Dec 30, 2007
Unit 18A has been a consistent producer over the last 20 years and has also produced many 90 inch bucks including Paul Langford's 20 incher. The unit is known for it's unique horned bucks and for it's bucks having great length!
The unit roughly breaks down into 4 distinct areas that hold antelope so running into other hunters may not be a problem during the rifle and muzzle loader hunts. The good news about the areas is that they have all held monster antelope in the past.
Rifle: 15 tags, 2% draw chance
Muzzle: 10 tags, 2%
Archery (includes 10/18B): 100 tags, 8%
Rifle: 15 tags
Muzzle: 10 tags
Archery (includes 10/18B): 100 tags
The buck above was taken by Wayne Webber in 2004 in Unit 18A. It scores 96 5/8 SCI, 94 B&C.
Dec 27, 2007
In 1998 we gave the buck a name, "Sticks". The picture below is from 1998, the year before "Sticks" was taken. Corky Richardson arrowed the buck September 9th, 1999. "Sticks" has the longest horns in history at over 21 inches long.
Dec 23, 2007
Ten years ago this entry would have been for 19AS. It's almost like the two halves traded places sometime around 2000 and 2001. We've taken several 90-inch bucks in 19AN the last couple years including the 2006 Auction Tag bought by Denny Austad (96 2/8 SCI), the 2007 Auction Tag bought by Shaun Friesen (97 2/8 SCI), and the 2007 Raffle Tag Winner Chad Corbin (94 2/8 SCI).
But, with all goods things, there's usually a catch and in 19AN it's private land. So far we've been able to get access to most of the ranches, but some charge a trespass fee anywhere from $500 to $1000. Some of the ranches will let you hunt for free, but only once you obtain permission. One of the ranches won't let anyone hunt (unfortunately it's the biggest ranch!) There is a tiny bit of public land, but I wouldn't apply for this unit planning on hunting it.
Another small chink in the 19AN armor is that it's very much like hunting in the city. If you're looking for a quiet, pleasant, relaxing hunt then this one is not it.
Also, one last note - muzzle loader hunters have first crack at the big bucks. If you're a rifle hunter, it's possible the buck you pick out during your scouting trip will already be gone by your opening day.
Other than that it's a good unit for big bucks!
Rifle: 15 Tags, 1%
Muzzle: 15 Tags, 4%
Rifle: 15 Tags
Muzzle: 20 Tags
Dec 21, 2007
Still one of the best and most consistent units because of it's size and terrain diversity.
An excerpt from my Unit 10 post last year:
"If you look in the Arizona Record Book you'll notice that Unit 10 is a prominent unit for big bucks. I believe it will stay that way and I also believe it has the potential in 2007 to spit out more than one 90 incher! In 2008 or 2009 I'll predict a mid to upper 90 inch buck from this unit."
In 2007 we took four bucks in Unit 10 and their SCI scores were: 94 6/8, 93 7/8, 88 4/8, and 85. :)
Over the last 18 years we've guided to 16 bucks in Unit 10 and we have an average score of 87 5/8 B&C, 89 3/8 SCI!
The tags increased to 50 in 2006, held steady in 2007, and have now increased to 60. In 1999 and the early 2000's the buck numbers were low, so Unit 10 is definitely on the rebound and in the middle of it's peak years for this cycle. The last time it peaked was in the early/mid-90's and then before that in the mid-80's when Susan Whitaker took her World Record (story to come.)
If you've never hunted Unit 10 than you're in for an adventure. It's diverse terrain ranges from wide open prairies and rolling hills, to dense junipers, to sandy grasslands, and from private land to public to the Boquillas. Antelope populate every corner of the unit, but are difficult to find in the denser areas. The bucks in the open country run if they spot you from a mile away - the bucks in dense country do the same, but at least they have trouble spotting you. There's plenty of access to trophy areas. The private ranches in the unit also produce trophy bucks, but I don't think private land is necessary for a trophy - we've never had to hunt anywhere but land with public access.
For out of state trophy hunters it's recommended you hire a guide or find time to scout prior to your hunt. I've gone for half a day on The Plateau and not seen a single antelope so knowing where to hunt before opening day is a must if you want a big buck.
To increase your odds of drawing a tag you can apply for archery - it allows you to hunt Unit 10, 18A and 18B. (Increase your odds of hunting, decrease your odds of killing.)
