Idaho’s Top Antelope Units!
Idaho pronghorn populations have held steady in recent years. This past winter resulted in a few localized die-offs, but most of the herd remained healthy. Idaho does not have many antelope tags. Rifle draw odds are bleak for residents and nonresident alike. Trophy quality is really lacking in Idaho as well. Since 2000, Idaho has only entered 18 trophies into the Boone and Crockett record book, basically equating to one 80” buck killed and registered each season. Contrast this with Wyoming, a pronghorn powerhouse, which has entered 495 during the same timeframe, or about 31 per season. I say this to highlight the reality of pronghorn hunting in Idaho. You can certainly have an enjoyable experience, just do not go there expecting to find many 80” or even 70” bucks. On the plus side, the overall hunt cost is less compared to many others.
Archery and muzzleloader are the hunts to apply for as a nonresident. The rifle permit odds are simply too tough to overcome. One circumstance where it makes sense to apply for rifle antelope is applying in the area you already plan to pursue elk or deer; possibly setting yourself up for a combination hunt.
Units 37-1, 39, 54 are the top rifle units in Idaho. All four have odds below 7% for the resident and below 1% for nonresidents.
Unit 37-1 has great access, high harvest success and decent trophy potential.
Unit 39 has an excellent public land percentage, high harvest odds and decent trophy potential.
Unit 54 is easier to traverse but not as good for public access. However, there is still a substantial amount of public land for those willing to walk a bit. Harvest odds are excellent.
Unit 36A-1 is the best muzzleloader hunt, although it is under the short-range weapons category. Harvest success has been incredibly high the past three years. The trophy quality has been mediocre, but access is good. Draw odds are under 10% for a resident and below 1% for a nonresident.
Units 40-1, 46-1, and 54 are the best options for archery hunters.
Unit 40-1 has mediocre harvest success and trophy quality but draw odds are favorable and access is good.
Unit 46-1 has two offerings; the two-week unlimited allocation season should be the one nonresidents target. Harvest success has averaged 35%, but the trophy quality has been poor.
Unit 54 has the lowest draw odds of the archery permits. Harvest success is good and trophy quality is above average for Idaho.