We have a group of 5 people (3 guys and 2 gals) that are going sometime late october next 2011. After talking to a few people I think i have my top two units narrowed down for the draw. unit 63 will be the top choice but only has a 33% success rate for non-resident w/out preferance points. not the best unit but the best success rate for a unit that looks like it has as much public land as i saw on the map. our second choice (and probable draw) will be for unit 21. we chose this because of all the 100 percent draw units this one appeared to have the most public land minus the national grasslands. i was cautioned to avoid the national grasslands due to the volume of people and spookyness of the goats. Will probably be doing 4 days of actual hunting 2 days of travel (coming from indianapolis and texas). We will all have the ability to 600 yards max. 300 yards for the ladies would be nice.
i will be purchasing either the garmin oregon or the smaller model and will have the latest public land overlays. we will have a vehicle capable of moderate off road travel.
what can you guys tell me about these two units. when i looked at the season dates it had an asteric by it and when i looked further into it i found out that that asteric was warning you of limited or difficult access to public land and was cautioning hunters that that area might not be the best for a DIY.
i would like more information about unit 21 since thats the one we will probably end up in.
Do you guys that live out that way or are in the know think that these are smart decisions?
is there anything else i need to be doing to better educate myself so we are prepared for a DIY?
we will be bringing a small lockable pull behind. we will have a lift that attaches to the hitch so we will butcher all of our own animals and vaccum pack them by individual cuts where they will be labeled and placed in a cooler with ice. will probably be staying in a motel, one with a kitchonette if we can find one.
Thats in a nutshell. let me know how my progress is going for planning this hunt and if you have any other hunt units with good access to public land and a good NR draw success rate then lets hear it.
I hate to rain on your parade, but here is my honest opinion of your tentative plans. First, let me start off by saying that I live in MI, but have spent a tremendous amount of time out in Wyoming since 1994. Most of it has been less than 20 miles northwest of area 21 that you are talking about. In fact, I was down the Hazelton Road last September along the west side of unit 21 on a quad with a friend who lives out there and we were just out breaking up a hot day (temperature-wise) of elk bowhunting. Even though that is considered a main road and is the only access on the west side of unit 21, it is more of a road for easy quad use unless you have a good pickup with 10 ply tires. Any tires with less than 6 ply on any of the Wyoming backcountry roads is asking for trouble. Ten ply is best and you should have chains just in case of moisture! I just replaced my 2006 Silverado 4x4 tires while I was out there on my second trip of the Fall and spent $1,000 on what was an excellent deal for 10 ply Coopers! If you are not planning on going until the latter half of October, your chance of rain and snow increases quite a bit, so you had better pray for very little moisture because then the dirt roads are either close to or are impassable for days at a time! I'm not trying to scare you out of not going, but just warning you to BE PREPARED! The weather can change drastically out there in just a couple hours and you need to keep abreast of things so as not to get stranded out there somewhere because it's BIG country!!!
Back to the units themselves: Unit 63 had less than 5.5% success in the random nonresident draw for 2010, so I have no idea how you came up with that 33% statistic. Unit 21 is a sure lock for a tag, but that is because the western half of that unit that has most of the BLM land is more deer/elk high country than it is for antelope. It has almost no "decent" road access and the eastern half of the unit is mostly private land. The latter is where most of the antelope are taken and of course it is likely that you will pay an access fee to hunt that land just like everywhere else out there.
Personally, I would go back to the drawing board and look over the areas northeast of Casper and south of Gillette that do include the Grasslands. If you go the latter part of the season over there, you won't have that much problem with hunters as most hunt the opening few days. There is plenty of public land over there and you'll have more fun, especially if you have ladies along. The goats may be jittery, but you can do good spot and stalk hunting if you have patience and use the lay of the land to get within good shooting distance. Also, the land is not so unforgiving as the higher country where you are talking about going! Finally, you are really almost limiting yourself to where I'm suggesting if you plan to stay in a motel. Unit 21 would be impossible to "motel it" because Kaycee is the only town near it and it's way up in the northeast corner. Even over where I'm talking about will require some driving time from any towns out into the hunting areas.
