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View Full Version : Wyo. Unit 63, way different that we thought



Daybreak
01-21-2012, 10:35 PM
First post. Went to Wyoming Sept. 2011. First non-guided antelope hunt ever. Three of us "Iowans" had 2 points, paid for special draw, and drew 63 after much research. Hunted first 3 days of season. mid Sept.

Do not take this wrong - we had a great time, we all got buck antelope (small to medium), learned a lot, no regrets....but just have some questions - things just did not seem to add up to expectations based on Eastmans MRS info. We are having pow-wow soon to make future plans and need some guidance.

3 basic questions. Where were all the hunters? Where were all the antelope? Were there really some big bucks there? With 500 tags as I recall and 1st day of season, we expected to work for place to camp and compete for antelope. We were the only hunters camping on public land for miles around, period. We hunted large central area with many miles of public land and no danger of straying on private. In fact, we never saw another group camping anywhere, except on private. Great, but does not make sense. All those tags have to get used, were they mostly on the 15% of unit in private land? Or do they hunt later in season? We heard exactly 4 shots opening day, saw 3 rigs drive through on a main two-track. That was it for 3 days. We loved the solitude, absolutely, but seemed oddly silent.

We were just not seeing bucks of any size, and not many numbers at all. Maybe saw 4-6 bucks per day. Arrived 2 days ahead to scout, worked hard daylight to dark, spotted, stalked, crawled - but I will tell you we had to work hard for three small to mediocre bucks and were glad to get them. We saw one large buck on private land. I will admit there were more antelope on the 15% private land, and some bigger bucks. Were the bucks on the public land, and we did not know how to hunt them? Hey, we were rookies I admit. Just seeking some insight.
Thanks much.

EBOLAVIRS
02-14-2012, 11:39 PM
First post. Went to Wyoming Sept. 2011. First non-guided antelope hunt ever. Three of us "Iowans" had 2 points, paid for special draw, and drew 63 after much research. Hunted first 3 days of season. mid Sept.

Do not take this wrong - we had a great time, we all got buck antelope (small to medium), learned a lot, no regrets....but just have some questions - things just did not seem to add up to expectations based on Eastmans MRS info. We are having pow-wow soon to make future plans and need some guidance.

3 basic questions. Where were all the hunters? Where were all the antelope? Were there really some big bucks there? With 500 tags as I recall and 1st day of season, we expected to work for place to camp and compete for antelope. We were the only hunters camping on public land for miles around, period. We hunted large central area with many miles of public land and no danger of straying on private. In fact, we never saw another group camping anywhere, except on private. Great, but does not make sense. All those tags have to get used, were they mostly on the 15% of unit in private land? Or do they hunt later in season? We heard exactly 4 shots opening day, saw 3 rigs drive through on a main two-track. That was it for 3 days. We loved the solitude, absolutely, but seemed oddly silent.

We were just not seeing bucks of any size, and not many numbers at all. Maybe saw 4-6 bucks per day. Arrived 2 days ahead to scout, worked hard daylight to dark, spotted, stalked, crawled - but I will tell you we had to work hard for three small to mediocre bucks and were glad to get them. We saw one large buck on private land. I will admit there were more antelope on the 15% private land, and some bigger bucks. Were the bucks on the public land, and we did not know how to hunt them? Hey, we were rookies I admit. Just seeking some insight.
Thanks much.

You my friend were duped by the latest craze in following whatever the major magazines say and expecting their advice to be correct. 63 USED to be good 4-5 years ago before it was "discovered" and pimped by all the magazines, websites, etc. Now it has WAY too many tags and the quality has plummeted. Don't get me wrong, 63 is a fun hunt, but with the thousand or so antelope they kill out of that unit every year now its just not what it was as far as trophy quality. Do yourself a favor, research the areas you want to hunt yourself. Make some phone calls to taxidermists, biologists, other hunters etc, don't just trust all the magazines. You will notice 63 has been downgraded to a green unit this year and thats about 2-3 years too late. I feel sorry for those that burned a bunch of points on 63 the last couple years. It is a zero point special unit AT BEST in my opinion for those that just want to have a fun hunt and don't mind spending the extra money. There is as good or better hunting in leftover units nearby.

