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  1. #1
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    My 2017 Wyoming Deer and Antelope Hunt (lots of pics)

    I'm a little late in posting this story, but hopefully it'll help someone next year!

    Back in August, I took my wife and 2 year old son to Wyoming on a short scouting trip/ family vacation
    That story is here: http://forum.eastmans.com/showthread...d-South-Dakota

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    In October, I was able to sneak away from my 2 jobs and get some hunting in. I arrived in Wyoming on October 11th with a Region Y deer tag, a unit 20 Antelope buck, 3 unit 20 does and a unit 22 doe tag. I had 3 days before my 2 friends from Minnesota arrived to hunt with me. Both of them had the same tags as me. I planned on scouting for a couple days and trying to fill my Unit 22 doe since the season had been open a couple weeks already.

    Day 1-

    I spent the first day planning where I'd camp. In August, we camped pretty high up, around 7000 ft. It was windy there but I saw lots of antelope up high there. I arrived on the mountain around 2am and slept for a little. As daylight broke on the 12th, I realized the basin prairie at that elevation was pretty much a wasteland. A little snow covered the shaded areas and the few trucks of elk hunters camping there. The wind was blistering and it became obvious this wasn't going to be where I'd find antelope. I putted around for a couple hours checking trail cameras I left in August and studying tracks at the water holes. Sometime while doing this, my buddy sent me a picture of a 30 foot ice castle he rented for the trip. I was content on tent camping, in fact I like it better, but I wasn't going to snub my nose at a week in a heated ice cabin on wheels. There was no way he'd be able to drag it up the mountain, so I began the hunt for camp elsewhere. I dropped down to 3500 ft. and found a level spot. Nothing exciting there. I pitched my wall tent and planned for a couple nights alone before they arrived.



    Day 2-

    I spent most of the day scouting deer. I relocated 2 nice 4 points that I had previously found in August. They weren't giants, but very nice bucks for region Y. They followed the same trails and patterns from the summer too. Antelope proved really tough to find. I mean really tough. All the spots that held goats in the summer were empty. After a few long hikes, I found goats bedded, but nothing that excited me. Then again, it was a unit with leftover tags that I drew as a 3rd choice, I wasn't expecting much. That evening I glassed a new area and found a ton of small bucks. Deer were very thick but they were all 2.5 or younger. I pitched a small tent at the base of the hill the 2 big 4 points were at to give myself an advantage for scouting the next morning.



    Day 3-

    I glassed the 2 4 points at daylight again. They followed the script perfectly. I hiked to see where they'd bed and was pretty disappointed to see about a dozen pop-up campers and tents where the bucks were walking. They bounded out like crazy and ran onto private ground. I guess I should've mentioned by now this unit has very little public. Small parcels were key to finding animals, but that meant they all ran to private ground as soon as a truck slowed down on the road 1500yds away. Anyway, I was pretty bummed. I knew the bucks probably wouldn't feed back the way they had done all summer and the night before. I still had hope for the morning though.

    I spent the afternoon scouting unit 22 for a doe. I actually found a pretty good number of antelope on 22. Very limited pieces of public land and it required some serious hiking, but it was rare not to find a goat. I spotted herd on the very back edge of a BLM section. Right at a mile away. There was a really, really nice buck in that herd, really nice. The land dipped into a creek and a cattle pasture. My hope was to cover an "L" shape that would total 2 miles. I started the hike, dropped into the creek and everything pretty much worked perfect. I got to 500 yards, ranged the goats, and realized they were just off BLM by about 100 yds. I waited and they worked right to me to about 275-300 yds. I leveled out my .308 at 275 yards...man that buck is nice, B&C for sure! I picked out a doe and squeezed one off. She ran about 40 yards and toppled. Pretty easy tag to fill, which surprised me.



    Later in the hunt, my 2 hunting buddies blew a stalk and missed does, 4 times. Target panic is a beast after a 2 mile stalk!
    My Minnesota friends arrived that night in the ice castle and set up. Man that sucker was warm! Trucks piled into the mountain all night as is typical for an easy to draw unit. Pretty frustrating, but, it's what I expected.

