point, you should take a pen and paper and write that. That's a g that's a, that's a good little gem you just come up with there. I like that. That's a good one. That's 

David Merrill: a good one. It works really well and what's really, you'll, you'll see an increase of antelope on your blind that day.

Now obviously you're gonna move your pickup or take your scarecrow down, but it, it's cool to get to go pick your target buck, find the water hole crawl in there and usually in the, in the headlight. But I take kids with cameras and we sit there and we'll sit till what, A lot of times what you'll see, especially August 'cause openers tomorrow is the buck is gonna come in with the doors and he'll be tending those dough, but he is not gonna water in the morning.

And then he'll go bed those dough somewhere close, maybe even two, 300 yards away. They'll come in from six, 700 yards mill around, feed on their way in. All the dough will drink. He'll usually stand about a hundred yards off and defend the harem from other [00:54:00] bucks. They'll take off. Sometimes they only go four or 500 yards and they'll all bed down early afternoon.

He'll come in solo, usually between noon and two and leave the dose and he's, they're close enough that he can see and run over there. So you'll have to sometimes sit all day to get your target buck. But it is pretty awesome to go drive around spot and scope all these bucks. Nobody else is out there. And you go, that's the buck I want to kill.

And then you gotta, it's, it's a lot more work. And that's like what I said. You can make this as hard or as easy as you want. You can just wait until rifle season and drive around and the first legal buck that runs in front of the truck, you can get out and shoot him. Or you can spot and stock archery. I haven't quite done that yet, just 'cause I've been taking my oldest hunter and he's now 10, but I took Hunter and his younger brother when his brother was a year and a half.

And we, we got a buck, you know, five and year and a half year old in, in the blind. And guys that say that Archery's not lethal, at [00:55:00] GoPro footage of one of the bucks that we looked at earlier. He lived nine seconds. It was an 18 yard frontal shot arrow. Broadhead skewered him and went all the way to the hind quarter, right?

So he had that much fletching, about three, four inches of fletching sticking out. He lived in nine seconds from when the arrow hinted to when he tipped over. I mean, that's, and he, he turned around and looked back at the water like, what just happened? And done. Then he went. So I do, I like to, I like to go out there when there's nobody else out there and take my pick of the box.

But to the same point, my dad killed a 85 inch goat last year. It's two or three days before the end of season wi within, you know, it, it wasn't no special hiking, it wasn't no private land, it was just public land on the side of the road. And what had happened is somebody had harvested a buck earlier in the season off of those doughs.

Right. And a buck from deeper out [00:56:00] came in and was 10 in those doubles and it was a lot bigger 

John Bass: buck. Yeah. So, well, yeah, that, you know, my best pro horn buck that I, I shot, we actually, it was actually the covid year, I guess it was 2020. And we was over there camping at Bass Lake with some friends. Mm-hmm.

And Lisa had a tag, my wife, and she got up at like five o'clock. She's like, I do not feel good. I gotta go to the house. While she had covid. I hate to say the C word on the podcast, but anyway, she, that's what she ended up having. So she had to go back and our friends, they had to be on quarantine or whatever, all that mess with, but but me and my buddy Chris got up and he had a, a dough tag for the same area.

And I was like, well, I'll go with you. So we got up and went after white tails and where we went, I wasn't it, I mean, it's prong pronghorn kind of live everywhere, but where we went, it was a creek drainage and I wasn't really expecting to see a pronghorn down off in there. And, and we had a few doze come by that didn't give us a shot and a whitetailed doze.

And, and I looked over and it was really foggy. I sent you the pictures of that book. Mm-hmm. It was really foggy. And I said, there's a pronghorn over there. And I looked and like he was about, I, [00:57:00] my rangefinder picked up one time at 300 yards and I was looking at him and I said, I can't, in the fog, it was right at daylight.

And as the, as it started getting lighter, the fog rolled in. And I said, I can't tell when he turns sideways, he doesn't look very big. But when he looks at me, he looks, Pretty big. But at that distance, it was hard to tell in the conditions. And, and and I, I looked at Chris and I said, man, what do you think?

And he said, he said, I don't know. He was looking for white tails, you know, he said, I don't, I don't, he said, I can't tell how big he is either. And I said, well, I don't really care. I said, I'll tell you what your kids, his two kids. And my, and Tucker was back at the camper. I said, I said, I'm gonna go ahead and harvest him.

