top of page
  • Writer's pictureBridger Park

10 Archery Antelope Tips

Updated: Mar 7


American Pronghorn tend to be what I like to call a drama animal. If you start a conversation about antelope in a room full of hunters, almost always some sort of debate will break out. They taste like garbage, or they're delicious, they're easy to hunt, or they're one of the hardest things to hunt, you should only hunt from a ground blind over water or it's not worth it unless you have a rifle.

One thing is certain, though, spot and stalking antelope with a bow is the hardest way you can pursue them. Between avoiding heatstroke, dodging rattlesnakes, belly crawling over countless miles of sharp rocks, all while trying to get within bow range of an animal with 8x your vision, and an almost 360-degree field of view, it can get pretty frustrating. But when you do find success, it's incredibly rewarding. So, with all that playing against you, here are 10 tips to help you find that success.


Maps

One of the most important pieces of advice I can give is: KNOW YOUR AREA! Spend hours on satellite maps. Use e-scouting to your advantage, between that and any scouting your able to do on the ground, narrow your hunt area down. Go over your maps and find every source of water possible, find areas with ample forbs for them to graze, or woody plants and grasses in the drier times. Emphasize water, especially in dry/hot climates, where they'll be unable to absorb as much water through their food, water can be a jackpot. If you know where all their necessities are, it will be easy to find them, and judge where they're going.


Dress For The Occasion

Antelope country can be brutal, and having the right equipment is essential. Make sure you take light breathable clothes to protect you from the heat. Breathable long sleeves come in handy to prevent sunburns, as an alternative to sunblock. In most cases hunting antelope, it's safe to expect wind and rain, so try and prepare accordingly. When it comes to boots, go for lightweight and breathable.


Take Good Glass

You are going to spend most of your time hunting antelope behind your glass. It's important to have quality glass you won't fatigue your eyes with. Take a good spotting scope you can stretch out with. Your binoculars are also going to be your best friend when stalking. With their vision, you will want to constantly check on them while approaching.


Same pair as above


Knowing where they're going

One of the key parts of hunting antelope, especially if you're strictly spot and stalking, is patterning a herd. If you are able, scout as much as possible for your hunt. Similar to whitetail deer, you can generally pattern them. They'll frequent the same watering holes, bedding, and feeding areas. Spend as much time as your able studying a herd. Even if you're not able to get out before the season, I recommend spending at least a day just watching them. Believe me, it's a lot easier to cut off an antelope where it's going.


Patience, Patience, Patience

The worst mistake you can make hunting antelope, is to rush your stalks. Spend ample time behind your glass. Trust me it's an animal you'll often have ample opportunities on. Take your time to watch them before you put a stalk on, especially when you have just found them. When you first spot them through your glass, it's easy to want to immediately go tearing off after them. It'll be worth your while to spend time watching them.

Antelope spend most of their days feeding, and they move a lot while they do. Before you start your stalk, identify which way they're traveling, and use the landscape, and your knowledge to ambush them. This is one of the areas having them patterned comes in key, it's a lot easier to get out in front of an antelope's path, and let him come to you, then it is to get to them. If you're going to stalk in on an antelope, the best time is to wait until they're bedded. As said before, antelope will move a lot while they're feeding, this makes stalking them unpredictable, they're also incredibly vigilant while feeding, and drinking. Stalking them while they're on a watering hole is better than feeding, also. In the least, you know they are still, it's just a matter of how long.


Five Yards, Stop

Once you finally put the stalk on, take your time. Just when you feel like you're going to slow, go slower. Do not be afraid to get on the ground. I've spent more time on my belly hunting antelope, then I have my feet. Once you get in close, a good trick to ensure you slow down, is to go five yards and stop for 15 seconds. A pattern like this is productive to keep yourself from going to quick, it gives your brain something other than its judgment to pace itself with.


Use The Landscape

Try to stick to areas that have some topography. Use anything you can to conceal your stalks. Things such as, folds in the landscapes, bush outcrops, or any sort of butte or plateau. The inherent flatness of antelope country is easily the most frustrating aspect of this hunt. It can be complicated to find ways around this problem, the best is to stick with areas that have folds you can drop into, but even if you have to put yourself between them and a large bush, anything helps.


Be Prepared To Shoot Distance

Be prepared to shoot farther shots. The probability of an antelope giving you a 20-yard shot is minimal. Spend as much time pushing your limits at the range, as you can. Don't get overconfident, keep it in your comfort zone, but try to extend that comfort zone with practice. It's easy to want to drop a bomb when your hunting antelope, but trust me, it's worth it to keep it in your comfort zone.


Be Ready To Cool Them Down

Antelopes' bodies run hot, that combined with heat and no shade, can quickly spoil meat. I like to keep a block of ice on hand, so once you have it gutted, it can immediately go into the chest cavity. It's also best to skin them out on the spot. Have plans to get them out of the heat fast, whether it's coolers or just going home immediately after.


84 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page