USA: Wyoming Pronghorn Hunt With SNS Outfitters Sept 2018

375 Ruger Fan

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I made a quick hunt in Wyoming and took a really nice pronghorn. The hunt was with SNS Outfitters & Guides (http://huntwyo.com/) and they did a great job. I hunted Area 72, just west of Casper. More details and photos to follow in the next couple of days.

Wyoming pronghorn Sept 21 2018.jpg
 

WAB

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Beautiful buck and great country!
 

jasyblood

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Good looking goat. Congrats!
 

johnnyblues

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Congratulations nice buck.
 

jduckhunter

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That is a nice one!
 

Bullthrower338

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Great goat Dave!
 

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That's a beauty!!!
 

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Great antelope, I'm jealous!!! I want to get back on another pronghorn hunt sometime soon!
 

Ridgewalker

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One fine looking pronghorn! Congratulations!
 

gillettehunter

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Thats a nice looking buck. Congrats
Bruce
 

Lee M

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Well done. Very nice animal! I’m heading to NW Colorado in 2 weeks for my goat. I don’t know what it is about antelope, but I really enjoy the hunt. Maybe due to the consistent action, glassing, stalking, etc.
 

gizmo

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Congrats, that’s a heckava good lookin speed goat there!
 

375 Ruger Fan

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For years I have been receiving brochures in the mail and also emails from SNS Outfitters & Guides. This is a rather large company and not the typical outfitter that I tend to select for hunts. I have almost exclusively gone with the small, family run businesses. SNS offers a wide range of hunting options for antelope, elk, deer and black bear from multiple locations in both Wyoming and Montana. In early 2018, I contacted them and told them I had 4 antelope preference points for Wyoming and wanted to go on a hunt. I was able to select dates that corresponded with the rut, late September. Communication, paperwork, payment, etc was all very smooth and easy. SNS handled my license application and in late May or early June confirmed I had a license to hunt Area 72, just west of Casper.

Sept 20th, I departed Houston on United and flew to Denver and then to Casper. My guide, Ken Decker, picked me up at the airport and we made a 20 minute drive to the lodge. The lodge was a nice, split level home located on the banks of the North Platte River. There were 3 bedrooms and one bath upstairs and the same downstairs. There were 3 other hunters staying here, so we actually had plenty of room. The camp cooks were a husband and wife team from south Texas and they stayed in a 5th wheel trailer in the driveway. Breakfast and dinner were excellent, hot cooked meals. Breakfast featured homemade flour tortillas to roll your own bacon and egg breakfast tacos! For lunch, they laid out a wide assortment of sandwich meat, cheese, bread, etc and we made our own sandwiches and could load up on chips, candy bars and other snacks.

AT&T phone coverage was spotty, but the lodge had WiFi.

A couple of the guides and all four of us hunters went to a rifle range and shot our rifles. Everyone was dead on, so we were all good to go. Late in the afternoon, all the other guides showed up (the other 3 hunters had all driven in) and also the camp manager. We had a introduction session where everyone introduced themselves and told a little bit about themselves. We also discussed safety issues and keeping everything legal. I was impressed that all the guides and camp manager had been with SNS for 20 to 30+ years. Two of the guides and the camp manager where from Alabama and actually started out as clients. One thing lead to another and started working for SNS.

Lodge view North Platt River.jpg
Lodge view back.jpg



Friday, Sept 21, we ate breakfast a little after 5 am and got on the road at 5:45 am. I was hunting 1x1 and my guide told me we had about a 45 minute drive to where we were hunting. We saw lots of antelope along the roads and that was very encouraging. After going through a few locked gates, we were in hunting mode. We quickly spotted a coyote that was begging to be shot, but I passed. This was wide open country and in areas was flat and in others had some rolling terrain.

upload_2018-9-26_8-17-7.png


Wide open spaces.jpg


Panoramic view.jpg


During the morning, we spotted a lot of nice looking bucks, but Ken was confident we could do better. The hunt was a 3 day hunt and we'd see lots of shooter bucks, but needed to be patient for the big bruiser. The rut was on and the cool temps in the low 30s was perfect for spotting lots of bucks. We walked about 3 miles during the morning.

We stopped midday at an old house and ate lunch. The sun had warmed things up and we were down to shirt sleeves. In the afternoon, we spotted a few bucks that were close, but still not the size we were looking for. The photos below give you an idea of how we used the terrain to conceal us as we glassed antelope located on a distant hilltop. It seemed like you could glass antelope a mile away and they would be looking straight at you.

