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Author Topic: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?  (Read 42673 times)

Offline sled

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Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« on: March 26, 2011, 09:45:09 AM »
I am planning a wyoming Antelope hunt this year diy.  What are the best tips from begening to the end of the trip you can give?  I figure asking the people who have done it is they best way to learn i

Offline Ridgerunner

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 09:53:12 AM »
depends on the unit probably and how many tags they give out, in the unit I hunted it would be to lock your ammo in the glovebox for 24 hours, if we had shot the first bucks we saw(which were nice) we would have been done in 20 minutes.  Tehy were everywhere.

Offline washingtonmuley

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 10:01:09 AM »
Get good maps and do your homework. What unit are you looking to hunt in?

Offline Craig

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 10:06:09 AM »
Unless you have a buck picked out, hunt the second week of the season. A lot less hunters and plenty of bucks to look at. Don't drive 1200 miles and kill a buck in 5 minutes. after seeing 100 bucks they all start looking the same. Learn what to look for to make one stick out above the rest ( i haven't figured it out yet ).

Offline ribka

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 10:09:50 AM »
I have only done one hunt in WY with Gasman but this is what we learned:

If hunting an area with many animals spend the first day or 2 looking at as many bucks as possible to practice estimating horn size.

If doe tags are available buy a few. Very reasonable. If on private land ask beforehand if charge extra for shooting does

Have a system in place to butcher/bone out animal as soon as possible after the kill. Bring big coolers with plenty of ice every day you go out hunting. By the end of our hunt and  many animals harvested we were able to skin, bone out, package an animal in 20 minutes. Gasman picked up the big zip lock baggies that came in handy and a large plastic butcher board to lay in back of truck to put meat on to bone out.

Gasman made a neat device to hang animal for butchering. I think Cabelas has them for sale


The ranch where we hunted suggested putting ice water and  rock or kosher salt in the cooler to soak the meat. I tried it and meat turned out very good and mild tasting. Change/drain water every day.

We stayed in a hotel that had big fridges and freezers. Came in handy because we each took five animals.


Have fun and explore the area. Lots of neat things to see in WY.

Offline Hangfire

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2011, 05:07:21 AM »
Be prepared, do your home work. If hunting on a ranch, understand what they provide and who's land you are hunting on. Often you will be paying a tresspass fee for hunting public land,(school sections, BLM, state land). If hunting public land, get land status maps, know where you are, be prepared to take a lot of flack from the ranchers. They will try to kick you off  public land, lie to you and make your life miserable. The game wardens are real good to work with, just don't make a mistake.

I would get the latest pronghorn DVD from Eastmans, or their book on pronghorn hunting. I hunted in Wyoming from 1977 to 2000, about 10-12 times. My son still hunts there about 4 out of 5 years.

Pronghorn are small, most people over estimate the distance. Learn to shoot in the wind.

Offline MADMAX

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2011, 07:39:55 AM »
Good stuff
Thanks for the info also
I will be trying my first time for antelope if we get drawn also near Douglas WY
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Offline Gutpile

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2011, 07:49:17 AM »
My best tip is DO NOT shoot your buck on the first day. I guarantee you'll regret it. Just judge them the first day the you'll know what you want. We passed up over 100 a day on our 2010 hunt.

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Offline sled

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2011, 08:05:22 AM »
  Is it legal to bring a head home for taxidermy, because of CWD.

Offline Bob33

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2011, 08:07:14 AM »
My advice for a first time antelope hunter:

   Do not define hunt success as requiring an animal of a certain size.  A 12 antelope is a nice buck.  If you dont have a buck tag, all the better in a sense.  For your first trip, enjoy the experience, learn the country, meet some local landowners, and have a good time.
   If you are planning to hunt public land, buy a GPS and a map product like this: http://www.huntinggpsmaps.com/states/wyomingdownloads.html
   Knowing where the public and private land boundaries are is absolutely essential.
   If you are interested in killing a trophy, study books and materials in advance.  Antelope are some of the hardest animals to field judge.  One inch here and there makes a significant difference. 
   Have a plan for caring for your meat.   I typically immediately field dress mine and take them to a butcher to skin and process.  Ive had them in this situation for four hours or more with no problem.  If you dont have a local processor, you will need coolers and ice.
   Dont fall for the premise that antelope meat is not good.  Ive eaten meat from more than 50 different animals and never had a bad one.  If cared for properly, antelope meat is better than any other wild game in North America that Ive eaten.
   Bring a good rangefinder.  I like the Leicas.  Scrimping on a rangefinder can cost you.  It can be difficult to get a good reading because the terrain is flat and the animals are small.  Ive had some friends that could not get readings at 400 yards.  Also, remember that its not just the shooting distance that matters.  I often use my rangefinder to plan a stalk: if that antelope is 800 yards away, and that knoll is 500 yards away, then I will have a 300 yard shot when I get to the knoll.
   Bring 10x binoculars.  A spotting scope with window mount is helpful.
   KNEE PADS.  Did I tell you that you must bring KNEE PADS?
   Know your guns trajectory to at least 300 yards.  400 yards is better.  Dont shoot beyond 400 unless you really know what youre doing.  Antelope are not difficult to kill, but they are hard to hit: small targets at long distances, often with lots of wind currents.
   Take a camera and bring back the memories.  I think Wyoming antelope hunting is about as fun and enjoyable as it gets in the western United States.
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Offline sled

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2011, 08:09:16 AM »
Is it worth putting in for a deer tag also when going on an antelope hunt?  I know it could depend on the unit but on average?

