Antelope-What dates would you go?
My father and I were fortunate to draw Unit 74 so we are pretty pumped about it. It will be our first antelope hunt for both of us. Working on logistics and was just curious if you had the choice what dates would you go. Season opens Sept.20 and runs through Oct. 22. We will be flying into Denver and driving up with some other family members who just want to tag along. I'm leaning towards either Sept. 27-Oct. 4 or the following week Oct. 4-11. Based on hunting pressure, rut, etc. which dates would you choose? I'd love to hear any reasoning too.
Thanks in advance for any responses.
First off, you're smart in not going the first week of the season when the vast majority will hunt any season! Second, I would go 9/27-10/4 when the rut should still be going decent with the better bucks still with their herd of does, thus making it easier to find them. Your second choice really isn't that bad either in case you have a problem getting flights in/out of Denver, but some of the bucks may have left the main does they were with by then if the rut is a tad early and be cruising by themselves looking for a hot doe here and there. Either week you pick should give you a good hunt though and I wish you good luck in finding a nice one!
Last edited by Topgun 30-06; 06-23-2014 at 10:25 AM.
I agree with Topgun, like most animals, the small bucks and bulls start rutting first but the big ones know when it's time and start later. The only problem with later is the the antelope bucks start breaking their prongs and horn tips from fighting. Some wintering areas are best towards the end of the seasons when antelope start migrating in for winter and the area will actually have more antelope at the end of the season than at the beginning. Of course that means that other areas get pretty thin for antelope towards the end of the season. Hunting pressure can be mind boggling in some areas the first week of season. Area 88 comes to mind. I use to hunt that area in the 90's cuz it was close to home but I got sick of the crowds and quit going there. I absolutely hate crowded hunting areas. There aren't any crowds at the end of the season but the antelope get jumpy and the selection of buck might not be so good.
So I guess I didn't really answer your question. Sorry.
In my experience going after the season has been open for a while, during mid week, you can have a unit almost entirely to yourself. the first year I went to Wyoming hunting antelope I went on the 20th of oct, the season opened oct 1. I saw one pickup with a group of 3 hunters in it during 2 full days of hunting, other than the pickup I didn't see another soul out hunting. on the opposite side last year I went on opener which was on a weekend and the large parcel of public that I usually hunt, I'd only ever seen one other person hunting it the previous 3 years, had 5 or 6 pickups full of people in them. hunting was much more enjoyable in the other years I went later on in the season.
I usually go the last week of the season. The antelope are usually bunched-up then. Harder to stalk, but the big bucks who survived the season are around then, and usually they aren't to spooky . Most folks got their antelope the first week or two, and are long gone.
I get my best antelope then. I think Mike Eastman likes hunting late as well, I learned that in one of Mike's books.
I hunted 74 in 2011 and didn't start my hunt until around Oct 8th or so because I had a deer tag that opened Oct 15th. the place was empty of antelope hunters and many hunters told me where they had seen good bucks. Enjoy you hunt
Thanks for all the responses folks, I really appreciate it.
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Sounds like you have some good dates set, I would stick with them. Also later you have a much better chance of stormy weather making getting around not so enjoyable. Good luck!!!
[QUOTE=nunt'nbutmuleys;101468]Sounds like you have some good dates set, I would stick with them. Also later you have a much better chance of stormy weather making getting around not so enjoyable. Good
Either set of dates. The weather is a crapshoot. Last year it snowed the last week of september. I've had early October hunts fouled up by weather as well. The bucks will be rutting either way. If you asked mid Sept vs late October I'd advise you to go in september.
HMH you are correct with weather being a crapshot for sure as we just had snow last week in wonderfull wyoming, chances are we will get more storms later. Last year was the worst I've seen the weather that early. We got lots of weather for sure.
Originally Posted by nunt'nbutmuleys