By Don Martin Originally Published in the Kingman Daily Miner: September 16, 2019 7:25 p.m. Published with permission granted to www.crescentcitytimes.com. Refer to PART 1 and PART 2 for the back story.
We had decided to go back to the same area up north where we had seen plenty of antelope. Marc would be on one glassing spot and Hogan on another, while Page, Jay and I looked in the area where we had seen the big buck that Page had missed.
I found a herd of 12 antelope on a hillside at 1,440 yards. The buck that was with them was a dandy. Tall and wide, it was a buck we were hoping to make a stalk on. However, we were going to need Marc and Hogan to keep an eye on them while we made the stalk.
At this point, Page was worn out and almost out of oxygen. She told me she had one more hike in her and then she’s done!
Then I get a call from Hogan. He had found a doe and mature buck about a half mile from where he was at. He watched them go into a small drainage and thought they bedded down.
Jay and Page decided to try for this buck as he was much closer than the one I had found on the hillside. Marc, from his position on top of a mesa, could also see the antelope.
We met Hogan and he explained what he had seen. It was decided that Jay and Hogan will go with Page on the stalk. I will stay at the trucks and be an extra set of eyes during the stalk.
As they leave, I noticed that Page seemed very tired, and that this would indeed be the last stalk she could make. Low on oxygen, and worn out from all the previous days of lack of sleep and stalks across rough terrain, she had given it her best.
All I could do was watch. It turned out to be a three–hour stalk but with carefully thought out planning, Jay and Hogan were able to get Page to within 176 yards of the bedded buck, who had no idea that the three were close by.
Jay set up the Harris bi-pod on her rifle to the correct height, and Page was steady and rested when the buck finally stood up.
At the shot, the buck ran less than 10 feet and dropped. The shot was perfect and Page had her well-earned antelope after five days of rough hunting.
After the photos were taken, we all worked to field dress the old buck and get him back to the trucks.
Page decided to have Henry Aguilar at Henry’s Artistic Wildlife in Kingman do the taxidermy on her once-in-a-lifetime trophy.
We turned in the jaw of the buck to the Region 3 AGFD office, and learned the buck was between 6 and 7 years old.
In checking on several Arizona hunting sites we learned that Page may have been the oldest lady hunter in Arizona to have bagged an antelope this year.
Page had shown tremendous courage and desire, in completing this hunt. She is understandably proud of what she accomplished, but said she will not put in for an antelope tag again.
All she wants now is a late Kaibab mule deer tag!
Page wanted to thank all the friends who worked extremely hard to make sure this lady sportsman got exactly what she wanted when she drew the tag – a good time and a mature antelope.
Page McDonald is the sister of Douglas Westfall, Publisher.