Antelope Hunting - My Favorite?
I harvested my first Antelope in 1969.
That was 38 seasons ago. I have Hunted Antelope in both Wyoming and Montana. And for many of those years I Hunted both states each fall!
Many of those years I also harvested additional doe Antelope as I enjoy Antelope steaks and Antelope hamburger very much!
Antelope hamburger makes excellent Chilli and Burritos.
Since I retired early (at age 49) and moved to Montana the next year (1998) I have only Hunted in Montana for Antelope.
Antelope Hunting allows me to do two important things - I get to roam around on the high plains AND I can Hunt these animals from dawn til dark! No down time - if its light out, its Antelope Hunting time!
Over the years I have "aided" at least 25 neophyte Antelope Hunters to their first harvest! This also give me great pleasure. Two of those Antelope "neophytes" I helped harvest Bucks that had higher scoring horns than I have ever taken!
I have used quite a number of different Rifles and calibers to harvest Antelope with including the following: 22-250 Remington, 224 Weatherby, 220 Swift, 243 Winchester, 6mm Remington, 6mm Remington Ackley Improved, 240 Weatherby, 257 Roberts, 25/06 Remington, 260 Remington, 264 Winchester Magnum, 270 Winchester, 280 Remington, 7mm Remington Express, 7mm Remington Magnum, 308 Winchester, 30/06 and 300 Winchester Magnum!
I have helped all three of my sons harvest dandy Buck Antelope and they enjoyed the country and the Hunting nearly as much as I did.
Someday I hope to get my daughter out into the Antelope habitat to Hunt them or just watch them for a few days on the plains - September is a great month for that!
Several years back I purchased another Rifle in 270 Winchester caliber. It is a Remington Model 700 Sendero with a heavy 26" barrel! I mounted a Leupold 8.5x25x40mm variable scope on it and headed for the range.
The first bullet I tried in this Rifle was the Nosler 130 gr. Ballistic Tip. It proved so accurate (and later so lethal on Antelope and Mule Deer) that I settled on it and could not be happier!
I Hunt Antelope mostly on public lands and long shots are the normal here in Montana!
With this Rifle/bullet/scope combo and my Leica Laser Rangefinder I have taken Antelope out to 506 yards.
I prefer 200 yard shots but those are difficult to come by - especially on public lands! Antelope seem to have a "safe zone" out around 275 to 350 yards that allows them to become or to remain calm (even when they supect a Hunters presence!) and they often offer broadside standing shots at these ranges! These shots are easily accomplished with my latest Antelope Rifles and good bi-pod rests.
I would like to pass on just a couple of Antelope Hunting "secrets" - or tips I have learned to "live by" over the decades!
#1: Scout your area for as many days as possible (feasible) before the season opens!
#2: Have the rising sun at your back on opening morning as you stalk your chosen and scouted Antelope!
#3: Get out of and away from your vehicle to do your Hunting (stalking) - mature buck Antelope KNOW that vehicles bring danger along with them. You can get up on lesser Bucks in your vehicle often times, but mature Bucks come Hunting season WILL leave the herds and go off by themselves to avoid vehicles and Hunters!
I keep debating with myself which do I love more Antelope Hunting or Mule Deer Hunting?
What a pleasant dilemma.
Long live Antelope on the high plains!
Hold into the wind