Defining; “Spot and Stalk”
At times, western hunting styles have brought up a few questions. Most hunters are very familiar with using blinds or shooting houses set up over travel corridors or more commonly over food plots. This type of hunting style is mostly a waiting game. When your quarry presents a good shot, the hunt is over. Out west, however, most hunts are conducted using a whole different hunting style. Its called, “Spot and Stalk”.
Hunting pronghorn antelope in Wyoming often requires covering vast amounts of terrain. Traversing across the prairie in a pick up truck on two track roads is something most hunters have never experienced. The key to hunting trophy antelope is to try and locate as many animals as you can in a long day. We spot herds of pronghorn off in the distance and “glass” them using binoculars and spotting scopes. Once a likely trophy buck is located, a stalk follows and this is when the fun really begins!
Antelope have incredible eye sight which makes stalking them very challenging. The key to a successful stalk is to begin by leaving the truck far enough away from the herd of antelope so they do not notice it. During the stalk we use every bit of topography to hide ourselves from the herd. Antelope rely almost exclusively on their vision to detect danger. Even though antelope have a very good sense of smell, we don’t worry about our scent like you would when hunting elk or mule deer.
As we close the distance its usually essential to crawl so your outline does not spook the herd. Keep in mind, you’re going to almost always be stalking several antelope at one time. Since antelope travel in herds you often have a couple dozen eyeballs looking for danger. During the final approach, you navigate through plenty of cactus so always bring a pair of good leather gloves and knee pads aren’t a bad idea either.
You have closed the distance between you and your trophy buck and now are well within rifle range for a clean, ethical shot. Take a few minutes and judge the buck before taking aim. It’s important to be sure he is the same buck you spotted from the truck. It’s not uncommon for bucks to switch places and you do not want to make a mistake. Shooting sticks are a fantastic tool to steady your rifle. Take a moment, slow your breathing, click off the safety and squeeze the trigger. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures to capture memories from this exhilarating hunt. Wyoming antelope hunting and a spot and stalk technique can’t be beat!