jenbickel
02-15-2012, 07:01 AM
I hunt down kind of around that area also and hardly ever see hunters. I didn't see anyone when I was archery hunting this last year and when I go down for rifle, I only usually see like 2 people. The post above me is right, it used to be a really good unit. It's not just that everybody and their mother hunt there though. A few winters back, we had a horrible horrible horrible winter and the antelope population really took a huge hit. How many antelope there are and where they are and all that just really depends on our winters here. The antelope units are pretty big and so I think that the reason you're not seeing any other people is partially for that reason. Everyone is spread out. I usually don't camp when I go hunt down there, I stay in a motel. So there may be others that do that also. I'm sorry that you didn't have a very good year out here.. But I guess it's better than tag soup! :)

Fish
02-15-2012, 11:44 AM
Daybreak,
EBO gave you the best info you can get on picking an area before you apply. You need to talk to the Area biologist and game warden and ask them pointed questions and not just general questions about the area. Example, are there a lot of antelope in the area is too general. Are there bucks that will score 80 inches or better, is a better question to ask. What is the opening day pressure like, what is the best parts of the area to start hunting for a big buck, What are the roads like and is it worth it to hunt the walk in areas, ect.
The game warden steered me away from the walk in areas and told me to hunt the BLM land in the south portion of my area. It saved me a lot of time walking into barren or hard to stalk ground with few animals. The biologist told me to skip the opener, anothe great piece of advice. My friends don't want to do the home work and think I'm crazy making all those long distance phone calls, but if you don't, you may get a real unpleasant surprise. Another reason I hunt mainly on my own.
While Eastmans' is a good resorce, they can't hunt in every unit and know the lastest game trends for them.

Jen, I also shoot a 257 Roberts. It'a a ruger #1 and its the best rifle I ever owned. I killed my biggest deer and made my longest shots with it.

MWScott72
07-10-2012, 03:45 PM
Anyone been in Area 63 as of late? We didn't draw in the regular draws, so my bro-in-law and I grabbed one of the leftover 63-2 tags. After talking to the biologist (prior to the leftovers going on sale), he said to expect an avg. of 13-14" as to horn length. Sounds like there's decent access too. We just wanted to go hunting and I'm not set on shooting a monster (as I'm aware that will probably not be the case), although a mid-70s would be great. Now that we have the tags, my scouting / info search will kick it up notch. Just wanted know what others have seen out there and what the "on the ground assessment" might be.

BobT
07-11-2012, 12:55 AM
I was getting ready to pull the trigger on one of the type 2 tags in 63 myself and they went away before my eyes! I guess that is what I get for waiting. I haven't been in there since last fall but I saw a buck in the type 2 side of the unit that was a monster, he was not super tall but had lots of mass and great prongs. The other bucks I saw in there were mostly in the 13-14 inch range and there were not a lot of those but in fairness I didn't get off the main roads too much. I figured the extra tag would be fun while waiting for the season to open up the road.

Bob

MWScott72
07-11-2012, 02:18 PM
So are you hunting 63 with a type 1 tag? Can you do that and pick up a type 2 tag as well? Not familliar with the limits on tags that one can have. I'd assumed just one antlered, but can you have two with a leftover permit? Yeah, the type 2 tags for 63 were gone in less than 10 minutes. After talking to the G&F folks, that about what I expected. The area may not be what it once was, but for a leftover tag, it will do just fine.