Hunting guide glassing.jpg
Hunting guide glassing 2.jpg


Late in the afternoon, we were slowly driving a ridge road on the ranch when we spotted a big buck herding up several does. Ken pulled the truck over where he could use his window mounted spotting scope to judge the buck. Ken quickly decided this was the one. Ken ranged them at 240 yards, but we needed to stay in the truck until they moved down slope a bit and out of our direct line of sight. After about 20 minutes or so, the big buck and his ladies did move out of sight and we quickly got out of the truck. Ken grabbed his shooting sticks and told me to go ahead and chamber a round in my 270. I also flipped open my scope lens covers and made sure my 3-10 scope was on 3 power. The two of us slowly moved over the ridge and we immediately spotted the group of antelope, the big buck and 6-8 does. We watched them a few minutes and they again moved out of sight, allowing us to maneuver to close the gap. Then a funny thing happened, an even bigger buck showed up! This buck moved in a different direction and was slowly going downhill away from us. Without even talking, Ken motioned that we were now going after that buck and judging the terrain and wind, it looked like everything would come together very quickly. We stalked down slope quickly and soon hit the brakes when we spotted the bigger buck and one doe. Ken set up the sticks (Primos trigger sticks tripod) and I got on them with my 270 and quickly shot. We were about 50 feet higher in elevation and the buck was slightly quartering away. The distance was under 200 yards and turned out to be 174 yards. Right after shooting, I saw two antelope run off and my immediate thought was, crap, I missed as I had only seem two antelope in the area prior to shooting. Ken slapped me on the back and said something, but I didn't hear him too good as I had my ear plugs in. Once I pulled one of the plugs out, I could understand Ken better. He was congratulating me and said the buck just folded up when my shot hit him and it dropped in it's tracks. The 130 grain Hornady SST did the job, making a double lung pass through. I looked through the scope again and could barely seen the dead buck in the grass. After taking photos, field dressing and loading it into the back of Ken's truck, Ken decided we needed to put a tape to it. Since this was my first antelope hunt, I really didn't know what was good and what was really, really good. The horns measured 15-3/4" inch in length and Ken showed me how the other measurements are made. SCI and B&C differ on where the third diameter is measured, but Ken thought my buck would be north of 80 inches and might qualify for B&C.

We took the antelope into Casper and left it at Pat's meat processing. Since I was flying out on Monday morning, they had plenty of time to process and freeze it. They sold large insulated bags there and so I told them I'd pick it up at 7 am Monday, on my way to the airport. I also made arrangements to leave head and cape with a local taxidermist, Kim Lutz. We headed back to the lodge, getting there about 7 pm and none of the other hunters were back yet. After a cold beer or two, Gary and Gary, a father and son returned and they had both been successful. A little later, Phillip, a retired gentleman from Texas returned and hadn't pulled the trigger. Phillip had hunted several times with SNS and taken several antelope. He said he was being picking and he planned to hunt all three days if needed.

On Saturday, I slept in and Ken came around late morning and we decided to be tourists for the morning. Ken drove us out further west and we stopped at Independence Rock. An easy climb, but a bit tougher coming down! Saturday afternoon and evening I was happy to watch college football on the big screen TV in the lodge.

Independence Rock 1.jpg

Independence Rock


On Sunday afternoon, I moved into town and checked in to a hotel. Monday morning, I tried to get a Uber but none were available. The front desk called me a cab. We stopped at the meat processor and picked up the frozen meat. All but about 6 packs would fit into the insulated bag, so I asked the cab driver if he wanted some antelope and he was very happy to take it. When I got to the airport, I had my duffel bag and gun case to check. I had my day pack on my back and asked the United agent if I could carry on the insulated bag. She said no problem. That bag was heavy! I never weighed it, but it was likely 45+ pounds. Of course TSA had to pull it aside and unload every single piece and then reload it. Actually, they were all pretty nice folks and asked about the hunt. Since they weren't very busy I showed them a few photos.

The flight home to Houston was uneventful and the antelope stayed frozen. In summary, if you are wanting a guided antelope hunt in Wyoming, I can give SNS Outfitters a very strong recommendation. In fact, I will likely book another hunt with them in a couple of years and bring my daughter. This was a really fun hunt.
 

jduckhunter

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Sounds like you had a great hunt and got a really nice pronghorn. But if you ever hunt with me in WY never pass on a coyote, we're in sheep country and they are a real problem.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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Sounds like you had a great hunt and got a really nice pronghorn. But if you ever hunt with me in WY never pass on a coyote, we're in sheep country and they are a real problem.

:S Sorry: :S Oops: :P Elmer Fudd:
 

jduckhunter

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gillettehunter

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Congrats on a great goat. He will make a handsome mount. Good shooting.
Bruce
 

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Sure like that lope.........................well done............................FWB
 

cagkt3

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Finally catching up on my AH reading....congrats Dave! That's a nice looking pronghorn!
 

IdaRam

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Heck of a Goat! Congrats!
Sounds like a fun hunt :)
 

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