How to go about antelope hunting for the first time?

ForrestGuy82

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
25
I can relate to the OP and some of the new soon to be pronghorn junkies that have commented on this thread. I too dream of going on my first Western Big Game hunt where I actually have more than a small game license in my pocket. In 2019 my youngest brother, my Dad and I went to SE Idaho for a rifle mule deer hunt in early Oct. They had tags and I didn't, my brother was successful on a 3x3 big bodied mule deer. When driving to and from our destination and going through southern Wyoming on 80 and even western Nebraska seeing pronghorn made the 28 hour one way two day drive a little more bearable.
I have wanted to go after mule deer and especially pronghorn even before that. Anyway I currently have 2 points for both in Wyoming and one or two points and a few other states. My idea for my first western big game hunt is to do a rifle hunt in Wyoming for bother mule deer and pronghorn, hoping for a 10 day hunt window. I know that deer are by region and pronghorn by unit. I hope to get them as close as I can. Not looking for a Booner for either animal just a solid animal that trips my trigger literally. Probably low country for both since I had heart surgery twice when I was a kid. I have been on GoHunt looking at draw odds and Filtering 2.0 and most units at my point level are in the eastern half from Laramie to Gilette/Sheridan and absolutely checkerboarded with BLM, HWiAs, private. Less than 30% public, usually close to 20%. I will definitely have to make some calls as suggested and figure out how to scout and access those areas without getting tickets or an angry cowboy swinging a gun. These tips about the county road maps among others have helped.
I did start a thread my first one since I am a newbie titled Pronghorn State Ranking, it has been interesting so far just like this one. Thanks everyone.

Sincerely,
Forrest
 

Sandhillshunter

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
30
Regarding eastern Wyoming, I would check into the winter kill. Nebraska has been hit hard this winter and I would assume eastern Wyoming has had their share as well. It would be worth looking into, whatever unit you decide to hunt. I have hunted NE Wyoming many times and there are a decent numbers of goats with a doable amount of public land. For the most part, it's patchwork though, so get both a gps and current paper maps. In Newcastle anyway, there is a BLM office and they were helpful verifying things for us. We also check-in with the local Sheriff's office, just so they have a face and get whatever info we can. We had someone from George try and push us off public land last time we were out and he didn't back down until we said lets contact Sheriff _______. He tucked tail and took off quick at that point. If you decide to hunt NE Wyoming, I would be willing to pass on more info is needed. Good luck!
 

JonathanT

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
33
Location
North Carolina
Could you give me some tips. I am looking at going to wyoming this year for the first time. Hunted whitetail on east coast quite a bit, however never out west. Figured it would be a good practice run for some future elk hunts i am interested in. Still undecided on where to go or apply, but definitetly leaning towards archery season. Just sounds fun
I'm in the same boat and I am interested on your perspective as well
Could you give me some tips. I am looking at going to wyoming this year for the first time. Hunted whitetail on east coast quite a bit, however never out west. Figured it would be a good practice run for some future elk hunts i am interested in. Still undecided on where to go or apply, but definitetly leaning towards archery season. Just sounds fun
 

PFERN

Newbie
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
9
As a new hunter going on antelope later this year, are there any specific pieces of equipment needed for this hunt? Mainly, specifics in field dressing?
 

justinspicher

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
3,559
Location
Colorado
I went with a buddy on his archery antelope hunt last year. I just went to go and had a blast. He went through a guide down in New Mexico and shot a really nice buck. We have antelope here by the house so spending that cash isn’t appealing to me, BUT trying to draw a tag and hunt on public land is. I will hoping to draw a tag this season and give it a go.
 

Grit2

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
114
Location
St. Louis, MO
I was in this same boat last year but winged it without a site like this. I did exactly what some of these seasoned guys are saying. Look at odds and find a 0 point unit with at least some public access and give it a try.

I scoured the unit with onx and ended up only able to access about 1/2 the spots I wanted to by vehicle. I had my 70yr old Dad with me so that limited some of the hike in places but there was a lot of ground we didn't cover.

I got pretty lucky with a buck and a doe the first day we were there and only had 1 stalk the other 5 days we hunted. I stopped to try to get some drive through access on day 4 and that outfitter shared there was a big die off spring of 2020 in the unit I picked and everyone was struggling in that area. But when we'd drive back to town there were a couple spots with 75+ antelope in an irrigated private field (different but adjacent unit).

