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DIY Wyoming Antelope hunt on Public land?

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Old 07-07-2014, 04:30 PM
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Fork Horn
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Default DIY Wyoming Antelope hunt on Public land?

Guys I've got a bunch of questions I'm hoping someone can shed some light on. Been itching to get out west and hunt some Pronghorns. I'm not real sure how the point system and tags work. From what I've researched the best areas are the hardest to get a tag for because they have limited number of tags each year and you need a certain number of points to really have a chance. How exactly do you acquire points? If you put in one year and don't get drawn you accumulate points?

Im assuming there are more tags available for the less productive areas but are these areas worth hunting? The DNR website shows that some areas have practically a 100% draw or leftovers can be purchased OTC.

A was chatting with a guy and he went on a guided hunt and said they were literally tripping over Antelope where he was hunting. He said the Northeast part of the state (where he was) has the largest amount of Antelope but the smallest amount of public land so its hard to find anything decent that isn't on a private ranch?

I plan on bowhunting, so a water hole would be the easiest. Are watering holes abundant enough on public land that I can hike to one and set up a blind with a reasonable chance of success? I know you can spot and stalk and use a decoy, but unless these Antelope are complete idiots I don't think I have the skills to be successful.

I don't have the money for an outfitter. The plan was to drive out, (I'm from Ohio, so its like a 20 hour drive and $800 just in fuel), camp on public land and go as low budget as possible.

I know I threw a lot out there and I appreciate any advice. Im not trying to go out and kill a monster, its more for the experiences. But typically its a better experience if you bring home some meat. Trying to get a head start now so I may actually be able to pull this off for next summer/fall.
"What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:57 PM
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Buy a point this year for antelope. I think WY points close in Sept.

I would plan to try both, water hole, and spot n stalk.

Antelope are curious animals.

You don't need a TON of public land, just enough with a few chunks together... blm maps... I'd try to avoid checkerboard type units, find some with chunks of public land adjoining one another.

surprised you're not going with a rifle?
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:46 AM
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Go on the G&F website and set up an account. Then buy a $30 PP that will be good for the draw in 2015. The PP application period just opened on 7/1 and goes through 9/30. The central part of the state within 100 miles of Casper on to the east and up toward Gillette and the Bufflao/Sheridan are probably the units you'll want to look at. There is some water on public land, but it varies from year to year and a lot will depend on yearly precipitation and whether the land is being leased to graze cattle on. If the latter is the case there will probably be wells with either water going into a metal tank or stock pond.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:45 AM
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I am definitely going to buy a point this year. Looking at are 9, anyone have any experience there?

Im taking the bow because I absolutely love bowhunting. I will probably take the rifle as well, and try to go when archery season ends and rifle season starts so I have a backup In case I dont have any luck with the bow.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:01 AM
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You can draw 9 with 1PP and there is enough state land in the middle of the unit that the main highway runs through to give decent access, but you'll be doing some walking. Your best bet is to get a good map of the unit and have a GPS with a chip for landownership so you know exactly where you are at all times out there to avoid trespassing. If you draw the tag and want to hunt the early archery season that starts on 8/15 and runs until the rifle season starts on 10/1, you'll need to buy the $30 Archery Permit. Everyone is also required to buy and have in their possession a $12.50 Conservation Stamp. The permit and stamp can both be purchased online and printed on your home computer/printer.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:27 PM
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Antelope can readily be hunted as a DIY thing. Success rates for antelope are over 90% in Wyoming. I was told before I went out that the antelope in unit 23 where I was hunting were as plentiful as grasshoppers. I thought they were joking, but they were not. Unit 23 is easy to draw in, but not much public land. I paid $100/gun for my son and I to hunt on a 1,200 acre ranch. Other such options are available.

There is a large public land area south of unit 23 called the Thunder Basin National Grassland. I forget what unit numbers are in that grassland, you would have to check a map. It seems that it is necessary for a non-resident to have 1 pp or even 2 pp to be drawn in that area, the last time I checked. I want to hunt there in the future and am collecting preference points. I'm planning to do this some year that I don't go elk hunting, but lately I'm going elk hunting every year. Maybe when my knees give out: I'm 58, so that day is coming.

I would not expect to find antelope with big horns in the hunting units that offer lots of permits and/or require less than 5 pps. I'm not a trophy hunter, so this doesn't matter to me. It is not an accident to bag a pronghorn in Wyoming with exceptional horns: it is a matter of knowing where the units are that contain such animals (probably related to genetics, carrying capacity of the land, and the hunting permit allocation policy for the unit). My guess is in most instances outfitters have figured this out in advance and have exclusive hunting access tied up with the appropriate land owners. I'm just saying if you are looking for a "trophy" pronghorn it is complicated and you aren't going to stumble over one.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:58 AM
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hello Ohio,

Just to add to what everyone has told you. You mentioned that you would be camping. In Wyoming state sections cannot be camped on. You can camp on BLM, forest ground, state parks. But school sections it is not allowed. Best of luck in your future draw and I hope you get what you are looking for.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:38 AM
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Maps. Staying away from those "checkerboards" is what the "outfitters" leasing the private ground adjoining the public ground want you to do. It leaves them a whole lot more ground to hunt, free from your interference.

However, if you can navigate the checkerboards confidently... They'll hate you.

The area from T-Basin southwest toward Casper holds lots of goats. It can be challenging finding access, and you're competing with a lot of other hunters. It's not at all uncommon to find yourself glassing a herd and seeing another hunter glassing them from another direction. Make sure you have a good spotting scope, don't sweep another hunter with your rifle's optic.

Water is a good indicator, but you won't necessarily find goats gathered around it. They'll wander out and graze elsewhere. A waterhole is a good place to set up a ground blind if you're bowhunting, but if you're hunting with a rifle, it's not something you absolutely need to set up over. Eventually, goats will come in for a drink, but...

The hunt is one thing. I'd encourage you to have a plan for after your animal is down. Goat season is pretty early in the fall, and the plains can be pretty warm yet. Lots of opportunity for spoilage if you don't have a plan or sense of urgency to cool the carcass down.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:53 AM
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I appreciate all the info guys. Anyone have a good source for BLM land maps? Ive found a few but they are a bit confusing which land is which.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:28 AM
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Contact the local BLM office in the area. The local folks are sometimes very helpful. They can tell you much more than any internet board. Their advice is free, and they can tell you which BLM maps you actually need. There are areas where BLM has a deal with the renter that provides public a access route across private land.

Be advised that there are quite a few BLM renters that consider the leased BLM land to be theirs and are nasty to the public.
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