Some advice on WY areas

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sharpstick
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Some advice on WY areas

Postby sharpstick » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:01 pm

I appreciate the forum and those who willing share their knowledge. I have a son that will be leaving on an LDS mission in the spring of 2014, so I would like to take all three of my sons on an antelope hunt in WY next fall (2013) before he leaves. We use to go out by Saratoga years ago but it's not a guarantee draw any more and I need to find an area with plenty of goats, lots of public land or willing landowners and mostly an area with 100% draw. We're not looking for trophies this time; just time together with a chance of us all getting a goat. I plan on doing my homework and I'll spend lots of time on the Game and Fish website, but I would also appreciate any advice or help you could render. Thank you in advance for your help.
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Snake River Marksman
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Re: Some advice on WY areas

Postby Snake River Marksman » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:43 am

I posted this last spring I think. It might help you out.

Planning a Wyoming DIY antelope hunt

“Here there be monsters” was often written on the edges of sailing charts before the oceans had been fully explored. I use it here to note that most of the “book” antelope don’t come from Wyoming. Big bucks come from Wyoming all the time but the true monsters seem to come from outside the edges of the map. So, if you’re looking to this as a place to find big bucks, stop reading and look elsewhere. I don’t hunt for big horns and I just can’t help you with that.
Now what I am going to try and do is pull together from all of the various sources, information to help you plan a DIY hunt for antelope in Wyoming as a non-resident.
Your first step is to determine what you are trying to accomplish with this hunt. If you are looking for a better than average buck, then you would be well served to apply continuously for the areas in the central and southern portions of the state. Take a map of Wyoming, draw a line east of Riverton over to Casper and due south from both cities all the way to the Colorado line. Apply for just about any area in that region and your chances of drawing a tag without preference points is pretty low. Once you do draw a tag for that area, your chances of finding a decent buck, but not necessarily a “book” buck are pretty good and access is fairly easy. If you have a specific area in mind, and aren’t opposed to “traveling all that way” just to shoot does, you can apply for doe tags along with the buck tag you probably won’t get, in that area with a reasonable expectation of getting those doe tags. You will then be able to hunt antelope while scouting the bucks and the hunting area for the time when you finally DO get that buck tag. Successful doe tag draws do not expend your preference points. If you don’t want to only shoot does, but you do want to come out and hunt antelope and still gain preference points, you should apply for one of the areas that you most likely won’t get a tag in as your first choice. As a second or third choice, you should apply for one of the areas where tags are virtually assured. You will gain a preference point for not drawing your first choice and you will still be able to hunt bucks that year. The bucks may be smaller and access may be more difficult but at least you’ll be hunting antelope.
Hunt areas 1-4 6,8,9,12, 15-26, 29-31, 35-37, 40, 42-45, 70,71 all offer nearly 100% success rates for non residents to draw a buck tag. These areas are noted on the WG&F list as having difficult access BUT that statement doesn’t take into account that there are Wildlife Management Areas, and Walk in Areas. There is also a list, maintained by the REGIONAL offices of the Wyoming Game and Fish of ranchers who will allow hunting. Most often, but not always, the rancher charges a trespass fee. This fee can be anywhere from $25 per license to the sky’s the limit. You have to decide for yourself how you feel about paying fees to hunt.
Areas 72,77,52,50,39, and 11 Offer about a 50% chance of a non-resident drawing a buck tag. These areas also seem to have better access.
Walk in Areas are a program set up between WGF and the landowner that allow hunters to access private land without getting a permission slip. They are funded by the Access Yes program. Be sure to donate at least a dollar when you purchase your license.
Hunt areas 1-4 and 6 don’t seem to offer any Walk in Areas.
Areas 8, 9, 11 and 12 offer lots of walk in area.
Areas 15, 16, 17, 20, 21 and 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, and 31 have small to medium amounts of walk in areas.
Areas 39, 40, 42, and 45 offer some walk in hunting.
Area 50 offers only about 500 acres of walk in area. Area 52 has over 3500 acres.

I haven’t listed the Hunter management areas (HMAs) for these areas. HMAs require a permission slip that can be obtained in one of 3 ways depending on the specific HMA 1: simply request it from WGF. 2 Drawing. Or 3 Showing up at the regional offices of WGF and requesting one on a first come first serve basis. Information about the various HMAs can be obtained via the WGF web site under the Private Lands, Public Wildlife tab. http://gf.state.wy.us/plpwhmprogram/frm ... tHome.aspx

A few notes on hunting antelope.
Cartridge and rifle choice. Just about any deer rifle is suitable for antelope. Suitable cartridges start at the 243 and go up to about the 270 anything bigger is starting to be overkill but isn’t ruled out. Anything smaller isn’t legal by Wyoming law. A medium weight 25-06 with a 4.5-14 size scope is probably about as close to ideal, but I’d never argue with someone who was using something else.
Game care. It’s often quite warm when antelope season is in. Once your antelope is on the ground, get it field dressed as soon as possible making sure not to cut the guts open. The juices in an antelopes stomach can taint meat as soon as it contacts it. Once the antelope is in the truck, stuffing a bag of ice into the chest cavity goes a long ways towards preserving the flavor of the meat. Antelope hair is very brittle. If you intend to mount your antelope don’t drag it on the ground. Invest in a Dead Sled or game cart. The game cart should have SOLID wheels. Cactus spines will easily puncture most pneumatic tires on game carts.
So there you have it. Good luck and enjoy the hunt!
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sharpstick
Fawn
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Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:13 pm
Location: Kamas, Utah

Re: Some advice on WY areas

Postby sharpstick » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:23 am

Awesome advice. I appreciate all the good information in your post. Thanks again!
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