Do-It-Yourself Wyoming Pronghorn

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I thought I would share a quick story for the guys considering coming out west for an antelope hunt and how easy it can be. With a little research you can get tags every year and lots of them. My dad, my son and I all drew three tags each in the initial draw but due to mistake on my part we got doe tags in one unit and any antelope in another. Fortunately we can drive to our hunting area in about 5 hours. When the leftover purchase became available we bought another 3 each for a total of 4 doe tags and 2 any antelope each. Problem was they were in 3 different units with 3 different opening dates.

We started our hunt by leaving home in mid September at 4 in the morning and pulled into our first unit where we held 9 doe tags at about 9:30. It didn't take long glassing from the truck to locate some herds and away we went on foot to plan our stalks. The unit we were hunting has a lot of public land and we were able to head off in diferent directions and all be stalking game at the same time. By the end of the first day we had 6 does skinned and quartered in coolers in the back of the truck and headed back to Rawlins for the night. Up and running the next morning we were tagged out by noon and back home in Colorado for a late dinner. Less than 48 hours and 9 lopes to cut and grind before taking off again the next weekend.

This time we were hunting in two different units near Laramie so although we were taking a different route, the travel time was the same. The first day we were hunting at first light in a new area we had never been to before, but as can often be the case with antelope if you are not looking for a true trophy and just enjoying yourself we had 3 fair bucks down by noon. We were hunting on HMA land here with not as much available so we were not picky. We tried another area that afternoon for our remaining 3 doe tags but didn't find any.

Next morning we were in a new unit in another HMA that turned out to not be as good as others we have hunted. Tons of other guys had permission slips and the ranch had already let it be hunted by paying customers before opening it to the public. Because of time constraints we used our any antelope tags on three does by the end of the day. That one hurt but we enjoyed the time and saw some other interesting animals out there.

Back to Laramie for the night and then just got up and headed for home in the morning, Stopped by the HMA we hunted 2 days before and and managed to fill our last 3 doe tags right at first light.

So there you go in less than 4 full days of actual hunting we were able to fill 18 antelope tags with only a little difficulty. In the future we are not going to get so many tags but try to focus on some better bucks. We should draw the area we hunted outside of Rawlins this year with the 3 points we had at application time. We do plan to pick up a few doe tags if there are leftovers again as we love antelope meat as the best there is.

Another tip if ever hunting around Laramie and need a hotel. If there is a home football game that weekend you will need to book it many months in advance or you will be driving a long, long ways to find some place to stay.

Also a game hoist that goes into your receiver hitch is a great time and back saver for all the skinning that needs to be done. And a game cart is a lot better than dragging for a mile over and over again.

Don't be afraid to give it a try guys, the hunt is easy just do your research to make sure you have a place to hunt and you will do great.

Comments

BikerRN's picture

Wade

You guys cleaned up!

I'm getting the urge to head to Wyoming and you aren't doing anything to disuade me from that idea. My spouse would say, "Shame on you." :) 

I will have to look in to OTC doe tags for next year when I find out what weeks I will have off for annual leave. I'm taking four weeks off one week at a time in various months. I will have to investigate what is in season and when I'm off.

Biker

ndemiter's picture

you're right that the HMA's

you're right that the HMA's have some great hunting, especially for speed goat.

I lived in Casper, WY for a while, and the hunting is super good. and easy. there's plenty of state and BLM land to hunt in the area.

it's pretty awesome to get out there and just lay waste to the antelope population.

i don't have any plans to return for a while, but antelope meat is my favorite. way above deer and elk, but not as good as sheep. the dall sheep still has the best meat i've tasted, but it's not all that much better than the antelope.

i think that many people that claim that the antelope meat isn't all the good are guilty of impropor  meat care in the field. it is imperitive that you clean and bone out the animal in the field... if not in the spot that it drops. i take "alaskan" game bags and quarter and cape the animal where it dies. if you get the blood to drain before it coagulates and keep the meat cool in the absolute fastest way possible, antelope meat is some of the best you'll ever try!

groovy mike's picture

Wow indeed Wade!

Wow indeed Wade! You guys not only had a lot of tags but knew where to find the antelope. Holy Smokes, that’s a lot of filled tags. And you make it sound easy. Somehow I’m sure it’s not as easy as it seems in your story. You said “make sure that you have a place to hunt” does that mean that you did not hunt on public land? Any tips on gaining access to areas similar to yours?

A story is always better with pictures too – so thanks for sharing those as well.

Would you guys agree with Cowgal and Hunter25 on the quality of the meat?

