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Hunting a fenceline
I have bowhunted for Pronghorns over water, using a decoy, and spot and stalk (spot and spook)......but I have never tried to hunt a fence crossing....which is what I plan on doing this September.
For those of you that have attempted this technique, I have a question or two.....
Do the speedgoats tend to loiter near the fence crossing for a few seconds, giving you time for a non-rushed shot....or do you need to be at full draw as they approach your fence crossing? If bucks are approaching with some does, do they tend to cross first, last, or no real pattern?
Any other observations or tricks would also be appreciated.....
I'll be watching this closely.
The one thing I've noticed over and over is they will go one at a time UNDER the fence. They don't seem to wait around on the other side very long once they've crossed under.
They also seem to walk the fence lines and congregate in the corners before attempting to cross.
My friend is a ranch manager in WY and he hunts his goats like this. He says that when they cross that they more often than not will just mill around a bit at his place. Go figure....
I've killed two mature antelope bucks at fence crossings in Montana using pop-up blinds. In both cases, I was set up on the downwind side of a two-track opening in the barbed wire fence. No gates were used in this area of the ranch...so the goats were used to heading to these spots...so no crawling under...and especially no jumping over (something I've never seen an antelope do!) The antelope trails leading to and from these openings were like spokes on a bicycle wheel...coming in and going out in various directions. The point is they loved this spot to get by the fence, and were using it often.
I hunted the third week in September...which is the peak of the rut in this part of the state...so action was high pitched and unpredictable in terms of how fast they blast through the opening. Some would loiter, others would bolt. The mature bucks were doing most of the light-speed running...chasing does and other satellite bucks away.
I killed the first buck within an hour of setting up the blind...and he seemed to take the blind as some kind of challenge and came right down to check it out...then posed for a sub-20 yard shot for the kill.
My second buck took 5 days to kill using the same technique in a different spot...mainly because I kept passing on smaller bucks...since my first one was a good one. Bottom line is...it worked the same...yielding a sub-20 yard shot on a mature buck with good horns.
If you have time to scope out the ranch you will be hunting, spend some time to find one of these two-track fence crossings with active goat trails...and set up roughly 20 yards off the down-wind fence post near the opening...and watch the action unfold in front of you.
Always keep an arrow on the string in the blind, lean your bow in a safe spot, keep all windows closed behind you and only open a minimum number in front of you to see your shooting lane. Don't have any back lighting or you'll get spotted easily. When it is black inside, you can move around the blind to peek in all directions. Draw your bow before the buck enters your shooting lane...and let 'er rip if they are walking slowly. Both of my bucks were doing just that...and both were double lung shots at such close range. And yes, shoot through the mesh over the windows...it won't effect your shot at close range ( I use fixed blade broadheads).
Bring plenty of water to drink...plan to sit all day...and bring along a pee bottle ( I use an empty gallon windsheild washer bottle...and rinse it out with soapy water at the end of each day).
Best of luck...and enjoy the hunt! And post lots of pictures of your setup and trophy!
This is just from my experience on hunting fence lines in South Dakota. You're going to want to walk the entire fence line you plan on hunting and find one of the main crossings they use. It will be pretty obvious because it will look like a highway going under the fence. No grass whatsoever and a very obvious trail. You'll also see little trails that they use along the fence line and if the landowner will allow you try to block them off somehow. We tie things on those little trails to try to make them use the one big main trail exclusively. Set up your blind on the predominately downwind side. When you see them starting to come get ready. Some of them well run right through but some of them might come up and stop right before the fence and look around to give you a shot. They do not cross in any particular order. If you get a good crossing you should have some good action. Best of luck.
"and" they do at times "Jump" fences .....I've seen them jump a fence hundreds of times! ..... I'd set up a blind where you think it looks good and watch the fence also as far as you can see. That may give you a insight as to a pattern....if they have any.....IF the landowner don't care, you can ""make a crossing"" in a fence line by tying lower strand up to the above strand .....just remember to put it back originally when done on your hunt....Good Luck.....Not Rocket Science....."goats" can be very stupid ....yet smart.....lol
Yes they jump fences with ease.
fence crossing can work but what i have found is when they cross they come under the fence and run out into a field if u are on the other side they will usually pace back and forth before going under .
Looks like City has a decoy setup. Do u think a decoy would help calm or help at a fence crossing in anyway the first week of the season, August 15? Ed
I've tried this, and I don't have the patience any longer to do it. A few of my observations.
1- Blind set up on a heavy fence crossing the same day or within the past couple days, they will see the blind and reroute around it.
2- The bucks were always last.
3 - If you can, set your blind away from the crossing. Being 20 yds from it really gets them nervous.
4- You better be on edge all day long. Unlike water, where after the 3rd or 4th day you get tired, take a nap and wake up to antelope watering, fences crossing don't offer that luxury.
5. The hot crossing you're on turns cold when you set your blind on it.
The only fence " crossing " I ever hunted was from a blind set up by the landowner. The goats were semi easy with it, but not completely. The one goat I shot at was walking through the gap opening and I tried to stop him with a grunt ( I was already at full draw ). He stopped for a few seconds, but when I triggered the shot, he jumped clean out from under the arrow. I'll bet I missed him 10/15 feet. Slow bow, fast goat !
Crossings do work at times. We used them in Wyoming when we outfitted there way more than in Texas. I thought the animals were to nervous when the blinds went up.
