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Author Topic: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?  (Read 50004 times)

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 don’t 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.  I’ve had them in this situation for four hours or more with no problem.  If you don’t have a local processor, you will need coolers and ice.
•   Don’t fall for the premise that antelope meat is not good.  I’ve 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 I’ve 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.  I’ve had some friends that could not get readings at 400 yards.  Also, remember that it’s 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 gun’s trajectory to at least 300 yards.  400 yards is better.  Don’t shoot beyond 400 unless you really know what you’re 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.
Keep your nose in the wind and your eyes on the skyline

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? 

Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2011, 10:50:05 PM »
Lots of great advice already given.  A few suggestions:
 
 
  • Practice crawling with your rifle and hunting gear
  • If you stop the truck to glass a buck, don't get out of the truck there.  Drive out of sight, then work back on foot.
  • One good tactic is to stop the truck below the top of a rise, then get out, sneak over the top and glass.
  • After driving your area, pay attention to the basins with no visibility from a 2-track.  A few hundred square feet with a 6' depression easily hides a herd; antelope learn where these spots are, they are very reliable after the first few days, especially on hard-hunted public areas.
  • Most walk-in areas are very good.  Most antelope hunters don't walk.  See previous bullet.
  • Hunting into the wind, on foot, over undulating mountain foothills is a great tactic.  Lots of antelope hide in these small finger draws, especially on public ground.
  • Have your rifle sighted in, and practice shooting at 100, 200, 300 yards at a minimum.  If you aren't accurate, you will miss a ton of shots.
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

Offline gasman

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2011, 04:54:02 AM »
When judging lope. Look for bucks where the fork starts above the ear, and have as much hook on them as you cab find. The bigger the hook, and the higher the fork is above the ear, will give you more measureable surface.
Gasman


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Offline seth30

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2011, 06:28:07 AM »
Can a speed goat last the 1200 mile trip to a taxidermist?
Rather be dead than cool.
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Offline gasman

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2011, 03:11:36 PM »
Can a speed goat last the 1200 mile trip to a taxidermist?

With propper care, yes.
Gasman


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Offline Rob

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Re: Your Best Tips for first time wyoming antelope hunt?
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2011, 07:23:03 PM »
You do know we will all be royally po'd if you don't post photos, right??
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Sit tall in the saddle, hold you head up high.
Keep your eyes fixed on where the trail meets the sky.
Live like you ain’t afraid to die.
Just sit back and enjoy your ride
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