Four Tips for Sneaking Up on a Pronghorn

How to close the gap on an antelope buck—without getting busted

The pronghorn, with its large eyes (think of a 1,000X scope, a guide once told me) and fleet feet, is uniquely equipped to evade predators. As a result, many hunters think success depends on the ability to make 300- to 400-yard shots. Most of these attempts, though, are desperate Hail Marys. The better way is to stalk close enough for the more makeable 150-yard shot. You don’t need a lot of gun—in this case, think .25/06, .243, or .270.

antelope hunting tips pronghorns
How to get within 150 yards of an antelope.Jason Lee

1. Out Yonder

A pronghorn’s range is filled with nooks and crannies (ravines, dry washes, arroyos) that let you get close without being seen. Start by driving off the main road. The more hills you can put between you and the road, the better. (Some states allow you to shoot from a stationary truck, as long as the tires are off pavement and feet are on the ground.)

2. On the Border

Find a fenceline. Antelope don’t like to jump fences, so you can use that fence as a known border to help predict their movement—and keep them within range. Next, pick a knoll, sit down, and glass the area. Bear in mind that most pronghorns aren’t all that big (typically about 70 to 90 pounds), so they may seem farther away than they actually are.

3. Closing In

When you move in on a potential pronghorn buck, stay low— preferably on all fours. Kneepads (the thick kind floor-tile installers wear) and gloves are essential in these situations. And as you creep up to the crest, get down on your stomach—and go slow. A skylined hunter at this point in the stalk will have the herd running at warp speed.

4. Second Chance

If the animals take off before you pull the trigger, note the herd’s direction. Back off and start moving parallel to them, using the terrain as a screen and the fenceline as a funnel. Set a course to intercept the herd. You may have to repeat the drill a few times. But the process requires patience, stalking ability, and a sense of timing—in other words, hunting skills.