I said, 'cause they'll get a kick out of it. We'll shoot him and we'll go back and get them, and we'll let him, let them, you know, come up here and find him and everything. It was a nice cool morning. And and so I went to range him to shoot him, and I actually had my wife's 6.5 pink camo. How a creedmore, you know?

Mm-hmm. And and I went to range him and my rangefinder said two yards. I went, well, I guess the fog has got my range fast. Like, well, he was about 300 [00:58:00] earlier. And so I shot and I got, Chris was watching him, and I, I squeezed the trigger and like as soon as it went off, he went, he's dead. Like, he just immediately went down, you know?

And but we went back, got the kids, and I didn't even, we, I knew we went down, I knew where we went, so we wasn't, we was two miles from the kids, so we went back and got them and come back up there and let them have the, you know, the excitement of finding, like, have you been to him? No, we ain't been to him yet, you know, and we went up there and when we got to him, I looked at Chris and he looked at me and we, our, both of our eyes shot out was like, I was like, this is the biggest pronghorn I've ever harvested.

And this was a real nice, real nice buck. He ended up scoring 80 or 81, something like that, you know? And and it was just fantastic. It was, it was a lot of fun. But the kids, I mean, they just got a big kick out of it, but, yeah. But yeah, I, I'm. When I looked at my tags this time and I had, you know, elk and mule, deer and pronghorn and when I opened it up and unsuccessful, unsuccessful, successful, alright, well I got the two general tags for the deer and elk i'll to get generals for [00:59:00] them, but got that pronghorn tag, you know, 'cause for the people that still listen, I mean, all pronghorn, there's no over the counters even for residents in Wyoming, it's all limited quota.

So we can get a general deer or general elk tag for certain areas in the state over the counter, but, but we cannot buy any over the counter pronghorn tags. So it's strictly managed here. And, and I think that's why it is in my opinion, as far, maybe not for trophies, I don't know. But I mean, as far as hunting and harvesting a pronghorn, I think wyoming's the, the spot in, in the world to go.

I mean, yeah, period. 

Patrick Edwards: So I would agree with that. I mean, you could argue Montana a little bit and a few other states, but I mean, Wyoming's got the density of the population and the big ones. So, And 

John Bass: the public land to chase 'em. 'em. Yep. 

Patrick Edwards: Well, cool man. It's been fun. Is there anything else on pronghorns we haven't covered?

John Bass: I mean, man, I don't know. We kind of went down a few rabbit trails, pronghorn trails, whatever you wanna say, but speed 

David Merrill: goat trails. I do have a couple tricks on how to field judge 'em. There you go. 

John Bass: Let's hear 'em now. Okay, well I'll tell you mine. 'cause I only [01:00:00] have one. I only have one. So I, when people say, how do I tell it?

Well, you want the prong to come off above the tip of the ear when their ears are standing up. You want that prong to come off of the horn, above the tip of the ear. If it's below that, it is a, I mean, it's a juvenile buck. I mean, it's a, it's a smaller one. And then, well, I guess I have two and the other one is, is if you're looking at mass, the base of the horn compared to their eye, you wanted at least twice.

The, the thickness or the width of their eye at the, at the base of that horn. But other than that, it's just, you kind of look at 'em like, is that, is that one I wanna harvest? Yes or no? And if the answer is no, drive a half mile down the road and find you another one. You know? Yep. 

David Merrill: Yeah. Same, same, as you've said is their ear is six, six and a half, seven inches.

So if the prong is coming off below that ear, they're sub. 12 inch goats. They're little, a big goat's, 17 inches tall from the base all the way around. An average goat is 14. You know, a small goat is [01:01:00] 12 and under. And there's kind of a, when I'm driving around looking, and this came from Joe Bartlett with Blue Creek Outdoors, is there's a, eh, he's a dink right.

Or eh, that's a pretty good representative of an antelope. You might want to think about shooting him or holy cow, Batman, shoot TA coat. Now I haven't seen a bigger one. Right. And those correlate with a 60, a 70, and an 80 plus. Right? Is you get into the 85, 88. 89. I do know of a 91 and five eights that got harvested in the state.

