Pronghorn are known mostly for their blistering speed — they’re North America’s fastest land animal — and their incredible eyesight. Add to that a preference for open range and they make for a formidable challenge for any hunter, especially a bowhunter.

Fortunately, the pronghorn has an Achilles heel — the rut. During the breeding season bucks become extremely aggressive and will approach and even try to chase off any potential rival. It can be a very narrow window, but represents one of the best times and tactics for bringing a buck into bow range.

  • Scout – Scout the area you hunt from a distance to locate rutting bucks and their harems. Scout from a vehicle, like a truck or Side-by-Side as pronghorns seem less wary of vehicles than humans on foot.
  • Get Close – Use terrain and any available cover to get as close as you can. Pronghorn can see your decoy from a long way off, and may react to it. But the closer you can get the better the chances of a positive reaction.
  • How Many? – One decoy will work, and if you use only one, make sure it’s a buck. A rutting buck will be far more likely to approach a rival than a potential mate. However, you can enhance your set-up by adding a doe or two. A randy buck may perceive this as an even greater threat to his dominance and the integrity of his harem.
  • Get Help – Trying to manage a decoy and a bow can be tough, especially if you have to move. Pairing up allows one person to manage the decoy while the other concentrates on preparing for the shot.
  • Go Light – Pronghorn have keen eyesight but rather poor depth perception. This makes two-dimensional decoys a good option. They’re lighter, making them much easier to transport and handle, particularly those that fold up.

For informational tips on how to set up, practice and ranging, please visit

Image copyright Bob Humphrey/Yamaha

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