Newb looking for area advice.

jfrey123

Active member
Hey guys, I’m doing my first big game hunt this year: shorter than ears antelope in 141, 143, 152, 154 - 155. Area is basically a triangle inside Battle Mountain, Austin and Eureka.

Looking at maps that show property ownership, I see a fair amount of checkerboard ownership of land between private/mining and BLM on the northern ends. On the southern end of the areas, it looks a lot more open for use.

I’ll have enough time for a scouting trip before I go out to hunt it. My thoughts are to hit dirt outside of Austin and work my way north and east before ending my trip in Eureka. Any tips or pointers anyone might like to share would be appreciated. PM if you don’t want info publicly shared.

Thanks in advance!
 

turbobrick

Active member
I wish I could help a little more directly, but I've only hunted speed goat in 151, 153, 156. That being said, in the area around where 153 and 156 meet has good numbers of animals, and I have seen them crossing into that area from the east where your tags are. I'd get the onxmaps and a good GPS. Use it to find the guzzlers, agriculture fields, and public land. From there, it will just be some time out looking. You'll want good binoculars, way more water than you think, and be as comfortable as possible with you're rifle and taking longer shots.
 

jfrey123

Active member
Appreciate the feedback! From your advice, sounds like I’m on the right path. OnX is an awesome map app and I was planning on focusing around the guzzlers morning and evenings. Terrain map shows a couple of ranges running roughly north/south and plenty of trails to get around and between them.

Photos of the areas and peaks seem to show mainly open sage. Long shots will probably be my only chances, as you suggest.
 

turbobrick

Active member
I’d definitely focus on the big open flat areas, we only saw a few in the hills. It really depends on how much feed they’re finding. I have the hard print guzzler map, but I have found the onx version to be much easier to work with in the field. Plus, you can update onx every year and save most of the cost of buying the hard copy of just the guzzler book.
 

ZJchukar

Member
I’d definitely focus on the big open flat areas, we only saw a few in the hills. It really depends on how much feed they’re finding. I have the hard print guzzler map, but I have found the onx version to be much easier to work with in the field. Plus, you can update onx every year and save most of the cost of buying the hard copy of just the guzzler book.
Not to mention the guzzler book is huge. At least the older one is.

I've got the onx as well and I can second or third the vote for it. It's fantastic.

+1 for the flats. I don't see lope in the hills very often unless they're traveling but I've never actually hunted them so I can't share any insight to their behavior. Good luck and you better post pictures if you're successful!
 

turbobrick

Active member
Yeah, the book is still huge and the areas in question are probably spread over 30 pages all throughout the book. Its an amazing resource, but if I knew onx had the same info I'd have never bought the book. We saw a few in the hills, but only right along the edges of the flats. My last shorter than ears was following the exact line where the flats met the hills for over a mile in the time we were watching before we caught up and I made the harvest. I'd also consider a range finder mandatory for speed goats. They are sized different than deer, and tough to range by eye, plus the mirage in that season at the distances you'll be at is pretty severe.
 

jfrey123

Active member
My experience prior to trying to draw for them has only been seeing the small herds out by Pyramid while wheeling. They seem easy to jump just bombing down the road but I’m sure hunting them will be a different story. I’ve got it in my head that I might be able to observe some movements and then put myself in a good spot to lay and wait at dawn or dusk.

OnX is awesome. I’ve been using it just for exploring the BLM for awhile. It has the guzzlers as well as some camp grounds marked that I never would have found otherwise.
 

turbobrick

Active member
The other thing with pronghorn is that they don’t behave like deer. They are active all day, even during the full heat of the day. The usual deer timeline doesn’t really apply to them.
 

turbobrick

Active member
NDOW will send you an invitation to a pronghorn class. It’s geared toward people with longer than ears tags and about taxidermy related stuff, but really informative and worth the couple hours of time.
 

jfrey123

Active member
Had one chance at a stalk that I blew pushing way too hard and way too fast.

Ended up scouting one weekend and hunting the second weekend of the tag season. Didn’t see anything while I scouted, but thought I learned a lot on the area. The hunting trip went exactly like I figured: harder to find ground north in those areas where mining dominates, tons of open range in the southern ends.

I put about 300 miles on the odometer going from valley to valley, glassing and glassing. Found herds across the highways in farms outside my areas, but they weren’t motivated to walk under the fences and over the roads to let me shoot ‘em.

The herd I did try to stalk was one I found a mile off a main road. Had a hill between me and them that I thought I could creep up and shoot from, but by the time I got there and setup it was still just over a half mile shot and out of my comfort zone. Thought I could get closer by approaching off at an angle, but they weren’t going for it. The buck actually seemed to square off at me a little, snorting and stomping. But his lady folks weren’t having it and booked. Spent 4 hours trying to drive and see where they might have stopped but seems likely they took off into a whole new area outside my units.

So about the way one would expect a first time hunter’s solo trip to go. I got plenty more to learn but had as much fun as someone can have coming back empty handed.
 
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