Our Picks For The Best Calibers For Pronghorn Hunting
If you’re looking to go on an iconic hunt in the western great plains, there’s no better animal to set your sights on than the American antelope. The speed goat. The pronghorn.
It doesn’t matter what you call it, the fact remains the same: it’s a required inclusion on any western hunter’s bucket list.
While there are plenty of things you need to do before heading off on a pronghorn hunt, one of the most important is picking your rifle and deciding on the best caliber to use.
Our Top Picks For the Best Caliber for Pronghorn
The internet is full of opinions, so we figured we’d add ours into the mix. Take it all in, absorb the pros and cons, and make a decision. Here are our top four picks for the best caliber for a pronghorn hunt.
The .243 Winchester may not be as exotic as some of the other calibers out there, but it’ll sure bring the excitement when you use it to put down a pronghorn. Essentially just a necked down .308 Winchester cartridge, the .243 Winchester has put countless pronghorn on the ground since it was introduced. Plus, you’ve got the added benefit of being able to use the same rifle for multiple game animals as plenty of hunters already have a rifle chambered in .243 Winchester.
.257 Weatherby Magnum
In the wide open country that is pronghorn habitat, it doesn’t hurt to have a caliber that shoots incredibly flat. In fact, it shoots almost magically flat. With the right load, you can reach out to 500 yards with the .257 Weatherby Magnum and encounter relatively little drop compared to other cartridges while still retaining more than 1,000 foot-pounds of energy when the bullet strikes home.
We’ll forgive you if you’ve never heard of this caliber before. Historically speaking, the .25-06 Remington is one of the most popular pronghorn cartridges on the market. The .243 Winchester is good, but the .25-06 Remington is better. You can achieve faster speeds with less drop from a .25-06 cartridge than you can with a .243 cartridge.
6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge
No, the “P” in “PRC” doesn’t stand for “Pronghorn,” but the pronghorn doesn’t stand a chance against the 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge, or 6.5 PRC. Plenty of people sing the praises of the related 6.5 Creedmoor, but the 6.5 PRC takes things to the next level, offering close to 300 feet per second more muzzle velocity. That makes a big difference if you’re facing a long shot or heavy winds, which are both real possibilities on a pronghorn hunt.HUNT SUPPRESSED
The Best Caliber For Hunting Pronghorn
If someone asks you to name the best caliber for any certain application, you’ve got to understand that it’s a loaded question. There’s no such thing as the best caliber for anything that’s going to meet everyone’s criteria for being the best.
With that said, you really can’t go wrong with any of the four calibers we listed above. If you’ve got a rifle chambered in one of those calibers, then you’re good to go. If, however, you don’t have a rifle in one of those calibers, don’t fret too much. There’s no need to run out and buy something else because there’s a good chance that you’ve got another rifle in another caliber that will work just as well. If you find yourself in this situation, then your time will be better spent finding the right bullet composition and weight for your caliber rifle when used on pronghorn.
Where is Pronghorn Hunting Legal?
Pronghorn are typically found out in the western part of the United States, and it’s legal to hunt them there under most circumstances. Of course, you’ll always want to check with the state game rules and regulations first. Generally speaking, though, you’ll be looking at states like Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Texas, Utah, Nebraska, New Mexico, etc.
Tips For Your Next Pronghorn Hunting Trip
Bring Good Glass
Since the habitat for pronghorn is big and wide, much of your hunt will be spent behind a pair of binoculars looking for these majestic animals, so don’t skimp on the binos. If you’re using an inferior pair, you could miss an animal that might otherwise have been a good one to go after. Beyond the binoculars, make sure your rifle’s scope is equally as good. You need to make sure that you have a solid sight picture before you pull the trigger, especially because your shot may need to be taken from a couple hundred yards away.
Spend Time at the Range
The vitals on a pronghorn are contained in a relatively small area when compared to big game that you’ll also find in the same regions. For example, the vital window on a pronghorn is only around 16″ on average, while the same window can be as much as 30″ on average for an elk. This means that you’ve got to be confident in your abilities behind the rifle, and that translates into prep time at the range. Make sure that you can consistently hit a target the size of a pronghorn’s vital window at a distance of at least 150 to 200 yards. That way you’ll be able to make the shot at a greater distance and you’ll be even more comfortable if you get a shot that’s closer than that.
Bring a Suppressor
Even though you’ll likely be taking your shot from far enough away that the sound of your rifle’s report won’t spook the game around you, there are still other benefits to using a suppressor. The big one is your own hearing and that of the people around you – like a hunting guide or hunting buddy. Another benefit is recoil reduction. When you’re making a long shot, it never hurts to stack the deck in your favor any way you can, and a suppressor will help reduce the recoil, thereby enabling a better shot and faster target reacquisition if a follow-up shot is necessary.
Once You Hunt Suppressed, You’ll Never Go Back
If you’re in the planning stages of a pronghorn hunt, then there’s still time to add a suppressor to your list of gear to bring. Be sure to contact us here at Silencer Central to get your order started today.
We’re the nation’s largest silencer dealer, licensed to sell in all 42 states where silencers are legal. Our staff have helped thousands of new customers pick out the right suppressor for an upcoming hunt, and we’d love the opportunity to do the same for you.
The buying process couldn’t be more simple when you buy from Silencer Central. We’ll walk you through the entire process and then mail your suppressor right to your front door upon approval. It doesn’t get any better or easier than that!SHOP SUPPRESSORS