Please help me to settle a friendly debate between me and my step-son. When is the "best" time to hunt buck antelope near Casper, Wyoming? ie Early, mid or late season for a rifle hunt. Thank you in advance.
I've not hunted antelope yet but I do know that by the end of the season, late, most huntable critters can be skittish if they have had a lot of hunting pressure put on them. With that said I think late in the season gives one better conditions weatherwise if spoilage of meat is a concern.
It seems that August and September, early season, is the "traditional" time to hunt antelope. I'll be heading to WY in Oct this year due to my work schedule but would prefer to hunt earlier if I could. I don't like skittish prey, but that's just me.
In my experience with hunting antelope in Montana, the early season is when every yahoo is out roadhunting. I haven't hunted antelope in Wyoming in the early season yet, but have been pretty content with mid and late season hunts.
I've only hunted antelope once in Wyoming (near Rawlins) and all six in our group killed a 13-16" buck on opening day. We only saw two other hunters, and none of the antelope were very skittish.
I also only hunted antelope once in Colorado (many years ago) and my ex and I each shot a buck and we were home by noon on opening day.
In the 35 or so years that I've been hunting antelope in Montana, I've always killed or had the opportunity to kill in the first two days of the season. One year my group waited until deer season to open (+/- Oct 23) so we could hunt both and again I shot my antelope the first day.
All of my hunts are DIY on public or Block Management land.
I've always hunted opening day and usually finished it up right then. This year will be different at least for the one trip BikerRn mentioned. The season will have been open several weeks if we draw the tag he applied for and will be hunting just to the west of Casper.
Most of you have taken the same stance as my step-son; hunt on opening day. He likes to get it done and feels the goats are less skitish. I prefer to hunt the last two weeks of the season since there is much less pressure and, in general, a lack of road hunters. I have also found that there are larger herds at this time thus making finding a larger buck easier to find. My main reason is I hate dealing with crowds. Thanks to all.
Out here in Colorado, and in the units that I haunt, it is a tricky game to figure out how far to pack in on a rifle hunt. You want to get away from the masses that have moved game away from the roads but might want to stay close enough that you are taking advantage of the animals forced movements. There is no universal distance but I like the 1.5 to 4 mile range for day hunts where I am not planning on bivying out. This keeps you in that productive buffer zone where the animals are really...