View Full Version : 2 Questions for Mike

05-10-2011, 06:28 PM
Good Evening!

I am new to this site. I am assuming Mike Eastman views and posts on this forum. Hopefully he does and he can reply to me. . . . or for that matter, anyone is welcome to provide their .02. :)

I am most of the way through reading his book, Hunting Trophy Antelope. I did not see anywhere where he mentioned preferred calibers for hunting antelope. What is the preferred caliber? I shoot my .22-250 a lot at coyotes. Would that be sufficient?

My second question is that there was very little about taking the wind into consideration (from a scent standpoint). Are their noses as good as a whitetails? Or do they primarily rely on the eyes and scent is not as big of an issue.


05-10-2011, 08:00 PM
Good Evening!

I am new to this site. I am assuming Mike Eastman views and posts on this forum. Hopefully he does and he can reply to me. . . . or for that matter, anyone is welcome to provide their .02. :)

I am most of the way through reading his book, Hunting Trophy Antelope. I did not see anywhere where he mentioned preferred calibers for hunting antelope. What is the preferred caliber? I shoot my .22-250 a lot at coyotes. Would that be sufficient?

My second question is that there was very little about taking the wind into consideration (from a scent standpoint). Are their noses as good as a whitetails? Or do they primarily rely on the eyes and scent is not as big of an issue.


It all depends on which state you plan on hunting. That caliber would take down an antelope, but in my state of Wyoming you cannot hunt big game with that caliber. It has to be larger than .22. As for their noses I will leave that up to Mike.

Bitterroot Bulls
05-10-2011, 08:11 PM
Well, I'm not Mike Eastman, but here is my .02:

Bunches and bunches of antelope get taken every year, legally, in MT with .22 centerfire cartridges like .223 and .22-250. However, they are not optimal. Most .22 caliber bullets are frangible varmint bullets, that can have shallow wounds. A "hard" bullet like the Barnes TSX would be a good choice, if you are set on using your 22-250. Those hard Barnes bullets make small calibers outperform their caliber.

My recommendation would be moving up to one of the classic antelope cartridges, particularly .243 Winchester or 25-06 Remington. These are flat shooting and easy on recoil. Again, a bullet designed for hunting, and not varmint shooting needs to be utilized for consistent terminal performance.

If you have a deer rifle you are comfortable with, that is also an excellent option.

If you are looking for a good antelope cartridge, that can also be used for larger game like mule deer and elk, consider the 7-08, perhaps my favorite all-around caliber. Powerful, flat shooting, and low recoil.

05-11-2011, 07:57 PM
Thanks for the input, guys! I will be hunting in western Nebraska, where a .22-250 is allowed as long as it has 900 ft. lbs. of energy at 100 yards. I have a friend that has a 7mm Mag that I could borrow. Would that be a better choice?

Bitterroot Bulls
05-11-2011, 08:26 PM
A 7 mag is a great choice, as long as you are comfortable shooting it. It will have a lot more recoil (nothing to be afraid of, though) than your .22-250, so range time is a must. It is a high-velocity cartridge, so look into controlled expansion bullets for it, in order to minimize damage to the meat.

If your hunt is this fall, I would borrow the rifle sooner rather than later, so you can find a load it likes, and get a lot of practice shooting before the season.

Then go have fun chasing those speed goats!

05-11-2011, 08:41 PM
Thanks, I plan on getting a lot of shooting time with it prior to the hunt this fall. I am also experienced at shooting larger caliber rifles. So, you are saying you would go with the 7 mag over the .22-250?

And what about their noses? No input on that yet?

6mm Remington
05-11-2011, 09:37 PM
There noses are very good. In antelope country though the wind can be blowing so hard at times that it makes it hard for them to smell you and detect your location, but don't understimate their noses! Good luck.

My .02!

05-11-2011, 11:32 PM
I would get some loads for the .22-250 with nice sturdy bullets and just go with that. I love those little calibers. Study their anatomy and go plug one right in the heart. The only reason I would decide to go with something bigger is if I knew the wind was going to be blowing hard.

On second thought, I would be using a bow in the first place... but I digress.

