Wait for antelope tag pays off for local hunter

Tim Moore waited 11 years for his chance to hunt a pronghorn antelope.

When it came, it was all that he hoped for and more, he said.

Moore, of Sweet Home, finally drew a tag for the Ochoco unit and decided to invest $500 to get a guide to hunt an area about 80 miles east of Prineville and 10 miles out of Mitchell. He said the location has a lot of private farms that butt up to public lands.

“We saw more elk than we saw antelope,” he said. “There was a big herd by those private farms.”

Moore, who is disabled, knew he was going to have to do some walking, and he turned out to be right.

“It wasn’t a blind,” he said. “It was a fun chase.”

He said he and a guide and a friend, Everett Bernard of Sweet Home, were walking when they saw an antelope buck and the guide urged Moore to shoot. But Moore said it would have meant shooting his 30.06 right past the guide, who was a few feet away, and he held off.

“We walked along a little more and I saw another one,” he said. The buck was 188 yards away, according to guide’s rangefinder, and Moore took a shot.

He said the grass was so tall that the 26-inch tripod he’d intended to use was ineffective, “so I had to take the shot from my shoulder.”

He said it appeared he had hit the animal in the brisket and it dropped a shoulder, but then ran about 100 yards before they lost sight of it. The guide searched the area but didn’t see it, Moore said.

“But some other hunters saw a white spot and asked ‘what’s that?’,” he said. “We said, ‘What white spot?'” Turned out, the buck was about 100 yards further from where they were standing.

An obviously proud Moore said he and his wife are planning to get the head mounted.

He said he and friends had been putting in for tags over the years but he was the only one who tried this year.

“Everybody said they didn’t want to pay $8,” Moore said. “I said I was going to get it some time.”