And that's, it's a goat. I mean, it's a goat, but you're a hundred percent correct. And their eye is an inch and a half, almost two inches. So you want the base of the prong right above their eye to double. Mm-hmm. The size of their eye. You want that prong to come off above their ear, and you want that prong to be as long as the base of the horn, right?

Mm-hmm. And then you want them to have, when you look in above the prong, you want them to carry that mass. So mass, more like a thumb or a cigar, not your pinky or a [01:02:00] pencil. Right? So they're real skinny, up top, and they just peter out and they don't hook around. I mean, if you want that goat, great harvest him.

But if you're looking to get a, a representative, they want to, you want to double this horn above. So from where that prong is, if that's six inches and you have 50% more horn above it, you know he is about 12 inches. Right? So if they come off with that prong is an inch or an inch and a half or even two inches above the ear, and they're twice the width of their eye and they've got big cutters and they look like they got cigars on top of their head that curl around ivory tips, almost touch shoot 'em.

Hey, you're 

John Bass: looking at an 80 plus inch goat, about halfway through that description that you had, I, I've already got the safety off. Me too. I was like, I'm already putting pressure on the trigger. Like halfway through that description, 

David Merrill: shoot him. Yeah, we looked at one, my dad shot one here. His His prong was an inch or so below his ear on one side, an inch or so above his ear on the other.

He's a weird freak goat. Yeah. Yeah. You showed me that. That [01:03:00] one other. He's like 82, 83. Well, when you 

John Bass: pulled those sheaths, because on a, like if you do a European match, you can just set the sheaths on the, on the. Bony cores of those horns. Mm-hmm. And David was showing me this goat and, and before this podcast, and he pulled one off and he handed it to me and I, when he, and then he pulled the other one off, and I'm thinking to myself, these are two different goats that he's put these sheaths on the same head, but he, this was the same goat.

But when you take 'em off, they, the sheath don't look hardly anything like each other. Mm-hmm. I've never, I've seen a lot of pronghorn out here and I've never seen one that really looked like that. 

David Merrill: So that's dad's goat. And my dad, non-resident, he's drawn more goat tags than I have as a resident. I'm getting kind of tired of it, but it is exciting when he comes and we go, we go on a two or three day, usually two or three afternoon drive around, look at goats, and I go, yeah, it's a goat.

You want him to take him, or, that's a pretty good one. You might think about it. Or Holy holy cow, Batman, shoot. Yeah, that buck, he was laying basically facing west and then he was laying facing east. When [01:04:00] he was facing west. We were looking at that shorter quote unquote side. And I was like, eh, he's all right.

He's just a goat. I mean, he is a good goat, but I'm like, yeah, if you want him, dad shot and missed him. The next day we're driving back along that spot. Here's another goat that I thought laying a hundred yards for that spot with the same dose facing the other direction. And I'm like, holy cow, you need to shoot that.

And he shot and harvested and I walk up and I go, that's the same goat from yesterday. Yeah. Because when you looked, you know, you saw that he had such a disparity in the prong heights on that, on that buck. You talking 

John Bass: about when you walk up to him, they have such a unique smell. Oh, they do. And some people don't.

Like, I think it's cool smelling, but like 

David Merrill: it's pertinent or strong 

John Bass: different. It's, it's, it's stout. I mean, it's got, they got a musk to 'em, but I mean, they're, I, I like it. I think it's a neat smell. I think it's too, but she's talking about like, if that's a goat, you know, you can, you know, whatever, a goat's, a goat, you know, like on an average size.

Well, you know, I told Lisa that she, she drew her buck tag and, and I was like, Hey, I'll try to find you a pretty decent one. She's like, [01:05:00] I'm gonna shoot the first mature buck that I see. It's not a juvenile bug. I'm gonna shoot the first, first buck. I see. Because we're putting meat in the freezer. I'm not, that sounds like I'm not waiting.

You know, so she's, she is strictly after the meat and, and I love her for it. She and she likes to go and Tucker Tucker's so funny. So this year you know, 'cause he's 10 now. I'm gonna let him be her hunting guide. I'm gonna sit back. I'm not gonna do anything but y'all. You Tucker, you tell me what to do.

