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Joined: 02/27/2010
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Wannabe antelope hunter

I would like to plan a trip to Wyoming this fall with my son to hunt antelope (rifle). Neither of us have hunted antelope before. I've spent countless hours on the web (including this site) researching information and am now more confused than I was when I started. Here are a few of the 500 questions I have...

I'm assuming I will need an outfitter since this is my first time antelope hunting. However, I would be perfectly comfortable staying in a motel and driving each day to hunt. I don't necessarily need a "full service" outfitter. It doesn't appear that there are a lot of outfitters that offer this option. Any suggestions?
Also, would I be better off to apply for a tag in a unit with a higher concentration of antelope and then try to find an outfitter? If so, how do I find out where the higher concentration units are? Do some units offer a better chance to get drawn than others? What are the chances of both of us drawing a tag the first year?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

HOGGETTER's picture
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Re: Wannabe antelope hunter

I talk to a outfitter at the sport expo, i've seen him there the past five years and last year i talked to him about a antelope hunt also with my son and I, It was $1900 guided with meals and lodging or $1400 without and he would put you up at the motel every morning. And if i remember correct he had a Mule deer / antelope combo for $3900 fully guided ful accomodations and had been getting 100% harvest and draw results. If you want call him and ask your other 499 questions 1-877-347-4662

exbiologist's picture
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Re: Wannabe antelope hunter

Antelope is one thing I can't see ever hiring an outfitter for. If it makes you comfortable go for it, and there are lots of good ones. However, there is nothing to finding antelope. They stand there in the open and stare at you from a comfortable distance. The fun part is getting close. The only trick is finding public ground, and throughout much of the west that isn't very difficult. But like I said, if you want an outfitter, and private land to yourselves, go for it. It's certainly the cheapest big game animal to hunt.

Regarding the other questions, yes there are places with more per square mile than others. Wyoming ranges from 27 per square mile to about 4 in some areas. But that's a plug for myself, because Wyoming G&F doesn't even know that.

Yes there are places in Wyoming and Montana that you can draw for your first year. You just have to learn how to read the draw results. Also, you can apply as a party in many states, so either you both draw or neither of you draw. I'd recommend Wyoming over any other state.

It's a lot of fun, super casual, and if the unit you are looking at has below 85% success, it's a bad unit. Antelope are easy, which is why there are no OTC areas. Heck, our pioneers and market hunters nearly extirpated them with "primitive" equipment.
Wyoming application deadline is in two weeks.

dcl
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Location: n.illinois
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Re: Wannabe antelope hunter

exbiologist is correct. I wouldn't hire a guide for antelope. There are lots of them to be hunted in certain areas of Wyoming. What we did is call the local wildlife biologist and obtain a list of land owners that charge a tresspass fee to hunt. The biologist or local DNR warden will know which areas to concentrate your efforts in. Talk to a bunch of land owners. See what kind of property the own.-Sage flats, pasture land, how much water, any crops such as alphafa which will draw and hold lots of goats. The land owners we deal with are very helpful and want the goats gone. Been hunting the same ranch for 4 yrs now and going back this year also. hope this helps. pm me if you want more info. dave

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Joined: 08/13/2009
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Re: Wannabe antelope hunter

Antelope outfitters are just overpaid taxi drivers. Anybody that puts a little effort into the hunt can do it themselves. E-mail me at mandrsmith@live.com and I'll advise you on how to do it yourself in northeast Wyoming. If you're on face book look us up at Empire Guesthouse and RV Park to see our operation and past hunters that did it themselves and saved 100's of dollars. No one has left here without there animal yet and they did it themselves.

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Re: Wannabe antelope hunter

Good guides can really help when it comes to judging a true trophy antelope buck. They can also help you get on some great land, where the big bucks live. If you just want to hunt antelope and kill a decent buck, you can do it by yourself, without the assistance that comes from guides and outfitters but if you want to hunt and kill a boone & crockett type trophy, a guide can really help.

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Re: Wannabe antelope hunter

Every thing you say is true. Did you know that the Wyomng record antelope was taken by a DIY hunter from Michagan on BLM land? The archery record was also taken by a DIY hunter on privite land. Sure guides can help, but at a cost. If seeing your name in a book is worth a couple of thousand dollars to you, then that's what you should do. If taking a good animal on your own and getting the personal satisfaction out it and saving a wad of money then that's what you should do. It's all about personal choice and I respect that, and every one else should to.

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Re: Wannabe antelope hunter

DIY is the way I hunt and I agree it's more rewarding to hunt this way. It also has taken me many, many years of hunting mature pronghorns to really know the difference between a true book buck versus a good mature buck. That Michigan hunter killed a huge buck, if I remember right 91 plus inches.

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Re: Wannabe antelope hunter

With antelope, and say mountain goats, there's a lot less of a difference between a book animal and a run of the mill two or three year old. Almost all antelope bucks look good. With deer and elk, even a non hunter can tell which is big and which is not without having a side by side comparison.

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Re: Wannabe antelope hunter

I have been hunting antelope for about 10 years now, and do agree on doing it yourself. But, if you do not have the time to go out to your hunting area and scout the area and get to know it your chances of getting a better than average one is very slim. Yes, a fellow from New York can put his trusty firearm into his truck drive out to Wyoming and shoot the first animal that he see and it may turn out to be a giant one but chances are very slim. So while I haven't done it if I was planning on a one time hunt and wanted to maximize my chances of a better than average buck I would hire a guide. You have to figure that the guides duties are to know the area and the animals in that area. Plus he should be able to get you onto some prime private property where you do not have to fight the other hunters for that one animal that you are putting the sneak on. That is my biggest gripe about hunting public lands. You spend a couple of hours trying to get close to a prime animal and then have some so called hunter take a 800 yard shot at it and good by antelope.

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Re: Wannabe antelope hunter

I have kind of decided a guide might be the way for me to go on my first antelope hunt. Unfortunately, I will be driving approx. 1,000 miles to get there so I won't have the opportunity to do any scouting or check out the area. I would hate to drive that far and then try to figure out what I'm doing and where I'm going to hunt once I get there. After I've been there once, I might be more inclined to a DIY hunt.

I've found an outfitter in the Buffalo area who is reasonably priced (relatively speaking) and seems to have satisfied former hunters. Is anybody familiar with the antelope population in that area and the odds of drawing a tag for that area?

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