After over 25 years hunting Wyoming as a nonresident our family has taken 2 sheep, a moose, about a dozen mule deer, a couple elk and a couple dozen buck antelope. If my memory serves me correctly, we've had one tag go unfilled, which would have easily been filled with one more day of hunting. I can say I've never had a bad experience in that state. The wardens and biologists have consistently been some of the best and most helpful people I have worked with.
We apply in 8 western states each year, and there are very, very few hidden secrets on limited entry hunts. There are too many applicants, magazines and info services covering these hunts for there to be many "undiscovered" hunts. Easy draw odds almost always equate with a difficult hunting situation....either physically difficult, limited public land, or low hunter success.
Wyoming is one of my favorite states. Just second behind Alaska.
The people are some of the nicest I've met . But you can't just show
up and think that you are going to be handed something just because
You are a nonresident that spent $4000.00 . People who hunt public
land and are successful ( east coast or west, resident or nonresident) worked
hard to find their spots. Probably after many frustrating hunts like you
experienced. Game wardens, land owners , public land hunters are peppered
with requests for access,or info on "a good spot" .
The simple truth is easy access, lots of public land , good success rates = PP' s
And luck in the draw or pay for access to private land.
Difficult access , limited public land, Easy draw, poor success =
Your experience .
Do your due diligence ,research as hard as you hunt will help exponentially .
I hunted Wyoming for the first time in 1980 and have been back as often as I could since then. It has some great opportunities for hunters who do their homework. Those who have the resources and are able to hunt with outfitters can do well too. In all the years the only thing that bothers me is that I have seen the huge expansion of the oil/gas industry take away and hinder access to areas I have previously hunted with no access problems. 2012 was a good example. A really large area of my favorite unit for antelope and deer has lots of gas wells. They are drilling lots more. Trucks in and out frequently (choppers too) bring lots of noise and activity. More signs on roads I have used for years that now say "No Trespassing". Was stopped and told to get out on land that was clearly BLM. Hard to argue with armed guards.
Most landowners I have met are more that willing to give access, some do charge a modest trespass fee, a lot don't. The biggest thing for a NR hunter is do your homework. I have traveled to Wy during the summer and spent some time doing my research for a year in the future. I know lots of you can't spend the time doing this, but it has really been good for me.
Just my take.
lots of guys have given great advice. I will say again........if you choose to hunt the area you are hunting or similar........I think you said you hunted Region C.......you have to realize that ............1. There is limited public land. 2. The areas are vastly overhunted 3. Depending on the area, private lands are hard or expensive to access (2 ranches where we hunted this year in region C charge 3k for access)......
So knowing all that, you have to make choice. I like to hunt every year. I don't want to hunt every 3 or 4 years, I wnat to hunt every year. I have very limited funds, money is tight. I live 900 miles away. I don't have the time or ability to scout like locals do. I do my research online / maps / google earth. So I hunt areas that I get a tag every year. Knowing that, I realize that those areas will have fewer deer, even fewer bucks, smaller bucks, hard access, rough country, and usually hostile/difficult private lands due to stupid hunters that trespass.
So........we lower our expectations on buck size, we hunt areas people wont hunt, we get out of the truck, we hunt with different tactics. I know that most people on her scoff at the idea of not "letting your binocs/spotting scope do the walking for you".......and my hunting stories will never make Eastmans Magazine. But my parties success cannot be denied. You have to decide what you want out of your hunt. If you want the "western spot and stalk" hunting experience, then you better hunt a Limited Draw Unit, pay money to hunt Private, or be ok with eating tag soup on heavily pressured public lands. Driving along a side road and "going up over the hill to glass" isn't good enough for heavily hunted unit. I am talking walking MILES. On Day 1 this year I put almost 10 miles on foot on the flat BLM map....on a flat map.....I am betting with the hills I was pushing 12-15. The energy company guys called us "those crazy guys from WI"...........but us crazy guys kill deer.
So my advice is to really re-evaluate what you want out your hunt. If you want an eastmans mag story hunt..........hunt where those guys hunt or pay for access on private. The Kaycee, Buffalo, Gillette, Sundnace public land areas of WYO will not give you that kind of hunt without paying for it.
This year was my first hunt in wyoming, my dad, brother, and I all burned five points and paid for the special tag for an archery (type 9) elk tag. We hired an outfitter, which was a first for my dad...my brother and I have both been on one previous guided archery elk hunt. Long story short my brother tagged out on a small 5x5 the first hour of the first morning, I settled for a spike on the evening of the 6th day, and after 8 days of hard hunting we came home with dad never getting a shot. After about 10 days dad went back up and hunted another 5 days or so but still never released an arrow. We hunted hard and walked several miles everyday, my longest day was 11 miles....I'd say dad did no less than 70 miles total for the amount of time he was hunting. We were with experienced guides that put us into elk, but they just weren't ready to cooperate. We hunted high and low and spent 5 days in a spike camp hunting around timberline with screaming bulls all around that were not pressured by other hunters. Of course there were numerous close calls and dad hunted a big 350 bull several days getting within 80yds at the closest, but never got the "luck factor" to make the bull screw up just once. All three of us had our own guide and they knew the area well (12 years in business) but we still never brought home a big bull.
