A territorial buck marks it property by scraping a bare spot in the dirt and scenting it with urine and droppings. He also rubs oil from his black, odoriferous “cheek patch” glands on prominent twigs, yucca leaves, and shrubs. Finally, he stands on ridges and flat, broad fields for long periods, snorting and displaying to all that hear and see him. This snort-wheeze can be heard from as far as a mile on calm days and helps hunters locate their quarry. Experienced antelope hunters listen for these calls while glassing for the bucks that make them. Then they plan their stalks and get right to work before the buck wanders off.
If you see and hear no bucks but discover a concentration of bare, pawed ellipses of dirt with droppings in them, you’ve found a buck’s territory. He might be back in a minute or a day. But in dry, poor quality habitat, he might have moved far to find greener pastures, especially if the doe herd has moved. Bucks will abandon their territorial marking and defense tactics to attach themselves to migrating band of does. That strategy puts them right where they need to be when breeding gets underway. (They don’t want to arrive late to this party!) During pronghorn season in most states, bucks will be running with the ladies. So you really don’t need to worry if they are territorial defenders or wanderers. Just find the does. Some bucks switch from band to band within their territories while trying to keep interloping males out. Others stick with one band and merely defend them from encroaching males. Either way, you should see a lot of chasing. Be ready to indulge in some chasing, too.
Pronghorn rifles cartridges calibers 6mm 6.5mm 257 PRC Weatherby Creedmoor Winchester Remington 243 — Ron Spomer Outdoors is written by Ron Spomer for www.ronspomeroutdoors.com