Hunting Antelope in Nebraska
Nebraska is a great destination for hunters who want to pursue the elusive and speedy pronghorn antelope. Antelope hunting in Nebraska requires a draw permit that is valid only on private land. Non-residents can only hunt doe antelope with a rifle, but archers can hunt either sex. The number of antelope and permits changes every year, but the state offers some of the best chances for trophy caliber antelope bucks in the country.
Antelope Hunting Seasons and Methods
The antelope hunting seasons in Nebraska are:
- Archery: Middle of August – End of December
- Rifle: 2nd week of October – 3rd weekend of October
- Black Powder: Middle of September – 1st weekend of October
The most common methods of hunting antelope in Nebraska are spot and stalk, blinds, decoys, and flagging. Spot and stalk involves finding a herd or a buck and then trying to get close enough to shoot without being seen. Blinds are usually set up near water sources or trails where antelope visit often. Decoys and flagging are used to lure rutting bucks by pretending to be a rival male or a ready female.
Antelope Hunting Areas and Outfitters
Nebraska has several units where antelope hunting is allowed, but some of the best areas are located in the western part of the state, near the Wyoming border. The Sandhills region, for example, is home to large herds of antelope that move from ponds and feed in the low meadows. This area offers a lot of open space and rolling hills for spotting and stalking antelope. There are also many outfitters that offer guided hunts on private land in this region. Some other good areas for antelope hunting are the Pine Ridge region, the Wildcat Hills region, and the Panhandle region.
Some of the popular outfitters that provide antelope hunting services in Nebraska are:
- Hat Creek Valley Outfitters: This outfitter specializes in elk, mule deer, whitetail, antelope, and turkey hunting in the Sandhills region. They offer spot and stalk and blind hunts for antelope on over 100,000 acres of private land. They also provide experienced guides, transportation, lodging, meals, hot tub, internet service, satellite TV, and friendly staff.
- Prairie Rock Outfitters: This outfitter is the premier hunting destination in the panhandle of Nebraska. They offer mule deer, whitetail, antelope, elk, turkey, and waterfowl hunts on over 300,000 acres of private land. They offer early season and rut hunts for antelope using spot and stalk, blinds, decoys, and flagging methods. They also provide professional guides, transportation, lodging, meals, game processing, taxidermy service, and trophy care.
- Alcorn’s Hunter Haven: This outfitter offers antelope hunts in the Pine Ridge region of Nebraska. They offer spot and stalk, blind, decoy, and flagging hunts for antelope on over 50,000 acres of private land. They also provide experienced guides, transportation, lodging in a comfortable lodge, meals, hot tub, internet service, satellite TV, and good conversation.
Antelope Hunting Statistics and Tips
According to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the average success rate for antelope hunters in Nebraska is about 75%. The average number of antelope harvested per year is about 6, 000. The average size of an antelope buck in Nebraska is about 13 inches in horn length. The state record is 17 5/8 inches.
Some tips for hunting antelope in Nebraska are:
- Apply early for the draw permit, as some units have low odds of getting one.
- Scout the area before the season to locate water sources, trails, and bedding areas.
- Use binoculars or a spotting scope to glass for antelope from a distance.
- Be patient and wait for the right opportunity to stalk or ambush an antelope.
- Use camouflage clothing and cover your scent to avoid spooking an antelope.
- Practice shooting at long ranges, as most shots will be over 200 yards.
- Have fun and enjoy the challenge of hunting one of the fastest and most beautiful animals in North America.