Archery Pronghorn

ChaseH

FNG
Joined
Oct 22, 2022
Messages
16
I’m thinking of trying a bowhunt for pronghorn. Just starting to make plans well ahead of time. My schedule will keep me from hunting this year but I’m hoping to go in 2025. I would probably opt to hunt water from a pop up as I have a lot of experience hunting that way for whitetails.

Do you get in the pop-up before sunrise and stay there until after dark all day?
I’m not worried about an all day sit at a water hole. I have a lot of patience. I’m worried about being able to handle the heat. I’ve read that the inside a pop up can get up to 125 or 130°. I’m wondering if up on the plains it will at least be a dry heat.

If you have the mesh in the windows will they inside the blind? Can you just open the windows during the hottest part of the day? Then slowly close the windows when I see them approaching from far off?

If you’re hunting in a pop-up and sweating profusely all day are you staying in a hotel where you can shower every night or camping?

How do you get the blind, chair to the water hole if you’re walking in a mile or two?

Do the pronghorns ever just circle downwind of the blind to smell you? Thats what a lot of whitetails do in my experience.

If you place the blind several yards from the water and the pronghorn go to the other side to drink, how far is the average shot at a water hole?

Crowds? Are there blinds on every water hole when getting there?

Do the temps at least cool down at night on the plains?

Any problems with snakes in the blind? As much as I’ve hunted in pop ups I’ve never found a snake in one but I’m always on the lookout.

I really appreciate any help. Thank you.
 

kcm2

WKR
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
372
Do you get in the pop-up before sunrise and stay there until after dark all day?
I’m not worried about an all day sit at a water hole. I have a lot of patience. I’m worried about being able to handle the heat. I’ve read that the inside a pop up can get up to 125 or 130°. I’m wondering if up on the plains it will at least be a dry heat.

K: Yes. There will be a breeze. Bring lots of water.

If you have the mesh in the windows will they inside the blind? Can you just open the windows during the hottest part of the day? Then slowly close the windows when I see them approaching from far off?

KM: If the blind has been there for less than a week or two, they will not come within 100 yds of it. Other than that, I never used mesh.

If you’re hunting in a pop-up and sweating profusely all day are you staying in a hotel where you can shower every night or camping?

K: I've done both. Antelope can smell so if they are downwind, you're hosed.

How do you get the blind, chair to the water hole if you’re walking in a mile or two?

K: See my comment about when to place the blind. It may be better to dig a pit blind a month before you hunt.

Do the pronghorns ever just circle downwind of the blind to smell you? Thats what a lot of whitetails do in my experience.4

K: Yup.

If you place the blind several yards from the water and the pronghorn go to the other side to drink, how far is the average shot at a water hole?

K: How long is a piece of rope? Depends upon the size of the hole.

Crowds? Are there blinds on every water hole when getting there?

K: On public land, yes.

Do the temps at least cool down at night on the plains?

K: Of course and it rains, too.

Any problems with snakes in the blind? As much as I’ve hunted in pop ups I’ve never found a snake in one but I’m always on the lookout.

K: I've killed snakes to/from the blind and once had a badger try to come in. One friend had a rattler come into his blind but I never did.


Have fun.
 

HiMtnHntr

WKR
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
598
Location
Wyoming
All day sit is tough and evening is hit or miss. If you have favorable conditions mid morning is the best in my experience. Get in before daylight. Early morning can be good too.

In my experience the type of blind material, placement, and efforts to conceal matter.
 

jbelz

FNG
Joined
Mar 1, 2024
Messages
97
Location
Wyoming
The quality of the water hole is as important as the quality of your set up. I've shown up to holes at 10 in the morning, set the blind up with antelope watching me, and they still come in because they need water. If water is abundant, it becomes more important to scout, pattern, go in while it's still dark, etc. I've only ever hunted public land, and if you set a blind up days in advance out here it's likely to end up in a different spot than where you initially placed it. Don't be afraid to spot and stalk if you see a target buck that isn't frequenting a specific piece of water.