05-12-2011, 05:18 AM
Thanks for the input on their noses. I don't see where Mike specifically addresses their noses. Well, I am very comfortable with my .22-250. I hunted antelope once in my life back in 2000 and used my .22-250 back then. It did the job for me at 190 yards. But in Mike's book, he stresses that it is difficult getting inside of 300 yards with a trophy buck. If so, I was thinking that the .22-250 might be a little light. I'd prefer it, but if it is not the right caliber, then I don't want to undergunned.

I took up archery last October. So far, I have had decent luck as I took a pretty nice buck last fall and 3 toms this spring. Chasing an antelope with a bow would be a lot of fun, but I don't know that I am ready for that yet!

05-12-2011, 03:38 PM
NECoyoteHunter as you can see everyone has there own opinion on rifle calibers. So in any of my books I don't write about that subject. I have left it up to other writers and hunters who shoot several different rifles and bullets. I have one rifle I use for western big game and one bullet weight. I know how much it drops and where to put the cross hairs. It works for me. But sometimes I do miss boy can I miss! I’m a simple shooter. The caliber is 7mm Rem. Mag. with Nosler 160 grain partitions. From 17 years old I have been using that caliber for western big game more years then I want to count.

On the scent subject they do smell but I found that eyesight is the number one factor. 6mm Remington is right on the wind and scent. However at 300 yards they don’t seem to have much of an issue with it. I guess I should of wrote on it. Just make sure the wind isn’t at your back. They like to see what they’re running from and because they can out running every thing in their world antelope use distance as a buffer. Where as elk and deer smelling or see humans take off for the nearest cover.

The Form is you guys and gals I don’t need to get on your form too much unless some one has a question for me. Hope the book helps and good luck on the antelope hunt. Hey let use know how you do! Mike

05-12-2011, 06:21 PM
Thanks for the reply, Mike. I probably should stick with the 7 mag as that will provide more range than my coyote rifle. It's good to know about their noses. I'll make sure it is not at my back. :)

Oh, and your book is a very good read! I've learned a lot about the habits of antelope that I did not know before. You have shot some tremendous bucks over the years. I doubt we have as many B&C bucks running around Nebraska as you have harvested over the years!

Bitterroot Bulls
05-12-2011, 06:23 PM
Thanks, I plan on getting a lot of shooting time with it prior to the hunt this fall. I am also experienced at shooting larger caliber rifles. So, you are saying you would go with the 7 mag over the .22-250?

And what about their noses? No input on that yet?

I would take a 7 mag over a .22-250 any day for an antelope hunt. The ballistic coefficient (BC) of 7mm hunting bullets will be far better than the BCs of .22 pills. This means they will carry far more energy further out and they will resist the wind far better. I don't know what kind of country the speed goats live in over in NE, but here in Montana they like some pretty windy country.

I worry a lot more about antelope eyes than I do noses.

I can't wait to hear about your successful hunt!

Big Sky
05-16-2011, 05:30 PM
Our family kills 4 doe antelope every fall with a 22-250 and 50 grain balistic tips. The only thing that we do differnt is shoot about 2 ribs back and the bullet will explode and destroy the lungs. A good clean kill. We have never had a problem.

05-16-2011, 08:24 PM
Thanks for the input guys! I hope I can report back in the fall with a good story. :)

05-16-2011, 10:28 PM
Good Luck, the goat country here in nebraska is pretty open and yes the wind blows here all the time during season. I think the average shot on antelope for me have all been 200 to 250 yds. that's usually a chip shot growing up here. If you are patient you can usually put a good sneak on. But be prepared for a poke of over 300 to 400 yds. sometimes that's all the better you can do. I think my farthest shot is probably pushing 500. I can remember one at 350 and most others under that. Also be prepared for a close up under 100 yds. Don't have your scope cranked all the way up unless you have time for the longer shot. I usually leave my 3-9 set on about 6 power and that will work well. They are curious and sometimes come in for a closer look before leaving the country. I shoot a 25-06 and it does very well so the 7 mag will be more than enough. I would pick that over a 22-250 any day for this job.

05-17-2011, 06:03 AM
Thanks for the input, Booner! Looking forward to spending some time in the beautiful Sandhills!

05-17-2011, 04:37 PM
What part of the sandhills are you going to be hunting?

