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Thread: Western SD Antelope Hunting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Spring Grove, IL
    Posts
    1,741

    Default Western SD Antelope Hunting

    Guys, I have more than enough points to draw an antelope tag this Fall. I want to do a DIY hunt not with an outfitter. Can anyone recommend any forums where I can learn how to make the best of it? Ive never hunted antelope or western SD.
    This will be a rifle hunt with a .270.

    Anyone else chase goats out there?
    Thx for any info or help.
    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    821

    Default

    Never hunted them, Mike, but at least I know what they look like should I ever WANT to.
    jackalope_in_the_wild_large.jpg
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    277

    Default

    I've hunted antelope out there before. There is a Facebook group for western SD hunting and fishing that may help you out if you have some questions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    20 miles south of Ft. Worth, Tx
    Posts
    378

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    I've hunted them in WY but never in SD.

    It was pretty easy there at that time back in the 80s. The herds tended to be creatures of habit. The locals pretty much despised the "goats" and were happy to give us the inside info. A herd used a certain school section to graze about the same time every day. We were instructed on which point to set up and the goats would come by about 0900. By 0915 the tags were filled.

    The were a few places like that and, as I said, the locals were only too happy to help you out and grant permission.

    We threw a big game feed on the last day of our trip. We provided all but the desserts and asked the womenfolk to bring those (very smart move; they all tried to outdo each other). We had antelope backstrap and deer backstrap wrapped in bacon, fresh trout from the ranch streams and did some chicken. Taters, beans, salad stuff. Funny part was all those ranchers that "would never eat goat" ended up having seconds on the antelope backstrap. Now, admittedly, these antelope dined almost exclusively in alfalfa fields so the overpowering sage taste wasn't in it. Anyway, it ended up being an annual thing for about a decade. Usually 30 people, trap shooting, eating, drinking. Good times.

    My advice? Figure out where you want to go and make some contact with the locals. Antelope can demolish a big hay stackyard when it's cold and snowy. Might be some ranchers willing to let you thin the herd.

    As far as equipment, I used a .270; worked great with 130 grain PSP. Decent camo clothing is a good idea. A good set of binocs. Maybe some sort of lightweight camo cloth on stakes to help make a hide. I never used an antelope decoy; never needed one. Good boots, always.

  5. #5

    Default

    It's a really good idea to have a range finder. I hunted whitetails in the woods in Minnesota before moving to Wyoming. It was hard for me to judge distances on the prairie when I first started hunting antelope. A range finder was a big help. I am better now but still use one on every hunt. Good luck. I think you will really enjoy this kind of hunting. They can be curious and walk up toward you to check on things or they can take off running for no apparent reason. Very interesting animal.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    21

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    I can see western S.D. from where I have taken most of my antelope over the past dozen or so years.
    A pair of Carhartts, a breathable drab long/short sleeve shirt (unless it's snowing), some good boots, and an old (MN Twins) baseball cap is all the camo you need.
    Glass 'em up (my $300 Nikon Monarch 8x42's work just fine), use the wind and the topography - that does indeed exist if you look for it - and close the distance. Real hunters can take a lope with any caliber - I shoot most of mine at less than 150 yards.
    Crappy hunters need the latest flat shooting xx-O-whatever to justify the use of their range finder and compensate for the lack of actual skill(s).
    All kidding aside - lotsa' fun, great country, and best eating wild game there is. May even get the bonus of having time left to hunt sharpies...........
    Last edited by termo; 05-30-2019 at 04:29 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Spring Grove, IL
    Posts
    1,741

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    Good info so far fellas. Anyone know when the 2019 Antelope digest will be posted on SD's website? 2018 info is still up.
    Trying to figure out the best unit to apply for. Trying to balance the amount of NR permits, amount of applicants and success rates.
    I have most of the gear including an old drab Cubs hat. Might buy a new range finder though.
    I also shoot a Ruger .270 so no problemo there. 3-9x40 Leupold scope enough for Antelope?
    Mike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    277

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    Scope should be plenty.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    20 miles south of Ft. Worth, Tx
    Posts
    378

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    Yep, a 3x9 is fine. If you are a devotee of MPBR on rifles (Maximum Point Blank Range) then your .270 with 130 or 140gr bullets is going to be right around 300 yards.

  10. #10

    Default

    Best counties are Harding, Butte and Fall River and are also the hardest to draw. How many preference points do you have?

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