Offline mtman

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2011, 08:12:13 AM »
Pronghorn guide service put out a dvd called size is everything. Shows you how to jugde an antelope helped a little bit. Once your down there and you see hundreds a day it can get hard to figure out witch one to shoot. expectations change as far as what size is good enough on public land compared to the ones you will see on the ranches. I would call around and figure out where the public land is. Good luck

Offline MADMAX

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2011, 08:12:19 AM »
I did on the deer/buck tag, I was not going to WY without one.
Leaving here the Oct the 8th back the 18th Of Oct
Keep the wind in your hair, and the sun at your back.

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That is all you need to know."

Offline BigFoot02

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2011, 08:49:28 AM »
My best advice to you would be to invest in some good optics.. These critters have binocular vision themselves so you need to be able to judge bucks from a long ways off. Also, extend your comfortable shooting range out to 300 yards because rarely do these critters let you get much closer than that unless you have a sneaky way to approach them. My last bit of advice is to find the water hole... Finding a good water hole out there on the plains will produce the best chance of seeing a lot of different antelope. Be patient, and wait on a whopper there are plenty of them out there! Good luck!


Offline MuleDeerCrazy

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2011, 09:36:50 AM »
Chronic Wasting Disease is only for deer, elk or moose... so you're fine transporting antelope back for the Taxidermist!

Offline gasman

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2011, 05:47:52 PM »
Contact the local Bio. in the area you plan to hun,t and talk with them about areas you plan to hunt. Ask about there recomendation of areas with in the unit you plan on hunting.
The visitor center in Gillett has maps and information for the surrounding units. They also have a list private land owners that are looking for hunters to thin out the herds on there property. The list changes all the time, so check in with them often.

As for field judging. Look for horns that fork above the ears, and have long hooks on them.

Don't shoot the first buck you see, get a couple does out of the way first. Always look for does that are grouped together and look for the bigger doe. A single doe looks big from a distance but after you shoot it, it shrinks  :chuckle: :chuckle:

Some older does will have 2-3 horns above the hair line, but be sure you know the difference between doe and buck horns.

When I got home. I cooked up a steak right out of the ice chest and the meat tasted like the hide. I added Kosher Salt to the ice chest and soaked the meat. The meat tasted much better after soaking for a few hours  ;)
Gasman


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Offline Bigshooter

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2011, 06:19:28 PM »
My advice for a first time antelope hunter:

   Do not define hunt success as requiring an animal of a certain size.  A 12 antelope is a nice buck.  If you dont have a buck tag, all the better in a sense.  For your first trip, enjoy the experience, learn the country, meet some local landowners, and have a good time.
   If you are planning to hunt public land, buy a GPS and a map product like this: http://www.huntinggpsmaps.com/states/wyomingdownloads.html   Knowing where the public and private land boundaries are is absolutely essential.
   If you are interested in killing a trophy, study books and materials in advance.  Antelope are some of the hardest animals to field judge.  One inch here and there makes a significant difference. 
   Have a plan for caring for your meat.   I typically immediately field dress mine and take them to a butcher to skin and process.  Ive had them in this situation for four hours or more with no problem.  If you dont have a local processor, you will need coolers and ice.
   Dont fall for the premise that antelope meat is not good.  Ive eaten meat from more than 50 different animals and never had a bad one.  If cared for properly, antelope meat is better than any other wild game in North America that Ive eaten.
   Bring a good rangefinder.  I like the Leicas.  Scrimping on a rangefinder can cost you.  It can be difficult to get a good reading because the terrain is flat and the animals are small.  Ive had some friends that could not get readings at 400 yards.  Also, remember that its not just the shooting distance that matters.  I often use my rangefinder to plan a stalk: if that antelope is 800 yards away, and that knoll is 500 yards away, then I will have a 300 yard shot when I get to the knoll.
   Bring 10x binoculars.  A spotting scope with window mount is helpful.
   KNEE PADS.  Did I tell you that you must bring KNEE PADS?
   Know your guns trajectory to at least 300 yards.  400 yards is better.  Dont shoot beyond 400 unless you really know what youre doing.  Antelope are not difficult to kill, but they are hard to hit: small targets at long distances, often with lots of wind currents.
   Take a camera and bring back the memories.  I think Wyoming antelope hunting is about as fun and enjoyable as it gets in the western United States.

