Mathews Inc.
early antelope decoy question
Pronghorn
Contributors to this thread:
smurph 21-Jul-20
Scoot 21-Jul-20
smurph 21-Jul-20
JohnMC 21-Jul-20
bohuntr 21-Jul-20
huntnmuleys 21-Jul-20
wilhille 21-Jul-20
Mt. man 21-Jul-20
sitO 21-Jul-20
Drnaln 21-Jul-20
wytex 21-Jul-20
t-roy 21-Jul-20
sitO 21-Jul-20
ohiohunter 21-Jul-20
HDE 21-Jul-20
ahunter76 21-Jul-20
JL 21-Jul-20
sitO 21-Jul-20
smurph 22-Jul-20
wytex 22-Jul-20
Dyjack 23-Jul-20
From: smurph
21-Jul-20
I have a really good antelope hunt coming up Aug. 6th. I was wondering if antelope can be hunted with decoys this early in the year. I will sit water holes if necessary, but was hoping to get mine doing spot and stalk or decoy. There are lots if antelope in a small hunt area. Any suggestions other than" sit a water hole" (got that option covered) are appreciated.

From: Scoot
21-Jul-20
In my experience they can definitely be hunted early with decoys. ...just not successfully! My early decoy experience went like this: 1) spot buck, 2) drive around and park a mile away, 3) walk 3/4 mile, 4) belly crawl 1/4 mile, 5) pop decoy up at 180 yards away from buck (which looked like 50 yards from the truck), 6) watch buck run or walk away, 7) 1 mile walk of shame back to the truck, 8) repeat.

After a couple full days of this one guy I hunted with described the experience as similar to how he'd imagine it would feel if he put his balls on the kitchen counter and beat them with a spatula.

From: smurph
21-Jul-20
That's not what I was hoping to hear. But, pretty damn funny! Thanks Scoot.

From: JohnMC
21-Jul-20
Scoot summed it up well.

From: bohuntr
21-Jul-20
I will throw in an experience that I had for what it is worth. I was hunting antelope early and since it was still a long time until the rut I didn't bring my decoy along. Well, it turns out that I would have had a great chance to use it. I spotted 2 big antelope bucks both on the dead run. It was apparent that the one buck was chasing off the other buck. It is probably the furthest I have seen a buck run off another buck. I would guess he ran him off at least 3/4 of a mile. If I had a decoy, I would have been able to position myself between the dominant buck and the rest of the herd and I am pretty confident he would have come over to kick my trespassing butt. That was the last time I have left the decoy behind. Of course, I have not had anything happen like that since other than when they are actually rutting.

From: huntnmuleys
21-Jul-20
I have had success using a D quite early, but it’s rare. Most of them will just leave. Once in a while though it will work and one will come up to it.

From: wilhille
21-Jul-20
Watching this very closely. I have an antelope hunt in New Mexico August 4th and have the same question. I have a Montana decoy and was hoping I could deploy it the way scoot described (with different results of course lol).

What other tactics would guys recommend? I am really not excited to sit in a hot blind all day over water. Looks like it might be the best plan though.....

From: Mt. man
21-Jul-20

Mt. man's embedded Photo
Mt. man's embedded Photo
Once in a great while it works. That being said I spooked off MANY before this one ran off another buck and I snuck down on his back trail between he and his does. He came stomping in starring at my decoy and I was 20 yds. off to the side. He didn't even see it coming.

From: sitO
21-Jul-20

sitO's embedded Photo
sitO's embedded Photo
sitO's embedded Photo
sitO's embedded Photo
You have to pick and choose your stalks...if you see a buck tending a "harem" or chasing off a subordinate buck he is decoy-able. That said there are times when even solitary bucks will come, they're social and curious. The key is to get to within 100yds or less, and if possible be on the other side of his harem like a subordinate sneaking in to take one of his girls. I decoyed in all of these above, but the lower left, and in a state with a herd of less than 2000 animals.

It's about the most fun hunting you can have in my opinion, yea it's hard work...but there's enough "easy" out there.

P.S. They aren't "Antelope" they are Pronghorn ;?)

Here's a buck coming to a Flambeau/Mel Dutton silhouette. I passed as I was after the buck that was chasing out to the right(watch second video to see why)...

And here's another with my buddy killing that buck, also in the second pic above...

From: Drnaln
21-Jul-20
My Nevada tag says Antelope on it....Hope they didn't make a mistake!

From: wytex
21-Jul-20
Any cattle or horses on the place, try one of those decoys.

From: t-roy
21-Jul-20
Some nice videos, sitO! Any sandburrs out in that country?

From: sitO
21-Jul-20
Yessir!

From: ohiohunter
21-Jul-20
My hunt starts aug 4th, I’m gonna give flagging a try.

From: HDE
21-Jul-20
We have an Aug 1. We'll try a red moo cow.

From: ahunter76
21-Jul-20
Scoot gets my vote.. Different ball game that early. last year, Sept & Rut was "just" starting. Buddy had the shoot thru decoy & it spooked a few. 1 held long enough & let him get 50 yds & he killed him.. 2 others killed at 39 & 44 yds "without" decoy.

From: JL
21-Jul-20
Sito....those were pretty cool vids. I often wondered how/when to take a shot with a decoy. Did he hit it in the neck?

From: sitO
21-Jul-20
Thanks John, and yes...he spun at the shot and the arrow hit him in the upper neck.

The thing about hunting them with a decoy is that you'll never know how fast they will come, or which side they'll approach. There's usually no time to range them, but you can range the bushes/yucca/etc around your set up and you should if you can. Brian did a good job holding off until he thought the time was "right", not sure I'd have done anything differently myself. Heat of moment.

From: smurph
22-Jul-20
Really appreciate the help. There are definately wild horse in the area but no moo cows. How do those decoys work. A horse decoy would be gigantic too!

From: wytex
22-Jul-20
Walk behind them. Watch some horse hunts for antelope, they just walk behind the horse right up to the antelope to shoot. Not all horses are huge.

From: Dyjack
23-Jul-20
"Antelope don't know how many feet a horse has!"

I have no input just needed to reply to wytex's post. I've heard good things about moocow decoys though.

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