A whitetail is infinitely more difficult to kill than an antelope, IMO.
 

farmermail

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Feb 24, 2018
Messages
108
Location
Southwest ID
The quality of the water hole is as important as the quality of your set up. I've shown up to holes at 10 in the morning, set the blind up with antelope watching me, and they still come in because they need water. If water is abundant, it becomes more important to scout, pattern, go in while it's still dark, etc. I've only ever hunted public land, and if you set a blind up days in advance out here it's likely to end up in a different spot than where you initially placed it. Don't be afraid to spot and stalk if you see a target buck that isn't frequenting a specific piece of water.

A whitetail is infinitely more difficult to kill than an antelope, IMO.
Public land, blinds, waterholes: Yes, there will be more than one who spotted that water hole on Google Earth (or OnX). As jeblz states, pronghorn aren't all that difficult to spot/stalk. You may consider this approach, especially being an experienced archer, as you can control more of the action. Glass up bucks, sort out patterns, find the right buck, etc. In general, you will get a lot of stalks in and have a blast. They are visible all day long. Since eyesight is their primary defense, they are not near as nocturnal as deer.
 

WCB

WKR
Joined
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
3,429
A bunch of these questions are location dependent. I'll answer from my experience hunting them in MT, SD,ND,WY.

Depending on how wet or dry a year is will have a bearing on how effective waterhole sitting is. Really wet year animals will be more spread out. I've spent 14days in SD and never say an antelope go to a "waterhole" as there were puddles, washes, and tractor ruts holding water.

Crowds are a thing especially around mid Sept rut hunting. If you can find an out of sight remote waterhole in an arid area your in the game.

Carry the blind with a small chair out 1-2miles shouldn't be an issue. Annoying yes.

Leave all the windows shut except for the shooting window. (and maybe one other small one to get a cross breeze going. Most blinds have a window or zip open flap on top. I've opened that slightly on top to help move air. I also have brought a small battery operated fan with extra batteries to help move air.

Normally out west or on the plains it cools down rather quick in the evenings. Bring a long sleeve of some sort.

Antelope can smell but don't seemed to be as worried about it as deer. Doesn't mean they won't leave the county but I have had them circle down wind...blow at me then keep circling and come in more times than not.

Shooting distance depends on water holes. Some like a actual cattle water tank are purely dependent on how far you set the blind away...I have also had waterholes where the other side was over 100yards. Set up where the most sign is. I would aim to be 40 and under and preferably 20-25.

We have had a snake in the blind before. It is not a given but my advice don't have anything a snake can get under on the floor of the bling while you are gone.

Waterholes are the "easy button" for antelope. The go to suggestion. But, open gates, fence crossings, fences lines in general can be really good places to set blinds also. I know several places where Antelope consistently hit a fence and follow it for a long ways before they cross it or just move on. Also, sometimes you can find a stubble field or hay with bales that the goats just hang out in all day everyday. If you can get your blind in their you have a good chance of catching one just moving around in the field.
 

hiker270

WKR
Joined
Nov 5, 2022
Messages
455
I have many times over the years sat all day at waterholes for antelope. The heat does become oppressive if its sunny and hot. Thing is that's what you need to get antelope to water consistently. Plenty of cold water is what gets me through. Both drinking it and dumping some down my back. Unless you hunt a private ranch it can be difficult to find good waterholes that don't have other hunters. Good Luck!
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2013
Messages
2,769
Thanks for the info everybody! I appreciate it.

I hunt archery pronghorns every year. OTC tag for me but it’s private on my ranch, I can’t speak to crowds.

Yes I have packed blind and folding chair in, but prefer truck drop whenever possible for obvious reason. I use Exo pack and double bull blind.

Blind
yes it gets hot and cools off after dark, Pronghorn are random so it’s a dark to dark set. I do sit down wind of blind, never had them circle for wind, but have had them stand at top of hill for an hour looking for movement

All this said I hate sitting water and would rather use a decoy and terrain
 

HoytHntr4

WKR
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Messages
433
Location
Minnesota
Don’t rule out trying spot and stalk to mix things up if the terrain is decent for it. It can be some of the most fun and frustrating hunting all at the same time
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
1,866
I've killed a few, they are a beautiful animal, but the number one thing for me, without question is a waterhole that is getting smashed!