These gps cards work great I bought one for oregon an idaho last year and they worked great.
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Offline Widgeondeke

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2011, 01:01:17 PM »
Overall I think Bob33 nailed it.  :twocents:
But... If you are truly going DIY and going all public land and not staying in a motel. Camping on BLM land is FREE for 14 days, no permit or $$ required. Thats how we did it  :) .
I didn't shoot the first buck, but the second one was good eating. A decent 12.25" buck. Stalked & dropped @ 147yds.
Watch for rattlesnakes. We saw approx 8 in 4 four days (by saw; came within rattle distance  :yike: )
We bought dry ice and put our meet in coolers with it. It was frozen 4 days later when I got home.
My shots (3) ranged between 147-158 yds, but on average with 13 lopes downed the average was maybe 200yds.

Best of luck getting drawn.

Offline cohoho

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2011, 07:06:27 PM »
As stated above, but get that hide off immediately back at the truck, de-bone it right there and your meat will be excellent for sure.  Stressing to keep ALL hair off that meat.  I don't gut a antelope either- makes too much of a mess.  Hang it on the skinning pole up side down, a quick skin job and hide will be off and everything perfectly clean, then de-bone and get the meat into coolers already filled with ice.  When de-boning, start with neck meat, then front shoulder and work your way up.  After the front shoulders are off the guts will simply stay intact in the chest cavity and when hung upside down a simple reach inside will free the yummy and delicious tenderlions.       A very smart guy told to treat it like fresh salmon, get it on ice quickly.  It is my favorite meat.  Pictures are not real good but gives you an ideal of starting and what the skinned carcass looks like, this was about ten minutes max after kill. 

Offline Craig

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2011, 07:25:18 PM »
 The hair on a antelope is hard to deal with. It comes out so easy and fast. Big clumps of hair and everything else. If you are going to mount it be carefull and then get it cooled off. You can ruin a cape real easy.

Offline Wea300mag

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2011, 07:25:31 PM »
Lots of great tips, now I hope they draw my name so I can go try them out.
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Offline mebyrne57

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2011, 11:03:23 AM »
I wrote this article about my first time, it was a DIY hunt!
http://www.huntingandfishingnw.com/Feature4.html
Enjoy, it was a great time!
Mark
Aim small, miss small!

Offline DeerThug

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2011, 05:54:36 PM »
All good info.  I have been on private land where they were like cows and just stood there and on public where you actually had to hunt.  Take the public you will have to work but the reward is richer.

The only thing to add to the meat handling tips etc.

Practic crawling 30-50 yards.  It is more phisically demanding than you think and that ability can make or blow a stalk.  I mean really crawling and staying belly on the ground with you gun etc.

Find out the elevation.  Wyo can be flat, but high elevation.  That can take a toll on hy dration... drink a lot of water!

Take twizers to pull the cactus out.  If you really hunt you will get them.  Knee pads will really be a plus.  I took an old leather apron from bucking hay and that worked really well for crawling.

Another thing we did was make a plywood cut out of a lope and used that for target practice at different yardage.  Even though you may have a range finder, knowing where to hold can be a real plus.

AND DON'T SHOOT THE FIRST  ONE YOU SEE.   It is not deer hunting in WA.
Shoot straight Shoot often

Offline Rob

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2011, 05:26:39 PM »
As for field judging. Look for horns that fork above the ears, and have long hooks on them.

Bingo.  I have hunted Prongs in Wy for 15ish of the past 18ish  years and I'm headed out there again this year.  Best way I find to judge a speed goat is to see how far above the tip of the ear the prong is.  If it is even with or lower than the ear tip, I keep looking.  It is amazing how you can think you are looking at a massive animal and then take note that the prong is not even clearing the ear.  I guess the issue is that unlike members of the deer family, pronghorns racks are all the same shape so unless you are looking very carefully, it can be hard to tell.  Also, females have horns too so if you decide to settle be aware of what you are shooting.  bucks have a black spot on the side of their head.

We hunt north of Gillette and have yet to fail to fill all our tags (usually 2- 4 tags in our party)  in the first 2-4 hrs of hunting on day one.  Our prongs have ranged from 13 to 19 inches over the years with most being around 14 ish.

Best advice I can give you is that if you are hunting a place with lots of prongs, have a plan B for day two so you are not stuck sitting in town at the local coffee shop killing time.  We try to go find some local varmint shooting if the weather is nice enough that they are out and about.

Check out these stats from the 2009 season (see photo).  96.74% success rate in Pronghorn tag fills statewide.  That's not to shabby.  I'd say depending on were you go, you will have multiple shot opportunities.  So like everyone else has said, take your time and pick out the one you want.

you can get county stats here:  http://gf.state.wy.us/wildlife/hunting/stats/harvest/2009/index.asp

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Offline sled

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2011, 08:45:38 PM »
so are there any other tips for wyoming antelope hunting before we start to get things ready? 

 

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