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Field Judging Pronghorns (feature article)

August 2009 Feature Article:

Field Judging Pronghorns

Pronghorn antelope can be difficult to judge on the hoof. I was reminded of this on a recent antelope hunt in Wyoming. Three younger bucks and one mature buck mingled with the group of a dozen does near a waterhole. My wife, Heather, and I had looked at so many that we were beginning to question our judgement... they were all beginning to look similar. I had to force myself to carefully analyze subtle features. Read more...

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Location: New Mexico
Joined: 07/08/2008
Posts: 84
Field Judging Pronghorns (feature article)

Kevin, thanks for the informative article. I would argue that pronghorns can be the most difficult of all big animals to judge in the field. The relatively small horns and long distances make it extremely challenging even to a seasoned veteran. In addition, the relatively short seasons (2-3 days here in NM) we have to hunt make it essential that we hone our skills so time is not wasted on a 3 hour, 1500 yard stalk, on a 68" buck. Although quality glass is important, in the wrong hands, they can be a burden rather than a help. Case in point, a client of mine arrives with a high end, German made spotting scope and a matching pair of 10X50s. He believes he can now field judge a buck at 800 yards plus with ease. He spots a buck, judges it, and begins a 2 hour stalk, upon his arrival, his 82 inch buck turned into a 72 incher. The 1000 yards of atmosphere had magnified his buck from a heavy horned wall hanger into below average camp meat.

Great article Kevin and thanks again

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Joined: 08/13/2009
Posts: 32
Re: Field Judging Pronghorns (feature article)

Great antelope!, But a trophy like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I feel to much importance is put into the size of an animal. Don't get me wrong I like big horns too, but most of these tv shows anymore are beatting the size of an animal into our heads, which should be secondary to the taking of an animal for food. If we all had the high dollar outfiters that these telivision show host get just for mentioning there name on tv we would all have a wall for of monster bucks and bulls. But in reality 90% of us are blue collar hunters who will never get a look at those high dollar outfitters and are destined to hunt public lands on our own for what some people would consider inferior animals. But I feel the jokes on them ,as we have a sense of accomplishment when we harvest our animal on our own, instead of just pulling the trigger when the guide points one out. I hope the blue collar DO-IT-YOURSELFERS will never loose their sense of adventure and that hunting doesn't become just a hobby for the rich as it has in other countries. Mike

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Location: Allegan, MI
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That is so true and really

That is so true and really why antelope are one animal that you can do DIY and shoot a good one on public land if you do your homework.  I've done two DIY antelope hunts and that's all I plan on doing as I'm now after good mulies.  Both the antelope hunts were on public land (BLM) and resulted in great 14 1/2 inch bucks.  The best one that I just shot in 2009 is in the picture below.

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