Last edited by Topgun 30-06; 12-27-2010 at 12:56 PM.
Thanks for the input. I was informed that 21 isnt a bad place in the southeast corner for public land, and there was a ranch down their that gave permission to hunt on it w/out a fee. i was also informed that unit 21 dries out pretty quick and after a few hours its somewhat passable again. i can bring a nice pickup but it would be to cramped w/ 5 people, we we are going the SUV route. will still have decent tires (dont know what ply) and WILL be 4x4.
so talk to me about the grasslands. i have heard they were good areas but a few people have scared me away from them. dont really know what to expect, we are not trophy hunting by any means. a 12" will be the biggest antelope anyone around here sees once its on my wall. a 14 would just be a huge bonus. any units in particular that you would reccomend? i dont have maps and i cant go buy the entire set of maps for every area that might be good so i am narrowing it down. we are still going to put 63 as our first choice, and i dont know where i got 33% but it looked like a good area. is there another first choice you would reccomend w/ decent odds and decent public access?
the grasslands was going to be our go to location, but i felt like i was being advised against it, maybe more information would change that bias?
One quick question before I offer more help. Do you realize that Alcova is the only town anywhere near unit 63 that might even have a motel and it's way up on the northeast corner of the unit? Unit 21 is doable on the east side if you are set on that and you can probably find a motel in Midwest or Edgerton just east of the southeast corner of the unit or Kaycee up on the northeast corner. I would suggest unit 7 just to the west of Newcastle way over toward SD. It is a 100% draw, has a lot of public Grassland and BLM and over 12,000 acres of walkin areas. I was all over that unit looking for deer and it is poor for mulies, but it is just what you are looking for if you are just talking antelope, especially out of a SUV. You can motel it in Newcastle with no problem, roads are good unless you get a lot of moisture and the goats are there. The season in that unit is 10/1-10/15 and there are also a lot of doe/fawn permits issued if you want them. I would suggest going the second week and if you are interested I have a good colored map of the east half of that unit that I made off my computer CD ROM program. It even has 10 waypoints marked on it that would help you get around that whole area using your GPS equipment, which is a necessity wherever you go out there! If you want it send me your name and address in an email and I'd be glad to send it to you. firstname.lastname@example.org
Last edited by Topgun 30-06; 12-28-2010 at 12:23 PM.
I sent you the email, but i dont have my GPS yet. The wholesaler we used discontuinued garmin Oregon units and even then they were more expensive than i thought. i think i saw a garmin colorado for 150 bucks on a black friday deal but i passed it up not having done any research yet... wish i would have jumped on it now. i think the colorado is the smaller unit right? the cheaper color touch screen is probably what i am going to be going with.
to answer your question, we had gotten a quote from a hotel in kaycee, but i guess i didnt realize how far apart they were. if we could choose the weather we would most certainly camp, but with women going we dont want to make the trip a drag w/ them being uncomforitable the whole time... and with a group that large hotel costs go down significantly.
Unit 7.... looks like a pretty good option but from the BLM map that i have i see alot of DOD land. is that huntable or is it a military base? other than the yellow grasslands section thats in the east side off of 16 it doesnt appear to have much other areas good for a DIY. this will be a 4 day hunt not including travel so we will have plenty of time to drive around until we are successful but i want to be confidant in our unit selection that i make. Care to give me a brief synopsis on how you would tack a hunt in unit 7 if you were in our situation?
I just read your email and sent one back to you. The map will go into the mail tonight and the email explains it. The map you are looking at is probably about what I'm sending, but mine will be better. The yellow you are talking about is BLM land. The other color you mentioned is all the Grassland that is Federal property and open for hunting. Those, along with the WIHA that I marked and the state land will give you more acreage than you could ever cover in four days even if you were driving all day! Stay in touch and I'll help all I can.
So if you were hunting Unit 7 what would your strategies be.... as far as i understand it you drive around until you see them, make sure its public land, get out and use the terrain to get as close as possible and shoot. i know its probably not this simple so more intel on this portion of the hunting would be great. any tips or tricks for this style... better methods of hunting?