Antelope hunting is not for the faint of heart or those who are quick to throw in the towel. As one of North America’s fastest game animals, antelope require a prepared hunter. Whether you’re still fantasizing about your first hunt or have experienced the thrill of antelope hunting and are eager to try it again, there are some tips that will make your hunt more successful.
Scout Before Hunting
Take the time to visit the area you will be hunting in before hunting season opens. This gives you a chance to make note of herds, travel patterns, escape routes and any trophy animals you may be interested in. If you are traveling a long distance for your hunt, an extensive scouting trip may not be possible, but even visiting the area a day ahead of time so you can make note of the way the ground lays and location of water, fences and natural barriers is time well spent.
Invest In Quality Optics
Antelope are easily spooked. You want to get a good look at the herd without getting too close, and investing in powerful optics is the best way to do this. Having various pieces of equipment available to you ensures that you will get the best look at the herd. A field tripod and mounting scope as well as binoculars gives you the flexibility to observe the herd effectively. If your budget allows, several strengths of optic scopes are beneficial. In endless grasslands, the more high powered scopes can create strange mirages. The ability to switch with a mid-powered scope as well as binoculars can make viewing the antelope easier on your eyes.
Lure The Animal In
Antelope are flighty creatures, but they are also curious. If something catches their eye, they will nearly always want to investigate a little further. You can use this to your advantage by lightly waving a white handkerchief. While this motion will alert the antelope, they will almost invariable walk closer to investigate the situation. While the antelope won’t walk right into your lap, you do create an easier shot by having them walking toward you, and there’s no denying that closer is better.
Practice Determining Distances
Antelope aren’t large animals, and, combined with the fact that they are often hunted in open grassland areas, it can be challenging to make an accurate determination of how far away you are before shooting. Practicing estimating distances using a scope as well as a map before hunting season allows you to more accurately gauge your distances when it matters.
Persistence Pays Off
Don’t let lack of success put you off. Practice the skills you need to become more proficient, such as shooting in windy conditions, and you will have more success. Keep in mind that antelope are easily spooked. Don’t let your frustration about missing a shot lead you into chasing or shooting at running antelope. You’re not likely to have success at this, and it can ruin the entire day. Just regroup and try a new approach or location.
Tyler Sims is the owner of www.tylersims.com, a premier outfitter in Wyoming elk and antelope hunting.