    Last edited by GOSHENGRUNTER; 12-06-2017 at 03:17 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Day 4-

    I set my buddies up on a 2 track where I had seen lots of small bucks. They aren't trophy hunters and would shoot the first legal buck they saw. I hiked high on a hill to set up for the 2 big 4 points. Daylight broke and I realized a father/son had seen my light and hiked to the bottom of the hill. Hard to get mad a dad hunting with his kid, but I was a little grumpy about being encroached on. In reality, getting mad about hunting pressure on opening day is stupid. There's a whole lot of people piling in a small piece of land. What is worth getting mad about is watching the 2 big 4 points on private work directly to me, cross the road and stand on private ground at 150 yards. I waited patiently for them to cross onto public, which they would have, had a beer-gutted redneck not poached them in the middle of the road on private ground. A tubby 20 something girl smoking a vape pen and her equally tubby backer-chewin friend exited the truck while grandpa watched them drag the poached buck to the truck, toss it in, and beat feet off the mountain. Yeah, that was a bummer. I then watched deer after deer after deer run to the fence, get to where the buck was poached, and high tail it the other way. The kid below me did get to shoot a nice 3 point so I was pretty happy for him. My buddies saw a few but never had a shot.



    Midday we headed to some public sections across the unit. I glassed a decent 13" buck and a whole bunch of does about 2 miles from the road. We hiked in and set up. I wanted my friends to start knocking down animals. I've killed antelope and a 13" buck isn't what I had my sights set on. The goats were on a saddle about 200 yards from where we stopped hiking. The wind covered our noise very well and the herd had no idea we were there. I laid out plan for my friends (a father and adult son) to put a stalk on them. The idea was they'd stalk to about 100yds and drop a couple, I would go behind the saddle and wait for them to run in hopes to pick off a doe. It took about 5 minutes to get set up. I waited to hear a gunshot. Nothing...nothing...nothing...BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! They both unloaded apparently. I was shocked the goats didn't run towards me. About the time I began to think I had misjudged the lay of the land, a thundering herd of antelope hooves came racing over the saddle at me. I'm guessing it was at about 4 steps when the antelope realized I was there. I'm not sure who was more startled, them or me, but I'm pretty sure death-by-antelope was not how I wanted to spend opening day. I fired a round into the ground and the antelope split to either side of me Lion King style. Not gonna lie, it was actually pretty cool since I didn't get trampled. Keeping my underwear clean was an added bonus! The buck, who looked a lot bigger at 4 yards than he did at 2 miles, stopped at 80 yds and begged to be shot. Now I'm kind of a trophy hunter, but a cool hunt needs to be remembered and that buck would make a sweet skull mount. I free handed a shot into his lungs and dropped him. About the time he fell, a doe meandered up the hill and tipped over. I wrapped my buck tag on the antelope and began to quarter him for the 2 mile-ish pack out. The son had made a good shot on a big nanny and planned on throwing her over his shoulders. We made the hike out in pretty good time!



    That evening we hunted a small piece of public where I'd seen some decent deer. The dad and son set up and the former took a nice 2 point. With everyone in camp filling a tag, it was a pretty good opening day.



    Day 5-

    I'm not really sure how exciting I can make 12 antelope doe stories. We had a lot of tags. We filled 3 doe tags on day 5 and missed a whole bunch of animals. My wall tent began to serve as out meat locker. It was cool enough that we could hang each quarter for a day or 2. It really helped the meat turn out. These antelope were definitely the best tasting I've ever had. Oh! I did hit a head shot on a running antelope doe...that was kinda cool.

    Day 6-

    We hunted unit 22 in the morning and filled another doe tag. Guys, if you want a good leftover tag, unit 22 is really good if you're willing to drive half hour between sections, hike, and glass. I split up from my buddies and tried to find a better deer to shoot. I found a big 2x3 that was about 22-24". I kinda wanted to shoot him but I left him in his bed. I hiked down a small knoll and found a dad and young son who were strategizing a stalk on a forky about a million yards away. I told them I found a good buck bedded and offered the location on my gps. I gave a little advice on how the land lays and wished em luck. I never got to talk to them again, but I saw the buck hanging in their camp that evening!

    I found a decent herd of deer a few hours later and was able to get my buddies son a shot on a 2 point. He dropped it on a hill side about 200 yards out. He was pumped! He was even more pumped as he threw his rifle at me and said "There's a giant down there!!! Shoot him!!! Shoot Him!!!" I raised up on a 4 point that looked good from the side, he even had brow tines. But he was small. Much smaller than I wanted. I convinced my buddies I wasn't going to shoot and we went to recovers the son's deer.