You're guiding mom in on her. On her pronghorn and that's awesome. You know, it's some of these things I probably should film, but then I don't wanna live with a camera in my face all the time and don't ruin the experience. Nah. So, so I'm just, it'll it'll be fun. It'll be a fun, fun trip. 'cause you do need to 

David Merrill: capture some of it for prosperity, posterity sake.

But filming a hunt, just it, it cheapens it. Yeah. The, the hunt now, later years down the road when you can look back on some of that. Yeah. And my wife to, to the same credit, she's the same way and drives me nuts. Right. She'll draw a tag and she's drawn four buck tags to my [01:06:00] every one. Right. So I get excited when she's got now up tag.

I'm like, oh, I'll find you a big one. We're gonna find a big one. She's like, I don't care. Nope. I'm gonna shoot the first legal And the last time we went, that's the way Lisa is the same way. We crawled all over this mine. I'm like, no, don't shoot that one. We find better. Finally, she's like fifth or sixth decent buck.

That was in range and she's like, I'm shooting him. I'm like, okay, I guess it's the best I've come up with this afternoon. And she keeps going on one afternoon, antelope hunts and, but we take a kid along. Oh yeah. And it's a great, it's a great time. To your point though, and you said this earlier in the podcast, trusty Rusty, right?

Yeah. These guys that are. Gonna go on a hunt. They draw this tag, oh, I gotta get a new rifle. Don't do it. I've seen elk fall to a 2 43, and I would rather have somebody show up with a 2 43, put 90 grain nozzle partitions and say, Hey, I can shoot 250 yards. That's max even on an elk hunt. I'd rather you show up with that rifle.

And know it in and out and can shoot it accurately, then go buy a [01:07:00] 300 wind mag or a 3 38 LA pua and, and you can't even hit the broad side of a 

John Bass: barn at hundred yards with it. Yeah. I mean, tag driver, it's about shop placement. It's not about, I mean, and I think when people, sometimes when they get those bigger guns, I don't know if they, if they feel like, well, it's a bigger gun.

I don't have to be as accurate. I don't, hopefully nobody consciously thinks that, but but yeah, bring, bring the gun that you like if, if it was like all the, all the stuff went haywire and you had to leave your house with one weapon to defend you and your family, it's gonna be the most accurate one you got, which one are you grabbing?

Mm-hmm. That's the one you take. Right. Beware of the one rifle 

David Merrill: man. Right, right. And if you get a caliber, I mean 2 43 6 5 creedmore is, will definitely do the job. If you're gonna look at a one caliber rifle, there's a bunch in that two 70. That's right. 36 3 0 8. Yep. You know, and Jack O'Connor, you know, London, those guys, they, they hunted around the [01:08:00] world with those calibers.

Yeah. And so you don't need to get up into the, 

John Bass: you don't have to have the melted magnum, so you know, you don't have to have them. No, 

Patrick Edwards: but I've killed every big game animal that I've ever killed on the same model. 77 Ruger two 70. Gun. That 

John Bass: thing is a great gun I got, that's what I started hunting. I've, I've still got it.

A Ruger 2 43 M 77. I've had it for a long time. They're great guns. I mean, and I got a straight six Redfield scope on top of it that my dad gave me that gun. And Yep. I parted ways with it for a few years and ended up getting it back from my cousin and, and but yeah, it's a attack driver. And it's funny, we one of the pronghorn dos that I killed first couple of years, we were out here, we were in the, an a field and before we left, and Tucker was younger, I guess, was he seven or eight before I left the house, and I, I, they kind of opened up the gun safe.

I was like, Tucker, what gun you want me to take? He's like, take that one. 'cause he'd never seen me hunt with that 2 43. I was like, okay. So I grabbed that 2 43 and, and we went and, and I shot a doe and I shot, actually shot her in the necu, so my shot placement and putting 'em down. And [01:09:00] this was in an alfalfa field and to this day she was probably the best tasting wild game.

Oh yeah. Animal I have ever harvested. And and I actually shoot a for antelope for light, you know, light game. I actually shoot a 85 grain Sierra Hollow point outta that 2 43. It's, it's, it's rough on, on deer or antelope size. Critters for sure. I'm 

David Merrill: loading 60 grain in my 22, 2 50. And when I have one of the family members come that, and it's, it's legal here is way too small for mul Deere.

