USA: Wyoming Deer & Antelope

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports USA & Canada' started by UKHunter, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. UKHunter

    UKHunter AH Fanatic

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    Well, as a few of you will have seen in another thread, thanks for the kindness of a forum member on here an Englishman was able to cross the pond for his first ever hunt in North America.

    I drove up from Denver to meet up with the motley crew who I would be staying and hunting with for the week. We all hit it off from the start and there was none stop jokes and laughing. I even tried teaching them a little culture, such as the correct way to eat with a fork but it was lost on this lot! They did there best to ‘Americanise’ me too.

    We went out for a little drive about on the first afternoon just to get a feel for the land. We had around 100,000 acres to hunt on. We saw lots of Antelope and Mule deer. The terrain is like nothing we have in England.

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    I managed to fill my antelope tag early on with a really nice buck. We looked quite a few over which all looked big to me but my host kept me on the straight and narrow.

    I missed the first buck I shot at - we will blame that on the jet lag... then after a few minutes of us standing there watching them disappear over the horizon and trying to work out what happened. This guy and 2 other bucks walked out in front of us.

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    Antelope are a really unique animal, like nothing we have in the UK. I was surprised that they have a blue tongue but I was not surprised that they smell like any other goat!
     
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  2. UKHunter

    UKHunter AH Fanatic

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    I will let my host tell his parts to the story but another antelope was shot that day too, and a really nice one at that!

    That night we were hit with a big storm, 3” of rain must have fallen. So, no hunting in the morning as the place had turned into a swamp and as we had the days we didn’t need to push things. We hatched a plan for the afternoon and it was us stalking down a gulley which was known to hold bucks.

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    We got maybe a mile at most down the gulley when we came round a corner to see a Mule deer buck and does feeding up one of the draws from the gulley. My host instantly said he was a shooter (or words to that effect). We slip down and backwards to crawl forward to a position which would allow me to get prone for a shot. He had fed out of site at this point, so it was a waiting game to see which end he would come out of. A few mins later he came back out at the bottom of the gulley and I put the cross hairs on his shoulder.

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    I was over the moon with him, a 4x4 as my first mule deer buck and a fun stalk to go along with it! The first thing I noticed about mule deer is the size of their ears. His body size was about that of a Fallow buck.

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  3. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Congrats on your success. Pretty animals. Where in WY were you hunting?
    Bruce
     

  4. UKHunter

    UKHunter AH Fanatic

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    I was all tagged out in under 48 hours! However, there were 3 other hunters with tags to fill, so I was glad to help out. Everyone got their animals; 4 antelope and 4 mule deer ready for skinning and butchering. I also took the time to go for a long hike to try and take some photos of game and see what I may find.

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  5. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Well done!
     
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  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Congratulations on your success.
     
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  7. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Great job, glad you enjoyed you trip to the great state of Wyoming! I have many fond memories of it also!
     
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  8. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Fanatic

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    Amazing stuff mate, and kudos to the forum member that helped you out. I'm saving up points myself to hunt wyoming in the near future looks like an amazing place (and great people too from those I've met).

    Congrats again !
     
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  9. cls

    cls AH Elite

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    Congrats on 2 fine animals.
     
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  10. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    He was in the Kaycee area.
     

  11. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    A couple of fine bucks! I’ve never tagged out that quickly! Around Kaycee, you must be on private land. Congratulations!
     
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  12. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    It was a pleasure to meet and hunt with such a fine young man, memories I will keep with me for a long time. I will add more later but right now we are going 70 mph on Rt 70 making our way home.
     
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  13. cagkt3

    cagkt3 AH ENABLER PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Congrats!!
     
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  14. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    A combination of private and public, plenty of hunters about not many of them willing to put in the time and effort to get to the big ones though. As a matter of fact on our way in to look for a buck for ukhunter we passed 2 hunters driving out of the very same ditch. If only they would have walked a bit they could have had that buck.
     
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  15. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    Ok, Tom mentioned that another antelope was taken on the same evening as his so I'll tell the rest of the story. We were out running about in his rental vehicle when he shot his antelope and I forgot to throw a tarp in the back and not wanting to get blood all thru his rental we decided to cover the antelope with some sagebrush and return for it later. As we were on our way back to camp, and almost there Tom spotted a small herd of antelope alongside the two track road that we were traveling on. He insisted that one of the bucks in the group was a good one, I wasn't planning on taking one just yet but he seemed to really want to see me get one so I exited the vehicle stepped around the rear for a clear shot and at about 50 yards easily took care of him. Turns out that Tom was right it was a pretty nice buck, guess he's a fast learner.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2019
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  16. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on the hunt and thanks for sharing!
     

  17. Tra3

    Tra3 AH Enthusiast

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    Excellent trip! Nice animals. I am a big fan of pronghorn antelope meat. Did you eat some backstraps?

    What were your shot distances? Windy?
     

  18. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    You tend to get better trophies when you are willing to put your coffee cup down. :ROFLMAO:
     
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  19. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    I'll answer your questions for Tom as I think he will be making his way back home for the next day or two. We didn't sample any antelope but we did grill up some mule deer brisket that Tom marinated with some spice that he picked up at Cabela's. As for shot distances they were relatively close by Wyoming standards the pronghorns shots were something like 50 yards and his deer was some where between 100 and 150 yards. I never owned a range finder, I'm afraid it may take some of the fun out of the hunt. It wasn't really windy while we were hunting, maybe a couple of miles an hour breeze.
     

