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First trip to Wyoming and first antelope hunt!

 
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  #1  
Old 07-30-2012, 10:35 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 4
First trip to Wyoming and first antelope hunt!

I've been invited to go hunt antelope doe In Wyoming with some friends of mine who have already bought doe/fawn tags for unit 23, and I will be getting mine tomorrow...assuming there still there. We will be going in early Oct and plan to camp out to save a few bucks and be close to our hunting area. I have spent most of my life hunting white tail in AR/OK and taken the opportunity to hunt in VA while stationed out there. Now as for the camping aspect I'm not too concerned about that (except for location), my concern comes in the hunt and location portions.

I have never been to Wyomig and never hunted antelope, I plan to use a 30-06 and if things go well maybe even a bow. I'm looking for advise on everything from location, type of hunting lands to look for, bullet to use, and hunting techniques. I'm even humble enough to accept advice on camping surprises that I may encounter, even though I have done that every where from Korea to Iraq, I know every location is different and has its unique challenges.

Thank in advance everybody!
BTW, being new to this site I will have to say I have enjoyed reading many threads in the last few days, great site!
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2012, 12:58 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 116
Re: First trip to Wyoming and first antelope hunt!

I don't hunt in area 23, (I hunt 7, close to home) but I'll offer general info on Wyoming Antelope Hunting.

You'll enjoy camping as opposed to motels. I do even though I live about 20 minutes from where I hunt. Love watching the stars and listening to coyotes.

It will be cool (not cold) at night, and warm during the day.

Careful with fire. Watch out for rattlers.

One of the biggest problems I've seen is people then to over estimate the range. Antelope are small, and often stand in grass up to their bellies making them look farther away.

Don't need much of a gun, if you're using an '06, I wouldn't go over 150 grns. any good factory ammo or bullet will work.

Don't shoot at running antelope. Those suckers can run. Problem is at 250 yards you can't tell if they are running 30 or 45 MPH, but there is a big difference with the time of flight and the time it takes your bullet to get get there.

When you see some critters, its not to hard to find something, hill, brush, something, to get behind for the stalk.

If you have hay fields in your area, look around for a trail used by the animals then set up out of sight. You can normally catch them moving from their bedding ground to the hay field. Make them come to you.

Get the hide off as quick as possible. Stick the meat in game bags where it can cool and flies can't get to it.
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2012, 01:34 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Re: First trip to Wyoming and first antelope hunt!

We (my dad, little brother, and myself) are also hunting unit 23 for our first antelope hunt so i am going to be listening in for some advice also.

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  #4  
Old 08-03-2012, 04:04 PM
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Re: First trip to Wyoming and first antelope hunt!

Unless you have permission to hunt private land, the biggest problem you'll encounter hunting Unit 23 is public land. And, what is available will be crowded. Some of the greatest hunting is on the east end of Unit 23, but virtually ALL private land. Areas near Dead Horse Creek off I90 are BLM, but it's difficult antelope hunting. There's some decent public land in the south/west of unit 23, east of I25 and between Hwy 192 and Hwy 387. This is generally where most people hunt public land in 23.


I spend enough time on the ground during deer and elk season. Stay in a hotel in Casper or Gillette (depending on where you're hunting).


Hunting with an -06 will be sufficient. For 30 cal, I'd suggest using at least 160 grain VLD bullet. Close range shots will probably result in over penetration and wasted meat, especially on does. For does at close range I typically take head shots. Most LR hunters prefer flatter shooting cartridges, typically in magnum calibers, but this is by no means absolute.


As kraigwy already indicated, antelope are not that big, weighing about 90 - 100 lbs live weight, average. A big lope would weigh in at 150 lbs. Leave your camo at home. I say that in jest, but the point being that antelope will spot you with/without your camo kit from very far distances. And, Wyoming plains don't offer much concealment. Take clothing that offer good protection from thorns and other sharp objects. Expect chilly mornings and hot afternoons.


Perhaps the greatest thing about hunting antelope is you can hunt them all day, anytime of the day. You don't have to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn! The most common method for hunting does....? Driving around until you spot a few antelope on the move, getting out of the truck, ensure you're off the road to make a legal shot, setup for the shot and shoot. Yep, it's that easy. That's how I learned to hunt antelope. If there's been a lot of hunting pressure it may be more involved than this, but it shouldn't be much more difficult.


Now, to harvest a quality buck, here are a few techniques you can leverage for your hunt. However, if you're not that picky, the same method of driving around until you spot animals on the move will work just the same.


Consider that eyesight and speed are an antelope's greatest asset. They generally like to stay in the open plains in tall grass, maintaining a good amount of distance between any threat. With this in mind:


1. On crowded public lands, let other hunters push the antelope to you. Look for other hunters attempting a stalk. Position yourself where you'll benefit from hunting pressure. If pressured enough they'll move through draws and gullies. Understanding the terrain you're hunting and how the antelope will move through it is critical.


2. Consider setting up an ambush between where the antelope graze and water. One misconception is that antelope will not swim across water... this is untrue. They don't like to do it, but they will make a deep crossing if necessary.


3. On a stalk use the terrain for concealment (hills, gullies, draws and river beds). You may even have to belly crawl to close some distance. This is where quality hunting clothing pays dividends.


4. You could try this... Be The Decoy | Archery Decoy System for Antelope Hunting, Mule Deer Hunting, Elk Hunting and More. Especially if you're bow hunting.


5. Lastly, considering this is LRH, glass the antelope you want to take from a distance. Setup a good shooting position. Use your tools (anemometer, LRF, ballistics calc, etc.). Dial in your scope, and drop that speed goat from 600+ yds. ** Preferred Method **


Perhaps the greatest difficulty in hunting antelope in WY is dealing with the wind. Go to your range on a windy, miserable day... not the bluebird, calm days when everyone else likes to shoot.


A word of caution... when hunting does from long range (even at closer ranges depending on conditions) it's wise to use quality optics. Spike antelope often get mistaken for does because their ears camouflage their horns. You'll be dealing with wind, dust and mirage. Poor optics tend to be soft even in the best of conditions, making it even more difficult to discern spikes from does.


Hope this helps. And, good luck!
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  #5  
Old 08-03-2012, 08:42 PM
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Re: First trip to Wyoming and first antelope hunt!

solitude ---Where exactly is this public land down in the southwest part of 23 you're talking about because there are only several one mile sections of public ground on any of my maps and none of them are accessible unless you have access thorugh private property? The only large amount of public ground is up where you mentioned in the northwest corner of 23 toward the Powder River. That is some tougher ground but it's great spot/stalk country and there are goats there even though it's not normally ground you would expect to see them. That's where I'd be going if I had a 23 tag unless I got access to a private ranch.
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2012, 09:12 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 116
Re: First trip to Wyoming and first antelope hunt!

Get a WY Fish and Game walk in area booklet, go to Johnson county, check out Walk in Area 7. It's pretty much surounded by public land which can be accessed at Exit 91, I-90. Take Dead Horse Road south. You'll hit County Road 204 B. This will put you in Walk In Area 7 and lots of public land.
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2012, 08:26 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 219
Re: First trip to Wyoming and first antelope hunt!

I'm beginning to wonder if there's going to be room to pitch our tent when we get there....
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