I’ve never really considered hunting pronghorns – mostly because they look “Goaty” to me. We raised goats when I was growing up. They smelled so bad we never tried to eat one. We sold them for meat but never ate one ourselves. I just have no desire to eat anything that tastes like a goat smells! Goat cheese smells and like goat to me too, and it tastes like a goat smells. So I’m not eager for more of anything goaty! Am I completely off base on this? What do prong horns taste like? Is there a gaminess? Or “strong” flavor. I know that how the meat is handled makes a huge difference as does the age of the animal and other factors. But if you were to compare antelope to say a white tail deer which I am more familiar with is the taste similar? Or does it taste more like mutton? Or does it taste like anything else caribou? moose? elk? Pork? Beef? Taste like chicken? Thanks for making it clear that you USE all the meat too. In my opinion, nothing hurts the reputation of hunting and hunters more in the eyes of the non-hunting public than killing without utilizing the full animal. Congrats on doing it the RIGHT way!

I love a happy ending and filling tags on a hunting trip with friends and family sure sounds like a happy ending to me. Thanks for sharing it.

Groovy Mike

Djfan's picture

Stop by here!

I am leaving on my first pronghorn hunt next week.  We just moved to Cheyenne, so it should be doable.  If you all want to hunt pronghorn here look me up.  We can get the same tag and go together next time!!

One more thought - The key to good lope meat is (according to those who have been teaching me) to clean it and get it as cold as possible as soon as possible.  One guy skins and quarters it right away, then puts it in cold water ASAP.  He says it makes all the difference.

I have had antelope and it is delicious.  Even my wife eats it, and she is world-class picky.  Can't wait to have my own.

numbnutz's picture

WOW!! You guys knocked it out

WOW!! You guys knocked it out of the park, filled 18 lope tags, thats a lot of good eats. I havent been lope hunting yet, I'm saving points here in oregon to get a good lope unt, its will take about 2 more years to get the tag i want. Again congrats on your sucessfull hunt and hope you have many more.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

There is a good looking pile

There is a good looking pile of antelope.  Some great looking bucks also.  Looks like you all had a real good time.  Congrats!

Deer Slayer's picture

Sure sounds like you guys all

Sure sounds like you guys all had a heck of a great time. my dad and I usually take out anywhere form 5-10 whitetails here in Ohio every year. My whole family loves the meat and we are usually able to give some to our friends too. Thanks for the story, it was a good one. Great pictures also.

cowgal's picture

antelope meat is the best

I agree 100%, antelope meat is my favorite as well. I've stated that many time here on BGH and also agree that the meat must be taken care of - immediately! The meat is mild and tender and does not have any gamey flavor at all. In fact it's milder than even elk, and I consider elk very good, especially cow. 

Ah... Wade... do you need any more friends??? smile I bet you go right by my house on your way to and from Wyoming for your hunts. Hint... hint... I'll even help with butchering and wrapping! My husband is excellent at skinning and trimming as well! 

hunter25's picture

Just wanted to make a note

Just wanted to make a note because of the comments about the meat. For us we have found that if taken care of thr antelope meat is usually the best there is. Tender with hardly any gamey taste compared to the other animals we take. Unfortunately because of their size you just don't get as much of it. We will not be getting quite so many tags this year as it is difficult getting that many animals processed when doing it yourself. I did give 3 of them to my ex father in law for dried meat as he can't get out to do much hunting anymore. Being a retired meat cutter though he gets them done twice as fast as I do.

In general I give away about half of what we kill every year to other family members and to some of my co workers. I will only give it to them if I know for sure it will be used and not wasted. As most of my friends and co workers are latino they have no problem with using the wild meat like a lot of other people seem to and often bring me some really good dishes to try they made from it.

Anyway I just did not want anyone to think we were killing more than we could actually use ,because with all the requests I get I can't even come close to hunting enough to make everyone happy.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Three generations of hunters

Three generations of hunters on an antelope hunting trip, I bet you guys all had a great time. Filling 18 tags in 4 days is pretty impressive no matter what kind of animal it is. Congratulations to you all on some nice looking antelope. I enjoyed the story and the pictures. Hopefully you guys love antelope meat because you should be stocked up for quite a while.

jaybe's picture

Wow! You guys really found

Wow! You guys really found the mother lode for antelope! That's some fine meat for the freezer, not to mention the great hunting experiences.

If that season was at the same time as the deer season, I'd get an antelope tag, but coming from Michigan, one trip out there per year is going to be all I can handle. Pulling my 5th wheel trailer at 7 miles per gallon, this is going to be an expensive trip with gas prices being what they are!

Thanks for the great short story. Those are some happy faces there. I hope everyone enjoys goat meat as much as they seem to enjoy the hunt.