3Rivers Archery Supply
Crash course in antelope hunting
Pronghorn
Contributors to this thread:
Ucsdryder 02-Aug-17
drycreek 02-Aug-17
Glunt@work 02-Aug-17
Ucsdryder 03-Aug-17
Bowfreak 03-Aug-17
Brotsky 03-Aug-17
Catscratch 03-Aug-17
smithkt55 03-Aug-17
Catscratch 03-Aug-17
Jaquomo 03-Aug-17
Sage Buffalo 03-Aug-17
Buffalo1 03-Aug-17
RD in WI 03-Aug-17
Glunt@work 03-Aug-17
LKH 03-Aug-17
Fulldraw1972 03-Aug-17
wildwilderness 04-Aug-17
bad karma 04-Aug-17
Ucsdryder 04-Aug-17
sitO 05-Aug-17
Ucsdryder 06-Aug-17
Ucsdryder 06-Aug-17
jordanathome 06-Aug-17
huntperch 06-Aug-17
Ucsdryder 06-Aug-17
Ucsdryder 06-Aug-17
Ucsdryder 06-Aug-17
drycreek 06-Aug-17
newt 06-Aug-17
Ucsdryder 11-Aug-17
Glunt@work 11-Aug-17
Ucsdryder 11-Aug-17
From: Ucsdryder
02-Aug-17
What advice would you give to a new antelope hunter? Was given permission to hunt a large private ranch in Eastern Colorado. Supposedly there are antelope on the ranch. I have no clue. Driving out Saturday. It's sage brush country, mostly flat with small rolling hills and dry creeks. Most water comes from tanks (wells).

Any scouting advice other than drive dirt roads with a pair of binos?

Assuming I find some I can hunt water or spot and stalk. I'm not a sit for 10 hours type of guy. Sit water early and spot and stalk during the day?

From: drycreek
02-Aug-17

drycreek's embedded Photo
drycreek's embedded Photo
From my limited experience: Drive and spot for a day before you commit to a specific water hole. Antelope seem to rise up out of the ground so just because you don't see one now doesn't mean there won't be one there in thirty minutes, especially if you hunt during the rut. If at all possible, set your blind up close to the most tracks at water's edge and leave it a couple days before you actually hunt. If there are cows, they may trash your blind though. Four T posts and some barbed wire will probably keep them off it.

If you have enough terrain change, or cover, spot and stalk may be the way, and don't discount decoying during the rut. Many bucks will come running to the decoy if you can get within their comfort zone before you pop the decoy on them. Never had one run over me though, so be prepared for a 50/60 yard shot if you're comfortable with that.

Good luck and post pics !

From: Glunt@work
02-Aug-17
Find a tank they are using. Pop up a blind and wait them out. Walking into or away from a water hole in daylight with antelope in sight can screw up a pasture for a while. If only sitting part of the day I would sit mornings but they will water any time.

Daylight to dark during antelope season is 14 hours. Drives some people batty but staying put works.

From: Ucsdryder
03-Aug-17
Not sure why I didn't think about it but with limited water the tracks won't lie. I'll make sure I drive by every tank for tracks.

From: Bowfreak
03-Aug-17
Glunt has the key to success but I realize many have trouble sitting. Spot and stalk is crazy hard for me but many guys do it successfully. If I found water where they are drinking routinely and there was a buck or bucks in the area I wanted to shoot, you'd have to pry me out of a blind sitting on that water source.

From: Brotsky
03-Aug-17
As said previously, you're best chance at success is sitting water dawn til dark. The most rewarding success is taking one spot and stalk due to the difficulty. They are a long way from the rut right now so a decoy is pretty useless until September rolls around. Fence crossings are another option to consider if you can find where they are crossing. Good luck!

From: Catscratch
03-Aug-17
Do they spook from a freshly erected pop-up blind? Could you put one up on Friday and hunt it Saturday and Sunday? Or do they need time to get use to the giant new blob by their favorite water hole?

From: smithkt55
03-Aug-17
Catscratch, On three separate occasions, I have set up a blind over water (for the first time) in the dark and killed that morning. That said, I am an equal opportunity pronghorn killer and do believe that some of the more mature animals are a bit more leery of the new blob sitting next to their drinking source and are hesitant to come in.

From: Catscratch
03-Aug-17
Thanks smithkt55. Sounds like they don't mind much. This would be my first hunt so a trophy isn't really part of the idea. Just having a decent chance at one would be awesome.

From: Jaquomo
03-Aug-17
Get yourself a little battery-powered handheld fan and a water spritzer. Sitting in a blind in August is like being in a POW "hot box".

From: Sage Buffalo
03-Aug-17
The formulas is pretty simple:

1. Get your blind up NOW if possible. The longer it's there the better. If using a pop-up make sure it's tied down very, very well. Antelope hate things that shake. A plywood blind is better if you can make one.

2. Get in blind before sunup and stay till dark (if necessary).

3. As a new hunter do not shoot an antelope the first day if you have the patience. You need to see them close to judge size. If you shoot the first one you see it will likely be smaller than what you could have gotten had you waited. Antelope are creatures of habit and will be back every day if they aren't pushed.

Antelope hunting is more about technique than difficulty.

Now if you want to really see how hard it can be then do some spot & stalking and you will realize how incredibly amazing they are. On flat land with no breaks they are virtually impossible to get close to.

