Hunting > Big Game

Bowhunting for Pronghorn

The highest-odds, most action-packed early season bowhunt in America.

After moving and glassing across open hay fields and sage-smothered rolling hills in southeast Montana, we spotted a pronghorn buck on the move. He was alone and big. The rut was on. He was definitely looking for does.


We crawled and scrambled closer by keeping a pile of round hay bales between us and him. We closed to within 400 yards of the trotting buck. I positioned my two clients behind hay bales and moved back to where I'd left my favorite immature pronghorn antelope buck decoy. I knew the buck would respond to the decoy, as they usually do; I just wasn't sure whether I could get him to pass close enough to the two bowhunters hiding in the pile of hay bales.


My clients gave me the "thumbs-up." I raised the decoy. The sharp-eyed goat saw the intruder instantly. His reaction was bold. The buck charged off a butte and streaked straight to the decoy. He ran past the stacked round bales. When he got within 30 yards of me, the buck paused to assess his antagonist, which is when I heard the whoosh of an arrow.


A hollow plunk followed. The buck bolted, then crashed into the sage. I was grinning.


Bowhunting for pronghorns during the rut is one of the highest-success bowhunts. Whether you use a pronghorn decoy, wait at a waterhole, stalk or even use a cow silhouette to hide your stalking figure, it's high-intensity action. And you can hunt all day as you take advantage of the pronghorns' visible nature.


Do you need another reason to go? How about this: Acquiring a license doesn't require a 10-gallon hat full of preference points; also, pronghorns inhabit some of the West's largest tracts of public land. Start planning now....


 


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