Wyoming antelope by car?


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hookem3119
September 24, 2011, 09:01 PM
Making my first pronghorn hunt in a few weeks. Going to be hunting the walk in areas and maybe BLM around Lusk. I've gotten tons of valuable info from older posts, but still have a few questions. Is a truck or 4x4 a necessity or just really nice to have. Not sure my jeep has another 3000 mile trip in her. Everything will fit in my Honda, and it would save me a couple hundred $ in gas. Is that feasible? Also, how do I handle the carcasses? Leave them for the coyotes? I plan on boning out the goats in the field. Also any suggestions on walk-in land that allows camping would be great. I've got the walk-in maps and rules from the state, but local knowledge would be a plus. Thanks.

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hookem3119
September 24, 2011, 09:14 PM
Also, I don't mind walking in several miles to avoid the crowds, or packing game out.

papaairbear
September 24, 2011, 10:22 PM
Do you have a guide? Pronghorn are wiley, suspicious, fast and have superman vision. If you're alone I'd recommend you read up on them and how to hunt them. Local gun stores are good places to get techniques used in that area. They're amazing creatures. I saw a young buck, running away from me, head straight at a barbed wire fence. He laid down on his belly, horns back on his neck and slid under that fence like a runner sliding into home plate, except at about 40 mph!. Big cloud of dust and a white rump patch vanishing into the distance. Another time I spent a couple of hours stalking through a gully-tumble weeds and prickly pear all alnog the way- only to stick my nose up over the top and see the herd that was about 700y away was now well over 1000 and behind me. You really need to spend some time in the area and glass the herds, plan your strategies, and talk to the locals. Probably not what you wanted to hear but I think you'll stand a better chance of succeding if you do this.

BK
September 24, 2011, 10:56 PM
I would not take a car. I'm sure it could be done, but I was scouting around in much the same area for next weekend's opening day, and I made good use of the 4x4 I was in. Many of the "roads" I was on are not accessible from a car. Camping on private walk-in access land is not going to be an option. You're going to have to stay in a hotel or at a campground if you are overnighting it. I'd also suggest that you take the whole, field dressed animal with you. There are most likely regulations that you have to have proof of gender with the tagged "animal", so that means that you are going to have to have most of it with you. You might as well have it all, except for the entrails. If you do bone it out properly, there's nothing wrong with leaving the rest AFAIK. There might be laws against leaving too much to waste though.

You really need to spend some time in the area and glass the herds, plan your strategies-
+1

waterhill
September 24, 2011, 11:30 PM
Wyomings pretty rough in some areas for walking in and packing out. Take a loaf of bread and some matches and eat it while your out. Less to pack out.

Lot a work for so little meat. I am not trying to be mean, Just sayin.

hookem3119
September 25, 2011, 01:09 AM
Great info. I've probably read every thread on the net with the words "Wyoming" and "antelope" so your words are not discouraging or surprising. Not really going for a trophy or to fill the freezer, just something I've always wanted to do. I picked The Lusk area after a lot of reading because it seemed a little less tricky for a first hunt than some other areas. I've scouted some of the walk in area maps next to satellite photos from Google earth. Seems like there is a good amount adjacent to highways. I may just leave my car in long-term parking at Denver or Cheyenne airports and rent a truck to get around in. I've only got a couple doe tags that were left overs. But I figured this would be a good way to get a little taste of it, and serve as a scouting trip for a bigger hunt next year. I've also been putting in a ton of time at the range. I shoot on every windy day I'm off :)

Ankeny
September 25, 2011, 09:37 AM
Hundreds of Pronghorn are killed in Wyoming every year within a few hundred yards of paved state highways and/or maintained county roads. Yeah, you could hunt with a passenger car, right up until it rains or snows...

waterhill
September 25, 2011, 01:51 PM
Make sure somebody knows where you will be planning to hunt. Don't slack on the gear. A gps is a must. I see that you'll be in the lowlands, but it can get rough even there.