From: Buffalo1
03-Aug-17

Buffalo1's embedded Photo
I watched this buck for about 3 hrs. He pretty much kept his surroundings observed.
Buffalo1's embedded Photo
I watched this buck for about 3 hrs. He pretty much kept his surroundings observed.
Buffalo1's embedded Photo
I also watched these bucks for about 3 hrs. The way they positioned themselves they shared the "360 issue." How would you spot and stalk these bucks?
Buffalo1's embedded Photo
I also watched these bucks for about 3 hrs. The way they positioned themselves they shared the "360 issue." How would you spot and stalk these bucks?
I'm no expert, but I don't think your success rate will not be real high on the spot & stalk except during the rut. Think you will be better off getting in a blind early and staying late. See pictured examples.

From: RD in WI
03-Aug-17
Thankfully, the area I hunt in South Dakota lends itself to spot and stalk hunting - staying put in a blind is not palatable to me. If the area you hunt is pool table flat, hunting water may be the only way to be successful. Best of luck to you.

From: Glunt@work
03-Aug-17
I have spent a bunch of time sneaking up on antelope. I only killed one that way. Its a lot of fun but you need a spot that is sort of disposable.

From: LKH
03-Aug-17
Over a 5 year period I missed 14 shots at antelope within 30 yards spot and stalk in the Crooked Creek drainage south of the Missouri Breaks. That included 3 in their bed. Don't ask me to explain what happens to me with antelope.

One of the big things I learned was if an antelope's head snapped around to stare at you as you attempted to get closer is NEVER DUCK DOWN. They already suspect something an the motion of your head disappearing only confirms it.

I used a Boonie hat and would put sage or grass in a couple of the loops. It really works.

From: Fulldraw1972
03-Aug-17
I used to spot n stalk them in Ne a fair amount. Yes shots can be longer. You can get away with a lot from a 2' ditch or creek bed. If the grass is taller that helps as well. I once stalked in on a small herd and was able to close to 20 yards. The taller grass really helped on that stalk. My success was higher on bucks up and feeding then on bedded bucks.

04-Aug-17
If you want to kill one sit the blind! Not that hard to sit dawn to dusk- make sure you put a soft floor in the blind- old moving blanket works great. You can move around in it , lie down , bring a cooler with food and drinks. Battery fan,even take your pants off if it gets too hot! Bring books, games movie, and have a good chair.

Way easier for me to sit a good ground blind set up than a tree stand . I've even slept in them the night before so I didn't have to wake up early in the am to get in.

From: bad karma
04-Aug-17
LKH, I can tell you how you missed them. I killed my biggest buck, right side quartering away from me, by hitting him left side quartering away. My first one was broadside at 20 yards, right side to me. Hit her in the left ham.

And we had one we called the St. Christopher buck, who delighted in seeing arrows come to him, and running about 2 steps forward to watch them glide behind him.

They have amazingly quick reflexes.

We would set up blinds 2 weeks in advance. Or build them, as we could. Antelope are so wary at a water hole that you need to give them time to get used to anything new.

From: Ucsdryder
04-Aug-17
Hopefully headed out tomorrow to drive the ranch. My 5 year old daughter has invited herself on this hunt so it looks like we'll try the ground blind deal. At least for a couple hours...if I'm lucky!

From: sitO
05-Aug-17
Get a subordinate male decoy and get after them, you won't regret it. If you can crawl to within 100yds and set the deke up without them seeing you do it, preferably with the harem of doe's between you and the target buck, it will be one of the most adrenaline filled experiences of your life!

From: Ucsdryder
06-Aug-17

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
06-Aug-17
Well I found one! Seems decent? Not sure what makes for a "big" antelope?

From: jordanathome
06-Aug-17
Nice!

From: huntperch
06-Aug-17
My trophy is 12" or more I think you got that covered by at least few inches with that guy!

From: Ucsdryder
06-Aug-17
No doubt he's getting shot if I get the opportunity. Just curious size wise.

From: Ucsdryder
06-Aug-17

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
06-Aug-17
These pictures are looking back at eachother. I'm not sure if I should put the blind on that little hill or down in the flats? I assume you need to play the wind just like elk or deer? Is 30 yards too close? I would feel confident out to 40 but like the idea of a chip shot!

From: drycreek
06-Aug-17
IMO wind is not as critical with antelope as it is with other species. Thirty yards is not too close. In 2015 I killed mine at about 12/15 yards. I could easily see his eyelashes !

From: newt
06-Aug-17
Blind is best bet. I've taken 4 goats from 12 to 22 yds, so I would place blind 15 to 20 yds, no further - why take the long shot if you can get um in close, which you can. I'f stalking, use arrows with short low profile feathers or vanes, as the winds can really mess with your arrow flight. Goats are real Leary of rattling blinds from wind, that's when you want to stalk um, as the wind makes them easier to get up on - remember those very low profile feathers/vanes in that wind. Newt

From: Ucsdryder
11-Aug-17

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Same buck as above?
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Same buck as above?
Dang sideways picture! Went out and checked the cameras today. This buck watered daily but there was no patterning him. Morning, afternoon, midnight...

Pulled up to the hole and 12 antelope took off. All does and fawns with this guy.

I think it's the same buck I saw the first day, doesn't seem to be very big (I can't judge pronghorn worth a crap) but he's mature and I've never hunted them so he's in trouble!

Just to confirm, scent/wind direction isn't an issue in a blind? In this location it willl be a struggle to keep the wind from blowing to them...

From: Glunt@work
11-Aug-17
He's around 12". Nothing special but a great buck to get started with. They are thinking about getting the rut started so bucks can appear and disappear all through the season.

I wouldn't say wind isn't an issue, its just not like it is with other critters.

From: Ucsdryder
11-Aug-17
Thanks glunt. I would consider holding out but my 5 year old will be in the blind. Zero chance she'll let me let him walk!

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