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

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

If you're tired of the same old jalapeno and cream cheese poppers, here's a completely different take on the popular party appetizer. Easy to make, and incredibly delicious, these mini cheeseburgers, wrapped in bacon, make the perfect one-bite-fits-all snack for your next tailgate party or hunting camp.

Moon Phase Rut Tips

Moon Phase Rut Tips

John Dudley, technical writer and host of Nock On TV discusses why it's imporant to follow moon phases for the rut.

Fare Game: Stuffed Elk Backstrap Recipe

Fare Game: Stuffed Elk Backstrap Recipe

Take your venison loin to a whole new level with this delicious reverse-seared stuffed elk backstrap. Smoking the backstrap on a Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill first, then finishing it on a blazing-hot skillet or flattop, creates a perfectly cooked, medium-rare steak with a crispy, seared exterior. The filling of diced mushrooms and creamy Boursin cheese adds a whole new level of amazing flavors to an otherwise classic smoked venison loin.

B&C Typical Mule Deer

B&C Typical Mule Deer

Doug Burris Jr's typical mule deer taken in 1969, could just be one record that will never be broken.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these guns. Survival

Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense?

Larry Case - July 11, 2018

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these...

Are you leaving some of the best parts of your turkey in the woods? Recipes

Don't Waste the Best Meat: Wild Turkey Leg & Thigh BBQ Recipe

Michael Pendley

Are you leaving some of the best parts of your turkey in the woods?

Technology is taking deer hunters, and their gear, into the future. Accessories

The Best New Deer Hunting Technology

Jeff Johnston - May 15, 2020

Technology is taking deer hunters, and their gear, into the future.

Montana's vast wilderness provides the backdrop for a test of fortitude on the hunt for trophy black bears. North America Big Game

A Long Way Up: Montana Backcountry Black Bears

Joseph von Benedikt

Montana's vast wilderness provides the backdrop for a test of fortitude on the hunt for trophy...

See More Trending Articles

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...

While hunters don't traditionally use a calling strategy to lure in axis deer, the tactic can be effective. Find out how! Other Game

Can You Call in Axis Deer?

Emily Kantner - August 28, 2018

While hunters don't traditionally use a calling strategy to lure in axis deer, the tactic...

Roebuck are to Europe what whitetails are to the United States. Here's all you need to know about this different kind of deer. Other Game

Roebuck: Europe's Answer to the Whitetail

Craig Boddington

Roebuck are to Europe what whitetails are to the United States. Here's all you need to know...



Bear cubs are incredibly cute and cuddly, but from at least early adolescence onward all Other Game

The Trouble with Bears

Craig Boddington - June 13, 2016

Bear cubs are incredibly cute and cuddly, but from at least early adolescence onward all

See More Other Game

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

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