Sorry, I probably should have mentioned...
I'm not an inexperienced hunter looking for advice. I'm just wondering what other Antelope hunters consider to be some of the common mistakes new (or ignorant) hunters make. I've taken my share of speed goats.
Does anyone have a "true " measure of the speed of these animals ? I had one experience where we were driving at 55 mph and a pronghorn joined us , pacing us for a mile or two. He gave no sign of effort and when bored with game he accelerated and left us in the dust !! He must have gone 70 mph ! I've seen many numbers of their speed but no one seems to actually measured it like we did. Do any of you have a real measured max speed ??
I've been compiling a lot of data on Pronghorn lately. One of my sources is a book put out by the Smithsonian Institute, titled "Mammals of North America". The latest edition has a 2009 publishing date, and cites a few sources that have clocked wild speed goats at 44.7 mph (72 kph is the figure quoted) for 'marathon' runs of up to 22 continuous miles; and 60 mph (97 kph) for sprints when they are avoiding predatory threats.
Interestingly, though... I ran across another source that discusses captive Antelope and some Antelope that stay predominantly on cultivated ground only being able to sprint at speeds up to 51 mph, and only able to maintain speeds averaging about 37 mph over 2-5 miles. Their hypothesis is that the captive (and lazy farm-based) animals don't see as many predatory threats, and never develop their cardio-vascular systems as fully. (I'm sure another factor is that they're over-fed and fat.
I'll try to share a bit more in a later post. But, I have one more comment for now...
Originally Posted by kraigwy
Don't waste your time hunting mid day, they are napping so take a nap and hunt in the morning and afternoon.
My own experience contradicts that - on the flat, slow-rolling lands of the plateau, anyway (and 4 animals taken just north of Kemmerer). Of all the Antelope I've taken, exactly two thirds (67%) were taken between noon and 3 pm. Knowing the lay of the land and the way the Antelope move through it is a tremendous advantage. I have never known Antelope to bed down in the same place predictably (for morning/evening hunting). I have, however, found that they like to take their afternoon rest (chewing cud, napping, etc) in predictable places.
In 2010, I even crawled through a saddle (hah! the "ridge" was maybe 10 feet tall) to within about 45 yards of a napping herd that was resting by their favorite water hole. Not only did they not jump when I came into full view, or when I sat up to get my rifle over some grass; but I actually had to throw rocks at a satellite buck to get my target doe to turn her head before the shot (she was big
, I wanted to make sure there wasn't a cheek patch).
Last year, I wasn't patient enough to let the herds move to one of their napping areas in the unit I currently hunt. So, I picked off a healthy doe while she browsed her way to it. It took a little scouting and a plan, and I had to sit in the sage brush for about 30 minutes for the ambush; but it was knowing where she was going that got her into my freezer. Closer. Closer. Turn a little. A little more. Steady. Squeeze. Double-lung. Death-throw. Tag filled. No meat loss.
It may just be my personal stalking methods and the area I hunt in; but my experience has been fantastic during their mid-day 'rest' period.