BobT
07-12-2012, 12:34 AM
So are you hunting 63 with a type 1 tag? Can you do that and pick up a type 2 tag as well? Not familliar with the limits on tags that one can have. I'd assumed just one antlered, but can you have two with a leftover permit? Yeah, the type 2 tags for 63 were gone in less than 10 minutes. After talking to the G&F folks, that about what I expected. The area may not be what it once was, but for a leftover tag, it will do just fine.
No, I'm hunting another unit up the road that opens the 15th. I will probably camp near unit 63 though and I thought it would be a fun hunt while waiting for the other unit to open. As a nonresident you can buy up to 2 any antelope tags and 4 doe/fawn tags. You can only get 1 any and 2 doe/fawn tags in the draw, the others have to be leftovers or you can get all 6 as leftovers.

Bob

Colorado Cowboy
07-12-2012, 07:55 AM
I know everybodies expectations are to get an antelope that scores close to (or over) 80". But you have to realize that the big bucks are not everywhere. I have probably shot 50 buck antelope in the 40+ years I've been hunting them and have only got a few close to this size. I have one that scores over 80". I'll admit that when I first started hunting goats, I was not very selective and did not really know what to look for. If you really are set on only shooting one of this size, you are going to have to spend lots of time in the field looking...and not just in hunting season. Spend some off season time scouting and driving the backroads with your spotting scope. One thing I try to do is expand my area everytime I hunt. I spend a little time looking around in a couple of new areas close to where I'm hunting. I also ask any Warden I see in the area about new areas.

EBO is correct in his advice. Hope this helps too.

Fish
07-12-2012, 09:37 AM
CC,
You better hold out for an 80in or better buck in 74 or I'll be real disappointed in you. And nothing less than a 9 inch billy in CO.

Colorado Cowboy
07-12-2012, 11:49 AM
I'll be posting px, thats for sure.....not photo shopped for sure;)

RedneckRyRy
07-13-2012, 04:21 PM
I got a 63-2 tag this year as well. It's my first speed goat hunting trip and I'm looking forward to it. My wife and I took a trip last summer that took us through Wyoming. I absolutely fell in love with the place and can't wait to get back.

I plan on camping during the hunt. Does anyone have any suggestions for good camping spots? It would be nice to camp on BLM land and not have to pay a camp site fee somewhere else, however if someone knows a nice place that would be worth spending a few bucks for a spot I'd be interested in hearing about it.

I'd welcome any other advice/tips you may have as well about the area.

Thanks

BobT
07-14-2012, 12:17 AM
You can camp at Alcova reservoir, Grey Reef reservoir or Pathfinder reservoir, they have several camping areas, the fee is $7.00 per unit per night. I camped at Alcova last year and may again this year. This link will give you the lowdown,

http://www.natrona.net/index.aspx?NID=221

There are also some free campsites along the North Platte River but you will be a little farther from your hunting area and they don't (or didn't last year anyway) have any windbreaks.

Bob

RedneckRyRy
07-14-2012, 10:16 PM
Thanks for the info. I'll check it out

MWScott72
07-16-2012, 03:46 PM
If you bring your own water, you should be able to camp out on the BLM land for free. There's lots of it in the unit. Pick a spot and plop down for a few days!

RedneckRyRy
08-04-2012, 10:43 AM
Anyone camped on the Miracle Mile? I can find a little info about it but its harder to find any detailed information.

kcaves
08-05-2012, 06:23 AM
Miracle mile has quite a few spots to camp at, it's more known for the fact that it's the best fly fishing on the platte river

MWScott72
08-23-2012, 03:24 PM
Thanks good to know...I love to fly fish and will plan on an combo antelope / fishing trip now!

CJnWY
09-04-2012, 12:40 AM
Area 63 is great in that you have a lot of area to roam and not very many people to share it with. Early season will find the goats spread thin and up along the tree line, last of the season they bunch up and its easier to find a larger than average goat.
The leftover 63-2 tags last less than a minute....
Have not been up there scouting yet but have been told the area has plenty of water and the fire didnt bother the goats too much. Camping is easy as the area is more gravel then bentinite, all you gotta do is find a piece of BLM out of the wind.
If your only seeing a dozen bucks a day your not looking very hard.......

