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Pronghorn Buck in Shirley Basin WyomingHunting pronghorn antelope is an exciting challenge.  During the hunting season, the grasses on the prairie are a light brown, and the sage is a dark gray-green.  The antelope coat blends in with these colors making them difficult to spot on the open prairies.  The hunter also has to discern if the white spot on the hillside or in the distance with the sun glinting off of it is a rock or the rump of an antelope.  Good binoculars or a spotting scope are tools that are required.

The pronghorns' unique coloring also offers and advantage to the hunter.  The white underbelly usually ends at approximately the mid-point on the rib cage.  If the hunter is using a flat shooting rifle, the transition point from white to brown on the pronghorn offers an excellent area to rest the horizontal cross-hairs of their scope.  Then it is a simple matter to put the vertical cross-hair just behind the front shoulder.

Because pronghorn live on the open prairies, their vision, sense of smell and hearing are all excellent.  Hunters need to keep this in mind as they stalk a group of pronghorn.  If the pronghorn get any sense that danger is present, the group will be off like a shot.  By the end of the first week of pronghorn season, the animals spook easily. However, pronghorn do have a tendency to run for a short distance, then stop and look back to see if they are being pursued.  Having a flat-shooting rifle that is sighted in for 200 yards is an advantage in this situation.  If the hunter is lucky, and the pronghorn haven't run off too far, then a shot may still be possible.

Pronghorn hunting is big business in Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico, with Wyoming having the largest population of animals.  (Some say that Wyoming has more pronghorn than people!) Wyoming also has the most listings in Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young record books. Most pronghorn are taken on the first day of the season. 

Antelope Hunting Information 2013 - How to identify sex of an Pronghorn

Summaries of other hunting information 2013

Wyoming had an estimated pronghorn population of 527,000 animals in 2010, most of any state.

In 2010, Wyoming sold 75,837 antelope licenses, including 46,041 to nonresidents. In 2010, pronghorn hunters killed 31,653 bucks, 24,527 does and 2,683 fawns, for a total harvest of 58,863.

The license sales provided more than $7 million in revenue to Wyoming wildlife managers. Pronghorn hunters spent more than $25 million in Wyoming, according to state estimates.

Because of the openness of the country and the high amount of visibility, hunters are able to keep a group in sight until they are able to get into a position to get a good shot.

Just as with any other big game animal, it is helpful to get out to your hunt area, with binoculars or a spotting scope.  When you find an pronghorn worthy of your attention, figure out his patterns.  Stay with him.  Figure out his feeding, watering and travel patterns.  Unlike other big game animals, antelope do not travel at night.  If you know where your animal is when it beds down in the evening, the chances are great that he will still be there in the morning.

Typically, bow hunting seasons for all species begins in mid- to late-August. (Check with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's web site for exact dates from year to year.) Draw rifle hunting seasons typically start during the last two weeks of September, and ends with the end of the month. Leftover seasons usually begin October 1st and last until October 31st. (Note: Left-over tags are for different areas from year to year. There is no way that I could keep up with a list, and is outside of the scope of this site. Please visit the Wy G&F web site for information on left-over tags.)

The practice of "baiting" is illegal in Wyoming. Nothing that can be used as food can be used as a bait to lure in pronghorn. But you can use articles that will attract their attention, such as surveyors flags on pegs, or a white cloth tied to a pole.


Pronghorn Harvest Report 2011 - pdf document prepared by Wy G&F

Annual Reports of Big and Trophy Game Harvest and Annual Reports of Small and Upland Game Harvest - Click on the year you want to look at, then click on the species from the list.


A fine close up of a typical buck. Notice the black cheek patches, and along
the whole nose ridge. Younger bucks will have smaller horns.
Photo by Bill Allard

Does are missing the black cheek patch. Some does may grow horns, but they
will be smaller - no larger than about a yearling buck.
Photos by Bill Allard

Guide to Public-Land Pronghorns, By Mark Kayser, American Hunter, October 11, 2014

Bowhunting Tactics for Early-Season Pronghorn - Tracy Breen, Outdoor Life, August 23, 2013

Scoring Your Trophy Pronghorn - Boone and Crockett Club (online scoring submission)

Official Pope and Young Scoring Sheet (pdf) - minimum score of 67 needed.

Pronghorns on Sunday - by Jon Draper, American Hunter Assistant Editor, posted Feb 11, 2013

How to Execute a Decoy Stalk on Rutting Antelope - by David Draper, Field and Stream, August 20, 2012

Six Steps for Bowhunting Pronghorn Over Water - by Brandon Ray, Bow Hunter Magazine, July 14, 2011

Three Tactics For Bowhunting Pronghorns - by E. Donnall Thomas, Jr., Bow Hunter Magazine, June 24, 2011

Wyoming Hunter Mentor program -  A program by Wy Dept of Game and Fish that allows hunters in the field who have not yet completed the Hunter Safety Program, as long as they are accompanied by a licensed hunter who has completed the program.

DIY Pronghorns: How to Hunt Antelope Over Water Holes - by Tom Carptenter, Outdoor Life, July 27, 2012

Spot and Stalk Antelope Tips for Bowhunters - by Aron Snyder, Outdoor Life, September 01, 2011

Choosing the Right Rifle for Pronghorn Antelope - Field and Stream, by David E. Petzal. December 08, 2008

Going Public: More Pronghorns Than People - Outdoor Life, by Jim Zumbo. September 18, 2007 (I especially like this article, because he mentions Medicine Bow/Rawlins specifically.)

Hunting Antelope On Their Turf - Outdoor Life, by Jim Zumbo. September 18, 2007


A herd of pronghorn under Elk Mountain near Saratoga, Wyoming
Photo by Adriene Wheeler