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Are you looking for the best pronghorn antelope hunting tips to take more pronghorns home? Do you want to take your pronghorn hunting to the next level? Whether you are a beginner or an old hand for hunting pronghorn antelopes, you will find some gold nuggets among these tips to become a better hunter.
1. Pronghorn Antelope Defense
The pronghorn antelope’s defense is centered around its vision and remarkable speed. With its large eyes, it can see half or three-quarters of a mile away. The eyes of a pronghorn antelope are larger than that of a horse or cow and almost as large as that of an elephant. Pronghorn antelopes have been clocked at speeds in excess of 55 miles per hour.
2. Field-judge a Pronghorn
Horns that are longer than thirteen inches will be those of a trophy antelope. This is measuring from the base of an average pronghorn’s ear to the tip of its nose. Be on the lookout for horns that split into prongs above the tips of a pronghorn’s ears. The ideal scenario is an animal whose front prong extends at least 4 inches forward from the main horn.
3. Knee Pads and Gloves
When hunting pronghorn antelopes, you will often have to go down on your knees and hands-on rough terrain. Knee pads and gloves will come in handy and you should take them with you when you go antelope hunting. The nature of the terrain antelopes inhabit will make knee pads and gloves a no-brainer.
4. Truck Glassing Pronghorns
Most pronghorns haven’t associated vehicles with hunters. You can use this to your advantage by using your truck to glass for a pronghorn antelope. When you spot one that you want to stalk, glass out the route and then drive far away that the antelope won’t spot you getting out.
5. Pronghorn Alarm System
Whenever a pronghorn antelope is alarmed, the white hair on its white rump is raised. This is an alarm signal to other pronghorn antelopes that danger is around. This is something you should also be mindful of. If you are stalking a herd and you noticed that one of them has its white hair raised, that should signal you to back down and wait for some time.
6. Get To Know Pronghorns
Pronghorns are not closely related to the animals of the African plains even though pronghorns are sometimes called antelopes. They are so different from other hoofed animals to the extent that they are the only members of the family Antelocapridae. They have branched, hollow and hairlike horns that are shed annually and they are the only animals with this combination.
7. Old Pronghorn Flagging Trick
The old pronghorn flagging trick has been used by Indians and is now employed by modern-day antelope hunters. It requires patience and some hard work as it involves teasing the pronghorns to come nearer, then you ease away, then come nearer and then ease away again. It is a game of brinkmanship and it eventually flags the pronghorn from ambush.
8. Use a Heavy Gun
Most of the time when you stalk pronghorn antelopes, you will not end up deep in the backcountry. So you can ditch the light rifle for a heavier gun that shoots steadier.
9. Judging The Pronghorn’s Size
It is difficult to gauge the size of an antelope buck if you are about half a mile away. However, if you can identify a prominent black spot on the side of its head, it is almost a big and mature buck you should stalk.
10. Best Goat Gun
The .25-06 is the best goat gun. It is a light-kicking round with enough velocity to put it down but not destroy the antelope. With its bullet weight, you can also use it effectively for mule deer hunting on the same ticket.
11. Long Range Rifle Shooting
The most important skill to master for hunting pronghorn antelopes is mastering shooting the rifle at long ranges. Due to the nature of the ground antelopes inhabit coupled with their wariness, they are harder to get at close range, unlike other animals. Many hunters claim to use six or seven cartridges for every pronghorn antelope they kill as antelopes are often giving the hunters no option but a long-distance shot.
12. Use Laser Rangefinders
Antelope hunters often miss because they don’t believe they are as close as they really are and eventually overshoot the target. To solve this problem of correctly gauging the distance, use a laser rangefinder when you hunt pronghorn antelopes.
13. Well-placed Shot
Antelopes are very tough animals. Even after being fatally shot, they will go for some distance before finally falling dead. It will help your cause to hit it in the right spot for a kill, but even then, it will not just drop dead. You should be prepared to follow a considerable distance before its lights out.
14. No Need For Long Shots
The terrain pronghorns inhabit is often flat land, broken, cut, and intersected by coulees, ravines, gullies, washes, draws, ridges, hills, and divides. You can take advantage of this topography and get as close as possible without being detected. This can be often less than 200 yards and sometimes less than 100 yards.
15. Setting Your Decoys
A decoy can be the difference between a successful hunt or a wasted opportunity if you are hunting pronghorn antelopes with a bow. You will need to get as close as possible to set up one without being discovered. When the buck you are hunting is focused on a doe, or blocked from view by vegetation, then you should set up your decoy.
The buck will become suspicious of your decoy’s unnatural motion and not come closer to investigate if he notices it rises up out of the grass.
16. Wait Until They Start Drinking
When hunting pronghorns over a waterhole, you need to locate the corner they frequent the most. Once you know the spot and have setup, wait patiently until they start gulping before you take aim. You can have more than 50 animals at the waterhole during the afternoon.
17. Double Decoy Setup
If it is possible to take along two decoys when you stalk a pronghorn antelope with your bow, one should imitate a small buck and the other should resemble a doe. This will give the buck the impression that a smaller buck than him has acquired one of his does.
18. Hunting a Water Hole
Pronghorns like the dry, high plains but often need to quench their thirst. During the hottest time of the day, they will go get hydrated at their water sources. If you know their water sources, setting up near it during the hottest hours of the day will increase your chances of getting pronghorn antelopes.
19. Roost Turkeys, Roost Pronghorns
If you find a herd of pronghorn antelopes and monitor them until it is dark, it is possible that they will be in the same location at sunrise. You should get in close before dawn and fool him in the dim light of dawn according to Mark Kayser of the North American Hunter magazine. You can roost antelopes like you do turkeys.
20. Windmill Hunting
You can use a windmill as your hunting stand if you can’t find a tree to build one. Try climbing a windmill and see if it can be used as your tree stand. They are often used by ranchers to keep stock tanks and ponds full of water.
21. Pronghorn Stalking
If you are hunting pronghorns with a bow, you will need to get within 40 yards of a lone buck that has not caught up with a herd. Pronghorn antelopes have great eyesight and you will need rolling or broken terrain with washouts, gullies, ridges, and gumbo buttes to quietly sneak and hit a lone buck.
22. Age Your Hunting Blind
If you will hunt from a blind overlooking a water source, let the hunting blind be in place for a few days before you get in it to hunt. Pronghorn antelopes will be cautious of the new structure to the landscape when it first appears. Let them get accustomed to it before your hunt from the blind.
23. Draw While Kneeling
You will need to practice drawing your bow from a kneeling position. Learning to draw while kneeling is an important skill to master when hunting antelopes with a bow. You will need to bring the arrow to full draw with the bow in a horizontal position. Getting a new rest to keep the arrow from falling off when you hold it at the canted position is a good idea.
24. Buck Looking Away
Always make sure the buck is looking away before you come up to range a buck or release your arrow. If the buck is looking in any other direction, he will pick up the movement.
The Bottom Line
Pronghorn antelope hunting is not for the faint-hearted. You will have to have a good plan to get them, but it is so attainable. These pronghorn antelope tips can help you become a better antelope hunter whether you are a beginner or an experienced individual.