Lydia Clark of Lander harvested her first antelope at the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt this month at Ucross. Photo credit: Danielle Sanville.
(Ucross, Wyo.) – She never felt so present, so in the moment, so focused she wasn’t aware if she was calm or nervous. When she fired the shot, she expected, for a second, to miss. Earlier shots that morning seemed perfect and nothing happened. This time the antelope collapsed.
The first Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt held Oct. 3-6 near Ucross was Lander resident Lydia Clark’s first weekend hunting.
Clark, 23, always wanted to hunt. Hunting is a kind of survival skill and knowing how to supply yourself with food is the ultimate symbol of self-sufficiency.
“If you need to feed your family, or feed yourself, you can get a hunting license and go up into the woods and get enough meat to last you a long time,” she said.
But she didn’t know anyone interested in teaching her. The women’s hunt was the perfect way for her to learn.
Clark had only shot a rifle a few times, but when cleaning out her grandfather’s basement she found a 1973 Remington Model 700 with a scope. The gun only needed a cleaning.
It was snowing when the women went out on the first morning. She fired a few shots, but Clark was empty-handed at the end of the day.
The second morning out she knew she had a shot about 80 yards away. She supported the barrel on the wire of an old fence. Clark was steady, Zen even, when she fired.
She processed the meat herself after watching a demonstration that weekend.
Her first night home she fried up the tenderloins in a wine and mushroom sauce.
“I don’t think I’ve had more tender meat in my life,” she said.
Clark hopes to continue learning from other hunters and try for other animals, she said.
“Deer would be a good place to start.”