Over the years I’ve become very fond of doing early season antelope hunts out west. The weather is usually hot, and often times the long days are spent in a blind sweating it out hoping for a thirsty goat to come on through.
Although, some people may think that when an antelope comes to water it’s a simple slam-dunk deal. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not. However, I have picked up a few helpful tips along the way that can help improve your odds of success.
- Old Tires= Broadside Shot. Antelope are naturally wary when coming to water because predators often attack at this vulnerable time. Needless to say, they are very skeptical before coming in. They also have a habit of coming in at the furthest point away from your blind often giving you only a frontal shot. We’d all like that nice and close broadside shot, but over the years I’ve found that can be hard to come by. That is until I showed up in Colorado this year for an early season hunt with Joey Meneghatti of Story Creek Outfitters. What they did at theirblinds was pure genius in my opinion. They took old tires and placed them around the water hole to keep the antelope from watering where a shot opportunity doesn’t exist. Where a broadside shot would be, the tires are gone and the antelope can come and go easily. This seems like such a simple trick, and it is though I had never seen it before and plan to utilize it on future hunts as well.
- Stay Hydrated. When you’re out antelope hunting, usually the hotter the weather the better. That works great for the antelope as they get extremely thirsty, but as a hunter you have to remember to stay hydrated as well. The worst thing you can do is be out there all day in the heat, and drink little to no water. I’m a big fan of packing a great lunch, having a cooler full of ice-cold water and a comfortable chair.
- Use a Decoy. Even though the antelope may not be rutting during the first part of the season, I still am a firm believer in using a decoy. I like to bring my Montana antelope decoy with me for the simple fact that when you park your truck and need to walk back to your blind in the open country, you can use that decoy to keep from spooking any antelope in the area. Antelope have incredible eyesight and if they watch you park your vehicle and then walk to water, there’s a good chance they will do their best to avoid your area. If you can eliminate them noticing you walking to the waterhole you will find much higher chances of success.