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.

Recommended for You

Smaller and lighter, sub-gauge shotguns are making a resurgence in the turkey woods. Guns

Sub-Gauge Shotguns for Turkey Hunting

Larry Case

Smaller and lighter, sub-gauge shotguns are making a resurgence in the turkey woods.

Companies in the outdoor industry know how to get our attention. We know, it might seem cheap, but SHOT Show

Booth Babes from the 2012 SHOT Show

PH Online Editors - January 18, 2012

Companies in the outdoor industry know how to get our attention. We know, it might seem cheap,...

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather. Clothing

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 9: Aloha Axis Deer

Host Mike Schoby joins his buddies Jon Dubin and Jeff Johnston on the island of Lanai for a deer hunt Hawaiian style!

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 14: Swamp Bulls

With his Mozambique forest bull in the salt, Craig Boddington sets his sights on the Marromeu grasslands in pursuit of a swamp buffalo.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Looking for a great gun for the young hunter in your family? Here are eight favorites. Guns

8 Great Youth Guns Designed for Growing Hunters

Brad Fitzpatrick - July 18, 2016

Looking for a great gun for the young hunter in your family? Here are eight favorites.

Which are the best states to hunt for black bears? I have compiled a list of several great black North America

Best States To Hunt For Black Bears

Joseph von Benedikt

Which are the best states to hunt for black bears? I have compiled a list of several great...

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are created equal. Recipes

How to Properly Grill Venison Steak

Hank Shaw

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are...

See More Stories

More Other Game

Tony Miele of Smith & Wesson is hunting fallow deer armed with his Performance Center handgun Other Game

Spot and Stalk Fallow Deer

PHTV Adventures - June 27, 2017

Tony Miele of Smith & Wesson is hunting fallow deer armed with his Performance Center...

Fur, feathers and bristles provide all the action you need to sharpen your shooting skills.  Other Game

3 Spring Hunts to Plan Now

Darron McDougal

Fur, feathers and bristles provide all the action you need to sharpen your shooting skills.

Hunting Aoudad in West Texas can be a challenge. And that's an understatement.

Petersen Hunting's Other Game

Hunting Aoudad in West Texas

PHTV Adventures - June 07, 2016

Hunting Aoudad in West Texas can be a challenge. And that's an understatement. Petersen...

See More Other Game

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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