If you’re looking to take a true trophy-class pronghorn buck, the first step is to avoid hunting the way everyone else does. If the tactics most hunters use were any good, there’d be more trophy Buck Antelope taken every fall. Instead, you need to hunt differently, both with respect to how as well as where you hunt.
Because pronghorn live virtually their entire lives in relatively open, easily accessible, mostly flat terrain, they’re much easier to locate than other big-game species. With the ability of rifles and muzzleloaders to reach way out there, it’s easy see why all firearms pronghorn tags—and most archery tags, too—are limited and issued through a draw.
If you’re looking for a true giant, a buck that will push the Boone & Crockett Club minimum score of 82 inches, you need to hunt in one of the few places where big Antelope Bu live. That means states that severely restrict the number of tags issued each year in areas with a track record of producing giant bucks. Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada lead the way, as well as select units in Wyoming. However, it takes years to draw a tag in those places (I have 20 points in Arizona right now and haven’t drawn), or some serious cash to buy a New Mexico landowner tag.
Another approach to trophy pronghorn hunting is to focus on the biggest buck in the area in which you hunt. When I’m hunting general draw units, my definition of a “trophy” buck changes. While not all pronghorn states regularly produce Boone & Crockett bucks, in most places there are big pronghorns that hunters don’t kill. That’s what I’m looking for: the largest, oldest buck that lives in my unit.
KNOW WHERE TO GO
Finding and killing the largest buck in your hunting area requires three elements: pre-hunt research, scouting (both prior to and during the hunt) and executing a plan based on the information your scouting has provided.