Archery Antelope, Unit # Wyoming.

KipCarson

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Aug 5, 2019
Messages
190
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
I'm an experienced bowhunter but have never stepped foot in the state of WY and have never hunted pronghorn. So I have quite a few questions...

I have drawn a unit # tag and plan to spend about a week up there bowhunting starting on August 23. After doing my homework, my plan is to mainly hunt the big block of Thunder Basin Grasslands in the south west corner of the unit. This is one of those tags that is listed as limited public access, but from a deep south Louisiana perspective it looks like there is plenty of places to roam. I called and talked to someone at the WGFD to discuss access and they gave me the spiel about there being a lot of private land and limited access, and advised I buy one of the landowner maps from their store that would "have all the legal access roads marked in brown" So I spent $50 and when the map came in I see every tiny little two-track and pig trail that is on every land type marked in brown?! I think the mental picture of access I was getting from my OnX maps program to be more accurate than their map which seems very misleading. Does anyone have any experience with that or know what access is really like in unit #?

On the map in question I added the option for the "habitat map" which shows you summer vs. winter range, year round resident herds etc. Looking at those areas there are only a few places in the unit marked to have year round antelope and the main block of public grasslands I'm targeting isn't in one of them? Based on everyone I've ever talked to most of WY is lousy with pronghorn but this "habitat map" has me second guessing the whole plan and if when i get there there will be a reasonable population. Can anyone fill me in on if I'll be in action or I've gotten myself in a situation where I'll be glassing empty sagebrush for days?

I've located a pile of likely waterholes to possibly sit a ground blind if the spot and stalk game proves to be to difficult. Is that a viable tactic on public land or is there generally too much pressure and activity out there to make pop up blind hunting own a waterhole pay off?

One more question if you've read this far! How accurate is OnX maps out there really? I love the software but its only as good as the data that is put into it... Here in Louisiana I find actual property lines and the map overlays to be significantly off set at times. I don't plan to crowd property lines by any means but if I am in an alien landscape I'd like to know how accurate my tool of choice really is.

Thanks so much for any advice or direction and good luck to all!

Kip Carson
Wildlife Biologist, Pinola Conservancy
 
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Sask hunter

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Sep 20, 2016
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717
I can’t help you but good luck!! One of these years I am going to start building points for Wyoming antelope
 

FLS

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Jan 10, 2019
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Here ya go. If public ground intersects one of the roads on this map you can access it. I would purchase a unit map and highlight all the county roads. Use your phone or GPS for boundary navigation.
I’ve hunted 23 and 24 to west of you and there are a lot of antelope all over that part of WY. My advice is be as mobile as possible. From a distance it looks flat but it’s not. There are all kids of gullies and washes you can use to get close.

 
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KipCarson

Active member
Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
190
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
Here ya go. If public ground intersects one of the roads on this map you can access it. I would purchase a unit map and highlight all the county roads. Use your phone or GPS for boundary navigation.
I’ve hunted 23 and 24 to west of you and there are a lot of antelope all over that part of WY. My advice is be as mobile as possible. From a distance it looks flat but it’s not. There are all kids of gullies and washes you can use to get close.

Thank you very much, the map I bought was as clear as mud!
 

bts09

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Aug 9, 2017
Messages
106
Keep in mind that when WGFD talks about "limited access," more often than not it just means limited points where you can access the public land--not limited public land. There seems to be plenty of public in 7, including the southwest corner that you point out. And it looks like there are several legal access points for that chunk--it's just that it doesn't appear there are any legal roads that take you up into it, so you'll be hiking a bit.

As far as OnX in the field, I find it highly accurate. And it works great even when you don't have cell service because it uses the GPS on your phone. Just use the feature to download the map of the area you will be hunting (or a smaller subset of it) to your phone "offline," so you can use it with your GPS even if you have no cell signal. I had zero problems last year and I was all over my unit.
 

madtom

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Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
598
Location
WY
You'll have no problem finding antelope on accessible public. Don't overlook all the walk-in areas in the east part of the unit either. We've had a really wet year, so sitting over water holes might be frustrating.
 

