New Mexico Antelope

I believe I am starting to like my friend Andy Leukins less and less every time I hear from him.  The reason being....ever since he moved back home to New Mexico I have been receiving a lot of cell phone pics of him and his dog next to limits of ducks or with another nice big game animal has hit the dirt.  He has been doing a number on the animals over there and I can't wait to sneak over to New Mexico one of these days and keep him some company on a hunt.  Here's his description of his most recent accomplishment:

My step dad's family has a 12,000 acre ranch in Eastern NM and they recieve a couple tags every year but don't always use them.  I asked them a couple years ago for a tag and they had allready sold them to an outfitter.  This year they were generous enough to give me and my step dad (Dan) a tag, which he then gave to his son (Cody).  This ranch used to have a lot of antelope on it back in the 80's but they switched to electric fenceing and the antelope don't seem to like that as much.  In the last few years they seem to have gotten more antelope on their property, but they usually stay close to the property boundry that is not electric fence.  The whole weekend we only saw 9 antelope on their property with 3 of them being bucks.  Of course the biggest buck we saw was about 100 yards on the other side of the fence.
The first morning Cody spotted an antelope about a mile away and after a few minutes we realized there was a buck with the doe but they were only about 200 yards on our side of the fence.  We dropped out of sight and started our stalk with Dan giving us hand signals to direct us in close.  We came over a small ridge and the antelope saw us at the same time we saw them only about 40 yards away.  They just started to run and my step brother shot and put the antelope down, but then needed a follow up shot to finish the antelope off for good.  We don't have any pictures, but he was a small buck that was about 11 inches and only had one prong.
That afternoon we went out to see if I could fill my tag.  On our way to a high spot to glass from we jumped 3 does and a buck, but they didn't hang around for long and didn't stop running untill they were across the fence line on the other property.  We moved to another area on the ranch and imediately spotted a big buck but he was on the wrong side of the fence.  From this same spot we found a buck and 2 does about 1.5-2 miles away.  We drove a road that would get us close to the antelope.  I got out of the truck and Dan kept driving past the antelope hoping to keep their attention.  I snuck around to try and get a clear shot, but the buck knew something was up.  The area was very thick with tall mesquite bushes. I finally lined up a shot only to hit a mesquite branch and completely miss the buck.  We played cat and mouse for another couple of minutes and finally I was able to get another shot but I hit the buck on the back of the neck.  Luckily the antelope didn't go far and I made one more shot that was the fatal shot.  I hit him quartering away.  The bullet entered just infront of the back leg and stopped in the opposite front shoulder.  He went a few steps and fell over.  The cool thing is that Dan and Cody were able to watch the whole thing unfold from several hundred yards away.  I never got a very good look at his horns before I shot.  I just knew he was a buck and he was on our property.  I was pleasently suprised when I walked up to him.  He was a very symetrical 14" buck that scored 71 points.  The shot to the back of the neck destroyed the cape so I am going to european mount him.  I also shot a buck last year with a tag from the draw system on another ranch that was bigger (15.5" and scored 76 1/2 with a broken prong), and I am having that one mounted.  I told my wife if I shoot another smaller buck sometime or come across a cape I will be getting this one mounted also.  It was a great time out with family and now Cody and I have an archery deer hunt to look forward to in January.

And here is a pic of his Lope from last year.


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