BTW, I'm a September Elk hunter who normally hunts BridgerTeton NF area(Hoback, Gibbs Creek and other parts in the region). I have a brotherinlaw who is my resident guide ( you may want to look into this). Even in Sept. the weather can change on you quick.

Be careful and good luck. Let us see some pics when you get back.

waterhill
September 25, 2011, 03:45 PM
BTW. Les Claypool wrote about the time he took his wife's hatchback( ford fiesta?) mulie hunting in Peterson's Bowhunting a couple of months back. Very good read if you can find it.

hookem3119
September 25, 2011, 04:13 PM
Sounds like a car is not worth the trouble. I do a lot of offshore fishing alone, so know about redundant safety systems. Am approaching this the same way. Gps, solar charger, EPLRB, check-ins, etc. Are 4*4 rentals readily available in that part of the country? They are nonexistent here.

exbiologist
September 26, 2011, 11:43 AM
I have and likely will take a car again. You're hunting walk in areas, where you can't drive on anything other than county roads anyway. You'll be fine. And you dang sure don't need a guide. Antelope are anything but wiley. Spooky maybe after the opener, but pretty easy to find.

hookem3119
September 27, 2011, 02:27 AM
I'm in unit 9 after the first 2 weeks. So hopefully the crowds will be gone and the goats will be a little less jumpy.

Ridgerunner665
September 27, 2011, 02:41 AM
Crowds?

I've been over most of Wyoming more than once (the paved parts anyway) and while I've seen literally thousands of speed goats....NEVER, not even once...have I seen a crowd in Wyoming. Matter of fact...I was just through there Saturday...came in from Idaho on US30 and went out into South Dakota on I90....lots of speed goats, no crowds.

Wyomings entire population could fit in a football stadium....only 544,270 people live there as of 2009...I wish I was one of them.

25cschaefer
September 28, 2011, 09:51 AM
Our most difficult antelope hunt took place 5 yds from a two track that you would have to straddle with a Honda Civic but could defiantly do. Usually you can just drive down the highway, spot them, ask the rancher (if he isn't bound by outfitters, he will usually let you) drive back, walk up to the fence and shoot them.
My longest shot on a goat was 70 yds. We were driving down a well grated road through a wheat field and he was about 100 yds away, I got out sat on the ground and my father honked the horn as he drove down the road. The "Wiley" antelope couldn't figure out what I was and walked toward me until I shot him.
I know they are more difficult for some people especially if you have a guide, if you're looking for an adventure, glassing for days, crawling 1000 yds to get to 400yds and shooting with a 60 mile per hour cross wind and then pack it out on your back. Spot, shoot, dress, back up to it and load it. We hunted one day without seeing a shooter once, but loading 6 into a pick up by 9 am was more typical.

spclpatrolgroup
September 28, 2011, 10:27 AM
I love hunting speed goats, just not eating them. If you are planning to road hunt private land, and ask permission once you see one, bring gifts, even if you go out there and its long gone, go back and thank the person for the permission and leave them with a bottle of booze, or some goumet jerky or something. Then when you go back the next year they remember you as the jerky guy and will let you hunt their land again. This method works incredibly well on prarie dogs as well.

hookem3119
September 28, 2011, 07:30 PM
That's good stuff. Very funny. It looks like I can fly into Denver on Southwest for less than it will cost me to park my car at the airport, then rent an suv to drive for the week. That will free up a couple days to scout other areas for when I can draw an elk or mulie tag. They even allow dry ice on their flights and I can bring back the meat in some big soft sided ice chests for $100 per extra bag under 100#, or $50/bag for normal size luggage.

If I am able to just drive up to a couple of the wiley goats, club them on the head, and throw them in my truck, can I go somewhere and by one of the unsold buck tags or antlerless deer tags over the counter? I just have 2 doe tags, and I know that the buck tags are gone in area 9, but there are still some left in other areas. My dad said he would pay the baggage fees for some venison or cabrito (goat in Texican). If not another tag, any suggestions for inexpensive hunts or fishing? Maybe grouse or prairie dogs.

spclpatrolgroup
September 29, 2011, 10:01 AM
You cannot take an animal unless you have a tag to put on it, and cannot move it until it is tagged. New tags purchased are not active for 24 hours after purchase in most places.

hookem3119
August 25, 2012, 01:08 PM
I apologize for not updating this thread after my trip last year, but just rejoined the community and thought I would share the results for anyone researching old threads.

