We just got back from Y as well. Luckily we all tagged out, but I can tell you one thing...we hunted long, hard, and smart. We did our research (over a years worth) and we had multiple back up plans. We hiked into areas that looked perfect but seen 0 deer, we hunted areas that ended up having more hunters than deer and we seen some good deer killed on public land by the lucky hunter who pulled up to the gate and seen one walking through the field.
One thing that made our trip such a success was we planned to eat tag soup (meaning, we were OK with not killing, we just wanted to have a great time and of course see animals...maybe even shoot a doe for meat if we had too).
One thing I did have trouble with was determining what was a representative animal to shoot in Y. Should I hold out for a 140" or shoot the first fork horn I seen? I couldnt get a biologist, warden, or another hunter to tell me. I was not asking for a secret spot, I just wanted to know what a realistic buck for the area was. Sadly, a lot of younger bucks are harvested in Y. I personally dont have a problem with it, if its legal and makes you happy then go for it. But I think for the sake of the herd, we should let the younger ones walk and hopefully we can all have better hunting.
AT Hiker. We did the similar thing. Tons of research. Made multiple calls. What we saw the first day were people pulling spike heads and fork horns out. Driving 1600 miles one way, our camp determined to shoot the first horns We saw.
With that mentality, I found the steepest and nastiest shit I could and found a 115. Which everybody around was impressed with, one guy from another camp dubbed me "lucky" for shooting that deer. So take that into consideration that A 140 class Buck is probably a real trophy there
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1600 miles is a haul for sure. It's 1000 for me and I fill my pocket with tags.
You did good.
This post has got me second guessing my research. For WY elk, deer and antelope I have done my research and come up with 6-8 units that are either blue or green chip hunts although for several the access is questionable. I really need to narrow it down to probably three then in time and can get to know the areas. Would any of you long time Wy hunters mind looking over what I have and offering some feedback? Not wanting you guys to give up your honey holes but just point out any gar holes that I should avoid. Thanks
Grizz..........I have some thoughts as well on wyoming hunting. i am not a big point restriction guy. we shot a mulie b/w sundance and upton once that was almost 28" wide and 24" tall..............2x2. It was the biggest 2x2 i had ever seen, and a trophy in anyones book. and genetically, should be culled. having to pass on that buck to me is just wrong.
but I think there are a few changes that can be made. Take region C.......it encompasses several Units (17,18,19,20, 21....mayeb some others).......yet with a Region C tag, I can hunt all those areas. what happens, is the larger more accessible public areas get hammered.....really really bad. and every forkie gets shot. so you have bad over-crowding and small buck size. solution...........get rid of general and region tags, and go unit specific. You apply for a.......Uit 20 tag, you hunt unit 20. and that is it. set quotas per unit. take into account amount of private land vs public.
secondly, wyoming has a HUGE problem with private land vs public land access. I can think of 2 larger public tracts in Region C that it is virtually impossible to get to due to crossing private lands to get to them. yet.....those raods were put in with taxpayer dollars, maintained by taxpayer dollars......yet access is restricted by "private entities".......this is killing hunting. and frankly, it is not right or fair. My tax dollars pay for public property just as much as a resident from wyoming does, if it is federal lands. I would pass a law REQUIRING public access to and from public parcels larger than........who knows how large a tract say 2 square miles.....across private lands with no tresspass fee. You could require guns to be in a case......you cannot step out of the vehicle on those lands.......or something. But having landlocked public lands is a crock. And it ruins hutning in other areas. It concentrates hunter density and kills off too many deer.
I know many people might not agree with me, but I think if you worked on access and micromanaged units, you would see a huge increase in the mule deer population and buck size.
and.....I am not bashing landowners. Its the law, and if I was a landowner, I would do the same. The problem is the way the laws read. Change the laws to make public lands easier to access.
what say you guys???
I just returned from my first WY deer hunt. We, 2 of us, drove 1500+ miles from Louisiana to the Big Horns. Neither of us killed a deer, but we had a great time and we are planning our return next year.
1) The biologist for Region R has been great to deal with. His name is Tom and I have spoken with him several times on the phone over the past year. We actually met him up on the mountain and had a good visit with him. He is a great guy. I also spoke with the game warden on the phone a few times and he was very helpful and super nice and generous with his time.
2) There is a lot of pressure on public land. There are ATVs everywhere. That is just part of public land hunting unless you are willing to hike into areas that you know are going to cause your body misery.
3) There are deer on public land but I think they are true survivors. We were watching 2 forked horns and a spike along with several does our first afternoon glassing. These bucks were in a spot where a stalk and a shot would have been likely. We didn't even give it a second thought because we wanted to shoot a decent 4X4. On day 2, I saw a nice 4X4 that looked to be pretty good. His inside spread appeared to be wider than his ears, but he was about 1 mile away. I only saw this deer for a total of about 30 seconds. That was the last buck we saw. I think the continued pressure, along with our weather turning bad (50-100 yards visibility) had an impact on our deer sightings. Hindsight being 20/20, I still don't regret not trying to kill one of those forked horns on day 1.
