Wyoming help for a father and son!

Tcole75

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Hollis, Oklahoma
Hello a little background before I ask for help. My dad is turning 55 this year and his dream hunt is a mule deer but has given up on the idea that he will ever have the opportunity.
I've been secretly putting him in for mule deer in south dakota the black hill's for 2 years now. Well I called last year and they said it could potentially be a 16 year wait before we get drawn. I'm going to keep putting in there but I already have a preference point for elk and antelope in wyoming and I'm thinking of buying him a preference point for mule deer in wyoming this year and next year taking him on a hunt in wyoming.
I've never hunted elk or mule deer and only have the knowledge of what ive read or watched from videos on both animals.
He's been hunting whitetail in Oklahoma for about 30 years but has never back country hunted. I've hunted whitetail for about 16 years and have been on 1 back country hunt.
Would it be a good idea for me to try and hunt elk at the same time as trying to find him a mule deer or just focus on a mule deer?
Is there any units that would be possible to draw with 1 preference point or should I put in for a couple of years and take him then?
 

dieselchessy

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The truth....your about 7 to 9 preference points away from an iconic DIY backcountry mule deer hunt in Wyoming.
Elk season likely won’t overlap deer season.
There are some sagebrush country deer hunts you could draw with a few points. I’m thinking tough for a guy with no experience
You should think about antelope, either as a side dish or a main course. They are good eating, fun to hunt, and a good Western hunt experience.
Buy your points. Get OnX and Gohunt and research the draw odds and units you can get with a few points.
If you can swing the vacation and surprise trip apply every year. Always a random chance.
Look at Montana and Colorado as well. They are decent options as well.
 
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Tcole75

Tcole75

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I've definitely considered antelope as well. I might surprise him with that first since it is an easier hunt and hopefully get him hooked on the idea and he will already have a few points built up by that point for mule deer but with his age I'm not to concerned with a monster buck just the experience and hopefully a decent hunt. I plan to continue hunting backcountry to build the experience.
 
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Tcole75

Tcole75

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Also to add I have basemap and onx. I have all the gear I could need. I was under the impression that Colorado mule deer was coveted and hard to get a tag. Montana isn't out of the question my wife owns property over by libby not enough to hunt thou. My biggest reason for not going to Montana is how far the is. Id rather stick to somewhere we could make it to within 12 to 14 hours of driving and use the extra time scouting.
 

Jalenweyker

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Wyoming has a bunch of 1 point units and you still have a chance woth none in a few areas to. I dont know what kinda shape he is in but i know those lower “foot hills” and desert country hunts have plenty of deer. My 78 year old grandpa still somewhat gets around in one of those units. But youd have a fun hunt and have decent chances at both filling tags if you hunt hard.
 

NoWiser

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55 is still young. If he has the drive, there are a ton of good mulie hunts he can do in multiple states over the next few years. Just gotta do some research.
 

Rich M

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Back in the 70s, they had some amazing articles and books on the subject and it was enough to ignite the fever. They tried to keep folks away with the fear of trespass fines and onX took care of that.

Just go. This is one time I will say that. Most times I say collect points. Just go with your dad. At his age, he's got some more hunts in him and you guys can probably go 2-3-4-5 times and build those memories.

Find the food sources and plan to hunt early, nap mid-day, and hunt til dark. Use the WY game finder maps and read the articles that are attached. There are places with good success rates and low numbers of points necessary - just go.

If you play the waiting game and can't go for some reason, you'll be kicking yourself. This is not the time for planning an "epic" hunt w 10,000 other guys, it is for spending time with dad.

I'm a tad younger than your dad but not much. Wanted to shoot a mule deer back in the day - asked my dad around 1980 if we could go and got no for an answer. Took him in 2019 to CO - he saw 17 deer - bucks and does from camp the first day while a couple of us "50 somethings" were running the canyons - Got a nice buck and buddy missed 2, saw some 2x2s as well. Hit a few of the historical sites and made it a memorable trip.
 

dieselchessy

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OnX gives you a membership with Top Rut. That would help you narrow down the units that you can draw with a point or two.
 
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Tcole75

Tcole75

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Those are the answers I wanted to hear. He still gets around pretty well for his age but being a diesel mechanic for the past 35 years hasn't done well on his body either. This year is out of the question he's already planned all of his vacation time for a trip to Yellowstone. So he will get a preference point for wyoming. I'll continue to put both of us in for south dakota. Thanks for the responses. Im going to start researching units now and possibly look into Colorado and take him on a antelope hunt in the meantime.
 

Rich M

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Do the antelope hunt where you can check out the mule deer units while you are out there. That'll help you guys do the planning thing and just make the whole trip better.

Yellowstone should put him in a good frame of mind - beautiful out there.
 
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Tcole75

Tcole75

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That's what I'm hoping for. I had initially planned to go hunt elk and antelope alone for a couple of years and build him the preference points and the knowledge and scouting for myself. That way I could take him on a better hunt but at thus point I'd rather just get him out in the field and have as many good hunts as I can before he can't do it anymore.
 

Rich M

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Sounds like you have your hat on right.

I'm still hunting with my dad and he's 80 - starting to have some old age issues but he's up early and ready to go when its time. He's seeing what his limits are and we work within those - Dad got a small buck this year and had fun on the 3 long weekend trips we were able to make during the 2020 season. His best day he saw about 20 deer and 5 turkeys, some close enough that he squinted so they wouldn't see his eyes. LOL!

Sadly, he has already opted out of the future western hunts - says he just doesn't have it in him. Gotta respect that, but he'll be missed.

Enjoy your trips!
 
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Tcole75

Tcole75

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That's awesome to hear. Hes lost the the drive for whitetail in Oklahoma but he's shot some monsters here so I dont blame him. He's always talked about mule deer thou and I think a backcountry hunt would spark the interest in him.
 

WCB

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I don't think any unit in SD takes 16 years for Nonresidents. The Black Hills units are going to be 99% whitetails you would want to look outside of that in SD.

A few units in WY have very low to no point units to draw and have bunches of mule deer. MT would be your best bet for a really good mule deer hunt (lots of deer and lots of land mostly not restricted by units). My adivce...by a point in SD, WY, and Montana.

Both of you should get tags and focus on one species at a time especially your first time.
 
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Tcole75

Tcole75

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Hollis, Oklahoma
I went ahead and got gohunt insider and didn't realize how much information it gave and how easy it is to use. I've already found a unit that is within driving distance and only takes 1 point. I think more than likely I'll just surprise him with a tag and go scout for him and assist him as much as possible.
 

Rich M

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I went ahead and got gohunt insider and didn't realize how much information it gave and how easy it is to use. I've already found a unit that is within driving distance and only takes 1 point. I think more than likely I'll just surprise him with a tag and go scout for him and assist him as much as possible.
See if you can give himt he tag for father's day or something like that - then let him tag along for scouting. us older guys like to get out too.
 

wytx

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We have some Region tags, that can be drawn with 0-1 PP and have decent hunting for decent bucks. Not backcountry but still in the mountains so to speak.

pm sent
 
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Tcole75

Tcole75

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Hollis, Oklahoma
Since I've gotten gohunt I've found several units that I can take him to next year with 1 preference point. If I can get him out there seeing mule deer and hopefully fill his tag that will be good enough for me.
 
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