05-19-2011, 10:48 PM
By no stretch am I am expert on antelope hunting, but I have hunted them and have a nice trophy hangin on the wall. The mention of wind was what triggered me to post. I hunted what I considered normal antelope country, fairly flat, a little grass and no cover. The one thing I noticed is if I was heading toward a herd of antelope they could spot me in a second. I could crawl on my hands and knees for 100 of yards, stop and peer over the brush and it seemed I had eye balls watching my every move even from 100s of yards away. On opening morning I made four stalks and turned down shots at bucks. The thing that got me was on the last stalk a buck walked up to about 200 yards from me and beded, kept an eye on me the whole time. I had already passed on him and after 1/2 hour of watching him and the other 4 bucks in the group I stood up and walked directly away from him. He never even took notice. A couple times that day it seemed like I would be stalking towards antelope and they caught my every move, walk away and they could care less if you were there. Maybe my imagination, maybe not.

I ended up taking a nice antelope walking back to the truck at 2:30 in the afternoon. Two does and a buck came running straight towards me and stopped at 200 yards. I took him with 160 gr Accubonds from a 7RM, but I agree with Mike on this one. I'm not about to get into a discussion about calibers, just be comfortable with the rifle you are hunting with and know what you can hit at what yardage. Good luck on your hunt, I got hooked on my first trip

06-06-2011, 10:17 AM
I have been hunting speed goats my entire life, but like others have stated I am no expert!! There is a pretty drastic difference between the calibers you have mentioned. Without a doubt I would go with the 7mm. My reasoning would be the wind. Generally speaking the wind is pretty strong in September and it will throw the 22-250 all over the place. The 7mm can withstand it a little better. I am not saying you can't use the 250, but if you don't shoot it a lot in those conditions stick with the 7mm.

As for their noses, they do use them, but they rely heavily on their eyesight. As you know the farther you get from an odor source the greater the odor dispersion and the strength diminishes. If a danger is within strong odor distance from the antelope then that means their eyes have failed them. One thing I have noticed with antelope is that early in the morning when the wind is low the animals tend to be very calm. As the day wears on and the wind increases, the animals get very spooky. Then in the evening when the wind settles back down then the animals settle back down. I have always attributed that to their inability to use their noses and ears when the wind is strong. I don't know that for a fact, but I have been out there enough times to suggest a strong correlation.

I guess what I am saying is that antelope use their eyes to determine potential dangers and their nose and ears for immediate dangers. NoMoreOldNo7 I have had goats do that many times. Guess you didn't pose a percievable threat to those goats!! I have also used a waving hat to turn a goat sideways, or a little bit of flagging material to tweak a goats curiosity and bring him in.

07-08-2011, 12:16 PM
Booner - Unfortunatly, I did not draw this year. My son and cousin did draw and they will be hunting in Box Butte West. Thanks all for your input and advice.

09-08-2011, 08:44 PM
Went out to do some scouting for my son and cousin over Labor Day Weekend. Since I didn't draw a tag, I decided to get an archery permit and bring the bow along. Here is my story. . .

Drove out west to within 20 miles of Wyoming last Friday evening. The main intention was to scout new private land for BadShootinGriz (Luke) and my son, Kyle, for rifle season. I figured I’d just as well drag the bow along and buy a bow permit. Scouted on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Saw a number of bucks, most all by themselves. Did find a few bucks with a bunch of does. These must have been the Alpha bucks. We spied the largest buck of the trip with 17 does on Saturday in a pasture that looked so flat you could bowl on. On Sunday, he was in the same pasture with 20 does. On Monday, there were 26 does and no buck.?.?. After some glassing, we spotted him returning from quite a ways off. . . perhaps returning from running another buck off. Shortly, we spotted another decent buck about a mile away in a different direction. The Alpha buck spotted him at about the same time. Again, off he goes to run him out of the country. This sparked an idea. . . if I could get between him and his harem, perhaps I could pull my Montana Decoy (See here for what it looks like => Montana Decoy (http://www.montanadecoy.com/mcpherson2/AntelopeBuck/go) ) out of the plastic wrapper and see if it works like it says it does. Luke would keep watch from the top of a hill and we would communicate via radios. When he disappeared in a valley, I slid down the hill into a slight depression. I didn’t get 200 yards and Luke tells me he is returning. I pick him up and watch him make his way back to his harem. I’m part-way out in the pasture, so I lay flat to watch his next move. Shortly, they all start bedding down. When they do this, I cannot see them. So, I decide to start crawling towards them. Keep in mind that antelope survive due to the eyesight that is equivalent to 8-power binoculars. I need to stay out of sight of 27 antelope on a flat pasture. Initially, I cover the first hundred yards at a hunched-over crawl. I see the ears of does, so now the next hundred yards is on hands and knees. Again, I spot the ears of does, so now I am flat on my belly with 500-600 yards to go. It’s left elbow forward, right elbow forward, pull the bow, pull the decoy, repeat. 2 hours into the sneak and I can go no further as I can again see the tops of the does ears. From where Luke is at, he cannot see the buck and I cannot either. But we figure he has to be in with the does, I just can't see him. I sure as heck can’t raise my head off the ground, or all this punishment would have been for naught. I figured I am 200 yards from the furthest doe, so the buck is something closer than that.

