Hey guys,

Sorry if this has already been a thread but I was wondering what everyone's opinion was on the best range of dates to decoy antelope? I hunt in western SD and even possibly might make a trip to NW Nebraska this fall. This will only be my 3rd year hunting antelope with my bow.

The first year, we hunted western SD from September 18-20th, and the bucks were very responsive! My buddy shot one at 20 yards and I missed one at 32 yards (turns out if you used your 40 yard pin, your arrow tends to fly a little high...that darn thing just came charging in with little time to get the range correct!). Last year I had a trip to western Wyoming to hunt mule deer those dates, so I could only go antelope hunting the last few days of August. Needless to say, decoying was not nearly as effective (if it all). We shifted our tactics to blinds by water and spot-and-stalk. Does the rut for antelope vary state to state or by latitude like whitetails? What would you say the dates of the pre-rut and rut are in this general area? I realize this can change year to year as well.

I am assuming that the middle of September might be about the best time to decoy, but I am not sure if the rut has really started yet though. Would this be considered the "peak" of the pre-rut? If I remember correctly, Mike Eastman wrote in his book that decoying can be effective after the rut as well. What experience do you guys have? Thanks!