Point is...even though you have saved points for a trophy unit, hired an experienced outfitter, and found elk...it is still hunting and nothing is guaranteed, especially with archery hunting. We had a great experience and the memories will last forever, the outfitter was great and we all became good friends. I'd go back with them boys anytime if I spoil myself for another guided hunt. The guides took it personal about my dad not getting an elk, as this would have been his first archery elk and first bull ever. From the start my brother and I (both have killed archery elk/bulls, and have years ahead of us to pursue archery elk hunting) and the guides main goal was to get dad a good bull but it just never happened. The guides did everything they could to make it happen and it still didn't, that's part of the game. I believe everything happens for a reason, and dad has another great chance along with my brother, with 18 elk points in Co, we are obviously considering a lot of options but they have been chasing 61 since it took 12 points to draw. Sorry to get off subject, but that's my wyoming experience, which wasn't nothing to brag about as far as bone, but overall hunting experience, which is what it is all about, was top notch and I will be building points for the future for another chance at a big wyoming bull. Remember it is HUNTING and big bulls/bucks are rare.
[QUOTE=Umpqua Hunter;65207]After over 25 years hunting Wyoming as a nonresident our family has taken 2 sheep, a moose, about a dozen mule deer, a couple elk and a couple dozen buck antelope. If my memory serves me correctly, we've had one tag go unfilled, which would have easily been filled with one more day of hunting. I can say I've never had a bad experience in that state. The wardens and biologists have consistently been some of the best and most helpful people I have worked with.
We apply in 8 western states each year, and there are very, very few hidden secrets on limited entry hunts. There are too many applicants, magazines and info services covering these hunts for there to be many "undiscovered" hunts. Easy draw odds almost always equate with a difficult hunting situation....either physically difficult, limited public land, or low hunter success.[/QUOTE
Umpqua, If your family has had only ONE unfilled tag in 25 years you are a VERY fortunate man. Let me make this perfectly clear. Nowhere in any of my statements have I said that people from Wyoming were not NICE! One more time...A Biologist that I talked to said to sit in my truck and watch an open field, she saw some does and a small buck there 3 weeks ago. A Warden that I talked to told to go check out an area that he saw a couple of deer in...they may still be there. This is not information that I would expect from an EXPERT in that field of work. AND just because you have had a good experience with your 2012 Corvette does not change the fact that I have had my in the shop 7 times. Some of you have had GOOD experiences with Wardens and Biologists and some of us have not. This is not hard to understand. My original post was intended to sum up my hunt in 4 or 5 lines and then ask for suggestions and advice. There are those out there who want it to look like I am slamming the state, and every living citizen in it. It is clear that DRAMA is not limited to the female sex. My hunting group never asked to have a world class buck set in front of us on the first morning while sipping whiskey. I simply stated that I think people could be MORE helpful. I admit, I have a lot to learn concerning mule deer hunting. But, I am not afraid to ask for help, and I will continue to pick the brains of those in the know. If you are one of those fine citizens, I am listening.
Your texting style comes off as crass.
Perhaps/ maybe your people skills do too.
You may not see it that way, and in your head
You may think you are coming across different,
But from my seat, not so much.
I hope your next trip is better for you. Eastman's
MRS is a good start. Wyoming G&F website for
Draw stats/ success rates /permits issued , etc
Is another good resource. Goggle earth.
Good maps showing BLM, state land, and roads.
GPS with Wyoming chip, the bomb.
The town can tell you if roads are open access or
Last get points if public land DIY is your thing.
Teddy Bear..... in case you are wondering about what 480/277 said, here is a sample of quotes from your 15 posts so far on this forum.
Originally Posted by 480/277
“Wyoming a crock”
“Most game wardens and biologists feed you a cockamainy story.”
“After landowner treated you like dirt for just glassing THEIR deer,they said we could hunt that property for $4500.”
“Have these people flipped. These people deserve 0 electoral votes.”
“Got away from the rathole that I work at,”
“It sounds like they are really trying to HELP, not just make smart remarks about my posts. Don't need that kind of help. I deal with that attitude enough at work.”
“Don't need that kind of help. I deal with that attitude enough at work. (Largest prison in Michigan, 2500 losers)”
“Some of these people go overboard on reading into my thoughts something that doesn't exist. I used to have a girlfriend like that. Dumped her 30 years ago. Best move I ever made.”
“It is clear that DRAMA is not limited to the female sex.”
I've put thousands of hours in researching western hunting over the past 30 years. Had this thread been in an entirely different tone, I would have been glad to coach you in the process of drawing a good hunt, as I'm certain others would have been as well, actually several have tried.
What Umpqua said.
I hunted Region Y in 2011 and was unsuccessful. Who's fault was that? MINE. I can't stand it when people try and blame everything on other people/factors when things don't go their way. It's like nobody in this country ever accepts blame when they screw up or something doesn't go their way.
Be humble, learn from your experience and most of all, quit blaming other people/factors for being unsuccessful and keep a positive attitude. Public land hunting on what is basically a general tag isn't easy.
NDHunter, and your credentials are? Anyway sorry to hear about your unsuccessful hunt. You might want to read back through some posts. Some great guys have given me some very useful info to which I have begun to compile. As Albert Einstein said " What's the next step my friend? If you know, tell me quickly so that I may adopt your method with all speed." Not to sound harsh, but I tend to listen to those that have been successful. I have a friend that's been divorced 3 times. I wont be asking him for marriage advice any time soon. Now my parents who are going on 55 years, Yep!
Originally Posted by NDHunter