Sandpounder

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Nov 19, 2018
Messages
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I agree with the above. This year even the seasonal creeks still have some water in them, but like you said there are stock ponds scattered all over. I think on the habitat part of the map, the antelope do migrate a little in that area. They do have a winter, summer, and kindof transitional area, which is what the maps might be showing. I guess that big block off of Keeline if that is what you were looking at, does seem more like a transitional area to me. You can catch scattered animals in there, but for some reason they don't like it as much for big groups or hold over areas from what I have seen. The walk-in areas and BLM in the East part do seem to regularly have antelope I think, and most of them you can drive through "scout" to see if the antelope are in the area. I guess it might pay to take a day and just cruise through everywhere and see where they are at and make a plan from there. The clover has been crazy this year, but some places the cows have mowed it down pretty good so maybe you can see the antelope better. I think the phone says the gps is accurate to 10 feet, but the problem I have had is refreshing the data or however that works to make sure your location is up to date to the second. That is probably user error or my phone that seems to get dropped fairly regularly. I think the Onx is pretty good if you also use fences and other landmarks to double check and give yourself a little buffer. You will find areas with poor/no service out there. You might also combine the road maps listed with the http://gis.statelands.wyo.gov/GIS/OSLIGIS/StateLandAccess/ to possibly get on a state section. Not sure that was helpful, but I thought I should post something since I live about 300 yards from the boundary of that unit.
 

Bagel_7

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Jul 13, 2017
Messages
57
I hunted that unit last year, my advice if you haven't already is download the entire unit offline on OnX because you will not have good reception while out hunting. Also I liked the Grassland area in the SW part of the unit. I didn't explore the North part of the unit much due to access, but I found plenty of areas I could hunt. Good luck, and like Cushman told me go eat at Pizza Barn in Newcastle it was a family favorite while up there.
 

KipCarson

Active member
Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
190
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
I hunted that unit last year, my advice if you haven't already is download the entire unit offline on OnX because you will not have good reception while out hunting. Also I liked the Grassland area in the SW part of the unit. I didn't explore the North part of the unit much due to access, but I found plenty of areas I could hunt. Good luck, and like Cushman told me go eat at Pizza Barn in Newcastle it was a family favorite while up there.
That’s good advice, I rely on OnX a ton. I’ve saved several parts already but will be sure to have the entire unit saved offline before I get there.
 

KipCarson

Active member
Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
190
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
I agree with the above. This year even the seasonal creeks still have some water in them, but like you said there are stock ponds scattered all over. I think on the habitat part of the map, the antelope do migrate a little in that area. They do have a winter, summer, and kindof transitional area, which is what the maps might be showing. I guess that big block off of Keeline if that is what you were looking at, does seem more like a transitional area to me. You can catch scattered animals in there, but for some reason they don't like it as much for big groups or hold over areas from what I have seen. The walk-in areas and BLM in the East part do seem to regularly have antelope I think, and most of them you can drive through "scout" to see if the antelope are in the area. I guess it might pay to take a day and just cruise through everywhere and see where they are at and make a plan from there. The clover has been crazy this year, but some places the cows have mowed it down pretty good so maybe you can see the antelope better. I think the phone says the gps is accurate to 10 feet, but the problem I have had is refreshing the data or however that works to make sure your location is up to date to the second. That is probably user error or my phone that seems to get dropped fairly regularly. I think the Onx is pretty good if you also use fences and other landmarks to double check and give yourself a little buffer. You will find areas with poor/no service out there. You might also combine the road maps listed with the http://gis.statelands.wyo.gov/GIS/OSLIGIS/StateLandAccess/ to possibly get on a state section. Not sure that was helpful, but I thought I should post something since I live about 300 yards from the boundary of that unit.
Thanks, it was helpful, I had been wondering how much water was on the ground this year, great info to have. I’m sure the first day will probably be mostly driving spot to spot and glassing around. I’m looking forward to the challenge!
 

JohnBud

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May 20, 2018
Messages
9
Let us know how your hunt goes. I will be hunting in that unit for the first time in October. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on hunting the eastern vs western portions of that unit. Good luck on your hunt!
 

KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
190
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
Thanks! I’ll be sure to post my results, I’ll be glad to pass along anything I learn. I’ve been surprised how helpful everyone is on here and I’d be glad to return the favor.
 

TexanSam

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Mar 21, 2018
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Oh I misread the dates, I do not know if the duck season will be open or if the migration has started by then
 

KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
190
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
Oh I misread the dates, I do not know if the duck season will be open or if the migration has started by then
I looked up the dates soon as I saw your post! If I was going to be there in waterfowl season I guarantee that I would be following your advice! 90% of my job is centered around waterfowl habitat management, so although my personal passion leans towards the big critters I rarely pass the chance to put ducks in the freezer! And if the duck hunting up there is anything like the little bit of tank hunting I’ve done in west Texas it’s definitely worth the trip.
 
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