One of the unique aspects of pronghorn antelope hunting in the American West is visibility. Unlike whitetail deer, elk, and other species that thrive in thick places, antelope live in the wide open terrain. So with a good pair of binoculars, you can often see the animals you’ll be hunting throughout the day. This may sound easy, yet as the image above illustrates, open country is wide open and stalking within bow range can be very difficult. Decoying bucks works well in mid-to-late September, but in early season try these tactics:
1. Pattern a Buck: Watch a buck until you distinguish a pattern; learn where it crosses a fence opening, waters, beds, feeds, and the like. Don’t actually hunt until you know what the animal will likely do.
2. Hunt Waterholes: Antelope must drink daily, so when the weather is hot and dry, ambushing at a waterhole works well. However, you can’t just pop up a blind and expect antelope not to notice — they will. I tried this tactic (left) on a last-minute Montana hunt and it was a disaster.
3. Vary Blind Tactics: Brush in your blind with tumbleweed so it looks natural. Dig a pit so that the silhouette is as low as possible. Try a hay-bale blind, especially if round bales of hay are nearby.
5. Give Stalking a Try: Flat terrain often has small gullies, irrigation ditches, and other shallow features allowing you to sneak on game. Large, round hay bales are excellent to stalk behind. You’ll need a good range finder to know the exact distance.