3Rivers Archery Supply
Waterhole Blind Placement
Pronghorn
Contributors to this thread:
Elkstuffer 24-Jun-17
jims 24-Jun-17
LKH 24-Jun-17
drycreek 24-Jun-17
Ben 24-Jun-17
Elkstuffer 25-Jun-17
ahunter55 25-Jun-17
Elkstuffer 26-Jun-17
'Ike' (Phone) 26-Jun-17
'Ike' (Phone) 26-Jun-17
Twanger 26-Jun-17
Elkstuffer 27-Jun-17
Ben 27-Jun-17
Highllainsdrifter 27-Jun-17
drycreek 27-Jun-17
Elkstuffer 28-Jun-17
bohunr 28-Jun-17
bohunr 28-Jun-17
bohunr 28-Jun-17
bohunr 28-Jun-17
bohunr 28-Jun-17
Elkstuffer 29-Jun-17
bohunr 02-Jul-17
Elkstuffer 03-Jul-17
WapitiBob 03-Jul-17
bohunr 04-Jul-17
Stryker 05-Jul-17
Elkstuffer 05-Jul-17
Elkstuffer 05-Jul-17
Elkstuffer 05-Jul-17
Sage Buffalo 05-Jul-17
Sage Buffalo 05-Jul-17
Elkstuffer 05-Jul-17
From: Elkstuffer
24-Jun-17
How close to the water do you want to place your ground blind? Does anyone have photos of your setup from across the pond? Thanks for the help!!!

From: jims
24-Jun-17
A lot depends upon the water. How far is it in each direction from the edge of the water to your blind? It may be possible to set up farther from a tiny water source because you know exactly where they will water. If it's a bigger body of water your shots may be shorter if you place the blind closer to the edge.

If bucks aren't acclimated to a blind they likely will water on the opposite side of the water from your blind so they can watch the blind while they are watering. When you get to the water you can see which routes they take (game trails) and where the majority of tracks are at the water's edge. If you have your blind set up right on the water's edge and you intend on hunting the day you set it up the antelope may water elsewhere. Obviously the farther you can set it up and the earlier you can set up your blinds before your hunt the better. If there are quite a few water sources they may water elsewhere. If it's the only water source for miles and miles it may not matter as much. Smart ole bucks generally take longer to acclimate to blinds than does and young bucks. If you don't have time to acclimate it may be a good idea to blend the blind in with a hill, brush, etc, or possibly add native foliage to the blind.

From: LKH
24-Jun-17
On a remote property I set a popup for an archer. The herd watched us. He climbed in and I drove off to watch from a ridge about a mile away. When I got there he was out looking in a ravine a ways from the blind. I went back and he had missed the big buck and then shot the smaller. It scored 78".

Helps to have unpressured animals.

From: drycreek
24-Jun-17
As LKH said, pressure could mean a difference. I've had better luck setting up down in the edge of the pond rather than up where the blind is skylined when a goat is drinking. I've had a couple setups where I was almost in the water and they worked out well.

If there is any way in the world that you can set up a decoy blind in advance, do so. Two years in a row I was able to to this, or have it done, and it made a world of difference. I used three T posts and camo burlap to make a decoy blind. The afternoon we arrived, I simply took it down, popped up my blind, and they never gave it a second look. Killed the next day. This was private land about 30 miles S of Gillette, Wyoming.

From: Ben
24-Jun-17
When I last hunted Wyoming we hunted popup blinds on several tanks and had lopes coming in from the first morning on BLM land. Then my hunting partner and I were driving around before going for our afternoon sit and found a series of tanks on private land that had a great size herd and it was entered in the hunter assistance program with the Wyoming game department. Drove up to Douglas office and got permits the next morning (they are available on line). You must have a permit on your vehicle and on your person to hunt these ranches at no cost. Upon taking a lope you turn in a tag receipt to Fish and Game and the landowner gets paid for you taking an animal on their ranch. We set up on the drainage coming into the tank(pond) with the most activity. Cut sage to add to the little cover that was there and made a natural blind. Over the next 4 days 4 of our group took lopes out of this blind. The fifth of the group could have killed one there too if he hadn't got home sick. So 4 of 5 of us scored out of the same blind. I sent a thank you letter to the ranch owner thanking him for entering his property into the program. If you're going up I highly recommend getting one of these permits for everyone in your party and using them. It will get you on to 10's of thousands of acres with little effort.

From: Elkstuffer
25-Jun-17
Thanks for the info guys! I actually drew a tag for the Hart Mountain Antelope refuge in Oregon after 18 yrs of trying. I just haven't successfully hunted out of a blind over water for pronghorn. The rule states that I can put up a blind no sooner than 5 days before my opener on Aug 3rd. So I'll be doing just that and hope that 5 days is enough for them to get acclimated. I'm open to any other ideas or suggestions. Thanks again guys!!!!!

From: ahunter55
25-Jun-17

ahunter55's embedded Photo
ahunter55's embedded Photo
Check that pond for tracks & where they water most. I set up on this big pond & watched at least 30 Goats water 70 yds away my 1st day. I moved my blind when I finished hunting that day. They were watering on a steep bank & just a foot wide water where it went in from the big pond. Killed the next day.