50 rifle tags, 1% draw chance
100 archery tags, 8% draw chance
60 rifle tags
100 archery tags
Dec 19, 2007
I scouted the unit extensively for the first time and liked it. There were more antelope than I expected, but spread out. No single area had more than a few bucks, but I saw several over 85-inches.
6 rifle tags, odds 1%.
5 archery tags, odds 12%
10 rifle tags
5 archery tags
If the rumors are true then where are the bucks? I'd assume that either:
A) They're in units with few tags - no one scouts there, no one finds them. The person who does find one - the "rumor-starter" - does so on his way to camp after filling his tag. Drats!
B) The hunter doesn't know how to field judge, overestimates the bucks score.
C) The buck is far away, the hunter misjudges because heat waves blur the horns.
D) It's a lie.
E) B, C, and D
If this were multiple choice I'd pick "E" every time.
Does anyone have a 100-inch rumor they've heard? I'm always looking for one (a 100-incher, not a rumor.)
Dec 18, 2007
Dec 17, 2007
You can see "Glider's" prongs were shorter last year, but his other measurements similar.
I lost almost all my 2006 photos. This is the only picture I have of "Glider" from last year. I'm sad about that. Maybe I'll invest in more memory cards this year and use them like film - make prints!
7-inch prongs, 18-inch horns! Shaun was one happy "motel-er" - we don't camp much. ;)
Dec 16, 2007
Why the Canon over the Nikon?
Or maybe it's because I had a Nikon scope in my years before guiding and it wasn't great - it was just "ok."
Dec 15, 2007
We took MONSTER antelope in 2007! I'll post the pictures and stories shortly.
I'll post everyday, often more than once. :)
May 25, 2007
The buck below is one of the better bucks I saw on the trip - and also one of the better pictures I took of a buck (unfortunately - none of the bucks would let me very close.)
My Dad and I are going to New Mexico on June 6th for a week long scouting trip. I'll definitely have some "keeper" pictures when I return...and hopefully some of some giant antelope!
May 17, 2007
May 7, 2007
Apr 11, 2007
I'm probably not going to post a complete list of the aging data because it's not exactly "my" data - as in, I didn't pay to have any of the aging analysis done and I think David E. Brown (the biologist who I sent the teeth to) may want to use the info for a book he's currently writing about pronghorn (we should have several of our pictures - or client's pictures - in the book!)
The ideal age for a pronghorn, I would presume, would depend on a lot of variables.
If we assume bucks reach their peak horn growth age at 3 years old we would then have to assume that 3 years old is the ideal age (O'Haco's old World Record was aged at 3 years old.) But, if there's no moisture during the buck's 3rd year of growth, then that buck's 4th year may be a better horn growth year.
If you're managing a ranch you'd want the biggest bucks to live the longest so that they could reproduce the longest and spread their genetics. In that case, you may elect to not take the buck during it's largest year in order to ensure large bucks in the future.
Another thing I've noticed - buck's that are in ideal areas are able to maintain giant status for longer periods of time (this should be fairly obvious, but I thought I'd note it anyway.) For example, on The Plateau years ago, bucks would be giant for only one year and then the effects of age (and possibly lack of feed and water) would cause them to regress substantially the next year. In areas like 19A, when the feed and moisture was consistently good (some of this had to do with the ranchers taking care of the cattle) the bucks would maintain a score of over 90 inches for 2 or 3 years fairly regularly.
So, if you find a giant buck, shoot it if you're in a bleak area and you have no chance at returning next year to hunt. If you're in a great area, you may pass and wait for next year (provided it's your ranch or you at least know that the buck will be there next year for you to hunt.)
Also, if it's an area that you scout hard every year and you spot a giant buck that you've never seen before it may be a good idea to pass and let the buck grow! If you've never seen the buck before it's probably only 2 or 3 years old and if the area is good the buck may continue to grow.
Passing on bucks is usually not something we do or recommend very often because of hunting pressure, predators, the fact that we can't forecast the future, etc...
I'll post more info as questions are asked or as it comes to me. :)
Apr 9, 2007
We had 4 of the bucks from our ranch near Roy, NM aged and all of them were very young - 2, 2, 3, and 4 years old. This is probably because this was our first year on the ranch and, in the past, this ranch was usually hunted very hard. We took over the lease last season and cut the tags back substantially. Hopefully this will allow the bigger bucks to live longer and have a better chance at passing on their big horn genetics to the future antelope.
