Finally in Wyoming

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Buffalobob, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    I got to Pathfinder Reservoir about 3:00 in the afternoon. It was a mess. The lake level was low. There was no potable drinking water. The campsites were on blowsand and there were no trees for wind brakes. Naturally the wind was blowing about 20-30 mph. I wasted a good hour trying to find a sheltered spot to camp and finally gave it up as hopeless. The fourwheelers and ATV people had just about destroyed the place because the vegetation has such a precarious foothold in the loose sand that any traffic dislodges the roots and of course what few trees there had been had been chainsawed for firewood.

    So I trucked on up to Alcova Reservoir where a herd of about eight mule deer were manning the check in booth. I guess Natrona County has been a little short on funds and not able to hire more dependable staff for the Parks Department. Anyway, it was a beautiful little reservoir and there were several campers and people fishing so I found me a halfway decent spot for the night and set up camp.



    The next morning I went into Casper to get groceries and see about extra doe/fawn antelope tags. They were sold out of Unit 32 tags but had plenty for the adjacent units which was strange being as the season had already started for them. Having analyzed the data before I left home I knew what units had enough public land to ensure that a person could kill a doe so I got one tag for 70 and one tag for 71. The lady would not sell me more than 2 tags but that was allright being as I really didn’t need to shoot a big pile of antelope. I asked if there was anyway to donate the meat and she said that the Fish and Game guy had been mentioning it the day before but she didn’t remember the details. So off I went to Wyoming Fish and Game where they seemed to believe I was an escapee from the mental hospital. As a note if you ever wonder who sends you the tags when you draw out it is the three ladies at the front desk. They had big boxes of envelopes and they were just folding paper and stuffing envelopes. Not any wiser but at least having made a memorable uproar at the Casper F&G office I went back to camp.

    My hunt in hunt in Unit 32 did not begin for five days but I now had tags for units that had been open for five days. I take a lot of fun out of the planning of my hunts and now all of my careful plans were derailed. Instead of scouting Unit 32 for five days I needed to check the zero on my rifle and begin to hunt units 70 and 71. What a disorganized catastrophic mess. The only saving grace was the bad luck of continuing 20+mph wind. There was no way I was going to shoot in that much wind unless worst came to worst.
    I worked for a couple of hours unloading the truck and reloading it so it was transformed from a cross country driving setup into a hunting setup. Once I had my binoculars, rifle, bullets, hearing protectors, wind meter, etc all handy and my butchering stuff accessible, off I went to Unit 70. I stopped along the way and put my handy dandy coke can out at 100 yards and shot at the “O” in coke. It survived the first shot unscathed and I checked my wind chart and made a correction and the second shot landed exactly correct. One thing about the competition groundhog shots at Mifflin and F-class at Quantico is you become adept at making corrections. I might not be good enough to make first round hits but I can correct a lot better. With the 240 Wby tested and ready to roll I went looking for antelope. Soon I spotted a herd at 550 yards which was easily doable even in 20 mph winds but I was not interested in 550 yards so I just marked on my map where they were and went on. Later I found some antelope at 1539 yards but with the nasty winds it was not something I was interested in attempting. So the day ended pretty well being as I now had three antelope tags in three different units. I found a small town of prairie dogs at about 350 yards and thought about getting out some rifles but decided not to. I only had about 1,000 rounds loaded for prairie dogs but with the change in hunting plans and me being after antelope, the little guys got a free pass. What a bunch of lucky dogs.
  2. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

    Jun 11, 2005
    Ah.........the '07 saga begins.:):)

    Sounds like you have a plan even if you don't have a plan. Take lots of pics and keep lots of notes. Then, when you find a wifi hotspot, put some more good stuff on here for those of us still sitting at home.:)

    Good luck, have fun, be safe and kill lots of furry critters.:):D:)

  3. CAM

    CAM Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2002
    Pathfinder campground was a disgace!!!
    I could not believe what I was seeing!

  4. Slopeshunter

    Slopeshunter Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    Couldn't agree more. Look forward to the stories and pictures.

    Good Luck :)
  5. cinch

    cinch Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    I lived in Casper over 20 years before I moved to Gillette. I had to re-sight my guns and re adjust my headlights once I got out of that wind. Pathfinder never really has been that nice of a place. Most people just go there for the Walleye. Good luck on your speed goats. After 8:30 or 9:00am the wind will only get worse. Any process plant will take the meat and give it to the soup kitchen if you pay for the processing fee.
  6. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Jan 20, 2004
    Getting the Idaho end of things ready.

    Don't need much of an antelope though. Just enough for chops and eggs for a breakfast or two. Have you ever heard of Speed Goat Gumbo? They say a CoonAss will eat anything. I'm not natural born but have the registered License plate.:D

    Been cold and wet and windy here. Snow along the wasach front, Northern Utah is about 1/2 way down the mountain. I'm thinking Unit 21 should be turnin' white any day.

    Think I'll go get a couple more tarps. Tire guy says knobby tires are a waste of time. I'll get some chain, just in case.......

    BTW, ordered a couple of radios w/some distance to 'em, a digiscope thinger to record things and a set of Frog Toggs. Am I cool or what:rolleyes:
  7. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2005
    quote -" They say a CoonAss will eat anything. I'm not natural born but have the registered License plate. "

    So what you're saying is you're a halfass coonass ..

    Ahh ----wyoming and wind mentioned in the same sentence ---odd...
  8. ilscungilli

    ilscungilli Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Did you bring any fly fishing gear? The GreyReef section of the North Platte river is just a few minutes from your camp site, and they have opened up some new wading sections above the "outhouse" and PMD holes. You can hunt during the day, and then throw large streamers near the greyreef dam at night, when the big browns and rainbows come out to feed. Wading can be tough at night around the dam, so be sure to drink plenty of whiskey (it helps you stay in the water longer...). The flows are ideal for wading now (around 500 CFS), and the weeds are mostly gone.

    Just a thought...
  9. 7mmSendaro

    7mmSendaro Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Hey, leave a couple antelope in Wyoming for me......I'll be there in a week or so!
  10. justgoharder

    justgoharder Well-Known Member

    Sep 17, 2005
    Good luck getting 'em in that wind.

    I've hunted unit 40 for the past 5 or 6 years. the first couple years i gave the speed goat meat straight away to the local dow officer who in turn would give it to a 'needy family.' However i have since developed a taste for antelope - or at least the antelope from this particular ranch as there is no sage brush, now i keep the meat for myself!!! :)
  11. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    a halfass coonass eatin speed goat gumbo...gotta be a country song in there some where.