  20. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    Very true and the day after Tom shot his deer I did just that. As a matter of fact I put my coffee cup down, polished off 2 bowls of oatmeal, 2 cups of hot chocolate, some leftovers that were lying around, stuffed some dry cereal, candy bars, granola bars, raisins, peanut butter crackers and an extra bottle of water in my back pack and headed out across the prairie before the rest of the crew were even out of bed. I left instructions for them to come and look for me if I wasn't back by sundown and told them what general direction I was headed. You see the evening before when I was helping Tom get his deer to the truck I spotted a buck feeding on a hillside nearly a mile away. Even in the waning daylight I could see the antlers without my binoculars. I showed him to Tom and he said that I should go and get him to which I replied that there was only about 40 minutes of daylight left and he was in a very difficult spot for a good stalk. Of course Tom being much younger then me says that 40 minutes is plenty of time to get over there (damn kids) I sighed and not wanting to look like I couldn't do it immediately took off in the deer's direction. Covering a mile in short order doesn't seem like much of a problem until you throw in small canyon, a few ditches and 3 steep hillsides. Well I made it to the spot that I preselected before I took off in 35 minutes only to find that the buck had fed his way down the other side of the hill into the darkness of the next hill. There I stood sweat pouring down my face, heart pumping like crazy, a dark moonless night fast approaching and faced with a tough decision. Do I follow after the buck and maybe shoot him or do I back out and leave him in peace to continue feeding? I decided on the latter choice and headed back to other hunters waiting by the truck. Upon my arrival back at the truck I found out that the other members of the group had also found some luck and all tagged a buck. I had a rather sleepless night trying to hatch out a plan for the next day, I really wanted a shot at that buck. In the morning while having breakfast that's when I made up my mind, it was a tough decision not to take Tom with me but I decided that if I was going to be successful in finding that buck again I had better go it alone. Besides one of the other hunter's buck was still down at the bottom of a steep ravine and they could really use his help in retrieving it. So off I went with my trusty Guide gun and a pack full of goodies, it took me all morning to get to the other side of the ranch having to skirt north of the uranium mine that is now controlled by the Russians thanks to Hillary (but that's another story). Now all I had to do was hike another mile north to the rough hilly area where I spotted the buck and hope that I could locate him before he sees or smells me. On my last leg of my hike I came across a pretty little spot on the side of a hill, out of the relentless wind, quite sunny and very grassy it looked like the perfect spot for some lunch. I removed my pack and my jacket, hung my jacket over a sagebrush bush to dry the sweat out of it, ate a lot of junk food for lunch and woke up a half hour later. Feeling very refreshed after my unintentional nap off I went headed into the pasture next to the area I was headed for. Followed the fence for a half mile or so, slipped across a cattle guard and now at 2:45 PM I'm where I wanted to be, the problem was the wind had shifted and now was blowing squarely on my back. To make the best of a bad situation I decided that I would move as quickly as I could and let my scent proceed me into the ditches, mule deer are curious creatures and a lot of the time when alerted to danger will climb higher for a look before fleeing. With that logic in mind I started moving along the top of the first ditch ( a canyon to most of us easterners) I only covered a few hundred yards when I caught movement down in the ditch. It was him and a smaller 3 pointer coming up out of the ditch for a look at what they were smelling, instinctively I grabbed for my binos, I immediately dropped them thinking to myself what an idiot. Dropped to one knee raised the rifle just in time to see them disappear back into the ditch, seconds later they were on the opposite hillside and climbing toward safety. At 200 yards or so already I felt as though I had no time to wait for them to stop, finding him in my scope I was looking at the entire length of his back, feeling confident I squeezed the trigger. His reaction to the shot was unexpected he immediately turned and ran back down into the ditch at witch point I ran forward for a better vantage point. I could not believe my eyes when he ran out of the ditch and straight up the steep hillside on my side of the ditch maybe 150 to 200 yards ahead of me. I found him in the scope lead him up the hill and fired just as he decided to hit the brakes and head back down the hill, I was sickened to see my bullet hit the dirt just inches in front of him. As he disappeared into the ditch yet again I ran forward and got off another shot as I saw him rounding a big bend heading out into a huge open area just ahead. My heart sank but I rallied and ran as fast as I could to the top of the hill that he just rounded, reloading as I went hoping to see him one more time. I reached my destination high up on the hill cursing myself and praying for one more shot at the same time. From this high spot I could scan miles and miles of open territory, nothing anywhere except for a few antelope a mile or so away. More praying, more cursing, decided to move slowly back along the edge of the ditch staying high enough to keep the top and bottom covered. After a few hundred yards the smaller buck came busting out ahead of me and went right out over the top. I stopped waiting straining to see if the big one was going to follow, nothing, more praying, moved down the hill for a look into the ditch and saw a deer rump and tail sticking out of the sagebrush. I sat there for maybe 10 minutes starring at him through my binos watching for any sign of life, when I was sure of his demise I took stock of the situation. Somewhere during those few minutes of pure adrenaline rush, running, reloading, throwing myself to my knees for shots I some how tore my right pant leg almost completely off and my right shoelace had snapped in the middle. So there I was 8 or 9 miles from camp, my right knee out thru my pants, my right boot barely hanging on to my foot, only a few candy bars left, a big dead deer in the bottom of a very steep sided ditch and no cell service, I could not have been any happier. After marking the spot with some flagging tape I made my way to the top of the hill and found enough cell service to call the rest of the group for assistance, in the mean time I tied my bootlace back together the best that I could and made my way back down to my buck. The crew showed up about an hour later and I had him all ready to go and after a bunch of photo taking we headed up that steep hill to the truck, what a relief to have him up and out of that ditch. And it felt even better having him hanging up in the barn. 2019 mule deer.jpg IMG_0432.jpg IMG_0433.jpg IMG_0434.jpg
     
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