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Wyoming antelope

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Old 06-13-2019, 04:34 PM
  #11  
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By the way Wyoming results were moved up to 20 June.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:31 AM
  #12  
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I got lucky and will be headed to the Casper area in September.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:53 AM
  #13  
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Big Nope here
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Old 06-20-2019, 03:38 PM
  #14  
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Unfortunately mentioning a unit number on an open forum has become almost a guarantee that other guys will apply for that unit and make the unit harder to draw. There seem to be a huge number of guys that are looking for a unit for their first pronghorn hunt on the forums. It can turn an easily drawn unit into a high-point unit quickly. So many guys cruise looking for information anymore that some guys on certain other forums will sometimes give bad reviews or bad information (winter kill, etc.) on a unit just to discourage others from applying for that unit.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:14 PM
  #15  
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The time to buy preference points for future applications is normally July 1 through October 31. You can buy one point per year per species unless you were successful in drawing a first choice tag this year.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:19 AM
  #16  
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Link to buy points - https://wgfd.wyo.gov/apply-or-buy
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:03 PM
  #17  
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Excellent info thanks . im looking forward to coming down pretty excited.
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:58 AM
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good info!
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:00 AM
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This is a link to the Boone & Crockett scoring sheet https://www.boone-crockett.org/pdf/SC_pronghorn.pdf
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:03 AM
  #20  
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I wanted to add my experiences after a successful trip to Wyoming for antelope. This will be lengthy, but thorough. Hope somebody can put it to good use.

First, A little background: When this process started six hunters were applying for points and planned on going as a group. Myself, My dad, Sister, Friend, and two uncles. All of us are experienced whitetail hunters, several of us have also taken hogs, elk, and mule deer as well. Dad and his two brothers had hunted antelope in WYO back in the early 90s (Things were a little different then!). Weíve also all travelled together before on camping trips, motorcycles trips, and hunt out of the same deer camp in PA each year. All that to say we had an experienced group, who I knew worked well together. That simplified things for me while planning everything as I knew what everyone would be capable of and what gear everyone could bring.
By the time 2019 rolled around we were down to four. Myself, dad, and two uncles. Sister and friend had other commitments going on. (They still have and will keep applying for points. Weíll go again in a few years)

Preference Points and Application Process: We applied as a group. That way we all either drew or didnít together. We went into the 2019 season with 3 preference points. The 2018 season we applied for tags but did not draw. We were a small percentage of people with 2 points who didnít draw the unit that I applied for. In 2019 I applied to a different unit with 3 points and was successful. However, we were right on the edge of not having enough points. Points are cheap, and easy to apply for. If you think an antelope hunt is in your future, start putting in for points now (Thereís still time for this year even). A few preference points will make a big difference if you can save them up for a few years. Especially if you can add the extra cash for the special draw.

Land Access, Maps, GPS, ONX Hunt: The unit we hunted was notated as ďDifficult AccessĒ This had me nervous. I spent allot of time looking at online maps, google earth, paper maps that I bought, internet forums, etc. I honestly did not know what to expect. And I was nervous that I would get out there with 3 other people and not be able to find a spot to hunt that had antelope on it. My studying paid off and Iíll talk about that later. Units marked with difficult access are just that. Difficult. But, if you put the time in, buy the maps, buy the gps chip or download the ONX app, you can find areas to hunt. As long as you can find game in those areas, you have a chance.

Our unit had spotty ďCheckerboardĒ public land. It also had some larger chunks that I saw could be accessed by doing a little hiking. My plan going out was to do a mixture of hiking into these harder to access areas and also driving public roads that crossed public sections and seeing what we could find.

Gear: Good binoculars are a must. So is a range finder. A spotting scope helps as well, although we just used it from near the road to plan some stocks. Sharp knives. We used cloth game bags to pack the meat out and to cool it initially in the freezer before fully butchering. Comfortable back packs with a hydration bladder. GPS, Maps. Leather boots- there are cactus (and snakes).