Yes, antelope by car is very doable, and I encourage it for anyone who may be limited to this option.

MY hunt: I flew from TX to Denver, rented a Jeep Patriot, and drove into SE WY. This was actually cheaper than it would have been to drive my own vehicle from TX, and saved me about 30 hrs driving for the whole hunt.

I camped and hunted on BLM land in Unit 9 East of Lusk. It was late in the season (after Oct 15) and I only saw a couple of hunters on the whole drive in from Denver. I used some good GPS maps that showed public land and a Gazetteer. But the entrances to the BLM property were easy enough to find without them. And there was even fairly good signage on the 2 tracks leading in that marked private property.

I saw tons of goats and mulie does everywhere I went. The first morning I hiked around the the small hill top where I had camped and spotted some antelope in the basin below the ridge I was on. First lesson learned. Don't stroll up to the edge of a ridge. You are silhouetted against the sky and stick out like a sore thumb. The goats didn't care, as they were miles away, but group of mule deer let me know how stupid I was. They were leaving in a hurry. It was sooo cool though, and I didn't care. Those were the first in flesh animals I had ever seen of either species (except for the drive in), and the sun was barely up on my first day. I watched a big old doe shepard her little group over about four ridges, before pausing at the top of the last, waiting for the stragglers to catch up, and give me one last look to let me know just how stupid she though I was.

Lesson two: Those animals have super hero vision. All of this took place so far away that I didn't even know it was happening until I got my glass on them. I grew up hunting in pine forest thickets. I couldn't believe that you could spot game at those distances, and was even more surprised that they could see you just as easily. They weren't even visible with the naked eye, but when I watched the antelope and deer through the binoculars, they were staring right at me!

I wasted a couple hours trying to figure out an approach to the pronghorn, but they just had too much flat open ground in ervery direction. I even tried to appeal to there since of curiosity by waving a white t shirt, but to no effect.

Lesson three: walk in. I ended up Taking my first antelope doe later that afternoon. I left the jeep just inside the perimeter of the BLM ebtrance and hiked in so I would spook anything with the dust cloud and noise driving in. This paid off, as I stalked to within 75 yards of a mule deer doe and her two fawns in a creek bed just over the first ridge. I wasn't deer hunting, but it was fun anyway.

A little later I spotted a group of pronghorn feeding on the opposite side of a limestone spine that jutted up from the valley about a mile away. I just glimpsed them as they crossed a dry creek bed that cut the spine in two. Since it was a completely blind stalk, I was able to close the distance quickly, then crawl the last several hundred yards to a place where I could set up for a shot. I could see the group but knew it was below me, and would heve to cross one of two points to exit the draw where they were feeding. I would either get a 40 yd shot, or one of 250. Since I had time to build a little nest behind my back pack, and get comfortable, It didn't really matter. At that point, I was guaranteed of my first antelope on my first day ever hunting them. Everything from that point went as expected. However, they did take long enough to exit that little ravine, that at one point I started to second guess whether or not I had actually seen anything, or if I had just stalked and crawled into shooting range of a figment of my imagination. But, I inevitably got my goat.

The only real drama was getting it out. By this time it was late afternnon, I was at the back of the property about 1.5 miles from the jeep, and weather was building. I knew I could get the jeep in and out if it stayed dry, but if the rains came after I got in, I would be stranded until it dryed out. I also didn't have enough time to quarter the animal and pack it out before dark. So if I didn't go get the jeep, it would mean a night in a bivy sack in bad weather. I only had some emergency over night gear, the rest was in the jeep.

I took a calculated gamble, and left my gear with the downed doe, and hoofed it back to the vehicle. From there, I drove it like the rented car that it was (sorry Hertz) and drove Dukes of Hazard style back to the kill site. I definitely could not have done this had I been "car hunting"! But what the hell, I wasn't in my car.

