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-   -   First time Pronghorn Hunt (http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f50/first-time-pronghorn-hunt-73137/)

locnload 09-25-2012 10:51 AM

First time Pronghorn Hunt
 
I am an experienced hunter, mule and whitetail deer, elk, and various small game. But after 8 years of trying I finally drew a male pronghorn tag for North Eastern Colorado. I'll be hunting mostly on National Grasslands and will certainly have a few other hunters in the area, although Colorado does not issue very many tags for that area. There are a lot of two track roads in the area, but many are restricted so driving and glassing may not be a good option. I plan to drive to the edge of the area, then walk the prarie and watch. If I see grazing or resting pronghorns, I am prepared to do a long slow stalk, crawling if nessesary, to get in good shooting position. I have a bi-pod and a good scope on my 243 Weatherby and expect to spend a lot of time laying prone. I can use some good tips on how to pursue those little rascals in wide open country. Less than two weeks away, I can't wait. :D

nitestalker 09-25-2012 11:53 AM

I have hunted "Prairie Goats" for ever. It is very difficult to stalk them in open country. They have vision equal to a 10X scope and they use it. They live in very open country and often low Sage no trees.

If you are in the foot hills covered with brush check it out from a high point. The mature bucks will often head to the brush when the shooting starts. The smaller bucks will stay low and make targets.



You should scout the area for arroyos small canyons. Water holes stock tanks are always a good start. If you cannot drive and spot your game you will have to find places where you can make a stand way before day light and not move about.

Sight your rifle for 300 yds and use a 6X power or better scope. If you are hunting horns learn to gauge the horns by the length of the nose and ears of the male. Understand the Black patches on the Bucks face will often make the horns appear larger than they are.They also Puff up the hair making them look larger than they are.

Field dressing an Antelope is very important. The animal has 5 strong scent glands in the rear end. They will often expell the scent when shot. When you skin the animal the oil gets to the meat and you dog will not eat it.

Use a pair of rubber gloves when skining being careful to keep the hair side away from the flesh. Wash or change gloves before handling the flesh side. I wash the skinned animal with soap and water spray the body cavity with 7-up to kill any scent they may have been missed.

Antelope is very good but many hunters do not know how to handle the field dressing. The weather is often very warm another problem. The Goat has a very high body Temp and spoils pronto. Check Colorado law if possible bone the animal as soon as possible put the meat in a cooler. A cooler of cold water and baking soda will wash the blood out in a few hours. You can add fresh water drain ice and then pack for your trip home.

Last thought. The Prairie Rattlers are very active in late Sept. The males are returning to the dens. Be very careful when crawling around the Sage Brush. Any questions PM me. Good Luck.:)

Flat Tire 09-25-2012 01:35 PM

Go out and shoot your rifle at longer distances than you might normally shoot. Shoot paper at 4 and 5 hundred yards. Get a small piece of camo netting that matches the grass.

nitestalker 09-25-2012 03:12 PM

Using camo in the flat open western country is not a good idea. Bright orange vest can save your life. There are other people out there shooting at long ranges often in poor light. It is very difficult for any hunter to tell what kind of head he is looking at even over 300 yards. I doubt anyone can tell a nice heavy base 16" goat from a medium 14" at 500 yards. The kill area of 18" on buck Antelope can be very small at 500 yards as well. Try chasing a gut shot Goat across Colorado.:(

Old_Crow 10-04-2012 04:56 AM

I would try to find a guide. TX has a drawing for pronghorn tags in certain areas. Some people have tried for years to get a tag with no luck. My brother is charmed he gets a tag every few years. He knows each trip might be his last so he hires a guide to ensure he gets a shot. He doesn't spend a lot of money on the guide and he gets his quarry every trip.

nitestalker 10-04-2012 01:09 PM

Yes, if a hunter wants that once in a life time trophy to hang on the wall a guide may be the answer. It often takes weeks of scouting before a hunt to locate a nice head.:)

25-5 10-04-2012 02:22 PM

Many guides have knowledge of trophy animals. For extra $$$$, they know just where to take you.

Txhillbilly 10-07-2012 03:57 PM

You should also find a watering hole that they use,that can help your chances of getting one.

tri70 10-07-2012 06:38 PM

Years ago you could buy pronghorn tags over the counter in Montana. They are curious animals and have great eyesight.

nitestalker 10-07-2012 09:21 PM

The OTC Goat tags are often sold in the Northern Plaines. Problem is OTC tags are left overs. When buying OTC tags make sure you understand the conditions of hunting in that area. OTC tags are more often in walk in only or on private lands.

The old yarns about Antelope being so curious is some what over used. I can assure you they are also very hunter shy when the season opens. Watching bands of Antelope flee at the very sight of hunters is more the norm. Big Buck Antelope 16" or better never got that big being curious.

Hunting water holes makes great hunting drama. The facts are in the high desert water holes are very rare. Water on open range is almost always on deeded lands and protected by the owner. Getting a trophy goat just takes a lot of hunting skills and a very accurate rifle.:)


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