By Zach Lazzari | Photos by Ryan McSparran
Wyoming is antelope country and hunters can approach their hunt in a number of different ways. Hunting from a blind over water is certainly the most effective method for archery hunters. Rifle hunters can often use folds in the landscape to get close enough for a shot. Even so, antelope have excellent eyesight. The ability to shoot comfortably out too 300 yards and beyond is a major advantage.
Or you can get close. Spot and stalk antelope hunts are exhilarating and incredibly challenging. Rifle and archery hunters alike can use the same decoy tactics to close the gap. Without the use of a blind, decoys are a fun way to get within range on a spot and stalk antelope hunt.
1. Start Out Still
Antelope are curious by nature. Before you jump behind the decoy and galloup into a group of bucks and does, just set up and wait. If you have a vantage for glassing with cover behind a tree or rock, set your decoy and watch the antelope to feel them out.
You can sit 300 or more yards out with a decoy and a curious buck might roam into range to check things out. At the least, they will become more comfortable with the decoy presence while you plan a route into range.
2. Draw a Play in the Sand
Always make a plan to approach. Expect the plan to evolve as you go. After all, the antelope are not static. They are likely to move around or change positions throughout the stalk.
Your biggest obstacle to a mature buck is often the does. If they bust you, you’ll hear a snort or wheeze and the whole group will bust out of range.
Draw your play to work around the does in the most efficient manner. You may account for the wind, but remember that an antelope’s first line of defense is its eyesight. Look for natural breaks and features in the landscape and use them to move through the terrain safely.
Also, plan the route based on the animal you want to harvest. If you want the best odds, focus on the satellite bucks and find a way to reach a position with multiple shooter bucks. If you want that one big buck dominating the herd, expect a more challenging stalk to navigate past the does and satellite bucks.
3. Buck and Doe Decoys
You can go with your gut on this one and see where the cards fall. Otherwise, doe decoys are perfect for the satellite bucks as a general rule. They will create some curiosity and are ideal for a less aggressive stalk. If you want to get the big herd buck moving, try a buck decoy to challenge and draw him out.
You can also get really creative and go with a cow decoy. Montana Decoy Company makes a big red heifer cow style cow decoy. When you are hunting around cattle, these can really put the antelope at ease and the big footprint is easy to hide behind.
Antelope Hunts With Table Mountain Outfitters
If you’d like to learn more about antelope hunts in Wyoming with at Table Mountain Outfitters, please give us a call at 307-632-6352 or contact us online. To learn more, please visit our antelope hunting page.