We found a good buck in Unit 10 and gave away the location to a friend who drew a Unit 10 tag. The buck wound up scoring 90 5/8 SCI and was aged at ONLY 2 years old! This is very interesting and may be one of only a few bucks to ever break 90 inches as a 2 year old. Makes me kinda mad that we didn't wait another year or two to see just how big this buck could have gotten.
The largest buck we took last year, according to horn mass, weighed in at 462 grams for each horn. This buck scored 96 6/8 SCI and 92 B&C. It was aged at only 3 years old. We have video of the buck from the year before and thought the buck was "only" an 85-86 inch (B&C) buck. That's a lot of growth in one year.
My 87 SCI buck from Wyoming last year was aged at only 2.
On the other end of the spectrum - Jeff Mott's buck from Unit 7 that scored 87 3/8 SCI was aged at 6 years old. This makes perfect sense as the buck's horns were very uneven from side to side and this, as far as we can tell, is a trait relegated mostly to older bucks.
Three of the four Arizona bucks that were submitted for aging came back as very old bucks - 4, 9, 9, and 9 years old. I don't know the scores of these bucks but I'd guess that they were long and thin with short (possibly high) prongs.
On another note - Blake Lanoue of Arizona Outfitters just started up our "Early Photos" thread on AZOD's chat forum for this year and posted a few pictures of a growing buck. I'll be posting pictures to that thread as well as soon as I start my scouting and take some good pictures.
Check it out if you get a chance - and better yet, post some photos!
Mar 19, 2007
Last year Denny Austad and John Gisi purchased the two Commissioner Tags for $61,000 and $65,000 - and they both harvested giant pronghorn!
Larry has guided a man named Robert E. Petersen (yep, the magazine guy) on many of these Commissioner Tags in the past and has done fairly well. The biggest buck taken by Petersen on one of these hunts was 92 4/8 (according to my records) and was taken in 1997.
I'm not sure if Larry has a particular buck already picked out for his new client or not, but I think this year will produce several really big bucks that he'll be able to choose from if he can find them.
I've heard word that some hunters are worrying about the lack of moisture and what that might do to the horn growth. I'm not too happy with it myself, but I have to remind them that in 2002, one of the worst droughts in history, we guided David Meyer to the current B&C World's Record (and we saw two other bucks that were nearly just as big!) Will the dry weather somehow, counterintuitive to conventional wisdom, produce monster antelope once again? I don't know, but I'm going to find out very soon...
The second of the two Commissioner Tags will be auctioned during the Arizona Antelope Foundation Banquet on July 14th - in case anyone is interested in bidding. Haha. I dare ya!
Mar 9, 2007
Bigfoot spots me! The hair on my neck rises and my heartbeat jumps a few levels – I freeze and hope the monster goes back to feeding. If this were THE Bigfoot I’d really wish I had my video camera, but it’s not THE Bigfoot. It is, however, a pronghorn that I named Bigfoot, which to me is almost just as good and, in this case, almost just as puzzling. I’ve only seen this buck one other time, but when I did I managed to roll some film that, upon later review, looked eerily similar to REAL Bigfoot footage. I couldn’t tell anything about the buck’s individual horn dimensions, but I did know one thing – they were all BIG. And so now I’m back in the treed confines of Arizona’s Unit 8 trying to figure out if Bigfoot is actually big enough to hunt with one of the Arizona Special Auction Permits. At a snail's pace I raise my fifteens to size up the buck’s horns, but instead of seeing massive jet-black above the bucks head I see a massive white rump! I see nothing conclusive about the buck’s horns – all I can do is watch the buck accelerate from zero to sixty as it evaporates amid pine trees thick as barcode.
I make contact with the hunting crew at noon. I tell my Dad that I saw him.
”Well, I’ve never seen him, so how big is he?” he asks.
Wayne jumps in, “Saw who?”
”Maybe ninety, maybe eighty-five.”
”We could spend days and not find him.”
”Find who?” Wayne asks.
”Want to go look at Crossover?”
”What’s a Crossover?” Wayne asks again.
”It’s when we leave this unit to find a bigger buck.”
Wayne smiles, “I like the sound of that.”
We scan the miniature yellow hills east of the Prescott Valley Fairgrounds and locate a buck we call Crossover. After a short walk in the park, er, I mean stalk, Wayne settles in for the first shot of this trip. His seven-millimeter misses HIGH; he resettles. LOW; he looks at the buck with an expression that indicates the buck must be wearing armor. HIGH; and this time the buck fades into the barren prairie.
