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Blinds for antelope
Does one need to put out antelope blinds at water holes many days before hunting? Or can you put out a pop up type of blind and hunt it same or next day?
It is best to put them out as early as possible before your hunt. But I have hunted the same day that I have set them up many times and even killed the same day.
Either can work, but something like this works best, and is way more comfortable than any tent.
Many times I’ve hunted blm for Antelope and thought the blind would probably get stolen if I left it up. I have set the blind up at about 2 pm and have them at the water tank a couple hours later sometimes for several days in a row. Thats in N.M. in August ...hot and dry with not a lot of water for them.
IMO, it depends on how thirsty they are. I’ve had them quit using the side I’m on if the water is big enough.
moved blind to the other side
moved blind to the other side
I set this blind a week before the season but two days into the hunt, I found the pronghorns were using the other side of the pond. The third morning I moved the blind to the other side, 75 yards away, and killed my buck an hour later.
To be safe, just brush it in. I cost myself a buck last year I'm Wyoming because there was lots of water in my unit last year and the antelope that came in shied away from my blind. There was so much water, they went somewhere else to water. I brushed it in with a few days left to hunt and had mule deer and antelope does watering without a care in the world.
As mentioned...the earlier you can set up you blind prior to hunting the better! If there are many water sources around antelope will likely water elsewhere...especially smart mature bucks! If your at the only water source for miles and miles it may not matter as much. I had a smart buck once that watered only after dark. I was at the only water around and couldn't figure out where he watered...I sat at the waterhole for 3 days. I finally decided to rake the bare ground around the waterhole...and sure enough there were fresh tracks where he had watered at night! It's not worth the work of blending in a blind if you can set your blind up well in advance. If you can't, it would definitely help.
Before setting up your blind keep wind direction in mind. Antelope have excellent noses! In most cases antelope tend to water directly across the water from your blind. There are often trails leading to waterholes....a more tracks on one side than others.
It definitely helps having everything black inside the blind. Depending upon the time of day and where the sun is the inside of your blind may be lit up or dark. You may want to have someone inside the blind moving around and have someone outside seeing if they can detect movement. Keep in mind that antelope have some of the best eyes in the animal kingdom!
The wind can howl in most antelope country. Keep that in mind when setting up a $500 blind a month before the season! There are other options....
Don't think I'd set a blind like that first pic. Great set up but here in Idaho it's a no no.
If the blind is plainly visible from a distance, early is not critical at all. They’ll watch awhile a come in. If it’s in a low spot and surprises the antelope close in, they will leave.
Paul@thefort, make sure that you don't arrow the guy holding the camera :)
Pdog, I had 10 seconds to make that picture work as I was the "guy".
Haven’t been goat hunting for several years, but unless they’ve changed drastically, it doesn’t matter. I’ve killed them literally feet away from the window just hours after setting up the blind.
Interesting replies. I have only hunted pronghorn twice. The first year I set up the blind the day I arrived. There were several nice bucks going to the water hole according to the rancher. Not one came within 70 yards of the blind for over a week. Finally after about 8 days a buck walked by at 40 yards and I shot over his back.That year was very dry and there were only two water holes with water for many miles. The second year I had the rancher set up my blinds 2 weeks before I arrived. This time I had antelope watering right in front of my blind from day one and it had rained hard and there was water everywhere. This year I am having the rancher put out my blind 2 weeks before I arrive !! Both times were the first 2 weeks of September.
You can search this topic on this very site and you will see the same replies over and over by the same guys for the most part.
Pay attention to Jims, he know antelope.
Timbrhunter, from what I’ve seen your experience is the norm. No way in hell im sitting a blind for 10-15 hours just to have that nice buck see the blind and shy away.
Life is too short to drink bud light, and to sit water holes in popups that haven’t been set for a couple weeks.
No exceptions on the beer, only exception on the blind would be those holes with corrals, and other ranch stuff right next to the water.
I don’t think you’ve done much antelope hunting in southern N.M. in a hot, dry August . I’ve seen it many times for many years.
My son and I hunted antelope in South Dakota this August. We were hunting the first four days of the season. The outfitter set the blinds up the day before the opener, in an alfalfa field by fence crossings. The blinds were set next to large alfalfa bales. On several occasions, antelope approached the blind to 150 yards, or so. They stopped, stared at the blind, turned and walked away. My son had one doe come to 40 yards. He killed it. He had no other antelope under 100 yards. In 45 hours of blind time, I had two does come to 150 yards, that’s it. They avoided the blinds like the plague.