Our larger goats. The ones that were 16 to 19 inches - really mature animals in Texas jumped the fence wherever they wanted to. We were more successful with spot and stalk and windmill blinds (water)
You can create a crossing point if prop the fence strands up from the ground between two posts so a big dog could walk under and not scrape its back. The pronghorn will use the same crossing spot if not pressured but once are pressured on public ground the pronghorn will end up running along a fence they are not used to and if then see the fence raised or a gate open then that is where they want to cross to the next area. As for jumping the typical 3 or 4 strand fence, even a month old fawn could jump this but 1000s of years of DNA that developed when fences were no in place seems to have impaired pronghorns from recognizing the fence as something that should be jumped. I also have seen several dozen pronghorn bunch up and cross under the fence one or two at a time but as soon as each pronghorn clears the fence they trot or run off rather than wait to regroup with the others.
I've seen more jump fences than go under them. Go figure.
I've seen pronghorn jump fences.
I've also seen them cross in random places.
I've set up blinds and see antelope shy away from the "crossing" just because of the blind.
When observing antelope as soon as they cross they run away from the field.
Tetton first week of sept ! i have killed a few on the fence crossings and even killed a few in the middle of no mans land .Lope are easy to pattern even in the wide open sage flats ,One can glass from a blind and soon see a routine they take ,and setup in the dark of night.
With lope u need to keep a open mind on this same hunt it poured for dqys the water holes were useless . I tagged out early in the week and spent my days glassing lope for my friends i found one good buck and noticed a pattern he was on . I told my friend to grab his blind and we will set it in the dark , we set it up along a small electric pump station , He sat all day in the rain , I glassed from a safe distance finally some lope moved towards him . And i seen them run . Anthony made a great shot just hours remaining. His first WY lope !
Lope are a fun hunt!!!
Did you just remove the legs from a 3D Pronghorn target?....or does someone actually make a 3D pronghorn decoy?
Do you have a closer photo of your decoy, that you could post?
jake i just removed the legs from a reddidoe and did a paint job myself made new ears i will dig up better pic That buck came from a long distance to examine the doe bedded at the fence .I had does and small bucks come up and feed inches from it.
Thanks love to see that decoy also..
Were the antelope crossing by the dirtpile that is next to the fence?....about 4 posts down from the blind?
yes Jake over the years they did that My friend and i got into decoy wars !! . I found out a bedded doe is a great decoy on my first trip out to WY ,I was hunting a fence crossing had a herd come under a fence and feed in front of me no bucks just does /fawns , with a doe tag in pocket and never hunting lope i shot the first adult female. She stood in front of my blind and just bedded , from out of nowhere a buck comes in under the fence running to the bedded doe in front of me ! i was shocked to see he was sporting wood !! he tried to get her up to mount her but no luck she was near death. He would not leave her . I have both mounted on the wall . So when seeing that it was just common sense to use a bedded doe . its worked numerous times . We hunted a lot of fence crossings due to water being all over and always killed lopes on these setups .
pit blinds work better than pop ups on fence lines.
Cool info. Funny that I had heard advice for sitting water that you not use a decoy. Guess at water they just feel (and are) very vulnerable. More open more relaxed?
One thing that really helped hunting this fence line was the top wire was tied down a bit, so when I positioned in the blind, I could shoot both sides. My shot ended up being on the opposite side as he stood waiting for the others to go under.
Anyone ever have problems with cattle or sheep leaving ur blinds up if they're around.
Do you have a close up photo of your antelope decoy?
I really like the fact that it would be effective even if the water holes aren't effective due to rain.
Even as good as their eyesight is, it wasn't necessary to "grass in" (or "brush in") the blind a little bit....just to help it blend in a little bit better....?
Finding a spot where the top wire is low, or the bottom wire is high, coupled with a pronghorn doe decoy and a grassed in blind sounds like a reasonable method to try, even if the weather is not cooperating (i.e. too much precipitation).
I wonder if a solar powered fence charger could be used to keep livestock away....I have seen them used in grizzly camp ..... I probably wouldn't bother until livestock became an issue....but something to keep in mind.....
If antelope are approaching the fence from the downwind side, do they tend to scent check the blind from downwind before crossing the fence?
Jake i never brushed them in !I once moved my blind by just lifting it and walking it to new spot and killed a buck that evening .Cows will piss stomp and poop on your blind esp by water , I use thin wire with big spikes in the ground , lope dont like moving objects in the wind it spooks them , I never worry about scent control when hunting lope , The adult lopes predator is extinct a cheetah in the Americas this is why they are so fast and great eyesight but never needed the use of there nose .
I often come out and chase cattle away i have noticed lope like to water without cows near
The reason I asked about cattle/sheep is, I saw a tent in Colorado stomped down by cattle.. And since I got permission to hunt on a cattle/sheep ranch in Wyoming if I draw I don't want to come back in the morning and have my blinds flatted..
I have a friend that has cattle and can get the white fiberglass rods and the white fence ribbon and a few chargers for them. Do you think that the white rods, only be 4 on a blind with white ribbon fence will scare the lopes off??
I could paint the rods and maybe the ribbon fence brown or something.. Ed
ribbon fence if it moves in the wind the lope will not come in they dont like flapping blinds etc thats why i use wire and big spikes nailed deep ,,
I never use them flat type decoys in WY u can use them as a kite at best , winds bend them flapping in the wind totally useless .
It has been my experience that the antelope will stop prior to crossing the fence, but after it has crossed the fence it will not stop for a shot.
Jake my decoy was stolen at the ranch actually 2 of them . reddidoe makes a lope coy but i just used my doe and made ears and new paint job