Later, we slash the distance. Wayne lies prone and settles the rifle’s butt against his shoulder, but the buck’s seven-inch ears reach out and grab the sound of Wayne’s heart beating against the ground or maybe Crossover’s hooves felt the mild tremor that Wayne’s heartbeat sent out across the prairie’s floor – either way Crossover bolts sooner than Wayne can say, “Where’d he go?” The colossal orange and yellow and red ember in the sky silhouettes the sickle-like horns of the buck as it trots into the distance. Slowly and quietly darkness covers the land.
The next morning the sun transcends the peaks and dots the plains with glowing white rumps. It’s three miles to where Crossover stands and before my dad speaks I know the plan. Wayne and my dad situate themselves in some bushes where we calculate Crossover may cross. I stride straight for the buck and carry nothing, my only intention: to push the buck as far as he’ll go and then pray he turns and heads three miles back toward those bushes. It sounds like a long shot without completely knowing the buck and the unit, but Crossover has done it before, so we’re hoping he does it one last time. I’m three miles in and Crossover just keeps moving away. About mile six our plan kicks in and Crossover heads straight for the bushes where Wayne Webber, the septuagenarian owner of a construction company in Detroit, is set up to fill the first of his two permits.
I hurry back to our parting point and on my way hear man-made thunder crackle through the heavens. The shot was one hundred eleven yards. Crossover’s legacy ends with ninety-one and seven eighths points on the Safari Club International scoring system.
A week passes and Wayne returns to hunt his second Arizona auction tag. Our plan is to hunt a buck we call Cheery, but I have doubts about him hitting the ninety-inch mark. Cheery might not be big enough so I headed up a day early and found the buck my dad is now looking at on my digital camera. He scrolls through the photos and his jaw hits the motel room floor and his eyebrows hit the motel room ceiling. This new buck is bigger than Cheery, a lot bigger! Our plans change.
We travel south out of Seligman and spot the new buck off the Williamson Valley Road. As we enter his territory dark clouds generate moisture and then rain descends upon the grassy yellow earth while lightning and deafening rumbles follow. We don rain gear and walk head first into the needle-like drizzle in a desperate attempt to close the gap before the shower becomes too violent. We get within six hundred yards of him and his harem, but are only able to look on in amazement at his wondrous horns a few moments before the menacing booms and bucketing rainfall force us back to the vehicle. We name him Thor, Norse God of thunder.
We spot Thor at dawn off the same road the next day and hurl ourselves out of the truck like a tornado hurls houses. We sprint to the edge of a hill and see Thor and his harem trotting up the opposite side. Wayne lies down, puts the buck’s vitals in the center of the scope, and squeezes the trigger for the first and last time this second hunt.When we approach the buck my Dad’s jaw drops just like it did in the motel room – the buck is even bigger than we initially thought. The legacy of Thor ends with ninety-six and five eighths points on the Safari Club International scoring system.
Mar 1, 2007
Feb 27, 2007
The top three pictures are pictures of JoeBoo (the current B&C World's Record) and the shed of a buck we called Crossover from the year 2002 (ironically, the same year JoeBoo was taken.) The Crossover shed, if doubled, would have scored 95 4/8 B&C and broken the B&C World's Record. And remember, this was after the shed had been dried for over a year and sun-baked on the open prairie! Had the buck been taken during the season I'm sure it would have scored well over 96 inches.
During the 2003 season I was lucky enough to get drawn for 19A archery and got to hunt Crossover, though the buck wasn't as big that year. I never got a shot off.
In 2004 the G&F finally opened 19A to rifle hunting for the Arizona Auction Tag holder and Wayne Webber hunted with us and Crossover was finally brought down! Check out what Crossover looked like two years after being a World's Record at this link http://www.pronghornguideservice.com/images/photos/2004_Webber_Crossover.JPG
Shortly I'll be linking a picture of the Crossover buck from the 2002 season to our website at this link http://www.pronghornguideservice.com/photoLivingGiantsFromPast.html
The bottom photo is of a buck that had just shed one of it's horns. It's not in color because I didn't take the photo. I scanned it out of an excellent book called "Pronghorn: Ecology and Management" It's a giant book, but well worth it if you're a pronghorn enthusiast!
Feb 22, 2007
Feb 20, 2007
It's not that we're changing anything major, just the overall look of the site as well as a lot of new coding (css) as we're trying to move away from the older versions of website software. This new site will have all the oldies but goodies and hopefully we'll find some space to put some new goodies, too.