We all took our primary deer rifles- .30-06s for all of us. Use whatever you are comfortable shooting. The antelope were not tough and went down pretty easy. If I was hunting them yearly I think I would have a .25-06 or .257Bob. A .243 even or of course the 6.5 Creed would do well Iím sure. They arenít hard to kill, take whatever you want.

The hunt: Everything that I read said that opening day/week/weekend would be busy. I wasnít really interested in seeing a bunch of trucks and other hunters. I asked the group what their preference was: A better chance at a bigger buck on opening morning but having to deal with other hunters or to go during the second week and hopefully deal with less hunters, but also knowing that allot of the good bucks could have been shot off. 3 of us voted for the 2nd week and 1 said heíd rather go opening day. So we went the 2nd week. This paid off for us and worked well. It seemed we had the unit to ourselves.

We arrived in our unit Sunday afternoon and drove about 80 miles of roads scouting, glassing, and watching antelope. We saw a few other hunters, maybe 4 different trucks. And we saw two guys dragging one out off of a public area. We saw a ton of game. Mule deer, antelope everywhere. But mostly on private land. For the first 40 miles of our drive everything we saw was on private land and I was getting a little discouraged. However, we eventually came to a chunk of public that we glassed 5 bucks on and three of them were definitely ďShootersĒ to us. I probably have a lower standard of a shooter than many people- I was primarily looking for visible horns above the ears. After glassing those 5 bucks we continued seeing antelope on public chunks. We could have filled our tags that afternoon from the road had we wanted to. We went to bed Sunday night feeling pretty good about our chances.

The forecast was not good. Monday had good weather; mid 60s and clear. Tuesday was calling for the same, but a high wind advisory. And WEDS was calling for a lot of snow, and single digit low temperatures. The regular wind in Wyoming seems ďhighĒ to people who are used to hunting in the woods and the deep snow would definitely be a challenge just for getting to and from our hunting area. So I knew we needed to try to tag out by Tuesday if not Monday.

Monday my plan was to drive about 30 minutes into an area that we could hike into, near the area where we had glassed the 5 bucks the day before. I figured we would plan to park the trucks right about day break (No sense in blindly hiking and bumping game off of land Iím not familiar with) and hike/glass our way around the first half of the day. Then break for lunch back at the trucks and try to drive to a few other areas and check those out, and back to hiking around for the evening. The plan mostly worked out that way.

We had two bucks down before 830 am and got them back to the truck, quartered into game bags and into the coolers. By the time the hard work was done it was nearly lunch time so we ate some sandwiches and came up with a plan for the afternoon. One uncle (Still hunting) was going to take a truck down the road a little over a mile to a piece of public land that jutted out to the road and set up out there and wait. My dad (still hunting), an uncle and I were going to make a big loop on public land around a section of private land and eventually come out to the road. We quickly got onto a big group of goats that werenít visible from any road section. There were 20+ and at least 9 bucks in the group. After 2 miles of playing tag with them, Dad finally shot a nice goat at about 250 yards. We quartered it up into game bags and had about a mile pack out to meet the truck. It was a fun afternoon. We were all pretty tired after getting 3 antelope packed out and cleaned. But an uncle still had a tag.

We drove for a while not seeing anything. Eventually heading back to the west side of the unit where we had more luck. Iíll note here that to me it seemed that game numbers were high. But there were also miles and miles of areas that didnít seem to have much. Maybe a lack of water, or something. I wasnít there long enough to figure that out. But you might see 50-100 antelope in a couple mile stretch then go miles and miles without seeing a thing. Lesson being: Hunt where the game is and donít waste your time looking where it isnít (Thatís good advice no matter what youíre after). We came across several areas and tried a few stocks on groups of antelope that didnít work out. Eventually finding a buck and three doe pretty close to the road that my uncle decided to take. We were able to get it quartered up and into the freezer- finishing up by lantern light. It was a long but fun day and we all four tagged our bucks.

I had hoped to get into some rabbits so we all brought .22s. We saw no rabbits unfortunately. We did get a tip from a local about a place to shoot prairie dogs. And we did that for a little while on Tuesday. Be careful doing this as there are places that you arenít allowed to shoot prairie dogs.