Laying on my stomach, I position my bow and knock an arrow. I move the buck decoy in front of me and prepare to flip it up. My plan is to quickly stick the decoy in the ground in front of me and come to my knees behind it where I can draw my bow. I know that if it works as expected, the buck will always come in from my right to my left (per the book Trophy Antelope Hunting by Mike Eastman – an excellent read that I HIGHLY recommend). Mike says this is a given when coming in to a decoy; and it works well for a right-handed archer.

Up goes my decoy and I come to my knees for the first time in almost 2 hours and start to push the rods into the ground to hold the decoy up. Immediately, Luke is on the radio telling me that the buck has jumped up and is charging towards me! (Editorial note: Luke says that when I flipped the decoy up, the does that first saw it about got whiplash from turning their heads so quickly to look at it. Once they did that, the buck immediately jumped up and as soon as he saw the decoy, he took off straight for it.) I peek under the belly of the decoy and ‘Holy Cow! He is right!’. I let go of the decoy to grab my bow and the decoy falls onto my head. I use the top of my bow to hold it up. Luke is now telling me that he is broadside. . . . just what I want. I peek under the chin of the decoy and he is still 85 yards out. . . too far. Off he comes again, so I get ready for him to show up on my left side. Mike Eastman says that when the buck sees the hunter behind the decoy, the hunter will have 2 to 3 seconds to shoot before he figures out what is happening. Next thing I know Luke is telling me he is coming to my right. This can’t be true! The books says so! I peek under his chin and he is 30 yards from me on my right. I’m pointed left. It’s now or never. I draw back my bow and have to raise it up and over the head of my decoy. In the process, my decoy falls over as it was never stuck in the ground very well. I shift my body and reposition my knees to shoot to my right. He immediately bolts from all of this commotion and takes off. But I see the familiar lope that I have seen in lots of coyotes over the years and I know that he is unsure of what he just saw and he is going to stop and take one more look. I get on him and follow him already guessing 75 yards as to where he will stop. He stops and looks back and I quickly change my estimate to 60 yards. I place the pin behind his shoulder and touch my release.

This next part I can still vividly see in slow motion. I only pull back 58 pounds, so my arrows have a lot of arch in relation to other folks who pull a heavier weight. When I released my arrow, I immediately thought, ‘Oh man, I way overshot him.’ I watched that arrow arch way high in the air and then curve and start to drop towards the earth. I followed it all the way to its mark! Hours and hours and hours of practice this summer for this one shot! And it couldn’t have hit him more exact where I wanted it! He spun and just went screaming back to where the 26 does stood. If you have never seen how fast an antelope can run, I can’t explain it. You just have to experience it to appreciate it. He covered the 150 yards in probably no more than 5-6 seconds. And as soon as he reached them, he flipped head over heels and it was over.

I have had a LOT of great hunts with a lot of great species over the years and this spot and stalk of 27 antelope tops them all! When I am old and sitting in an easy chair and can no longer hunt, this will be one of the first hunts I always reminisce.



09-10-2011, 08:40 PM
Congratulations. Nice buck and also, nice read. Thanks for posting it.