Many people who live in the eastern United States often dream of heading west to go hunt. While mule deer and elk seem to be some of the most popular species, there is one that represents the West just as well – the pronghorn antelope.
Antelope are surprisingly different to hunt than any other species, especially deer. They require a hunter to get out of their comfort zone and think outside of the box. But, unlike DIY elk and mule deer hunts, the success rates on antelope hunts are very high. The best antelope hunting trips require a little bit of planning, so here are a few things to consider.
Where to Go
Wyoming is often the top destination for most antelope hunters. There are an estimated 400,000 animals throughout the state, and OTC tags can be bought in the form of leftover tags after the regular draw. Many of these areas are not usually known for producing a ton of trophies and meat, but with high populations and a little bit of patience, you can look over a lot of bucks to find the right one.
Colorado also offers many different OTC opportunities, as long as you are an archery hunter. Many of the units here are open to an early, OTC archery hunt. The hard part is that the western part of the state has low antelope numbers, while the eastern half is mostly private land. There are an estimated 70,000 animals in the state, but access can sometimes be a challenge to get.
If you want a higher quality hunt with fewer tags and larger trophy potential, you can look to draw tags in states like New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. While tags in all of these states can be very difficult to draw, the quality of the hunt will be very high because of good populations and low tag numbers. You are also much more likely to find bigger antelope here than anywhere else.
Travel and Budget
Once you have the location pinned down, you can enlist a few hunting buddies, rent a truck, and drive out west. While driving may take longer than flying, it is usually much cheaper. This is especially true if you split the cost of gas with others. By driving, you can also bring all of your camping gear. Antelope hunting ground can be found on public land, which costs nothing to stay on. If you really need a bed or a hot shower, you can also check in to a local motel as well.
By bringing some buddies along, you can split costs and do this hunt very cheaply. By driving instead of flying, and choosing to try a DIY hunt, you can easily go on an antelope hunt every single season with a little bit of planning and budgeting.
An antelope hunt can be a great way to experience a western hunt without spending a lot and ensuring that you will have some great success. Not only is it a great experience, but it can be done on just about any budget! Don’t forget to check out the Bradley Smoker Blog For Expert Hunting & Fishing Tips Year-Round!