I through my "trophy" into a contractor style trash bag and headed out. It was just after dark when I got back to the main road. It turned out to be the right choice. That night it the temp dropped down in to the low 20's, and a very cold rain eventually turned to snow.

It was still snowing the next morning, so I slept late. Then I drove in to town to get a hot meal. I filled my second doe tag around noon. That hunt definitely could have been done from a Honda Civic. The only thing of interest to report there, involved me climbing an old wind mill to spot a lone goat that I thought had magically vanished. But, I won't waste anymore valuable memory on the websites servers. I have taken up enough already :D

cat_IT_guy
August 25, 2012, 05:35 PM
Thanks for the good read and good on you for doing it yourself. Id love to do the same sort of thing one day, but for the present Im confined to mooching off of whoever will let me hunt their farm in IL.

wyohome
August 25, 2012, 07:07 PM
Thanks, that was entertaining. Are you coming back?

hookem3119
August 25, 2012, 08:29 PM
Binatilstate,
I hope the cost isn't what's holding you back. I did it on a shoe string. All left over tags and public land. Plenty of left over mule deer and pronghorn doe tags for under $40 each. Even a good number of pronghorn buck tags for about $250 or a little less. I was just in it for the experience, and horns would have been much harder to fly back with or ship. I flew Southwest for under $100 each way. Coming back I had one box of boned out meat that cost me $50 because it was my 3rd checked bag, after my pack and gun.

Wyohome,
I am definitely coming back! As often as I can. The only reason I'm not coming back this year is because I am doing a OTC pack in elk hunt on public land in CO. Last year I solo'd and had a blast. This year, my bro in law wanted to come, and he wanted to do CO to save driving.

I'm thinking next year I will try an elk bow hunt in WY so I can be there when they are bugling.

Since I filled my tags so quickly and I had a week to kill, I drove up to Yellowstone to camp. You have one beautiful state, and probably the most welcoming people I have ever met.

Bush Pilot
August 26, 2012, 06:56 PM
I just found this thread. Many antelope are taken by people driving cars, usually buzzing along at 80 mph. Although it can be done, I don't suggest hunting moose using the car method.

walker944
August 26, 2012, 07:27 PM
I just got home (two hours ago) from a vacation trip through most of the western states, including Wyoming & Colorado. We saw a bunch of pronghorns in those states. I don't recall ever seeing them previously in my life. If I did, they certainly weren't so plentify. Unfortunately, I didn't see a single elk, outside of Yellowstone. I'm sure the lingering summer weather had something to do with them not yet being around.
I enjoyed reading about your adventure. Nicely done!

hookem3119
August 26, 2012, 10:23 PM
Funny enough, the only Mulie buck I saw the whole week in WY came within inches of totaling my rental car the last night. He was a monster!

Here are a few pics from the trip. The shots of the tent site are a deer bed that I found my first night to get out of the wind. The river / mountain shots are what I woke up to my third morning. The night before I had crossed the whole state on my way to Yellowstone. It was already dark before I made it to the pass in Shoshone NF, so I had know idea what the scenery around me looked like. I was exhausted and just pulled off at a NF campsite to sleep. I woke up after a very cold night to this postcard view. I slept right in the jeep so had no idea I was even 30 ft from a river. There were even bear tracks along the bank.

hookem3119
August 26, 2012, 10:27 PM
I completely butchered both animals right there in the river that morning, then let the meat soak in the water to get a head start on freezing while I seared some backstrap with grits for breakfast. It was cold enough that I had to keep stopping to break the ice of my knife blade. World class day!!

jwalk
August 27, 2012, 12:20 PM
If you had driven through Shoshone NF during the day time you would have seen all the "be bear aware" signs (griz). Part of the experience though. I've driven the Cody to the East entrance numerous times and think that part of the drive is just as pretty as the Park itself. You used to see elk, moose, and deer everywhere around there, as well as bighorn sheep herds right along the highway. Not so much anymore, but that's a differnt topic all on it's own and tends to get locked rather quickly. Not too sure about Eastern WY but in Central and NW WY hunting antelope by car is very doable, especially if you butcher it right there and through it in a cooler.

