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Alpha Buck Territory

Bachelor group of bucks in summer mode
Bachelor group of bucks in summer mode

Does all western big game bachelor up during the spring and summer? Last week, the end of June, I was driving through the high plains heading for my favorite fly fishing spot. The early morning sun was peaking over the high desert buttes and shining on the desert floor. In the glowing sun two antelope bucks next to the highway were engaged in mortal combat. Dust and hoofs were flying!  Bucks grunting and tongues hanging out with locked up horns, the bucks were pushing each other back and forth. The fighting duo was oblivious to my truck as I stopped 60 feet away to snap photos of the scrap.


Bucks fight for territory!
Bucks fight for territory!
Alpha buck running the loser out of his territory.
Alpha buck running the loser out of his territory.

This is not normal western big game behavior in the middle of summer. Elk, moose, bighorn sheep, whitetail and mule deer are in bachelor groups hanging out together eating and bedding in their summer mode. But an antelope buck has a whole different attitude toward home ranges. Come spring the most dominant alpha buck stakes out his territory and will pounce on other bucks that trespass. This leaves the less aggressive bucks to hang out together and wander the plains looking for country not claimed.


Fall is around the corner and you maybe have picked up a hard-to-draw premium antelope tag. Be fore warned, these little guys have different behavior habits than elk, moose, or deer. It calls for totally different hunting tactics to successfully harvest a buck. So you might consider picking up my book “Trophy Antelope Hunting DIY” and read about the many different strategies needed to harvest a trophy quality antelope.


Mike Eastman

Founder Eastmans’ Hunting & Bowhunting Journals

About Mike Eastman

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One comment

  1. i enjoyed the read looks like buck heaven cheers

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