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Location: Eastern Colorado
Joined: 10/03/2009
Posts: 18
My first Antelope hunt

Today I got out there with about half an hour of presunrise time to try to find a good spot, and found that there were several other truckloads of hunters with the same idea. I thought of a few things, as we looked around, watched roadhunters and several groups of antelope being chased ... When do they lay down? /do they have a sentry Antelope? Do they drink periodically - are watering holes good places to watch? Do they bed down for the night, or graze? Do they ever use corn fields as cover? Why do they circle?
I had a chance to stalk a few, and did successfully - right before sunset, with both of the other people with tags in my group harvesting today - opening day. I just didn't want to take a chance of wounding one and not being able to find it. I read that the best place to aim is right behind the shoulder- correct?
Thanks !

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Location: New Mexico
Joined: 07/08/2008
Posts: 84
My first Antelope hunt

bynight, sorry that I just saw this post. From the looks of your other post, seems like you figured it all out. I will try and address your questions about pronghorn behavior. I will put some text together and send it your way. Take care.

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Location: Eastern Colorado
Joined: 10/03/2009
Posts: 18
Thanks NMBGold!

Thanks - I sure appreciate it! I'm going to write a short story - and include the hunt - but as little as I know about them I need help filling in the gaps. After this year, I really am excited about Antelope and hope to draw a buck next year and want to be better equipped to gauge and understand their unique behavior.

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Location: New Mexico
Joined: 07/08/2008
Posts: 84
My first Antelope hunt

I too have hunted many species of big game, but Pronghorn Antelope is at the top of my list. Glad to see someone else sees my vision..

Alamosa's picture
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Location: Southern Colorado
Joined: 03/25/2005
Posts: 245
My first Antelope hunt

Southeast Colorado was pretty crazy Oct 3 (opening day).

I saw quite a bit of stuff going on that I really didn't like.
I saw what you describe - roadhunters, herds being chased - as well as vehicles blocking the road, shots from the road, vehicles on cropland, hunters treating open range as public land, and even a crew filming movies of the hunt.

I would consider those terrible conditions in which to learn to hunt.

It's pretty easy to just fill a tag by driving close with a vehicle or herding them with other hunters. Too many people do that.
If you learn to play the game on their terms, stalk them, use the valleys and hills, anticipate their moves, it really becomes a fascinating game of strategy and you can feel good about it if you are successfull.

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Location: Eastern Colorado
Joined: 10/03/2009
Posts: 18
Crazies on Opening day for Antelope

I tell you, I know where Jeff Foxworthy gets most of his material on redneck hunting. He must have been where we were. I wish I had a film crew for the stuff I saw. I actually was shot at twice in 10 seconds - so having someone looking down the barrel at me more than once and thinking I was game- wearing a huge orange hoodie, walking upright, carrying a rifle and in the open! I joked about my ex-husband not even being in the same part of the US to blame for it, but the sound of bullets whizzing by is freak-you-out-scary and not anything anyone with any sense thinks is normal - even on opening day. I don't know if I will ever hunt opening day again, maybe just survey the crazies but doubt I will get out of the pickup!
We saw some guys with radios, calling each other on four wheelers to chase them, and when we did get a good stalk on, it was nothing for other "hunters" to foul it up by moving right next to the herd and jumping out to try to get a closer shot.
Amazing. For a girl from Alaska, used to wide open spaces and rarely seeing another hunter, I was a bit shocked.
The good part was - seeing all this made me more determined to do it "the right way". Though my knees and elbows still remind me of Sunday's efforts, it was completely worth it.
Where are the Game cops on opening day? Maybe I'm not in a high traffic area for trophy Pronghorns , but I sure started to think sideways and long about not hunting them at all- given the unsportsmanlike behavior I witnessed.
I dreamed about them, had a hard time falling back asleep and so I decided to go out Sunday, in the weather, there was almost no one else out - and that made for a much better day.
Anyway, you are right, it was the BEST - beats elk, deer, moose, caribou and even lion - as far as requiring strategy and effort, and I can't wait to go again!

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Location: New Mexico
Joined: 07/08/2008
Posts: 84
My first Antelope hunt

Alamosa and bynight, I am sick to my stomach reading about your hunting experience. In the late 1800's Antelope were herded into fence corners and slaughtered for their furs......almost like you describe. I wouldn't blame you both if you gave it up, but we need folks like you all out hunting and giving us a good name, not supplying the anties with more ammo to shoot us down.

PS: Some ranchers (a minority for sure) hate antelope, they organize these drives and slaughters,. Antelope compete with sheep....and to a less degree cattle for food. That may be what you saw....

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Location: Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 323
My first Antelope hunt

The first time I ventured south of the 49th on a do-it-yourself antelope hunt I was hunting on BLM land. I was horrified and could not believe what I saw. There are idiots everywhere and in every walk of life but I was dazzled at the numbers of hunters and the antics and poor ethics I saw. I didn't think I would ever go back again.

Then I bumped into a rancher who educated me on paying a tresspass fee and gaining access to private ranches with landowners that wanted to protect their property and controlled the madness. It was well worth the extra bit of money and I have been back a couple of times now with a quality hunting experience being the result.

The one and only time I hunted elk in eastern Oregon with a friend and his family hunting party was a real eye opener as well. Just a nightmare..........they took it in stride and were use to it, but I tucked my tail between my legs and headed home after two days. Blaze orange on every ridge, 4x4's roaring around.

Yuck!

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1798
My first Antelope hunt

Yes, opening morning was a mad house where I hunted as well. At one point I saw three trucks full speed racing trying to get on herd and then guns blazing. You heard shots all day like a war zone. Saw one guy jump out of a truck and start blazing at a nice buck 100 yards off the road. He must have been shooting an auto (six fast shots) and missed that buck completely. Lots of hunters and lots of lead flying. Felt sorry for those goats.

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Location: New Mexico
Joined: 07/08/2008
Posts: 84
My first Antelope hunt

What you describe (Trespass Fee) is how we allot our tags. We allot tags based on the strength of our herds that particular year. We spread them out (hunters) across the ranch so they never see another hunter, they seem to like that.

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Location: New Mexico
Joined: 07/08/2008
Posts: 84
My first Antelope hunt
SoCoKHntr wrote:
Yes, opening morning was a mad house where I hunted as well. At one point I saw three trucks full speed racing trying to get on herd and then guns blazing. You heard shots all day like a war zone. Saw one guy jump out of a truck and start blazing at a nice buck 100 yards off the road. He must have been shooting an auto (six fast shots) and missed that buck completely. Lots of hunters and lots of lead flying. Felt sorry for those goats.

Is this all happening on public lands or private? Are they driving across the pastures in their trucks?

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