wyohome
August 27, 2012, 10:51 PM
^Very true^ We used to take out-of-state visitors to the park, but there is little to see anymore in the way of animals.

hookem3119
August 28, 2012, 12:06 PM
As I got into the Shoshone area, I knew that it must have been impressive. It was dark, but I still saw all of the "Be Bear Aware" signs, and lots of the ever present mule deer doe. That stretch of road felt like a slow motion rollercoaster. And long. I was thinking there would be plenty of places to pull off and camp, but I must have driven for a couple of hours before I found one. Not too sure. I was road tired, and it was probably after 3AM before I finally found a spot to crash. I was right at the MT border. I came back by way of Jackson, so I never did get to see that part of the state. No complaints though, it was all pretty amazing.

Are there any late winter or early spring hunting opportunities there? I have a November trip planned for Big Bend National Forest along the TX / Mex border. But would love to get back to WY before next season. Maybe I'll just do a fishing trip.

wyohome
August 28, 2012, 09:20 PM
Predator hunting, ice fishing.

onetohunt
August 31, 2012, 11:48 PM
Great read!! Congrats on the speed goat! I will be going out this year the first week of the season and will be going to unit 9 as well. Did you find any detailed maps on the WIA? I have not been able to find any yet and was curious.

hookem3119
September 3, 2012, 02:36 PM
I did not hunt the WIA's but did research them. The Game and Fish Dept has maps for each unit online but they don't offer a lot pf detail. They do have written boundary descriptions. I used these and a highlighter, to mark out the boundaries I was interested in on better maps. Also used a lot of google earth sat photos to get a better look. There was so much BLM land in unit 9 with good road access that I never made it to the WIAs. I think by WY standards, that unit would just be considered "fair" for public access. But coming from TX, where 99+% of the land is private, I was like a kid in a candy store.

Here are some good interactive map sources:

http://diyhuntingmaps.com/unit/wy/elk/110/index.html
http://www.mytopo.com/

hookem3119
September 3, 2012, 02:52 PM
On second thoughts, I did hunt one tiny WIA, but only because it happened to border the BLM I was on. It was clearly marked as WIA. I don't recall the BLM having big BLM signs, but they did all have the same type of signage and entrances so they were easy to find once you knew what to look for. I was using a handheld GPS, WY Gazetteer, and a really good mapping app on my phone to identify hunting areas. I could have easily road hunted and filled my tags, but that's not the experience that I traveled all the way up there to have.

A couple more tidbits: Also, a lot of the BLM land had specifice fire restrictions. Always marked at the entrance. From my brief experience, that country holds lots of goats. You may not see them from the road, but if you just get out and walk over a couple of hills, you will probably find them. And the only reason those speed goats are so fast is because they are wind aided! I could have probably posted an olympic qualifying 100 meter time running with that wind.

ljnowell
September 3, 2012, 03:16 PM
Funny, when I read this title, the first thing I thought of was two guys in a camflouged buick.

onetohunt
September 18, 2012, 10:29 PM
Thanks for the info hookem!!

scallop
September 18, 2012, 11:02 PM
Excellent write up and I am jealous! I would love to do that one day, just finding the time is the killer.

onetohunt
October 4, 2012, 08:51 PM
Well I went out and done alright!! I ended up taking a buck with the Cooper and 2 does with the muzzle loader!! Great hunts and I will be going back!!
172920

172921

25cschaefer
October 4, 2012, 11:44 PM
That little doe looks like she should be good eating.

hookem3119
October 5, 2012, 08:50 AM
That's a good looking buck. Did you see many other hunters out the first week? In the third week of October, I had the unit to myself.

onetohunt
October 6, 2012, 09:18 PM
That's a good looking buck. Did you see many other hunters out the first week? In the third week of October, I had the unit to myself.

It was packed!! There were so many people there, I had doubts that I would even have a chance at a goat. I ended up deciding to go to state land and it wasn't as busy but still hunters. The second day had about 1/2 as many hunters.

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