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Image by Keith Misner


the Hunter's Lane
summer hunter's guide:
pronghorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

America's Pronghorn evolved in North America 20 million years ago. They can run sprints at 45–50 miles per hour, an adaptation to outrun an extinct cheetah. The North American pronghorn is the sole surviving member of a group of animals that evolved in North America during the past 20 million years.

Where: The present-day range of the pronghorn extends from southern Saskatchewan and Alberta in Canada south into the United States through Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, and central Texas west to coastal southern California and northern Baja California Sur, to Sonora and San Luis Potosí in northern Mexico.

When: Archery seasons open in mid-August. Pronghorn can be hunted as early August 14, 2023 in Oregon and August 19, 2023 in South Dakota. Be sure to check with the wildlife management resources for season dates and updated regulations information about the state game lands you plan to hunt.

 

Preferred Habitat: 

Pronghorn prefer gentle rolling to flat, wide-open topography. These habitats allow the Antelope to spot predators from far distances and quickly escape. They are primarily found in the mountain ranges of northern and central Nevada. 

Active Times:

Pronghorn are diurnal creatures, meaning active only during daylight hours. With the lack of movement over night, a pronghorn hunter and guide can leave a group at dark and find them in the same spot the next morning.

Tracking:

Locating and spotting pronghorn is relatively easy, at least in comparison to brush-loving whitetail deer. In good antelope country it’s common to see pronghorn grazing in groups of a dozen or more, sometimes, way more, although they could be a couple of miles away. Males and females can easily be told apart at distances of a mile or more if you’re using good optics, so if you’re hunting on a sex-specific tag you should be able to select your desired animal before you begin what might become a painful and arduous stalk. You don’t want to walk a 2-mile half-circle in 90-degree heat just to get within crawling distance of a lone antelope and then discover that you’re stalking a buck when all you’ve got in your pocket is a doe tag.

Position:

Make sure to select a potential shooting position that offers a wide field of view, a place where you can wait without having to move around too much. If the animal was following the bottom of a valley or dry wash, then make sure you can cover the entirety of the valley. 

Recommended Calibers for Pronghorn Hunting: 

6.5 PRC

  • 6.5 PRC factory loads usually fire the same bullet 200-250fps faster than the 6.5 Creedmoor. Therefore, 6.5 PRC has a flatter trajectory, more retained energy, and less wind drift than the 6.5 Creedmoor at typical hunting ranges.

  • While the 270 WSM slightly outperforms the PRC in drop and energy, the 6.5 PRC has noticeably less recoil, less wind drift .

  • The maximum effective range of the 6.5 PRC for hunting is approximately 730 yards, at which distance many bullets will slow below 1,900 fps which can cause a bullet to fail to expand..

 

.270 Winchester

  • Similar knock-down power to the .308 Win, but with slightly less recoil.

  • High-velocity, flat-flying wind-resistant round, great for flat open terrain where Pronghorn are found

  • Excellent power and performance up to around 680 yards.

.243 Winchester

  • The balance of light recoil and versatility as both a varmint and big game cartridge.

  • The .243 is that it offers adequate killing power for medium game at a noise and recoil level that can help any hunter to shoot calmly and accurately.

  • the .243 is ideal for game weighing between 40kg and 60kg (90-130lb) but is adequate for game weighing 80kg (180lb).

 

Taking Aim:

When taking aim on an Pronghorn, you can employ the same strategy as you would with deer.  You want to hit the vitals, ideally in the lungs or heart to help facilitate an ethical kill. Ideally, you want the deer to be quartering away from you, clearing the way for your shot to penetrate the vitals most effectively. Aiming for the heart and lungs, you want to places your crosshairs or sight just behind the deer's elbow, into the chest. The red target on the photo below represents the best shot placement to achieve a quick and ethical kill.

Recovery:

If the deer has run off, be sure to watch carefully to see where it runs to so you know where to go to attempt your recovery. Mark the time and take note of where the deer was when you shot it and which direction it ran, then wait for at least 45 minutes to an hour before beginning to trail. After incurring a mortal wound, an animal, after a short run, will usually lie down, go into shock and die. If you move in too quickly, the animal's flight instinct will kick in.

Tracks - Pronghorn.PNG
Image by David Thielen
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Image by David Thielen

THE HUNTER'S LANE:
[5] 6.5 prc Rifles for
hunting pronghorn
WE RECOMMEND IN 2023

Image by Keith Misner

New! Fierce Firearms:
MTN Reaper Bolt-Action Rifle


Caliber: 6.5 PRC
Finish: Black Cerakote
Stock Color: Black

 

The Fierce Firearms® MTN Reaper Bolt-Action Rifle is lighter and more streamlined than the original Reaper. The Reaper is designed for high-adventure hunting applications where weight matters the most. The new chassis is made utilizing magnesium, which offers solid durability while reducing weight and maintaining excellent accuracy. The Reaper features a 2-lug action that accepts AccurateMag detachable box magazines. The carbon fiber stock folds and locks at the push of a button. You also get a carbon fiber MLOK forend, ergonomic pistol grip, and adjustable cheek piece. A Fierce C3 carbon fiber barrel helps reduce weight and enhances barrel cooling. A Bix'n Andy trigger offers a clean and crisp pull that it user adjustable. A NIX muzzle brake and 0 MOA scope mount are included. This is a stellar performer for the serious hunter looking for deep adventures into the woods.

