2019 Trip Advice

SouthernEngineer

New Member
Jul 27, 2015
12
0
Brooklet, Ga
I am in the beginning stages of planning a 2019 western hunting trip; which will be my first western hunting experience, but not my first trip out. Most of my western experience takes place in the northeastern portion of New Mexico, which I know is a long shot of getting tags.
For this trip, being my first western hunting experience, I don?t have a preference on where I go or what species I am after, I just need something to break the ice. Currently I am unsure of who would be going with me yet, my wife really wants to go, and my hunting buddy is showing interest, but I don?t see him being really committed. I took my wife out to New Mexico September of 2016 and she got to experience the elk bugling and rutting activity and fell in love, so I probably need to plan on her going.
So saying that, myself and wife?s big game hunting experience is hunting whitetails here in Georgia, which is stand hunting so nothing like what we will be doing out west. We both go to the gym around four days a week and are getting into better shape to be able to handle and enjoy the hunt, but the one thing we struggle with is the altitude. We both lived out whole life in coastal Georgia at pretty much sea level, our last trip I wanted us to do some hiking but we just couldn?t breathe, this was at around 7,000?. We did get up around 10,000? and we walked around some and the lack of air we struggle with.
With all this being said, what advice would you give for a starting point.
 

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
You might want to consider an antelope hunt to Wyoming. You can easily draw a doe/fawn (type 6) tag for most units, no points needed. Easy hunt, see the country and take home some meat. I am going the 1st week of October to Wy with 2 friends from Calif who have never hunted antelope. We have 2 tags apiece, so we will be getting 6 animals.

Something to consider.
 

LCH

Very Active Member
Jun 28, 2015
768
236
Southern Indiana
CC has good advice on the Wyoming pronghorn hunt.

Wyoming has cow elk hunts that start 10/1 or earlier, that's a lot of fun to hunt rutting elk with a rifle, even if you can only shoot cows. Cow tags are also cheaper and easier to get than bull tags.

Mule deer is also doable, my first hunt out west was a 2nd season deer hunt in Colorado.

But for a real slam dunk, pronghorn is the way to go.
 

HighPlainsHunter

Active Member
Mar 1, 2018
419
3
Laramie
Since you have time to research that would be my recommendation. Find an area where you can focus your attention the next 5+ years. I would also recommend a Wyoming antelope hunt. It's easy, they stand out there all day long, etc.... If I was in your shoes I would find a place where you can hunt deer/antelope every year and then move into cow/bull elk hunts in the same region as you build confidence and skills. By hunting the same area you will learn how the animals move and find yourself being more successful each year. You will run into deer and elk while antelope hunting and learn where they like to hang out. Many guys focus on drawing good tags while hopping around every year but I prefer to hunt the same areas year after year. Seems like it takes 2-3 years to really get to know an area but it makes it so much easier to hunt.

You will also find places you like to stay, eat, visit, shop, meat processors, etc...

Another great tip to to visit your area outside hunting season. Plan a spring/summer scouting/fishing trip to the area which can be more family oriented.
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
6,479
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Gypsum, Co
Archery or rifle?

Colorado has a lot of OTC units for elk rifle and either sex archery and quite a few that you can draw a mule deer tag with zero points for both archery and rifle.

A Wyoming antelope hunt would be nice in that the season is longer and if you can pick and choose the time frame you should be able to head out in better weather instead of fighting snow storms.

If a Wyoming antelope hunt suits you fancy I would pick up a preference point this year as a just in case you start planning that way.
 

SouthernEngineer

New Member
Jul 27, 2015
12
0
Brooklet, Ga
Thanks for all the reply's so far, some good advice here. I have been leaning toward a Wyoming Antelope hunt for the first trip. Looking at the draw odds, I can buy us one point this year and should be able to draw a standard NR antelope tag with one point in a lot of areas for next year. From from what I read above it sounds like we can stack up some type 6 tags with our type 1 tag, if we were to draw.
For now, I think I'm going to start looking toward the WY antelope route and looking into areas and public land access.
 

Colorado Cowboy

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Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
Just be careful about the units that you can draw with just one point. There are reasons it only takes one point, usually because the unit is mostly private and does not have a lot of BLM land for the public to access.
 

wy-tex

Veteran member
May 2, 2016
1,019
278
SE Wyoming
You can also apply for those doe tags in better areas than your 1 PP buck areas. Doe tags are a random draw so maybe find an area along your route to the buck spot for more access.
 

Prerylyon

Veteran member
Apr 25, 2016
1,302
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Cedar Rapids, IA
I don't mean to cast a cloud over the solid suggestion of doe or cow hunts in WY; but the last few yrs, some of these tags in decent areas, with fair to good access, have been getting harder to draw.

I consider myself still a beginner at western big game hunting, even after 3 seasons and just 1 tag filled. So, take my opinion fwiw.

I got my 2nd choice doe antelope tags this yr in what many consider to be a junk unit lol. That's ok. I'll still get to hunt out west on public land; undoubtedly come away from it with some new found knowledge and the thrill of the chase in spectacular surroundings.

Keep building pref pts, learn about where the critters live out west, and how to get access to them. [emoji6]

Regards,

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337Z using Tapatalk
 

go_deep

Veteran member
Nov 30, 2014
2,592
1,866
Wyoming
OTC archery elk Colorado, OTC spike elk Utah, cow elk and antelope Wyoming, eastern plains Montana deer, OTC elk Idaho.
Couple options with little to no wait.
Good luck!
 

kesand72

Active Member
May 5, 2013
373
8
Joliet, Il
Plus 1 on all the Wyoming antelope advice here.
Get an antelope point this year, and really, if you think hunting the West may be a regular thing, pick up a deer n elk point while you're at it.
Next fall, drive to Wyoming, pitch a tent, throw some ribeyes on the grill, and Chase antelope to your heart's content. Then, do something similar for 2020.
Good luck!!
 

JD88

New Member
Aug 29, 2018
22
0
Southwest Colorado
I agree with Wyoming antelope you can buy a point from now until October and from what I have seen there are units that you can draw with 1 point access might be a little hard to find but with maps and gps definitely doable
 

LCH

Very Active Member
Jun 28, 2015
768
236
Southern Indiana
This year there were some good areas that could be drawn with zero points in the special draw. I got one of them. Next year, though, who knows.. people may have warmed up to the idea of a $700 pronghorn tag.