Judging Speed Goats: Nick Oceanak
You’ve drawn a license for the fastest land animal in North America, the Pronghorn! Well that’s great but how do you know what to look for in a mature buck? The pronghorn is one of the most difficult animals to judge in all North America. I’m speaking in terms of antler size of course! Even after being a professional big game hunting guide in Wyoming for seventeen years I still misjudge pronghorn on the hoof. Now pronghorn are not antelope but are often referred to as such because they closely resemble the true antelope in Africa. So, I will use both terms as I refer to them in this article. We regularly call them “speed goats” as well (because of their similar features to goats and notorious speed).
Mass is the most important factor when it comes to score. Now, you’ll see in the figure that two mass measurements fall below the prong and two above. If the third mass measurement spot falls below the prong you are getting a much bigger score than if it is above, so keep that in mind. When judging a buck, you’ll be critiquing three main things: mass, length and prong size.
OK, so how does one take this basic knowledge to the field and successfully judge a goat at 1,000 yards!? I’ll give you a couple quick, handy tricks to do so.
This beautiful antelope buck is extremely tall. If you were to put the ear up against the antler that would be approximately 6 inches up. You can see this buck has a lot of length past that.
Photo credit Timberline Outfitters WY
Pronghorn are unique in so many ways and they all differ from one another. The next time you’re out chasing “speed goats” remember the guidelines for field judging them but also remember the true trophy is in the eye of the beholder!
A very cool non-typical buck taken by a 14-year-old Timberline client.
Photo credit Timberline Outfitters WY
Wyoming Black Bear Hunts with Timberline (Words from Repeat Client Keith Fontano)
So last week me and my Boy, Andrew (my Navy buddy from USS IWO JIMA) headed out on a bear hunt in the mountains of Wyoming and what a great time we had! We had camp set up at about 8800 feet just over the continental divide in some of the most beautiful country God has to offer! We went with the same outfitter I hunted pronghorn with last year and man do these guys know how to run a camp! Considering their outfitter license is #2 (meaning there is only one other guide in Wyoming who has been doing it as long as Craig has - 38 years) should tell you something about the expertise of our outfitter! Then add his Billy Goat-mountain-climbing-Son to the mix, and you can't find a better team to go hunting with! We went to camp as "clients" and came home as great friends! Me and Andrew were treated like family and when we got our bears, Craig and Nick were just as excited as we were! It was unreal to see two guys who do this all the time, and for so long, get so pumped up for our success! That is what really made the hunt so awesome. I got my bear on the second evening after passing on a small, but beautiful light-colored chocolate bear the first night.
Andrew on the other hand, had to hunt his tail off for the entire 5 days and it paid off big time on the morning of the last day when he got his milk-chocolate bear! He was the first hunter to ever get one in the morning and from what Craig and Nick told us, he probably put in more time during the week than any other bear hunter has in the past. He was in the stand 8 different times, usually for 4 or 5 hours at a time and one day he was on stand for over 7 hours trying to catch up with Yogi! What made it even tougher, was he never saw a bear until the last day when he got his chocolate... Talk about perseverance! It just goes to show, bear hunting over bait is never a guarantee, and with multiple tree-stands to hunt, you can find yourself playing musical stands while chasing these elusive animals!
We are still on the road making our way back to Iowa and are already thinking/planning our next adventure! Andrew is going to make a rug with his bear and I am going to do a life-sized standing mount for up in the loft. We also brought home a ton of delicious red meat for the freezer, and if you want to talk about organic, it doesn't get anymore organic than this! Man do I love archery hunting out West!
Thanks for checking out our new site. We have a lot of fresh things going on here! This year we've picked up over 85,000 acres of private land between several ranches in Wyoming, Colorado and Iowa. Browse the site, check out our hunts and feel to email and call anytime. Recent season photos are up and I will be adding earlier seasons photos as well. Preference points are becoming pertinent in Wyoming and the other states in which we hunt. Read about Preference Points
About This Blog
Within this blog you can look forward to posts relating to relevant hunting topics, current Timberline events, hunting experiences, client spotlights and much more!
Tell Your Tale
If you've hunted with Timberline Outfitters before we want to hear from you! Share the experience you had with us or any other great hunting experiences from your home state or abroad. Submit your story and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.