Way too small for now. White tail D at close range. Right. Great medicine. Put antelope out to my cousin. He came and he drew his first doe tag and I told him he now needs to go get his own rifle when he comes the next time. But he borrowed this, this 22, 2 50 and I mean, we're talking, it's hand loaded and it's, it's five shots under a quarter at a hundred yards.

Right, right. Full barrel. It's, it's a nice. It's just a Remington 22, 2 50, but with the hand loads, it's a, it's a nice gun [01:10:00] and I'd probably recommend more 2 43 than that gun, but it still will do the job. And he missed a couple antelope in the 200 yard, two 50, and I had a doe tag in my pocket and he was kind of mumbling something about the gun.

The antelope had run out there at about 400 yards. And I said, give me that gun. I took it, I arranged him, picked a dough and dropped it right there. I'm like, it's not the gun buddy. And handed it back to him right after he just got done. And we, we were belly crawling in our sage brush around here, which is sometimes not much bigger than a water bottle.

Right? And we're crawling into where I'm seeing the backs of these in range and okay, they're like, 2 20, 2 20. I'm like, we set the bipod up. And I'm like, okay, now you just need to, when when the sagebrush parts and you could see one, itll put it right behind the shoulder and shooter. Shoot mess. I'm like, I, I don't know.

You know? So definitely bring the gun that you're comfortable and confident with. And 

John Bass: like you said, bipod, bipods very important on these antelope punch [01:11:00] because I've got a, what, a 13 to 26 Harris fixed, not pivoting bipod, but a fixed bipod and I, it stays on my rifles all the time. I mean, that's the, that's a game changer on any, any kind of shot over really a hundred yards really.

I mean, you want to have that bipod so no one honey, that's suggestion put before you come out here, put a bipod on your gun and and be ready to use it and know how to use it. 

David Merrill: Predator hunting, open country, coyote hunting, wind antelope, hunting wind. I, we use a bipod sometimes, like Patrick and I went out to a spot and we were watching a creek for whitetail.

I hauled the lead sled out when we took a kid, I laid the rifle on the lead sled where the, where I'd seen the deer coming. I'm like, it's gonna be right there. Right. However, what I found on mount goat hunts doll, sheep hunts, even elk hunts. I don't like having that bipod there. It sometimes could be marginally useful.

What I've found is a really simple trick. I always take trekking poles. Mm-hmm. If you take both wrist straps and slide 'em over the op opposing handles and shrink [01:12:00] 'em down, you can make a pretty quick homemade tripod right there, right in the field. And that has played a big game changing role in doll sheep hunts and mountain goat hunts and elk hunts is if we're gonna extend the range past kind of zero distance.

Right. You know, if it's zero distance, I. Rest. Rest on a tree or a knee and Right. Take a shot. If we're gonna extend the range a little bit. 

John Bass: What about zero distance is what you gonna zeroed at? Like 200? Two 50? Yes. Two, 200. For a, for a short action. Two 50 for a long action magnum, you know? Yep. That, that, that, that's what I slide in that, for me anyway.

David Merrill: So if we can't get on like a backpack and get that rifle rested steady because of the hill and the terrain, or we need to raise the elevation of the muzzle, that makes a really nice steady rest when we're getting into the 3 50, 400. Now I don't shoot further than that and guys can, long range guys can say what they want.

I've just found when I shoot something at 300, it's game over. 400 is usually fine. If we take our time, if it's [01:13:00] sub 200, it's harvested too. But when I get past four or 500 yards, then it starts to be a question mark even, and I can shoot four or five inch group with most of my firearms. On the lead sled at the ranger home, right?

You start adding in, you're breathing heavy, you're excited. Wind, wind dynamic movement of you and the animal, shorten that yardage up a little bit and increase your odds of success, 

John Bass: right? Yep. Right. 

Patrick Edwards: See this is just loaded with good tips on hunting well. So if people are still listening, they're like, man, I learned a lot today.

I didn't know I could use my treking poles for a bipod. You know? But I mean, you have 'em with you. There's lots of great things. Yeah. I mean, look at what you have with you and how do you use it. I mean, that's just a basic principle when you're out hunting, just like a great rest is your pack. You know, if you got your pack, throw it on the ground, lay down and.

Make a good 

John Bass: shot, adapt and overcome. That's just, yeah. What the, what the adventure's about for sure. Yep. 

