First western hunt what game animal would you chase?


Well-Known Member
Nov 3, 2018
Good morning guys i was wondering if you were going on your first western hunt what would you go after and in what state would you go. I hopefully have my wife convinced to let me put in for tags for her and myself next year for something. I have been wanting to get out west for a few years now( live in Indiana) but haven't been able to take the time off work or have the money for the trip. I want it to be DIY public land hunt for sure. I was leaning towards Wyoming Antelope. If we put in for tags it will be with 0 points so i know that will limit hugely what units to apply for. if we put in for tags i will also put in for some doe tags. Just wondered what everyone's thoughts were.
There is nothing I love more than chasing Mule Deer.

My favorite state is Wyoming, with a close second being Montana. North Dakota and Colorado were both enjoyable as well. The only state I don't care to go back to is New Mexico. I just enjoy the country of WY/MT the best.

I'm headed to Utah next year for the first time to chase elk.
Antelope hunting is fun! They are easy to find, easy to see, easy to hunt, and easy to kill.

Elk hunting is fun. They are not always easy to find, hunt, or kill. And it is always more work.

All that being said, if I could only hunt one animal it would be mule deer. If I could only hunt one type of terrain it would be sagebrush and juniper. There is nothing that gets me more excited than a mule deer tag in the sagebrush. Oh, and they are not easy to find, or hunt. But boy o boy are they fun.
in Wyoming in a lot of the areas you can hunt antelope and deer consecutively and in some areas at the same time.
Apply for both if you can swing the $
I've done the mule deer/antelope combo several times in WY and it's the most fun you can have! Hunt your butt off for a couple days chasing muleys then, on the day you want to "rest", go shoot an antelope. Get refreshed and mind reset and get back after the muleys the next day!
Well all I can say is that Elk is by far the best eating.. so that would be my choice but difficult for a first time hunter to the west to have much success on his own. Antelope is by far the easiest, but the poorest eating.. ha ha.. know that is going to cause some comments. Mule deer would probably be the most fun to hunt.....
The first one I did was pronghorn in WY and I was an a ton of fun! That being said elk hunting is a lot of work and very challenging, and I always find myself wanting more of it (my current top pick). It all depends what you are into and what you want for your first western hunt. If you like a more mentally and physically challenging hunt then elk without a doubt, if you want a high success rate hunt then pronghorn, mule deer are in between. Buckfever34 has great advise about a combo hunt, I saw a ton of nice mulies on my first pronghorn hunt and wished I had both!
Man, that is a tough one. My mind first went to Coues deer, but I think that’s a tough one to get into- I could be wrong.

I’m not a fan of antelope hunting. It’s not really hunting to me. It’s really shooting unless you archery hunt. There’s just too many of the things around.

If you can swing it, I’d suggest a trophy mule deer hunt in the Selway-Bitteroot/Frank Church. Big muleys are becoming harder to find and a pack/fly-in trip to that part of the country would be a great first time trip.

Elk anywhere out west is a solid choice. I couldn’t tell you what state, though. I haven’t looked at hunting one of the states outside WY for elk yet.