Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Pronghorn (Antelope) Rut In Full Swing
There exists a dichotomy in hunting antelope with a stick and string...the easy way or the hard way. The easy way of course is to stake out a fence crossing or better yet a water hole, park your butt and wait for a good shot...an iron will and plenty patience is mostly all it takes to punch the tag. The flip side is to attempt to stalk, which for most of us means within 30 yards, closer is even better; no where near anything like easy still to me the challenge alone to say nothing of the adrenallin rush should you pull it off beats ambushing all to hell. But wait...there is an even better and way more exciting and fun way...that is to get yourself a decoy, wait until the rut starts (about mid September) and...well, if you haven't done it you are as they say missin' out on one of hunting's biggest thrills.
Antelope bucks are territorial in the extreme. Beginning as early as March dominant bucks mark and defend huge territories against all comers as early as March. Over summer and as the rut nears these bucks gather large harems and gradually reduce their territories to something more manageable. Should an interloper so much as show himself on the horizon Mr. Buck quickly pushes the harem together and takes off putting the run on the would be rival...Here is where the fun begins should the "interloper" be your decoy.
Sometimes the buck comes right in but more often a doe or does take off in the opposite direction which of course does not sit well with Mr. Buck...forgetting the interloper for now he runs the recalitrant does down, herds them back to the group...satisfied all is in order once again he turns attention to the rival...and this folks can and often does go on for several hours, sometimes all day...fun as hell, nothing like a sure thing...well, like I said if you ain't done it best try it...I guarantee you won't be disappointed unless of course punching a tag is more important than enjoying a fun and entertaining hunt...
Over the past couple weeks we have seen several really nice bucks not far out of town that have gathered some of the biggest harems we can recall...hint, hint.