Idaho experienced a harsher than normal winter in 2018-2019. This caused a reduction in the pronghorn population across the state. While the losses were substantial, the antelope population is still strong, and we expect to see many hunters harvesting trophy class antelope. This colder than normal winter is likely to have hindered mid-season horn growth and an overall drop in the average antelope horn size found through many units across Idaho.
Idaho offers several very good unit choices for hunters looking to harvest a trophy antelope. With ample public land, those who are fortunate enough to draw a tag will have a great pursuit and likely harvest. As with pronghorn hunting in many western states, rifle hunters have the highest success rate, with muzzleloader and archery coming in second and third respectively in terms of success. Four units currently have over the counter tags available to archery hunters, and for the avid bowhunter willing to put in the legwork to properly scout, the results can be great.
In 2018 Idaho Fish & Game reduced the Unit 68 permits due to a drop in antelope population attributed to the harsher than normal winter. To compensate for this, two new hunting opportunities were added: Unit 38 (rifle) and Unit 55 (archery/any legal weapon). The horn size of those who were fortunate enough to hunt Unit 55 were substantially higher than estimates and it produced some excellent trophy-class antelope. Below you will find Hunts Plus’s top 5 Idaho Antelope Units, all worthy of consideration.
Idaho Antelope Unit 37-1
A difficult unit to draw, Unit 37-1 offers excellent hunter success rates wile consistently produces trophy quality pronghorns.
Idaho Antelope Unit 36B-1
Hunts Plus’ top pick for muzzleloader hunters, 36B-1 offers decent draw odds with trophy quality near the top of what is seen in other Idaho antelope units. The unit consists of a foothill labyrinth making traversing the area more difficult, but it provides great cover for getting close before taking the shot.
Idaho Antelope Unit 55-1
Only 10 permits were issued each year in both 2017 and 2018. Of those 10 pronghorn tags issued each year, hunters saw 100% success rates on some of the best antelope Idaho produces. Draw odds are discouraging, with no non-resident rifle permits issued and only one archery tag issued to a non-resident.
Idaho Antelope Unit 54
Hunter success has hovered around 65% – 70% for the last five years. The terrain is diverse and lowland trees in the foothills push the pronghorn to higher elevations during the rut than some other units in Idaho.
Idaho Antelope Unit 52A-1
Idaho Unit 52A-1 produces some excellent bucks. Coupled with plenty of access to public hunting land this makes for a popular unit. As to be expected with units of this caliber the draw odds were tough, but worthwhile.
Mike guides the direction of Hunts Plus ensuring that it never deviates from its roots as a resource for all hunters searching for their next big pursuit. Spending over 100 days each year in the field he can -at times- be difficult to contact but is always willing to share what he knows with those seeking to build their knowledge base.