    That evening the son filled his antelope buck tag on a 9" buck too. Dad shot a doe.
    Last edited by GOSHENGRUNTER; 12-06-2017 at 03:26 PM.
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  5. #3
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    Day 7-

    We split up again and I hiked a mountain. It was steep and thick and nasty and looked beautiful. I got to the top by sunrise and realized I was easily 2000 feet above my truck. That was a really tough hike. I set up my spotter and began to glass. I was very excited to finally be away from the crowd. I could glass 3 basins and a private land crop field. I saw lots of deer and goats in the green field, but nothing was coming up high to bed. I pulled off my glass for a second and saw the one thing I totally didn't expect...a hunter. Who was this moron who hiked up here? I thought for sure I was the only one that stupid! Ended up being a super nice dude from Missouri. We hiked down together and complained about hunting pressure. He thought he was the only moron dumb enough to hike that mountain!

    I glassed a stud buck that was impossible to get to. I guess I could've got to him, but I needed a hang glider, block and tackle, about a mile of rope and some carabiners. I let him sleep and moved on.

    Bzzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz.....ah phone service. The world seems to fall apart every time I leave for a hunt. Nothing too serious this time but my wife was getting antsy for me to come home, work was ceasing to function, and my part time sales gig was releasing the entire 2018 line of products.

    I decided I'd go try to find the 4 point from the day before and shoot him. It didn't take long to find him running does in the bottom of a basin right off the road. You'd never see him without getting out of the truck, which we all know people don't do often. I left him and checked a few more spots, saying a little prayer that I'd see a 200" giant bedded under a rock face somewhere. Surprised of all surprises.....I didn't. I stalked down to the 4 point, and chambered a round. I took my time watching him run does and do deer things that we often miss when we shoot right away. I had made up my mind I'd only take a perfect quartering away neck shot. Partly because I wanted him to drop in his tracks and partly because I was trying to give myself reasons not to shoot. Similar to the goat buck I shot, this was just kind of one of those cool moments. I was literally surrounded by hunters, dozens of them on a piece of public that was barely a section wide. I had snuck off the road and found a whole herd of deer that had no pressure and no cares. It's really amazing how they hide and find shelter in these small areas. After nearly an hour watching this buck play with does, grunt, and be a typical 3.5 y.o. buck deer I decided I would take him. I said a little prayer of thanks and concluded it as the buck gave me the shot I wanted. It was actually a challenging shot. A very steep angle, heavy cross wind, and small window....I was proud when he folded up and dropped.



    Day 8-

    A few doe tags left to fill and the dad's antelope buck. We went to a section of state land we affectionately dubbed "Poachers Knoll". Every time we went there we saw some type of illegal activity. It was a running joke that each time we drove by, someone would be across the boundary line, shooting from a truck, or high tailing it from the area. This morning, no one was there. We quickly found a herd of does with a nice 13" buck. We timed our shots and filled 3 tags from that herd. The dad took the nice buck and we punched 2 of our remaining 5 doe tags.
    I tagged out later that morning on a chip shot after a solid 50 yard stalk to an elevated ridge. We hunted hard the rest of the night and I watched the father and son shoot a whole bunch of prairie dogs and miss a whole bunch of antelope.



    Day 9-

    We packed camp, hunted for a doe briefly and called it a hunt. The Game Warden stopped by and checked out heads and meat. I'm always impressed by the kindness and knowledge of Wyoming's GW's. I sure wish ours would take notes back home!



    Wyoming is always such a blast to hunt. Hoping to draw an elk tag this year with 3 points. I'm going to save up some pp's for goats and deer for a couple years. I scouted 73 on the way out and saw more antelope in 2 hours than I had seen all week.

    Take Aways-
    Region Y has lots of deer and lots of hunters.
    Unit 22 has a lot of antelope.
    Unit 20 does not.

    I'd do the hunt again, but I'd probably wait until the 2nd or 3rd week of season.

    God Bless and Happy Hunting!
    -GG
    Last edited by GOSHENGRUNTER; 12-06-2017 at 03:29 PM.
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  8. #4
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    Some more pics

    The ice castle!


    The meat locker wall tent


    One of the big 4 points the night before it got poached


    If youre going to miss, at least have a good photographer who is tagged out!



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    Great write-up

    Congratulations on a great week of hunting and fellowship!

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    Fantastic! What an adventure.

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    Great stories and hunt. Thanks for sharing!

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    Very cool! You guys did great. Awesome story too
    ... because every picture tells a story

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    Sounds like you had a great hunt, congrats.
    Did report the poachers to the authorities?
    When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gr8bawana View Post
    Sounds like you had a great hunt, congrats.
    Did report the poachers to the authorities?
    Oh yeah. After i hiked down i drove straight to the check station in Kaycee and told them. I took some pics of the truck and rednecks and gave them as well. Never heard anything of it.

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