Pronghorn – technically not an ‘antelope’, although often called by that name – once roamed the open shortgrass prairies of western Nebraska in huge numbers. Today, small herds of pronghorn can be found in the Sandhills and throughout Nebraska’s Panhandle, but the largest concentration is in northern Sioux County centered in the Ogallala National Grasslands. The swift pronghorn can accelerate quickly to speeds of 60 miles per hour and has keen eyesight, making it a special challenge for bowhunters and muzzleloaders.
The pronghorn population in the state appears to be stable or declining, and the Game & Parks Commission has been undertaking research to better understand pronghorn habitat needs and mortality. Hunters typically harvest 500-600 pronghorn annually in Nebraska, out of a population believed to be around 6,000. Only Nebraska residents are allowed to apply for a permit, and permit applications are typically taken in April. The archery season starts in August, the Muzzleloader season in September, and the firearm season is in October.