From: Elkstuffer
26-Jun-17
Great info! I never would have thought to set up on a body of water as big as the one in your photo but I guess like any creature of habit they feel safe in certain areas. Thanks!!!

26-Jun-17

'Ike' (Phone)'s embedded Photo
'Ike' (Phone)'s embedded Photo
On a CA hunt with the hole drying up...

26-Jun-17

'Ike' (Phone)'s embedded Photo
'Ike' (Phone)'s embedded Photo
Out of that blind...

From: Twanger
26-Jun-17
I have been digging a hole to get the bottom of the window just above ground level. With the blind being lower the antelope seem to be less cautious.

From: Elkstuffer
27-Jun-17
Good advise Twanger! I'll have to see if I'm allowed to dig on the Antelope Refuge. I should have my rules packet any day now.

From: Ben
27-Jun-17
If you dig a hole be sure to fill it back in when you leave.

27-Jun-17
Do not set your blind up where the antelope have to go around the blind to get to their watering spot. They dont like it and will not come in to drink

From: drycreek
27-Jun-17
55 makes a good point. The first time I hunted water I watched the same thing happen. The goats were watering across a large pond from me. There were some cattails between us and on the third day, at dark I unpinned my blind and walked it around to the other side and backed it up to the cattails. It was uncomfortable, as I was set up in horse tracks that were six inches deep in the dried mud, but I didn't stay long. Between 9:30 and 10, I killed my first archery antelope. Forty seven yards and still the longest I've ever had to shoot.

From: Elkstuffer
28-Jun-17
Great info guys!!!!! Keep it coming!!!!

From: bohunr
28-Jun-17
Elkstuffer, Hart mountain is an unbelievable tag to draw. But don't "go with the flow ",hunt the west rim. Not as many goats but much bigger animals. Biggest antelope buck I ever saw was all by himself during the rut up there. Easily 18 inches. Do some scouting up there if you can, it might pay off.

From: bohunr
28-Jun-17
If you want to hunt water holes with the rest of them, check out the one at the head of of Martin canyon,on the west side of the main road.

From: bohunr
28-Jun-17
If you want to hunt water holes with the rest of them, check out the one at the head of of Martin canyon,on the west side of the main road.

From: bohunr
28-Jun-17
Sorry about the double post.

From: bohunr
28-Jun-17
By the way, I'll be down in the area the last week of July scouting for a friend of mine that waited 21 years for a tag and opted out of Hart mountain because of the competition for water holes.

From: Elkstuffer
29-Jun-17
Hey Bohunr, check your PM Box.

From: bohunr
02-Jul-17
Hey elkstuffer I'm having problems with my pm's.how do I access them? For sure? Want to hook up with you last weekend in July.

From: Elkstuffer
03-Jul-17
Up on the tool bar where it says "My Bowsite". Click on it and it will take you there.

From: WapitiBob
03-Jul-17
Come in from the south and there won't be any competition.

From: bohunr
04-Jul-17
Wapitibob, you're just evil :)

From: Stryker
05-Jul-17
The photo that Ike posted is a perfect example of a situation that I use that helps me position a goat for a shot. I start just inside of water line digging a small trench line then making it wider where a small pool will form then breach the the water allowing the water to flow into the small pool you create. Antelope like to have solid ground to stand on when watering if possible as that is where they are most vulnerable for predators.

From: Elkstuffer
05-Jul-17
Ahhhh. Good to know and that makes perfect sense. Thanks Stryker!

From: Elkstuffer
05-Jul-17

From: Elkstuffer
05-Jul-17
Maybe a dumb question but will they come into a spring type seep with little puddles as willing as to a full blown pond? My guess is if it was the only water around for 4 miles they would or would they completely move to be closer to the bigger water?

From: Sage Buffalo
05-Jul-17
If you are using a pop-up the most critical aspect is wind. Check to see what the wind will be - if it's 15+ then you are in for a tough haul. Antelope HATE things that shake by the waterhole.

If you can use a plywood blind and setup as early as possible the better. 5 days is not a lot of time but I would setup as soon as possible.

As far as distance, if setting up early and with a hard sided blind then you can setup 10 yards and not have any issues. If a material blind I would backup so your furthest shot is in range.

Do NOT setup a blind where you can't shoot (unless on a huge water source). If you do you will regret it.

Finally, know the water around you. If your water is the only water around for miles it won't really make that much of a difference as they will have to water (assuming you try and be stealthy). If there are other options and your setup doesn't look fixed you will find out quickly as they will come and go without watering.

Whatever you do - do NOT under-estimate these animals by stories about guys setting up and 15 minutes later shooting a antelope. It happens and those guys are lucky but I've heard many more stories about guys sitting for 3 days and watching antelope march by at 100 yds and not come in.

Setup early. Use hard sided blinds if possible. Watch the strength of the wind. Know your water sources. Be conscious about those things and you will score.

Good luck!

From: Sage Buffalo
05-Jul-17
Elk: My buddy shot a nice goat one year in a seep that was 2x2 feet wide. Since most seasons are close to the rut antelope don't like to congregate together so if they can stay in their territory they will.

From: Elkstuffer
05-Jul-17
Thank you Sage! I appreciate the advise of a seasoned pronghorn hunter.

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