Beginners Guide to Antelope Hunting
With fall just around the corner, one of the first big-game species to hunt across the Midwest and western states is the pronghorn antelope. For hunters that are new to antelope, you will find that they present some challenges that are completely unique to their species and very different from deer or elk hunt.
In order to be able to hit the ground running and overcome some of these obstacles, here are some of our best tips on how to hunt antelope for new hunters.
Choose a State and Season
The first thing you will need to decide is where you plan to hunt and when you want to go. Many states offer excellent antelope hunting though Wyoming draws many hunters each year. This state offers a high population and pretty solid success numbers.
You can find hunting seasons anywhere from September 1st all the way to December 31st, although most archery hunting takes place in the early September weather with rifle hunts usually in October and November. Every unit and location is different. So pick a state and area that fits your schedule and needs.
Carefully Plan Out Your Stalk and Approach
Antelope see really well. Staying out of their sight is very important so take some time to carefully plan out your stalk before making it. While the country they live in may seem featureless with little to no concealment, even things like shallow ditches or tall grass can hide you just enough in order to allow you to sneak within the shooting range.
Practice Longer Shots with Your Weapon
It doesn’t matter if you are hunting with a rifle or archery equipment, you should be very comfortable with your weapon and practice out to longer ranges. Because getting close to antelope can be difficult, longer shots are very common. Practicing out past 200 or 300 yards with a rifle or out to 60 yards or further with a bow throughout the summer.
Stay Persistent After Blowing a Stalk
When you inevitably blow a stalk and scare off a herd, don’t get discouraged. Stay persistent and see what they do. While antelope can run at amazing speeds and cover a large amount of ground in short periods of time, they generally do not run very far in order to conserve their energy. Once an antelope goes out of sight, they will typically slow down or stop completely. This is when persistence, as in following them, can afford you another opportunity.
Have Fun and Learn
Hunting antelope is completely different from any deer or elk hunt. And the first time hunting them will be a huge learning experience. Make sure you take the time to relax and just have fun, and let the experience be a good one. Even if you do not punch your tag, hunting antelope is an extremely fun challenge and adventure.