I don't even think you can all antelope hunting with a bow fun, it just isn't. Having a pond that is pounded with tracks is key, you know antelope are coming. Ponds with a track here, track there, forget it. Same goes for large ponds.

Also know, that for the most part, when someone says spot and stalk antelope with a bow, in most antelope country that means very long shots, or road hunting them, stop, slip out the other side, dial and shoot. It really takes the right terrain to spot and stalk within 40 yds of them.

I had a waterhole that was pure morning, it was the best. I shot bucks out of there by 8am and never seen an antelope hit it in the afternoon, so for me, it was money as they would be there within the first couple hours of the day or nothing. For whatever reason, it was their first stop. Many times they'd be standing there in the early twilight of the AM.

Good luck, great animals for sure that are frustrating if you don't have the right setup.
 

WRO

WKR
Joined
Nov 6, 2013
Messages
3,079
Location
Idaho
Mud your blind, it makes a big difference..


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Jackal7

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
166
Location
The North
Black widows. They scare me more than the rattlers. They like blinds and dark corners. Wont kill you but sure will make you sick if bitten.
 

Cubby

WKR
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
336
I really enjoy spot and stalk goat hunting. I live in SE MT and I usually have 3-4 good stalks in the morning and call it a day before it gets to hot. I've shot 3 good bucks with my bow, farthest shot was 64 yards. Sitting in a blind would drive me nuts I've tried it before and it's not for me. Good luck which ever way you hunt them.
 
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2Stamp

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
262
Location
Wyoming
I don't sit very well so I prefer spot/stalk. Two of the last four pronghorns have been spot/stalk, furthest shot was 54ish yds. One was from a blind, the other with rifle. I greatly prefer spot/stalk. It's possible to get multiple stalks a day. Tons of fun.
 

cnelk

WKR
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
7,067
Location
Colorado
Ive killed a few from a blind over a water hole.

The bucks will appear on the horizon and watch the water hole for quite a while before circling in. Other times they just trot on in.

It helps if a shooter buck is with other antelope.

A tip I learned is if the water hole is too far across to shoot, or the antelope favor the far side, put a couple duck decoys over there. For some reason the antelope wont drink over there with the decoys
 

3forks

WKR
Joined
Oct 4, 2014
Messages
836
I’ve only killed a few pronghorns, but I have a buddy who has been very successful and has killed some big bucks during archery season. This guy claims that because pronghorn bucks are so territorial, he spends time getting to know a buck’s area and learning its boundaries (this guy is a working cowboy and has the time to spend on this while checking cows, and obviously that won’t work as well for a weekend or traveling hunter).

My buddy contends that bucks will use terrain or even a section of fencing on a corner to help them keep their does bunched up. The guy claims that hunting those particular places is more productive than a water hole because he’s not competing with other hunters and when a herd gets spooked, the buck tends to try and get his does moved to a place where he has to spend less effort to keep them together.
 

bergie

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Jul 15, 2023
Messages
135
Location
North Idaho
Never sat water but spot and stalk goat hunting has got to me one of my favorite hunts of the year. Extremely frustrating until you learn how to do it but once you do you'll be absolutely hooked. Only tip I have is only stalk the goats that can't see you until you are within your comfortable shooting range. Belly crawling to a "curious" antelope rarely, and in my experience, never works.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2024
Messages
36
Location
Colorado
Never sat water but spot and stalk goat hunting has got to me one of my favorite hunts of the year. Extremely frustrating until you learn how to do it but once you do you'll be absolutely hooked. Only tip I have is only stalk the goats that can't see you until you are within your comfortable shooting range. Belly crawling to a "curious" antelope rarely, and in my experience, never works.

As a new hunter, I’m not quite sure why, but i really want to hunt pronghorn with a bow. The spot and stalk in a more open area sounds like a really fun challenge. Probably fool hardy, but I’m considering trying to get out for a weekend for CO OTC. Probably better to not do a weekend.


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