Antelope Hunting Bloomington IL
This page provides useful content and local businesses that can help with your search for Antelope Hunting. You will find helpful, informative articles about Antelope Hunting, including "Rut Hunting for Pronghorn Antelope", "Antelope Hunting - Start to Finish", and "Antelope Hunting: A Practical Primer". You will also find local businesses that provide the products or services that you are looking for. Please scroll down to find the local resources in Bloomington, IL that will answer all of your questions about Antelope Hunting.
Smileys Sports Shop Inc
2049 Ireland Grove Rd
Miller Brothers Sports309242033
1709 B Linda Ln
Heritage Hobbies Inc309661000
207 Mecherle Dr
Flatiron Gun Repair309663113
2049 Ireland Grove Rd
Smiley''S Sports Shopinc.800-880-1498, 309-663-1133
2049 Ireland grove rd.
15994 Thunderbird Ct
Goldsboroughs Shooters Supply309829253
1004 E Lincoln St
45 Chiswick Circle
Altic, David E Jr309824644
704 E Washington
Langhoff & Co309828945
814 W Jackson St
Antelope Hunting - Start to Finish
You've heard about pronghorn hunting and can't wait to try it! Truth is, you're not sure where to begin. Here's the skinny on tagging an antelope.
Nearly a century ago antelope meat sustained many prairie dwelling settlers. A relatively accessible game animal, they were a vulnerable species. Overharvest and, for lack of a better term, mismanagement devastated populations. Over the latter half of the 20th century and now into the new millennium, wildlife management authorities have realized the importance of controlled hunting. Bouncing back in most prairie grassland biomes across North America, hunters continue to enjoy the sporting opportunity afforded by the fastest ungulate on our continent.
Acquiring a Tag
If you're booking a hunt with an outfitter, they've hopefully covered this legwork. If you're on a self-guided hunt, then take heed.
Acquiring maps is a first priority. County maps will give you an idea of who owns what land. Topographic maps can be helpful, but much of the landscape is the same in antelope country - gently rolling plains as far as the eye can see.
Then comes the access issue. As prairie-dwelling ungulates, antelope can roam across great distances. They perpetually graze and can often be seen at watering holes. In many states and provinces vast tracts of land are owned by a single farmer. In fact in Alberta where I took my most recent buck, a single family controls several townships. Secure permission from any of these landowners and you're well on your way to tagging your buck.
Phone calls or in-person visits over a cup of coffee can go a long way in helping you gather background information on the antelope numbers, what kind of bucks the farmer has seen on his land, what the trophy potential is, and so on.
Generally when a hunter draws a tag, the state or province dictates season dates. Whenever possible, I like to hunt as close to the rut as possible. Across the northern habitats the rut general peaks between September 20th and 25th. For archers, this is a great time to be in the field. Decoying can be magical when bowhunting, but it not recommended and in fact may not even be allowed in different jurisdicti...
Antelope Hunting: A Practical Primer
The white undersides of the antelope comprising the small herd on the sagebrush covered slope shown with a radiant intensity in the rays of the early morning sun as it changed the desert landscape from cold, dull, gray to a warm, soft panorama of shimmering gold. There aren't many sights more awesome than a clear sky sunrise over a high country desert. When you add a herd of pronghorn antelope with a gorgeous buck sporting tall, glistening, black horns, to the whole panorama, the first morning of hunting season, it just doesn't get better than that.
My hunting partners and I spent two hours glassing the pronghorns and hoping another group of hunters didn't blow the situation for us by driving over the ridge and spooking the group. Finally the pronghorns bedded down at the base of the steep slope. A bit more glassing and scoping the area to pinpoint landmarks and plan my approach route and we backed off the ridge where we were parked and drove a long circuitous route to get behind the bedded antelope without spooking them. There was lots of hunter traffic in the area but the bedded antelope were completely out of sight from the roads so it was unlikely they'd be spotted by other hunters. Almost like they planned it that way!
My partners dropped me off at the base of the ridge behind where the pronghorns were bedded. They returned to our original lookout point to glass the action and be in position to keep track of the pronghorns if I blew the stalk. The stiff prairie breeze was rolling over the top of the ridge and blowing in my face as I crawled the last few yards to the top of the ridge. I eased up beside a yucca bush to break my outline and peered over the drop-off hoping fervently that nothing had spooked the pronghorns or they hadn't decided to seek another bedding location.
They were right where we last glassed them with the buck bedded on the upper edge of the group 25 yards closer to me. The buck was bedded broadside 150 yards below me scanning the broad valley below, completely unaware of danger from above. I slid my Ruger No. 1, 6mm Remington into position, and studied the buck through the Nikon scope. Satisfied he was a superb specimen, I centered the crosshairs slightly below the center of the buck's back behind the shoulders and increased the pressure on the trigger. At the sharp bark of the 6mm the buck jerked a couple times and then lay still without ever making it to his feet. My first Colorado pronghorn.
Pronghorn antelope are probably the most dazzling of North American big game animals, with their distinct brown and white coloration accented by black cheek patches and glossy black horns. The pronghorn is unique to the world and North America and is the only big game species that sheds it's out horn sheath each fall. The pronghorn is not an antelope but a member of the goat family because of it's lack of dew claws on the front feet. A pronghorn can attain speeds of 70 mph and cruise at 30 mph for long distances. Their e...
Rut Hunting for Pronghorn Antelope
We watched for several minutes as the buck raked his horns against the bush. He snorted and thrashed and was obviously in full rut mode. He would occasionally step back for a break then walk stiff legged toward the bush again, waving his head back and forth before launching his renewed assault.
From a distance it can be difficult to tell the difference between an average antelope buck and a true trophy. But we were very close - less than 30 yards, so it was clear to see this was not the buck we wanted. The buck was so addled by his raging hormones that he ignored our approach even though he had to know we were there.
We were hunting in western Wyoming and the pronghorn antelope rut was in full swing. Many hunters are not aware that during their breeding season pronghorns exhibit rutting behavior similar to more familiar ungulates like elk and deer. They fight with other males for the attention of females, they grunt and snort and they use scent cues. They make scrapes. They gather harems of does.
The antelope buck mentioned above was working over a bush in much the same way as antlered animals do. The rubbing serves a dual purpose: it leaves a scent marker for other antelope and it helps prepare them for the pushing and sparring that takes place with other bucks. Also like deer, elk and moose, during the rut the males are so focused on breeding that they lose much of the natural wariness that protects them most of the year.
In spring and early summer, it is common to see several pronghorn bucks hanging out together without any does or fawns in sight. After the breeding season, antelope gather together into large herds with a mixture of bucks and does. But during the rut if two bucks come in contact a pushing match will usually ensue.
Antelope begin their pre-rut preparations as early as mid-August. As the rut nears, the bucks split apart and begin hanging out around the groups of does. Most of the breeding activity is over by early October. As with many other game animals, weather can impact rutting activity. Cool weather can get the pronghorn rut off to an early start. Last season early heavy snows in much of Wyoming abruptly prematurely ended typical rut behavior.
During the rut a single dominant buck will collect a harem of does. He often keeps them near a mound or hill that provides him with a good vantage point. He will stand in such a location for hours and he will drive off any other buck that approaches.
It is common to see other bucks staying nearby trying to steal away a doe that wanders too far from the others. During this portion of the rut, the dominant buck will run himself ragged trying to keep the does together and to drive off potential rivals. The buck will not leave the does during this time - a trait that can make him more vulnerable to hunters.
A few years ago I had a tag for a doe antelope. It was an agricultural area where antelope were ov...