When Emrie Osborn drew a special hunt antelope tag, she knew exactly what she needed to do.
Take a hunter’s safety class.
“I had to finish it in a week — that wasn’t too fun,” said Emrie, 12, of Baker City.
She grew up in a hunting family, and when it came her turn this year, she put in for three tags — antelope, deer and elk.
She got them all.
“I was super excited,” she said.
Her antelope tag was for a premium hunt, newly introduced this year by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
For these hunts, one tag was awarded in each unit, and the season was open from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30.
Emrie’s tag was for the Lookout Mountain unit in eastern Baker County.
Once she had her hunter’s safety card, Emrie’s family — all avid hunters — helped her prepare with shooting practice and scouting for pronghorn.
“The week before the hunt started, we shot a lot,” she said.
On her first day out, Emrie passed up the first antelope she saw, hoping she’d come across a bigger buck.
“We let it go because we had two months,” she said.
But the early mornings started to wear on her, as she woke up at 5:15 a.m. to leave the house by 6 o’clock.
“We’d hunt in the morning, and at night, too,” she said. “And sometimes during the day.”
Her hunting partners included her mom, Kristie Osborn, her grandma and grandpa, Rhea and Jim Patton, her aunt, Marcy Osborn, and uncles, Jeff Morris and Joe Patton.
Finally, on Aug. 10, Emrie spotted the animal she wanted.
“We finally saw one and I said ‘I want that one,’ ” she said.
She was a bit nervous, especially as the lone hunter in the group with all eyes on her.
“A little bit,” she said. “I was shaking so much, thinking I’m probably going to miss.”
At first she could only see the antelope’s horns, then he stood up.
She shot — first at a distance of 100 yards, then 150 yards.
The animal dropped.
She didn’t rush right over to see her trophy.
“The worst part was walking up to it. I was so scared it was going to do something,” she said.
She tried to get her mom to check on it first.
“She said, ‘you have the gun,’ ” Emrie said, laughing at the memory.
She helped skin the animal, and will get the skull and horns mounted.
“I didn’t want the whole face because it’s going in my room — I didn’t want it to stare at me,” she said.
She’s also looking forward to some meals featuring the meat she harvested herself.
“Everyone asks ‘can I have a piece?’ There’s not that much!” she said.
Next up on her list are hunts for deer and elk. She thinks she’s over the worse of her nerves.
“I probably won’t be as scared,” she said. “We’ll have a whole group hunting, not just me.”