Sorry, 74 sucks, don't apply there, no does and no BC bucks.
There are a lot of very good hunters on this site, but I bet the average guy kills the first or second decent 74-78 inch antelope he sees after 4 days of hunting. I had 4 friends kill their bucks before noon on the first day. They scouted 1 1/2 days before the opener and were convinced they saw all the bucks in the area. YA Right. I saw a WY hunter, an older guy, shoot a small thin horned 13 antelope near the road in a blue chip area. I helped him drag it to the road. I asked him why he shot it, He said he was just hunting meat. I'm not faulting him, but I passed two 14 inch bucks on the same road before I met him. I guess guys like these are good as they are not competing for the trophy class animals.
I read and reread Mikes book, especially the trophy judging section, and I came to the conclusion, that antelope are very hard to judge, at least for me. When bucks are in the rut and chasing other bucks off, its hard to get a good look at them long enough to judge them properly. I found this very frustrating. Maybe this is why the Eastmen's hunt later in the season. I guess with time I'll get a lot faster at judging them. I also think it easy to fall into the trap of shooting 78-80 inch bucks and never getting past that point in trophy quality. Just my thoughts on this subject.
Then I'd def stick to that northern border, maybe that's where they all were hiding.
Of course I saw antelope on both sides of the highway, didn't really stop along the highway, I drove all over that unit for 3 days this past fall/2011, I feel very lucky to have filled my doe tag!
I'm pretty sure the northern portion of 74 is more broken up with public/private, so I hit more of the middle/southern borders.
Ran into a guy on the road taking his family to whatever monument is there or whatever telling me they just saw a "big boy" about a mile down the road, well I saw the "big boy" he was referring to and it might have been 70-75", not very big when guys are talking about 80-85" which look like monsters in comparison. Honestly that was the only buck in that unit that we saw that was decent, all others were dinks!
Unless by noon the 1st day hunters killed them all, but were were there for 3 days after a doe.
did see more antelope along that northern border your right, mostly groups of does/yearlings with maybe a small buck leading them, and again was worried about the mix of public/private, so stuck to the bigger blocks of public ground. maybe that unit gets hammered opening morning??
after reading about that winter kill in 2010/2011, I wonder if I was seeing the results of that?
Antelope are probably the TOUGHEST animal to judge IMO, I've shot 500lbblack bear just shy of B&C, I can judge whitetails/elk in 15secs within 10" of gross measurements, after years of antelope hunting I finally took, we took 2 nice trophies just shy of 80" one had 6.5" prongs,
Originally Posted by Fish
the difference from a dink and a booner doesn't take much, although side by side they will look different, at least on the wall, in the field, good luck!
I totally agree about guys shooting the first 65-70" buck they see, or not even, to each their own, but if you want meat, just shoot a doe? or 2, or 4 right? Most guys would rather take a dink than get skunked though, I however am not one of those guys, I've been skunked on more hunts than many easterners have probably taken out west. If I was willing to take a dink, my hunt success rate would probably be about 95% but who cares?
Also why burn 4 points on a blue chip if you're going to shoot a 65" buck? in hopes they may get lucky with a booner? once in a lifetime type buck? I think this is how many guys hunt, that once in a lifetime buck is a once in a lifetime because it was the first buck to show up that day within shooting range and happened to be a booner, vs. the guy who has passed 20 bucks by the end of the season and finally gets a big boy or nothing at all.
It's like those pictures of guys next to a barn with 20 bucks mounted, and when you look close they're dinks, it's like, is he a master hunter? hunting isn't tough, trophy hunting is tough!
Hey Roger, I decided to use my 3 pts. on 74, and will also be a week late. Hope to run into you and MH7wsm if we all draw. Good luck, both of you.
I agree also. Mosy guys are more than happy with a mid 70 buck. I know I was, and I still haven't killed one past the 80 inch mark. With non res tags so hard to draw in good areas ,I'll only be hunting for the big boys from now on.
I also think that non residents that are not looking for real quality animals make a big mistake trying to draw quality areas and not trying to kill a decent buck. I think you can get on a lot of these eastern private land areas for a resonable tresspass fee and kill a 11-13 antelope and a few does and hunt EVERY YEAR. $50 -200 isn't too much to pay if you and your party have the ranch to yourselves for a few days. Not having excess hunting pressure is well worth that.
Good luck to you to Bullbuster. I will probably be the only one out there with a crappy camper from the 60's but it should still be a good time. I hope we run into each other so we can bull**** about the nice antelope that we shot.
I'll be tent camping with a trailer with 2 quads. White F350 that says "Wing Music Ranch" on each door.Should br there the 26 or 27. If I draw my Colo goat tag for unit3 I'll be hunting it on the way home.
We may have to team up! ha.
Originally Posted by Fish
I can't tell you how many times I hear... "This is my first (insert animal) hunt, so the 1st legal animal is what I want" Really? You're in a elk unit with 400" elk all around and you'll take a spike, 4x4??
I'm done hunting bad units, I'll be back to WY, but plan to hunt NM, NV and if I ever get lucky AZ for antelope, may do those hunts before WY again, and other species have now in higher demand now that I have a good antelope. Might make my next WY hunt easier to hold out for a whopper, course they are hard to judge, so something you think is 85 might be 80, or 90, although I think when I see a booner plus he'll look huge.
I'd certainly rather wait a year or two extra for a premo unit, high end trophy quality, and less pressure.
You can shoot a booner or a world record anywhere, but I think your odds of shooting a booner certainly are great in great units than ok/bad units.
I remember reading somewhere that Arizona was I think holding antelope classes prior to hunts trying to get guys who wait 20 years for an antelope tag to take a monster vs. some 75" goat, ie too many guys were taking sub part goats for the areas/units.
btw after comparing what I thought was a big 80" goat to these monster 95" record breakers I may have developed goat fever! I really want a monster antelope! and you have to chase them where they exist! and WY can/does produce some big boys.
Luck certainly doesn't hurt.
My next WY antelope hunt may be in one of the best units, and hold for a whopper or nothing, of course I don't know where the other state record came from but the 1 came out of 73 I believe, which isn't much of a special unit, more of a numbers game, ie someone has to get lucky and shoot a big boy in every unit every year.
In fact I often wonder if state/world records are more likely to come out of less known areas/units because in the good units guys just want a booner and when/if they see one they're taking it! where as in other units big boys can grow old and avoid pressure and guys aren't trying to shoot a booner.
oh well, happy hunting!
Doubt I will draw it this year unless im really lucky but I put 74 as my first choice this morning. Even if I dont draw it Im gonna try to do some scouting on my way back from 16. Good luck everyone!