Also, if I forgot to mention this before, my new camera and lens have both arrived - a Canon 400D and a Sigma 50-500mm. I haven't had a chance to field test this set up yet, but I will do so as soon as I can get up north and I'll provide a brief little review of the pros and cons of using this system for antelope scouting purposes.
If there are any more good questions about antelope or anything related feel free to ask away in the comments section.
Feb 8, 2007
Some bucks change over the course of time, while other bucks (like the buck above) seem to remain exactly the same year in, year out. The top-most picture was taken in 2004 on one of our ranches. The bottom picture was taken about 200 yards from the other photo in 2006.
We called the buck Tank Tops - because he was by a tank and had huge tops! The overall shape of the buck never changed, but his top mass was slightly larger in 2004 then it was two years later.
I got to thinking about this and wondered what would cause one buck to change from year to year and what would cause another buck to remain the same? Is it genetics? Is it feed? Is there no statistical basis at all - maybe it's entirely dependent on which buck it is.
I'm going to try to delve deeper into this and see what I can find. If I can't find anything, oh well, I'll move on. If I can, I'll post my findings on this blog, but don't be in a hurry as this could take quite a while.
PS. Tank Tops officially scored 92 SCI and 87 4/8 B&C.
Feb 5, 2007
Here are a few more pics from SCI. The whitetails are from a game ranch run by Wilderness Whitetails. The Rhino is obviously from another time in history.
On another note, I just purchased a new camera and a big lens! I can't wait for it to arrive so I can start testing it and I'll let you know how it all works out because, obviously, the main reason for the camera is to take photos of antelope!
It's a Canon 400D and a Sigma 50-500mm. I can definitely see the purchase of a teleconverter in the future. I like to reach out far!
PS. The capture dates up in Prescott Valley have been changed to Februrary 7th-9th as far as I can tell.
Jan 31, 2007
Okay, I'm back! You may have noticed the elk above. Maybe not. Haha, yeah right! If you missed THAT elk you're blind. That elk is about 577 inches! Is that crazy or what? Of course it's a farm raised elk so it's not eligible to be entered into B&C, but I do believe it is (or will be) listed in SCI's record book under "Estate" (which means it was taken on a game ranch.)
No matter where it was killed it's still freakin' huge so I thought everyone else might like to see it.
Also, if you're not keeping up with the AZOD forum or the AAF website than you might not be aware of an antelope transplant happening in Arizona's Unit 19A. Not 100% positive where the antelope are going, but I believe they're going to either 5A or 5B. I'm working on finding out more about all the factors behind this operation.
I'm also planning on volunteering during one of the capture days so I'll try and get some cool pictures of the capture and post them after I'm back.
Jan 17, 2007
We did finish our brand new brochures just yesterday and they look great! Check one out if you get the chance.
The above picture is David Meyer and Tony Grimmet with the buck we called JoeBoo (the B&C world record.)
Oh, also, we're going to have one new mount at SCI this year - the biggest buck ever! I'll post some pictures of it as well when we get back from the show.
Good luck with the online Arizona apps.
Jan 13, 2007
If I have a chance between now and the time we leave I'll post one more picture update. If not, I'll be sure to get on it when I return from Reno.
Jan 8, 2007
It's a link to pictures of most of the 90-inch bucks that we've been a part of over the last 20 or so years. Check it out, I'm sure you'll love it!
My next picture update will be with some bucks of a different sort. Stay tuned.
Jan 2, 2007
Over the last 17 years we've guided to 12 bucks in Unit 10 - only a couple were auction tag bucks - and we've accumulated an average B&C score of 87 3/8 and average SCI score of 89! That's huge for a single antelope and for an average it's downright crazy. That's how consistent Unit 10 has been for us. Our biggest buck during those 17 years was 94 B&C and 97 2/8 SCI - very close to the World Record!
The unit has big bucks, but if your private land averse or don't like to see other people (or an entire city) while you hunt then this unit is not for you!
See above - and you may not actually even be allowed to hunt the private land - at least in 19A they'll let you pay a trespass fee (for some of it anyway.)
Very important - if you're planning on scouting a lot and hunting a particular buck or two then don't apply for a rifle tag - archery and muzzle loader hunters will get first crack at your buck.
Private land is in abundance these days and it always seems to grow where the big antelope live. Stay away unless you have access or can get it (we can't seem to,) but at least drive through if you like to look at big bucks.