Considerations between Red Desert/Thermopolis Choices

Rackmastr

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Jan 28, 2011
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116
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East Kootenays BC
Hey All,

Not a post about 'trophy size' or 'where we could kill the best buck' as I'm sure any of the zones that we pick are going to be similar for trophy quality if we hunt hard and give us a really good opportunity at a great hunt.

Wife will be going into 2020 with 13 points in Wyoming. Plan is to look at drawing 57/58/61 or also have 114 on the radar. Good chance we will bring the kids, and may either pull a camper or else will hotel it (leaning on camping right now).

I'm curious on the main differences that people experience in the hunts of these areas. We drove through Thermopolis on the way to hunt Area 67 a few years back. A few thoughts/considerations that I'm trying to narrow down decision on:

- Winter kill in either region could dictate how 2020 looks for either option.
- Extra things to explore/see in either of the options - any sights to see or things for the kids at either area over the other?
- Mix of sage grouse hunting likely more prevalent down south options - would be fun to spend a day or two with shotgun looking for sage grouse if possible overlap exists
- Public land access looks similar in both

I can see traditional zones like the 57, 58, 61 being popular for great reason and for the B&C record books, but I find 114 kinda funny how its all by itself in a part of the state that doesn't have nearly as hard zone surrounding it. Is this due to tag allocation mainly?

Guess its boiling down to just which of those options looks best come next spring, and trying to grasp all the little things that go into that decision. Either way we are excited about having the opportunity to hunt a pretty cool unit in whats becoming a crazy point chasing game in some of those zones. Would love any insight into the hunt experiences and 'extra' thoughts as I'm guessing finding a solid buck in any of those options is going to boil down to time, scouting, glassing, and judging. Thanks guys!
 

NEWHunter

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Jul 15, 2018
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258
Location
Brookfield, WI
I don’t know anything about 114 other than it comes up in eastmans every year as great unit. Not sure if it truly is or not.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be making a special trip to Thermopolis in 2020 for my son to see the WY Dinosaur Center. He’s 7 and that kind of stuff blows his mind. Looks kinda neat per YouTube.

Sage grouse is something I’d like to get after as well. I was going to try near lander this year on a lope hunt but creep got me. I think the season is wrapped up by 10/1.

Interesting thread. Good luck.
 

wyoelkfan15

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Mar 6, 2017
Messages
125
Location
Wyoming
Never hunted 114. I do know there was a decent sagebrush fire in the unit within the last couple years that seemed to screw with the resident goats a little from what my co-worker tells me. He has hunted over there the last couple years.

Thermop is fun, Wyoming's first whiskey distillery is in Kirby, though the kids probably can't enjoy that much.
 

kansasdad

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Jul 30, 2011
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Wichita
Unit 114 is on my radar for mostly nostalgic reasons. I have a dream of shooting a nice buck within sight of a 1933 dugout cabin on the far east side of the unit. My grandparents along with my 18 month old father moved into the dugout on Christmas day, to complete the residency portion of the Homestead Act claiming. I will never catch up to point creep in that unit, so it will have to be done with the random portion of the draw.

That unit has one of the highest percentage of public lands, and nearly all of it can be expected to hold antelope.
 

nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
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Northern Illinois
Unit 114 is on my radar for mostly nostalgic reasons. I have a dream of shooting a nice buck within sight of a 1933 dugout cabin on the far east side of the unit. My grandparents along with my 18 month old father moved into the dugout on Christmas day, to complete the residency portion of the Homestead Act claiming. I will never catch up to point creep in that unit, so it will have to be done with the random portion of the draw.

That unit has one of the highest percentage of public lands, and nearly all of it can be expected to hold antelope.
That will definitely be a special hunt, I hope you pull that tag soon!
 

Rackmastr

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Jan 28, 2011
Messages
116
Location
East Kootenays BC
Unit 114 is on my radar for mostly nostalgic reasons. I have a dream of shooting a nice buck within sight of a 1933 dugout cabin on the far east side of the unit. My grandparents along with my 18 month old father moved into the dugout on Christmas day, to complete the residency portion of the Homestead Act claiming. I will never catch up to point creep in that unit, so it will have to be done with the random portion of the draw.

That unit has one of the highest percentage of public lands, and nearly all of it can be expected to hold antelope.
That sounds really cool for sure!!! I wish you all the luck. Would love to see some pics of the country around there if you wanted to share.

Having the points my wife has we obviously want to draw a great unit given the chance we will never hunt it again. As I said trophy quality has gotta be up there in both areas but trying to find the right "fit" for various reasons is still important.

Never been to either and trying to figure it out a bit. 114 is interesting as it makes the Eastmans lists regularly but not sure what causes it to be such high demand. Low tag numbers? Public land or trophy potential? Just unique in the way it seems to be set aside on it's own away from all the other "main" blue chip zones.

The sage grouse part of the equation is interesting, but could likely split things up and drive to a sage grouse specific spot after we got a buck down as well. (Season dates dependant)

Cool conversation guys! Appreciate the input so far!
 

antelopedundee

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Jul 12, 2018
Messages
834
Location
Ames
Unit 114 is on my radar for mostly nostalgic reasons. I have a dream of shooting a nice buck within sight of a 1933 dugout cabin on the far east side of the unit. My grandparents along with my 18 month old father moved into the dugout on Christmas day, to complete the residency portion of the Homestead Act claiming. I will never catch up to point creep in that unit, so it will have to be done with the random portion of the draw.

That unit has one of the highest percentage of public lands, and nearly all of it can be expected to hold antelope.
The odds of drawing a type 1 tag for 114 without a fistful of PPs are bleak indeed, but even a slim chance is better than no chance. Unless you have a way better chance of getting your second choice it seems like a waste of a first choice. Funny thing too is that a fat chance and a slim chance mean the same.
 
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