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Discussion in 'Antelope Hunting' started by anthem, Jun 13, 2014.
Anyone have advice for hunting antelope in WY Unit 23? I believe it's mostly private.
We drew for unit 23 as well. Any info would be great. Will be calling out to get a map here soon.
About the only big chunk of public land that is easlily and legally accessible in 23 is up in the northwest corner just off the Powder River western boundary for the unit. That BLM also ties in with a decent size WIHA private piece of property along Beaver Creek that you can look up on the G&F website. You don't need to ask for permission to hunt it, but you have to access it from the north, as the road to it from the south is private and they issue tickets there quite often for being on it. There are pronghorn up in that area, but it's a tough hunt through country that doesn't look like typical pronghorn country. It's an area requiring that you park and do a lot of walking with binos and spotting scope to find them. I have no idea who the previous post is referring to about calling for a map, but the best thing to do is order them through the BLM (see below) . The other thing to do is to contact officials out there and get a map that shows all the roads the county maintains that the public is legally able to be on because that's a big problem out there. Just looking at a regular BLM map would make one think there is all kinds of land to hunt in a lot of the units, but a big percentage of it is landlocked by private property with no way to legally get into it. I'd also strongly suggest that you guys have a GPS with a landownership chip in it for actual use on the ground when you're out hunting to avoid a trespass ticket. Those tickets are at least $200 the last I heard and both the Sheriff deputies and the G&F Wardens will be out and issue one in a heartbeat if you're on private land without written permission. Other than the signage on the perimeter fences of that WIHA, there is no way without that chip in a GPS to know that you are on public land since fences are meaningless out there. Below is the BLM link for your maps. You will want to order the Buffalo, Gillette, Kaycee and Reno Junction maps in order to cover all of unit 23 or the first two to do the hunt up in the part of the unit I mentioned earlier. The BLM phone number out there to call and order them is 307-775-6256. Good luck!
Excellent info and advice by Topgun....and the very best of all is that fences are meaningless out there.
You need to be prepared to be constantly harassed by guides/outfitters and others. They chase off many hunters with threats of trespassing even on public land. They don't recognize GPS readings. The state of Wyoming has allowed land owners to purchase public land in order to eliminate any public access. The public land becomes their own "personal property", with no property tax. You can pay a hefty trespass fee to hunt on land your tax dollars bought. That was my Wyoming experience. I will never hunt the state again.
As you mentioned, you have licenses in a unit that is primarily PRIVATE land or lacking access. There are always licenses available after the draw because of access. There are several things to do in order to have a successful hunt. The Wy G@F has landowner lists. Get that and start contacting landowners right away. They often limit their hunter numbers. Try to get on private property with a small trespass fee. Sometimes if you are doe/fawn hunting there is no fee or only a small one. They will often want you to hunt the week after the opener. The other advice about a GPS chip is spot on. The area above Beaver Cr does have some antelope. Be aware the hunting pressure is heavy and will move the animals off of it. I have taken several animals off of there in past yrs. Didn't hunt there last yr because of too many hunters. So here is the strategy. Arrive in Gillette or Buffalo at least 2-3 days before the season opens. Use the GPS and maps to scout all public land including schoolhouse sections for a antelope you want to hunt. Make sure you have legal access to public land. You get a trespassing ticket if you cross private to hunt public!!!! Also you could knock on a few doors and you might get lucky.... Find some antelope and put them to bed at last light the night before opening day. Get back there 1 hr before legal shooting light and get situated withing rifle range of where you last saw your herd of antelope. Best chance you will get is the first legal 30 min of light on opening day. Good luck Bruce
You need to do your homework and have the documentation (GPS with landownership chip) to tell someone to take a hike if you're are on legally accessible public land and get hassled. That's only happened to me one time in 20 years of hunting out there. An employee of the biggest outfitter in Wyoming tried to harrass me when I was on public land and I contacted the local GW I know out there. Tom paid the outfitter a visit and since there had also been a similar complaint by a party of four hunters from WI he issued a warning that any further similar complaints would lead to probable revocation of his license. To say that Wyoming sells land so people can block off public land is a real stretch because they aren't in the business of selling property that they can make more money on by leasing it for grazing rights each year. That's why the Wyoming Land Board exists. All that money goes into the school district in the area it's located and there is at least one school section in each 36 sections of land. Anyway, to say you won't hunt Wyoming again means you may not want to hunt any of the western states because I've been in all but a couple of them at one time or another and they all operate the same way. You need to know where you are, that how you got there was legal, and then if hassled stand up for your rights like I mentioned I did. When the guy did that to me I also told him he would be facing a hunter harrassment complaint and pulled my videocam from my pack. He left and I've not had any more problems hunting that area every year for about ten years now. It sucks because there are a lot of ranchers and outfitters that will try to bluff you off legally accessible public land and if you don't stand up for your rights they will continue to do it.
Reminds me of one of the hunting shows. Seems there was a big chunk of public land locked by private land so no access without crossing private land. I think they were elk hunting and hired a helicopter to fly them over the private land to the public land and set up camp. Guess you can't own airspace so no trespassing tickets but not much of us can afford a helicopter. Shows where there is a will there is a way. Maybe if we all get ultralight airplanes and fly in with backpacks
I have tags for same area. Best advise I can give is to contact the Game and Fish department out of the Gillette office and ask for a list of landowners that are willing to allow hunters on their land for a trespass fee. Get good maps and gps maps that distinguish State/BLM/Private land tracts. It will save you much headaches and disappointments later.
Go to Wyoming f and g website and search for walk in areas. Also they have game management areas and landowner assist areas that might be available. If you are using a hotel make reservations early. Like now. It can get booked quick.