Bowhunting Pronghorns

Posted by: Dustin DeCroo on Jul 30, 2012
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While hunters in the eastern two-thirds of the United States are looking at velvet whitetails and hanging treestands, hunters in the West are belly crawling through cactus patches and breathing in the bitter sweet smell of sage as they try to stay out of sight of their quarry; which by the way goes by the following names.....speed goat, antelope, or pronghorn. Without question, the pronghorn is one of the most challenging animals in North America to stalk and take with a bow. On the opposite side of the same coin, pronghorn offer archers one the highest success rates in the United States. However, to be successful you need to follow some basics rules. Let's delve into a few tactics that will likely help you tag your goat.

Takedown Methods

Two specific methods come to mind when hunting pronghorn; hunting over a waterhole and spot and stalk. Both have advantages and disadvantages and it is up to each individual hunter to set their goals and select the style that is right for them.

Checking Waterhole For Antelope Tracks
Seeing a few tracks at your waterhole always boosts your confidence.

Hunting antelope from a blind, near a waterhole, is definitely the method that produces the highest rate of success. Pronghorn live in extremely dry climates; making waterholes solely responsible for their continued existence. Antelope will typically water once a day and sometimes more frequently; with most of this drinking activity occurring between 9am and sunset. If you are able to find a drinking spot that the animals are using, putting in a couple of days will most certainly pay off. Even public ground will generally have a small waterhole where the antelope will come on a very regular basis. The obvious reason for hunting out of a ground blind is that it conceals the bowhunters movement, odor, and (in August), provides for a natural sauna. Fortunately for hunters, speed goats don’t seem to mind pop-up style ground blinds sitting next to their local watering hole. When you have thirsty animals that couldn’t care less about a ground’re in business.
Dan Schafer Wyoming Antelope 2011 Staff member Dan Schafer took this great buck over a water tank in August, 2011.

Pronghorn hunting over waterholes can be action packed and at the same time can also provide for some very long days. Do your best not to get discouraged throughout the day in the blind and make sure you take plenty of cold drinks. There seems to be a love/hate relationship with the terrain that antelope call home because most of the time, you can see for a really long way. This is great when there are animals to look at, but when you can see for literally a mile in every direction and there isn’t a living creature moving, it can be discouraging. Antelope will come from (literally) miles in just a few minutes to drink so don’t get caught napping though. Another added advantage to hunting out of a blind is that you typically get to glass the animal as it approaches from a distance. This gives you time to see the buck(s) from different angles and determine if and which one(s) may be a shooter.

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Dustin DeCroo

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1 Comment on "Bowhunting Pronghorns"

Re: Bowhunting Pronghorns #
Nice article. Well written with lots of good information for the first time hunter.
Posted by JGD on 8/19/2012 8:04:53 AM

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