RedneckRyRy
09-23-2012, 10:05 PM
Three of us hunted the opening week. We had a great time. We each killed a buck. Looked over quite a few before we punched all the tags. Camping on the miracle mile was excellent. Very happy to have picked up these left over tags. Can't wait to do it again.

HuntWYODon
09-24-2012, 02:15 PM
Three of us hunted the opening week. We had a great time. We each killed a buck. Looked over quite a few before we punched all the tags. Camping on the miracle mile was excellent. Very happy to have picked up these left over tags. Can't wait to do it again.

We want pictures , we want pictures ! LOL !

inglebert1989
09-24-2012, 06:20 PM
I got a 63-2 tag this year as well. It's my first speed goat hunting trip and I'm looking forward to it. My wife and I took a trip last summer that took us through Wyoming. I absolutely fell in love with the place and can't wait to get back.

I plan on camping during the hunt. Does anyone have any suggestions for good camping spots? It would be nice to camp on BLM land and not have to pay a camp site fee somewhere else, however if someone knows a nice place that would be worth spending a few bucks for a spot I'd be interested in hearing about it.

I'd welcome any other advice/tips you may have as well about the area.

Thanks

We had a hard time finding our way to and around this park, as the directions in Woodall's were inadequate. As stated in another review, going west, drive to the top of the hill and take a left on to Lakeshore Drive. The map from the grocery store did not indicate where the main campground was, so we pulled down by the lake, and boon docked there. The site was lovely, but we had some trouble leveling, and access by the road was tricky for our 40 foot RV. Still the place is unusually beautiful, and we would surely stay here again. The site is close to Independence Rock, an icon and important stopping place for emigrants on the Oregon Trail. We camped here in a Motorhome.

MWScott72
09-25-2012, 02:23 PM
My brother-in-law and I camped on the Miracle Mile and hunted last Thurs afternoon thru Sat. morning. Lots of 11-12" bucks running around. Both of our bucks ended up being right about 14" with only one other buck seen that was taller...maybe 15". Had a blast though. It's nice to have a laid back hunt every now and then, since the elk and deer can kick your butt over the course of a week.

The fishing was excellent on the river as well as we fished Sat. afternoon and Sun. morning before heading back to Salt Lake. Derrick landed a 24" brown and I landed a 19.5" rainbow on my 3-weight fly rod. I lost 4 others that were just as big or bigger- two of them I couldn't even stop their initial runs before my hook finally pulled out. Can't beat a combo trip, and I'll definitely look into this area again next year. Just hope there is some more moisture for horn growth. There was water scattered about in creeks and springs, but the majority of the unit looked pretty bone dry.

4236; 4237;4238;4239

sjsmallfield
09-25-2012, 02:58 PM
Looks like a great trip to me. Congrats!

Muleys 24/7
09-25-2012, 06:47 PM
Nice lopers.

EBOLAVIRS
09-28-2012, 01:37 AM
My brother-in-law and I camped on the Miracle Mile and hunted last Thurs afternoon thru Sat. morning. Lots of 11-12" bucks running around. Both of our bucks ended up being right about 14" with only one other buck seen that was taller...maybe 15". Had a blast though. It's nice to have a laid back hunt every now and then, since the elk and deer can kick your butt over the course of a week.

The fishing was excellent on the river as well as we fished Sat. afternoon and Sun. morning before heading back to Salt Lake. Derrick landed a 24" brown and I landed a 19.5" rainbow on my 3-weight fly rod. I lost 4 others that were just as big or bigger- two of them I couldn't even stop their initial runs before my hook finally pulled out. Can't beat a combo trip, and I'll definitely look into this area again next year. Just hope there is some more moisture for horn growth. There was water scattered about in creeks and springs, but the majority of the unit looked pretty bone dry.

4236; 4237;4238;4239

Sounds like a fun trip, those are some nice fish. You won't get 63 tags as leftovers next year, there were only leftover tags this year because of a mistake. You might be able to draw it first choice in the special but it will probably never see leftovers again.