$3,399.99

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Image by Keith Misner

Christensen Arms:
ELR Bolt-Action Rifle


Caliber: 6.5 PRC
Finish: Stainless
Stock: Synthetic Black w/Gray Webbing

Drop big-game targets previously out of reach with the long-range superiority of the Christensen Arms® ELR Bolt-Action Rifle. Christensen guarantees sub-MOA accuracy from each ELR rifle shipped. The 416R carbon-fiber-wrapped stainless steel barrel delivers target-profile performance. Wrapping the barrels in carbon fiber promotes rigidity without weighing down the rifle. Threaded muzzle (5/8" x 24 tpi) comes with a free-floated adjustable, removable brake crafted from titanium. Carbon-fiber composite hunting stock delivers significant weight savings and features a customizable comb height and length-of-pull, with beavertail forearm and tactical grip, dual swivel sling studs, and 5 flush cup mounts. Limbsaver® recoil pad ensures post-shot comfort.

$2,599.99

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Image by Keith Misner

Christensen Arms:
Modern Precision Bolt-Action Rifle


Caliber: 6.5 PRC
Finish: Carbon Fiber Wrap/Blk Nitride
Stock: Folding Adjustable Desert Brown (Shown)

The Christensen Arms® Modern Precision Bolt-Action Rifle features a free-floated, 416R stainless steel, hand-lapped, and button-rifled barrel with an aerograde carbon-fiber wrap and V-Block bedding to deliver pinpoint accuracy. The removable side-baffle brake mitigates recoil, and the 5/8"-24 threaded muzzle readily accepts a variety of aftermarket muzzle brakes or suppressors. The match-grade flat trigger enhances control and handling for improved accuracy. A 20-MOA rail offers ample space for optics and other tactical accessories, while a skeletonized bolt handle operates the nitride-treated twin-lug, spiral-fluted bolt with ease. Dual ejectors offer reliable extraction of spent shells, even with magnum calibers. The hardcoat-anodized 7075 billet-aluminum chassis provides exceptional durability, while a folding stock with Magnelock™ technology, an adjustable length of pull, and an adjustable comb deliver a custom fit for enhanced control and improved ergonomics. The carbon-fiber handguard delivers exceptional reliability, while multiple M-LOK® slots accept a variety of compatible accessories and bipods. 6 quick-detach flush-cup mounts offer multiple points of attachment for slings, while the AICS-compatible detachable magazine with a tactical-style release makes for quick, easy reloading and unloading.

$2,299.99

Cabelas - Christensen Arms modern Precision ba rifle 6.5prc folding adjustable desert brow
Image by Keith Misner

Bergara:
HMR Pro Bolt-Action Rifle


Caliber: 6.5 PRC
Finish: Tactical Gray Cerakote
Stock Color: Black

The Bergara® HMR Pro Bolt-Action Rifle features a heavy stainless steel barrel with a premium tactical gray Cerakote® finish. The state-of-the art Bergara Premier action features a nonrotating gas shield with a 2-lug system, coned bolt nose for smooth cartridge feeding, and sliding plate extractor. Bolt head, gas shield, bolt handle, and bolt shroud are fully nitrided for outstanding durability. Part of the TriggerTech® trigger assembly, the 2-position thumb safety prevents the bolt handle to lock in the closed position, which allows the rifle to be unloaded in a safe position. The tactical stock features an integrated mini-chassis that offers full support and repeatable bedding for the free-floated barrel. The stock also has an adjustable cheekpiece and length-of-pull spacers for a comfortable fit. Plus, the Bergara HMR Pro Bolt-Action Rifle comes with quick-detach flush sling mounts and swivel mounts.

$1,699.99

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Image by Keith Misner

Browning:
X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Suppressor-Ready Bolt-Action Rifle


Caliber Options: 6.5 PRC
Finish: Smoked Bronze Cerakote
Stock Color: Ovix Camo

A Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's Exclusive!

Browning® didn't hold back when designing the X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Suppressor-Ready Bolt-Action Rifle. This is a true mountain-style rifle with the features that send it straight to the top of the peak for hunters looking for proven performance and accuracy. The sporter contour barrel is fluted and comes in standard barrel lengths to keep the rifle light, maneuverable and easy to carry. The muzzle is threaded 5/8-24 to accept the included Recoil Hawg muzzle brake or thread protector cap. The barrel is free floated for consistent accuracy. The Cerakote Smoked Bronze finish is applied to the action and barrel and offers metal protection that is better than traditional bluing or stainless steel. The lightweight composite stock features the concealment of Browning OVIX camo. This pattern offers excellent concealment in a variety of terrain and environments.

$1,199.99

Cabelas - Browing X-Bolt Hell's Canyon McMillan LR BA Rifle.PNG
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