4) We had to adapt. The early snow that dumped in the Big Horns prevented us from getting to our planned camp area so we had to camp lower and ride our ATVs into the area that we wanted to hunt. This made things much tougher. Also, we had to hunt lower when the weather turned bad up high. We found some areas that had good sign and we hiked into areas that we can eliminate for next year.
5) Lessons don't come cheap. I feel like I will be 100X more prepared for my next hunt (hopefully next year). Not taking a deer this year really didn't bother me at all. I learned a lot about the area and we took notes on what worked well this year and what we need to adjust for next year.
I can't wait for next year.
TeddyBear, I hope you have a better experience next time.
I'm applauding!!! Well said sir. It's BS like that landlocked BLM and State land that will NEVER bring me back to WY to hunt deer....unless they go with a rule like you mentioned. Couldnt have said it better myself!
Originally Posted by Ilovethewest
Same here Nick and At Hiker. We got home Friday. We both tagged out with scrubs. My partner a spike and me a 3x3. All I can say is pick the right hunting partner. My life long friend almost ended up being my worst enemy as for this was our first long distance hunting trip we had taken. The first thing I should have done is threw his cell phone out the window. We concentrated on the Barnum area very hard hiking in several miles the first few days only to find that you see a lot more deer across the road on private than you do hiking in several miles. After the third day my partner was done. He settled for a spike standing about 50 yards off the road. After the third day we got about an inch of snow and that got my blood pumping thinking this would get the deer moving and they sure did. Right to the hay fields on private. We counted over 200 hundred deer in one field the night after the snow and some of them were well over 150. I then set my sights on hunting the canyons trying to catch the deer coming out of the fields which didn't happen. The fields would be full driving in before daylight as you could see them with the snow and the moonlight but when I came down from up in the canyons they would be gone. Still not sure where they were going. After countless failures of hiking in and no outcome I decided to check another area. While I was getting my pack on to take off I spotted some deer way up a valley. It was a 3x and 5 doe. I decided if I could get close enough I would take him. After hiking around the back side of the valley I slipped to the top and spotted him about 220 yards. I thought the first shot was a miss for he barely moved and the second shot put him down. The holes ended up being only an inch apart right behind the shoulder. Being this was my first muley I was very pleased with him. Some advice that I can give is wait until as late in the season as you can. We saw very few hunters and the bucks were starting to cruise a little bit. After filling our tags we bought doe goat tags to try our luck. We pulled into a large piece of blm to do some glassing and low and behold there he stood. The biggest buck we had seen the whole trip and he was standing 75 yards away. I guessed him around the 180 mark. Go figure. With all the excitement I realized I didn't have my gps. After backtracking I remembered I had set it on the bed side. We found it in the road it died of tread disease. All in all I had a good time other than my buddy bitchin an maonin. Even got to shoot some prairie dogs. If your looking for a campground to stay at out there go see Randy and Christy at the KC RV Park. They are wonderful people. There 14 year old son even guided us a little bit on a goat hunt. Attachment 6959
We had tags for Wyo. Never been there before to hunt. Drove all the way from Texas,1400 miles+. Between the 4 of us we filled our four Muley buck tags, one muley doe tag, three antelope doe tags.. I would say that was a successful hunt. We filled all our tags on BLM lands. Everybody from the towns people to the game wardens were as friendly and helpful as anyone could ask for. I believe we will go back!! Nothing wrong with Wyoming hunting!
Originally Posted by WapitiBob
Hope everyone has a successful remaining hunting season.
Hey LaHunter, great post. I have not had much time for this forum as of late. Just blew out a 97 hour work week. I will do this for 6 straight weeks, visit the altar on Sunday, ask God to forgive me for working so many hours. After I burn out and take a week off I will repeat this process. Gotta pay for that next hunting trip somehow. I also learned a lot from not pulling the trigger this season in Wyoming. Maps are nice, Google Earth is nice, Internet sites and magazine articles are nice, but nothing beats a good "Hook-up". A landowner, rancher, town drunk for that matter. Someone willing to give you the inside scoop on where those mulies really are. Someone who has hunted there for 15 years. I guess my problem is I don't put the effort into hunting like some of you fellas. Long work weeks, 7 children, church activities, corvettes and mustangs to restore, softball tournaments..............and the list goes on. Maybe I'm looking for a shortcut that just isn't there. Regardless, I have really enjoyed all the feedback. You are all a great bunch of guys. I had no idea my original post would ruffle so many feathers. It was simply a 4 or 5 line thought as a result of my hunt. For those who only weeded out the negatives, please remember, I did mention some blessings.....Got to spend time with 3 of my sons, stopped in Nebraska and took my granddaughters shopping, saw some beautiful country, laughed a lot (boy did we laugh a lot), watched my son make a shot on a muledeer that would make Roy Rogers jealous, got away from work!, and had safety on the roads. Also, I may have a CONNECTION In the Thermopolis area. Found out that a co-worker hunted in Dubois? Anyone out there willing to give me just a teeny tiny itsy bitsy bit of info on these areas? This TeddyBears going back into hibernation!
Originally Posted by LaHunter