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Location: Utah
Joined: 12/15/2004
Posts: 2
new pronghorn hunter

I am a return hunter, desiring to hunt pronghorn this year in utah. I have been out of the seen for the last, oh probably 4-5 years. I am a new resident in Utah and know nothing about the territory here. So I would like to know if there is anyone that can give me some good advice on where to hunt pronghorns and prefered gear that i should buy. I have read some of the articles an they help tramendously but i would like some additional input. thanks

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Joined: 06/18/2004
Posts: 66
new pronghorn hunter

Use a flat shooting rifle of .243 or .257 caliber (.243, 6 mm Remington, .240 Weatherby Magnum, .257 Roberts, .25-06, .257 Weatherby Magnum) for preference. .270, .7 mm Mag, .30-06, .300 Win Mag also work well, but more powerful than needed. Practice 200, 300, and even 400 yard shots. Try to stalk closer, but sometimes you don't have this opportunity.

Wyoming has lots of tags and they cost about $237 for a non-resident. I don't know anything about Utah's antelope scene. In Wyoming you can typically pay a "trespass fee" to some landowners to hunt on their land if you don't have access to hunting lands or don't want to hunt public land.

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Location: Baltimore, MD
Joined: 12/16/2004
Posts: 1
new pronghorn hunter
alsatian wrote:
Use a flat shooting rifle of .243 or .257 caliber (.243, 6 mm Remington, .240 Weatherby Magnum, .257 Roberts, .25-06, .257 Weatherby Magnum) for preference. .270, .7 mm Mag, .30-06, .300 Win Mag also work well, but more powerful than needed. Practice 200, 300, and even 400 yard shots. Try to stalk closer, but sometimes you don't have this opportunity.

Wyoming has lots of tags and they cost about $237 for a non-resident. I don't know anything about Utah's antelope scene. In Wyoming you can typically pay a "trespass fee" to some landowners to hunt on their land if you don't have access to hunting lands or don't want to hunt public land.

Can you suggest some landowners who may be willing to let me pay for hunting their land? I would be driving out form the east and would like to maximize my chances.

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Joined: 06/18/2004
Posts: 66
new pronghorn hunter

Comet:

Go to the Wyoming Fish and Game Department web page at

http://gf.state.wy.us/

and read up a bit on the regulations, particularly pick an antelope hunting unit or two that you are going to apply for. Somewhere in this web site, probably somewhere under HUNTING, you can find odds of drawing in the different units for non-residents. Some units have very low odds of drawing -- say 10%. To me, this means I am liable to have to wait 5 years, on average, to be drawn in this unit. I prefer to apply in units where I have a very high probability of being drawn, for example unit 23 or unit 24. Unit 23 is very close to Gillette and maybe even includes Gillette.

Once you have picked a unit, go to the Wyoming Fish and Game Department web page

http://gf.state.wy.us/admin/regional/index.asp

which lists regional offices. Choose a regional office you think is near your chosen unit (they will correct you if you guess wrong and direct you to the proper regional office), call them on the phone, and ask them to email or mail you a list of land owners in the units you are interested in who will accept a trespass fee to hunt their land. Once you have the list, start calling land owners from the list. Ask how much they charge, what kind of arrangement the hunting is (how many hunters, how many days, will there be other hunters besides your group hunting on the land, do you pay if you don't bag an animal, etc.). Ask how plentiful pronghorn are on their land and what your chances of success are.

There is quite a range in prices and arrangements. I'm guessing you can expect to pay $100 to $150 per hunter for a couple of days of hunting on the low side. The best land -- i.e., land holding pronghorns with larger than average horns -- will probably be leased by outfitters, and you would have to hire those outfitters to hunt this land for lots of money. I paid $125/hunter for two days of hunting a 1280 acre ranch outside of Gillette. This worked out well for us. Do try to go someplace that has lots of pronghorn. The area just south of Gillette certainly qualifies in this regard: there are truck loads of pronghorn in the Gillette area, and the drawing odds are excellent in unit 23 which is just south of and may butt up against Gillette.

If you have other questions, please ask. I have done this only once, but you don't have to do it a hundred times to figure out what is going on or how to make your arrangements. I would like to figure out how to hunt public land without having to worry about competing with hoardes of other hunters. I'm more willing to pay out a trespass fee than worry about hunting in a sea of other hunters: I had to drive 1100 miles from near Dallas, Texas, to do my hunt and I figured a couple extra hundred dollars wasn't too much to avoid this problem. If you went there and just directly spoke to landowners, you might persuade one to let you hunt their land for free. Generally, pronghorn are considered to compete with their livestock for the scarce brouse their ranch land produces. To a certain extent, the pronghorn are considered varmints for this reason! My ranch host encouraged me to go into town and get extra doe permits and take does, thus reducing the population on his ranch. Also, hunting public land may be better if you avoid opening weekend and hunt during the week. So, if you hunted mid-week two weeks after the opening on public land? Maybe this would avoid the crowding problem. I don't know.

If you have questions about handling your pronghorn meat, I can help you with that also. I skinned, quartered, butchered, and packaged my own meat. I skinned and quartered on the ranch, in a shed. I butchered and packaged in my hotel room -- 2 lopes! For two antelopes I put 10 LBS of dry ice in the bottom of a large cooler, about 1/4" of newspapers directly on the dry ice, the packaged of antelope meat on top of the newspaper, another 1/4" of newspapers on top of the antelope meat, and then another 10 LBS of dry ice on top. I closed the cooler and then sealed, as best I could, the cooler with lots of duct tape. The dry ice thaws and produces lots of CO2 gas, which can actually lead to oxygen starvation and passing out while you are driving in a closed vehicle if you don't take this precaution!!! This quantity of dry ice froze my meat solid and kept it that way three days. I then unpacked the meat, added more dry ice, and repacked the meat. This lasted another three days until I got homw (I did not return directly home after the conclusion of my antelope hunt). No melting ice. The meat is sharp frozen. The way to go. Dry ice costs about $1/pound out in the west.

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Location: Utah
Joined: 12/15/2004
Posts: 2
about comments

i really do appreciate the comments to my inquir about pronghorn. the more and more i read about this wonderful animal the more and more i want ot bag the idea of hunting for them in utah and go hunt for them in wyoming. the habitat just seems to be a more lucrative place to raise such a fine animal. thanks to all.

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