Skip to main content

HUNTING's Antelope Forecast for 2014

HUNTING's Antelope Forecast for 2014

bgf_antelope_f2014 Outlook

Pronghorn can likely be deemed the easiest path to a trophy in 2014, as success rates tend to run north of 80 percent in states with strong populations. The strongest is in Wyoming, which at one time had more prairie goats than people. That's changed. Pronghorn populations have slipped from a high of 565,000 in 2007 to about 368,000 last year.

That decline is due to a number of factors, but Wyoming Game and Fish spokesman Al Langston says the state went through several tough winters and a number of abnormally dry years. As a result, hunters can expect tougher draw odds and fewer antelope, particularly on management units that are primarily public.

Drought is taking a toll on pronghorns in other states, particularly in regions that tend to be dry in the first place. West Texas, for example, has seen a major decline in antelope. So much, in fact, Texas Parks and Wildlife is now allocating only 100 buck tags for the region. That's down from 800 in 2007. The good news is that antelope in the Texas Panhandle are doing fine, thanks largely to the region's farmers.

"There are about 12,000 antelope in the Panhandle, and they are doing fine," says TPW biologist Shawn Gray.

bgf_antelope_arrowAntelope aren't fine in the drier regions of Utah, which has also been hit by a prolonged drought. They are stable, however, in the rest of the state, says Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Big Game Coordinator Kent Hersey.

"The biggest bucks tend to come from the desert regions, but the Parker Mountains and Plateau units have the highest populations," he says.

Montana antelope also suffered a significant winter kill several years ago and are still recovering. Some herds were also hit with hemorrhagic disease last year. As a result, there will be a reduced number of tags, says Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Wildlife Management Section Chief Quentin Kujala. "Region 7 licenses have been cut to 3,000," he says. "It used to be around 10,000."

Drought has hurt antelope in parts of Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, three of the best states for trophy-class pronghorns. New Mexico Game and Fish biologist Ryan Darr says the northeastern quadrant of the state did not experience the drought much of the rest of the state did. Numbers are stable or increasing.

"Populations are strong in that region, although there is still good hunting in other parts of the state," he says.

1. Wyoming

Wyoming leads the country in antelope population and hunting opportunity. The best regions tend to be in eastern Wyoming, where private land dominates the landscape.

3. New Mexico

Southwest New Mexico also produces some giant pronghorn, but most hunting takes place on private ranches or with an outfitter...unless you draw a prime tag.

2. Arizona

Arizona typically ranks as the top trophy producer. The region east of Flagstaff produces some big specimens.




GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Hunters and shooters looking for a single-gun solution for hunting, predator control and plinking should consider the Fr...
Hunting

Part 3: Bears of the North – Grand Finale

Hunters and shooters looking for a single-gun solution for hunting, predator control and plinking should consider the Fr...
Hunting

Part 2: Bears of the North - Keep the Momentum Going

Hunters and shooters looking for a single-gun solution for hunting, predator control and plinking should consider the Fr...
Hunting

Part 1: Bears of the North - The Journey

Hunters and shooters looking for a single-gun solution for hunting, predator control and plinking should consider the Fr...
Gear

Stag Arms Pursuit AR Pro

Hunters and shooters looking for a single-gun solution for hunting, predator control and plinking should consider the Fr...
Gear

Aero Precision Solus Hunter

Hunters and shooters looking for a single-gun solution for hunting, predator control and plinking should consider the Fr...
Gear

Browning X-Bolt 2

Hunters and shooters looking for a single-gun solution for hunting, predator control and plinking should consider the Fr...
Gear

The Truth About Thermal Optics

Hunters and shooters looking for a single-gun solution for hunting, predator control and plinking should consider the Fr...
Gear

Weatherby's All-New Model 307 Range XP

Hunters and shooters looking for a single-gun solution for hunting, predator control and plinking should consider the Fr...
Gear

Introducing the Savage 110 Trail Hunter

Hunters and shooters looking for a single-gun solution for hunting, predator control and plinking should consider the Fr...
Gear

Federal Terminal Ascent 7mm PRC

Hunters and shooters looking for a single-gun solution for hunting, predator control and plinking should consider the Fr...
Gear

CZ Shadow 2: Competition Ready Right Out of the Box!

Hunters and shooters looking for a single-gun solution for hunting, predator control and plinking should consider the Fr...
Gear

The Ultimate Truck and Trail Gun

Petersen's Hunting Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Petersen's Hunting stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now