Patrick Edwards: But I think it's really cool that we did a Speed Goat episode. I also call 'em Prairie [01:14:00] Rockets. 'cause I think that Rockets, I think that's a pretty cool name. 

David Merrill: There's have non endearing names out there.

We're not gonna perpetuate those. 

Patrick Edwards: Most people can have those names, but Prairie Rocket Speed Goat, 

John Bass: you know. Yeah. Those are cool. And once again, like I said, I was up there at 10 Sleep Brewery drinking their Speed Goat Gold nail, which it's my number one beer. Any beer drinkers out there stopping 10 sleep and get you one.

But but yeah, that's where I was at when I found out about this job out here and changed my life. Changed my life and son's life too. Are you going back to Tennessee? No, to Tennessee. To Tennessee 

David Merrill: To visit. Right. 

John Bass: To visit, yeah. Lisa, Lisa says No. Lisa says no. Well, we're happy to have you in my She should go visit, but Yeah.

But yeah. I, I tell people that Tennessee's got my heart, but Wyoming's got my soul. Yeah, I love it out here. Yeah, it's just fantastic. 

Patrick Edwards: Well, tinker, another reason you can't leave is Lisa loves my dog, Molly. That's true. And so we can't do that. That is true. That would be better. That is true. Yeah.

[01:15:00] Well, John, it is been great having you on, man. And hopefully people will be inspired to go check out pronghorn. I mean, they are one of the coolest animals on the planet. 

John Bass: Yeah. I mean, I tell any nine resident, or I mean, residents in Wyoming, they grew up hunting 'em just like you, right? Yeah. But any non-resident, listen, listening, start doing a little bit of research, put in, start putting in for, for preference points, you know, you can get a good area with four or five pronghorn preference points with a lot of public land.

I say start putting in it, start doing a little bit of research and, and you won't have to be worried about coming home empty handed. Like, you'll, you'll be successful on this, on this hunt, and it'll be a good time. It's not stressful. The weather's not terrible, you know, unless you decide to go on opening day when the wind is awful like we did, but we didn't know, you know, this just inexperience.

But, but, 

David Merrill: Well, you can find antelope from. Oregon to Dakota's. Oh yeah. Down to New Mexico, Arizona, all the way up to Montana, so, yep. Definitely. If you're not, there's lots of options, 

Patrick Edwards: but I, I would say Wyoming is, we have the most, has the most by far. Yeah. And I don't know, there's [01:16:00] just something special about this state in hunting them here, 

John Bass: so that's something special about hunting estate, period.

You know what I mean? Yeah. Me and my buddy Chris has talked about, you know, going to a Coues Deer in Arizona or something like that. I'm like, man, Chris, we're, we live in like the, the place that everybody that calls themself a hunter in the world knows Wyoming for hunting. Right. They want to hunt here.

Right. David, wouldn't you say that's true? 

David Merrill: When I had to move down from Alaska, which is probably a close second, you know, we looked at three states and I'll say what they are, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Wyoming. One out. Yeah. And I'm a hundred percent glad. I mean, we've been here right at a decade now.

Yeah. Yeah. Next year, 11 years now. So I, I don't, you know, Alaska might still have my heart a little bit. Just a little bit. Yeah. Wyoming's got my soul. Yeah. 

John Bass: It's a, it's a, it's a unique place and it, and it's not for everybody. I'll, I'll say that. Mm-hmm. It wouldn't be for everybody, but, but me and my family really, really feel at home here.

We really do. 

Patrick Edwards: Well, and you're [01:17:00] a great part of the community, so I'm glad you're here too. And we gotta go fishing again at some point. So let's 

John Bass: go. I mean, let's go this afternoon. I love to, I got, I got a good hint on some brown trout on ies. We'd probably go get 'em right here at dark. You wanna go catch a 20 inch brown, four dark?

I like 

Patrick Edwards: catching 20 inch browns. Anytime. Anytime. Let's do it. Well, you know that though. I know you do. All right guys, well, we'll come back again with another episode of Rag, cast Outdoors. If you want to go back, you can listen to John's first episode. It's a little ways back and we talk about Boys State Park and a whole bunch of other stuff.

But thanks again for listening. Again, we've got listeners all over the country and even outside this country. So thanks for listening.

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