So to sum it up, we had a great but challenging time. Pick a unit, put in for the tags and just go hunt. I'd certainly do it again.
 

Nelher

Newbie
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
6
A lot of great information, thanks everyone who chimmed in. I'm planning my first antelope hunt for this yearbas well. The whole process for a first time out of state hunter can be intimidating, I appreciate all the knowledge you all share!
 

4dcfries

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
79
Location
ohio
I've been looking into doing the same as the OP, I think this has what made me the most nervous about the whole deal. Will an app like OnX show the roads that you can drive on also or is it only for the land itself showing public vs private? I guess I should try one of the free trials.
Have to be careful on the map...i stumbled onto private land (a small spur that led to a large public land piece) and the ranch manager caught us. Great guy who ended up introducing us to the rancher who allowed us to hunt there every year. FYI we did tag out using bows.
 

4dcfries

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
79
Location
ohio
I have several nice antelope bucks on my wall, all except one with a bow. My first was a gun hunt. Seemed way to easy so for me bow was the only way to go after that. I popped one at 80 yards with the bow and fondly look back at that with warm and fuzzy feelings.
Wyoming is tricky. You MUST have a good map of public and private (I had relied on a local to direct me to a honey hole and ended up on private ranch..after 800 bucks in fines and the loss of a trophy buck mount I will never again be without).
In issuing my fines It turned out we missed some little add on parts of the tag process. Wyoming, back a few years, did a shit job of how you buy a license.
We hunted first south of Gillett then south. Both produced well. Cheers
 

Caleb Miller

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
Messages
13
Location
Ohio
Me and a buddy have been talking about going out west for a long time. We're thinking about trying Wyoming or South Dakota for a diy antelope hunt. We have no preference whether it be with a bow, rifle, muzzleloader. I would prefer to kill a buck, but would be fine with a doe if a buck tag is too hard to get. My question is how would you go about this for a first time hunt? Are there states that offer otc licenses? Do you have to build up points? Etc. We aren't going to be picky, just looking to have fun and make some memories.. Thanks for any help

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there are some easy to draw options in wyoming, look at some units with later season dates those are much easier to draw. some units also have walk in access on private land that can hold good amounts of antelope
 

CullenMS

Newbie
Joined
Mar 2, 2021
Messages
8
Heading out to WY for the first time this fall hopefully. Super helpful information about the road access. Thanks everyone for sharing your knowledge w/ us rooks!
 

Hoythews71

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
59
My girlfriend and I are doing our first western hunt this fall as well. Montana 900 series archery. I've elk hunted in CO once, but that's it out west. We knew we wanted to bow hunt antelope, and we knew both of our schedules aligned for mid-August of this year. I have 6 WY points, but the 900 series tag is basically a sure-thing, and it gives us enough time where if we somehow don't draw, we have enough time to scramble and get a backup plan together (likely would be a WY doe tag). We just want to go!
 

Andrew12gauge

Senior Member
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
138
My girlfriend and I are doing our first western hunt this fall as well. Montana 900 series archery. I've elk hunted in CO once, but that's it out west. We knew we wanted to bow hunt antelope, and we knew both of our schedules aligned for mid-August of this year. I have 6 WY points, but the 900 series tag is basically a sure-thing, and it gives us enough time where if we somehow don't draw, we have enough time to scramble and get a backup plan together (likely would be a WY doe tag). We just want to go!

Aside from some really poor areas you’re not gonna have Wyoming doe tags available even once the Montana archery tag draw comes out. I think if you’re good with using archery you could plan to do either Nebraska or South Dakota as your backup plans, although that may push you back into September for season dates.


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Erik of Texas

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
10
Location
Dangum city
As a new hunter going on antelope later this year, are there any specific pieces of equipment needed for this hunt? Mainly, specifics in field dressing?
Knee pads, comfortable boots, fishing rod and a Matt for laying on while whacking prairie dogs.
 

tracker12

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
531
We were driving down a road that looked good to go on the gps, looked good to go on county map, but it had a fence right up to the road and a cattle guard grate thing across the road and then a big no trespassing sign on each side of the road. It threw us for a loop. We called the non emergency number for the sheriff's office who confirmed that the road was definitely public and our county road map was up to date.
They like to do that to limit access.
 

Haro450

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Joined
Mar 21, 2017
Messages
13
Location
OR
Tags are only going to get harder to draw I think. I finally pulled the trigger on a low point Wyoming tag last year and my dad and I had a great trip. You don't have to wait for a prime tag to be successful.
 
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