Choosing the Right First Western Hunt: Antelope

So you’ve finally built up vacation time and a bit of cash. You’re ready to pit yourself against the western terrain for a big-game hunt.

Don’t waste the opportunity.

Find a hunt that matches your skill set, physical conditioning and priorities.

Some dream of bugling elk in the mountains and pushing their body to the limit. Others want to get away from crowds and slow down for a week. Travel time, finances, and stamina will all play a role in the decision.

Each hunt has its own challenges and rewards. To increase your odds of filling a tag, understand the reality of each hunt.

Antelope

As three college kids from Iowa with almost no knowledge of western game, our first antelope hunt was a dream come true. We filled all three tags and narrowly avoided bankruptcy by purchasing $90 doe/fawn tags and relying on gear dug out of our parents’ basement,

With high success rates and dependable weather antelope hunting offers a great opportunity for the budget-conscious outdoorsman. Wyoming averaged a 90% success rate in 2019. Antelope rely on eyesight to keep them safe and prefer open country, which makes the first step, locating herds, fairly straightforward. Not every hunt has such promise.

Antelope live in drier, lower elevation terrain than bear and elk. Because of the geographical differences dangerous weather conditions are less likely. Though high winds might leave your camp in shambles, winter storms won’t appear out of nowhere.

Scorching temperatures in August and September can wear on hunters and spoil game quickly. Though antelope meat doesn’t top many hunter’s lists, some do love it. Remember to have a cooler and bag of ice ready.

Antelope hunting is an affordable option with a high likelihood of success. Hunters won’t have to dip into the kid’s college fund to go on this hunt, and newcomers will gain scouting and camping knowledge that will benefit them on future trips. The hunt doesn’t require advanced calling techniques or backpacking expertise either. For all of these reasons, consider an antelope tag.

Next Week: Black Bear

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