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First Antelope Hunt - South Dakota
I've decided to add some excitement to my 50th birthday year and head out west to try for an antelope.
Looking for any advice and insight on what to look for and what I can expect in terms of number of shot opportunities I might get.
I'm gonna try South Dakota since the tags are cheap and based on research and talking to the wildlife folks there they have a decent herd.
This'll be d.i.y. on public walk-in areas and national grasslands concentrating on Fall River county.
I've got back country experience as I lived in Colorado for 9 years, and I've toured around South Dakota in my younger days by motorcycle. Just never hunted for antelope. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Me & friends have done DIY in Wy. on public & Walk in areas. Just "know" the rules for each particular walk in as they sometimes vary. Enjoy as it's pretty doable & if you water hole hunt, just be patient. If they use your spot, they will come for sure. We've killed out of our blinds 1st day. They sometimes just stand back & look for awhile then come in. Make sure NOTHING flaps on your blind. Me & buddy going again next year. This is my buddies Buck 1st day blind was up & it was same blind our other buddy killed a P&Y 4 hours earlier. I missed a nice Buck & took a Doe.. We've always had great hunts. Good Luck.
Ahunter, thanks for the encouragement and advice. Am planning on spot and stalk but may bring a blind in case.
Make sure you take a blind. Terrain makes a BIG difference in Spot & stalk. Good Luck. This is the other Buck taken (2, 4 hrs apart, same blind).
I did SD spot and stalk back in 2006. Not sure how the herd was then in comparison to now but we found no shortage of goats. I would encourage you to try the spot and stalk if the terrain is suitable. IT IS A BLAST! I ended up killing mine in a walk in area that had hay bales on it. The bales worked perfect for stalking. My best piece of advice is to move fast when you find one in a stalkable spot. They won't wait around for you. Slow down when your close but be prepared to run when they are screened by terrain or something else. Also, if you are confident shooting 60yds your odds will increase dramatically.
Predeter that's some great info! Thanks. Were you in the southern part of s.d?
The herd in SD is down a great deal since 2006. In fact the numbers are very spotty across the state. There are still some areas with decent numbers but much of the range is down considerably and you'll have to look far and wide to find huntable numbers. If hunting in Fall River county you'll want to obtain a grasslands map from the forest service to identify public land. The SD GFP has a handy GPS app for this purpose and there's several aftermarket phone apps that will do the same. Good luck!
We were in the NW part of the state.
Brotsky thanks for the information. I've gotten reports pretty much confirming what your saying. Nonetheless I've got a tag in hand an am going to give it a shot.
I have been spot and stalk hunting in the SW corner of Fall River Co. this year with a couple of decent stalks. However, I feel the numbers of pronghorns are still way down, even here. I do see some small herds on private land but public is tough, at least with a bow. These animals are very skiddish. I stop the truck, they may be out 600 yards but they still get up and take off. This time of year you need the wind and terrain in your favor. Most of the grasslands have rolling terrain and there are water holes everywhere for the cattle. Sorry to rain on your hopes, but that is my assessment. Make sure you get that hunting atlas of available land. It is really broken up.
Brown E thanks for the reality check. Still gonna give it a shot. I' ve had the atlas for a couple of weeks now and been studying it.
Was planning on spot and stalk but sounds like scouting waterholes may be in order for a game change to a ground blind possibly??
elvspec, I sent you a pm. Sorry about the negative but you may have good luck.