my first antelope hunt in south dakota. any advise


Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2009
outside Houston, Texas
hey everybody, im goin to get to go on my first antelope hunt in south dakota this year. its on a private ranch where the guy wants the antelope thinned down. its gonna be in january, so its most likely gonna be pretty cold, and probably lots of snow. anyway i've never been before so if there's anyone thats got some advise my ears are open. thanks -Caleb
You must really want to hunt antelope reeeeeal bad :rolleyes:

Yup, Jan in SD might be reeeeal cold.... and reeeeeal windy. The bucks will have long since dropped their horns. Days will be short and cold and nights will be long and colder. Hope you are a hiker, because that's the only way you'll keep warm... keep moving. You might get lucky and catch warm spell???

Here in Montana, the antelope have gathered into very large herds by Jan and will migrate from place to place. I'm sure the rancher will put you on to a herd. It will probably be a drive out to them and shoot. If you're shooting alphalpha/grain fed goats, they will be very tastey. If you're shooting sage goats, you'll want to turn them all into sausage and jerky and don't bother with any steaks or roasts.

Have a good shoot, notice I didn't say hunt :)

Someday you should do a Sep-Oct hunt in one of our states. It's a blast.

thanks for the advise... my cousin that lives up there is the one thats putting the whole thing together. there is a early season hunt and im tryin to talk him into makin the hunt during the early season. The guy that owns the ranch is friends with him so we have free access. The rancher has several thousand acres that he for deer and elk hunters to come and pay to hunt but he doesnt do it for antelope so he said we could come and thin out the herds because nobody hunts them on his place. even said he would go and pay for extra tags for us if we taged out. the only thing thats got me worried about the hunt is the fact that it could end up being pretty cold and lots of snow and im pretty sure that the antelope dont stay out on the plains when its cold. i dunno i might get there and it be great huntin or it might be snowin a blizzard the whole time.
Antelope are a plains animal and they depend mostly on their vision and speed for protection. They will be on the plains all year from a blowing -40 to a sweltring 100. I was having a little bit of fun with ya about the cold weather, but there is definitely a chance for it to be sub zero and blowing. Usually when it's really cold, there isn't much wind, but ND and SD are known to be breezy. I would not choose to hunt antelope in Jan, but if I had some room in hte freezer (which I almost always do) I would go out and shoot a couple of alphalpha fed does in a heart beat, but no sage goats.

Try to get the earlier hunt, you might shoot a nice buck and the weather will likely be a lot nicer. You could luck out and get some 30-40 wether in Jan, but not likely. In any case, you will probably in a truck most of the time until you spot some. It shouldn't take you any more than 30 min to shoot them and have them dressed and in the back of the truck.

Enjoy yourself and take warm clothes :)
Hey Archer;
I've hunted in SD for several years. Depending on the area you are hunting the terrain is VERY different from Selby, to Newell to Lemon. Since you can buy tags over the counter after the final draw this Friday, why wait until January? Anyway if your schedule does not permit a hunt in early October then January is better than not hunting at all.
I'll have tagged my 2 does and 1 buck by Oct 12.
Good Luck
Hey dude, good luck with the 'goat hunting up here. as a South Dakota resident I have about 13yrs experience in SD Goat Hunting and it HIGHLY depends on where you go. What county are you heading to. (or town)
Where I go, Bennet Co on the south central part of west river there are basically two kinds of goats.
The Sage goats that stay in the sand hills are easy to hunt. Very curious, and are not easily spooked if you shoot prone and have not made them aware of your presence. It is fairly easy to spot and stalk as long as you approach hill tops VERY slowly. (i would recomend a ghille suit but a prarieghost type camo will work)

Now the goats that venture up to the pastures/alfalfa are another story entirely. Out in West River SD, those lil bastards will climb up on top of hay stacks, and **** all over them...and THEN the cows want nothing to do with that hay supply. Farmers and Ranchers will chase and flock shoot at them just to save the hay. Very much more skid-dish around vehicles, will NEVER give you a 2nd shot and will probalby know you are there before you ever see them.
As for hunting in Jan, no worries...just prepare for the worst nasty blizzard you can imagine and then just hope we aren't having one, and I am not really kidding.
South Dakota Blizzard | Department of Defense New Media

I am going out this weekend and cant wait. Good luck with your hunt, let us know how it goes.
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