Antelope Hunting 101: Our Guides’ #1 Tips
By Ryan McSparran, SNS Outfitter & Guides
The American pronghorn antelope is a notoriously skittish animal with excellent vision. Approaching them across open country can sometimes present a significant challenge to hunters. They are also one of the most difficult animals to judge on the hoof, presenting an even greater challenge to those seeking an antelope buck of trophy quality.
We recently sat down with a few of our guides and asked them for their number one tips when it comes to successfully hunting antelope. Here is what they had to say.
1. Vision is an Antelope’s Best Defense
The biggest trick to getting within range of an antelope is not being seen. An antelope’s greatest defenses are not the same as other animals. An antelope has eyesight and speed. Those are the defenses they rely on.
Hearing and smell are often secondary when it comes to antelope hunting. You can stalk antelope with the wind at your back and still be successful. And you can make noise unlike you could with an elk or a deer. But if they catch you moving, even at long distances, you’re likely to get busted.
2. Planning the Perfect Stalk
Since the most important factor in antelope hunting is staying out of their line of sight, it is critical to plan a stalk and find an approach that allows you to get close enough for a shot. Ultimately, that plan will depend on the antelope. Wherever he is and whatever he is doing, you must plan your stalk around that.
The terrain may look flat but when you look more carefully, you’ll often discover undulations and features that can allow you to get close. Use anything you can to get within range. Usually, that means having to do some crawling on your hands and knees.
3. Difficult Stalks Can Mean Long Shots
Because getting within range can be difficult, that makes shooting skill even more important. Sometimes your only shot is a long one, and the more comfortable a hunter is with their rifle at long distance, the better their chances of taking a quality antelope.
This is important with any type of big game hunting, but we stress this all the time for our Wyoming antelope hunts. You should be shooting your weapon year-round and be extremely comfortable with its performance out to 300 yards.
4. Never Give Up on a Great Buck
One of the most important things to remember about antelope, is that you can blow a stalk and still get another chance. When an antelope takes off at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour, he’ll cover a lot of ground. But to that antelope, out of sight is out of mind. Eventually he will forget about you, and you might be able to get a second chance.
For more information on hunting antelope with SNS Outfitter & Guides, please check out our website.