Tips/Lessons Learned/Things I could have done differently: We were bringing a truck with a cap with three people from North East Ohio, and an uncle was driving up from Colorado with a camper. I debated pulling my utility trailer from Ohio, but after packing the truck we decided we didnít need it. We took a chest freezer set on a back porch hitch rack. This worked fine. But I should have brought the trailer. It would have made packing easier and given us more flexibility. Especially once the freezer had four antelope and ice in it. It was heavy to lift on and off that carrier to access the bed of the truck. The trailer would have given us a lot more room, got some weight off the truck, and really wouldnít have hindered us any. Next time, Iíll pull the trailer and have the freezer and camping stuff on that.

Where we were (and from what Iíve read) you donít need to shoot the first one you see. I did however. And I donít regret it one bit. I liked the look of the buck, I liked the scenery, and I liked the shot. Slightly quartering away at almost 270 yards. I was steady resting off my back pack, and shooting across a little ravine to the other edge. My dad passed on several smaller bucks and eventually took a really nice one. Iím not a professional scorer by any means but it taped a little over 80Ē and is high 70s at the very least. It just depends on what you are looking for. If you have the luxury of time, I wouldnít hesitate to pass bucks. You can always come back and try to find them again if you need to.

Pack water. You wonít find many creeks or puddles like you do back east. So have some 5 gallon jugs ready for cleaning your hands, tools, meat if need be, etc. Also have plenty to drink. Itís dry out there. You may not notice that you are sweating, but you are.

It can be as simple or as hard as you want it to be. Like I said, we could have tagged out from the road Sunday afternoon. But we wanted to do it from our feet mostly. I think it made for a better hunt than just driving around, stepping off the road, and shooting one.

Have a plan and backup plan for where you are staying. Weather can be crazy and can change quickly. Tuesday was near 70 and sunny and when we pulled out Weds mornings the snow was just starting and it was 16 deg. You have to pack and plan for that .

Practice shooting- probably farther than you usually do. Our shot ranges were (If I remember correctly) 176, 243, 267 and 330 yards. Compared to our usual shots at whitetail in thick woods, these were long shots. Donít go out there unprepared. Also practice realistic field positions. You can punch paper all day off a rest at the bench or even prone off a bipod. But when you lay down in that sage brush you canít see a thing. My shot was on the edge of a ravine off my back pack, so I had a clear view in front of me. But anywhere else I would have been blind due to the grass. Sitting, kneeling, or even standing (off shooting sticks if you have them) are pretty realistic positions.

If you can see an antelope. It probably knows you are there. It might not care, but it knows. When we were following the large group of them, they would run a ways and turn around and watch us. Use the land to get in closer. Take advantage of drainages, ravines, rolling hills, whatever you can find. They didnít seem too interested in getting away- but just keeping an eye on us. As we got closer, theyíd get farther but were always watching. Eventually we were able to get around beside them and come in from above them on a high ridge. They still knew we were up there and were starting to move away but Dad was able to get set up and make a good shot.

What to do on your trip: Since I had no idea what to expect, we planned for a full week of hunting. And then filled four tags on the first day. This is pretty common I think for allot of peoples hunts.

If youíre on the eastern side of Wyoming, the state itself is pretty ďboringĒ when it comes to tourist-y things. Devilís Tower is worth seeing for sure and itís in the north east corner of the state. The Black Hills in South Dakota has everything a tourist could want. Custer State Park Wildlife Loop is worth your time. So is Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Bear Country USA, The Badlands, and Wall Drug. All of the little towns around the black hills have things to see. From famous graves, gunfight reenactments, shopping, restaurants, whatever interests you. Plus youíll see allot of game. Allot of these places will have off season hours though by the time antelope season rolls around. You can also drop south a few hours and be in Rocky Mountain National Park- another area with allot of stuff to look at.

The western side of the state has the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and lots of neat little towns as well. Just keep an eye on the weather as it gets later into the fall.

Thatís what I have to add. If I think of more, Iíll add it to another post later. Hope itís helpful to somebody.

-Jake

Last edited by Bocajnala; 10-18-2019 at 01:12 AM.
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