First time antelope hunter

Southern Elk

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Nov 3, 2015
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I've never hunted antelope and feel like it's time to give it a shot. I want to kill my first one with a rifle, because I think it will greatly increase my odds over bow hunting them now. My question is should I burn my 3 WY points on a hunt or try to hunt them OTC or without points the first time? I really just want to get one under my belt and wouldn't be picky. I'm wondering if I should keep the points for a trophy hunt down the road one day?
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
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3 points will get you a good hunt, but I've done the last 2 years on leftover tags/2nd choice with no issue on public land. The thing now is that 3 points gets you what you could get annually on a special tag and no points 3-5 years ago due to quota cuts.

Points for antelope don't really buy you size, they buy percentage of a unit that's public so in theory you can look over more bucks to find a big one. To me part of the beauty of antelope is there isn't a huge difference between a representative specimen and a good adult buck.

The slightest bit of effort on antelope hunting buys you a lot over 95% of the guys out there who don't want to wander more than a few hundred yards from where they can drive.
 

VAspeedgoat

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Timberville, VA
For me it would depend on how early you need to have plans made. For me, the earlier the better, so I apply to units I feel certain I will draw so I can get reservations and other logistic planning done. Once summer comes I don't have time to call and do research. If you are more laid back and don't care where you end up, take a chance and keep your points for another day. Like they said before, points get you into units with more public land usually.
 

mtmiller

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Montana
Cash in your points, go before the rifle opener to scout, buy archery license, shoot one during archery if you find a good one early, shoot one with a rifle at sunrise on the opener if you didn't get one with the bow. Repeat as often as possible. Now if you lived in a different state, I might go a different route.
 

Washington Hunter

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Rochester, Washington
I'd go ahead and use the three points now, unless you think your goal will eventually be a B&C buck. You can get a decent hunt with the three points. You might as well have a good first hunt that isn't hindered by a lack of public land. And begin building points again so you can hunt the same area again in a few more years.
 

Washington Hunter

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There's nothing wrong with shooting the first one as long as you're happy with it and if you enjoyed your hunt. If you want to get more hunting in, get some doe tags in the same unit or a nearby unit.
 

JohnCushman

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Nov 27, 2009
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South East Colorado
There's nothing wrong with shooting the first one as long as you're happy with it and if you enjoyed your hunt. If you want to get more hunting in, get some doe tags in the same unit or a nearby unit.

The trophy is in the eye of the beholder and the experience of the hunt. Come out West, have a good time, put some meat in the cooler and maybe meet up with a few hunt talkers on the way...s'all good :cool:
 

7mm08mo

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Aug 24, 2015
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Lake of the ozarks Missouri
I hunted ne wy this year. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I shot the first one I had a good shot at on the second day and it was a heavy 13.5 inch perfectly shape antelope. Did I see bigger? Yes I saw two that were bigger but couldnt get shots I was thrilled to death with the one I got. Shoot what makes you happy to heck with what everyone else thinks. Also I'm shoulder mounting mine it's gonna look awsome!!
 

JohnCushman

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When I moved to Colorado and got my residency I wanted my first antelope to be with my bow. After a bunch of busted stalks, I finally shot the first one I got a shot on. He's not the greatest by any standards, but he is my favorite to date even after shooting bigger ones, because he was my first.
 

Rooster52

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Feb 18, 2014
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Pick up a doe tag or two.Always a fun hunt. Does is all I hunt now after 25-30 years of antelope hunting ,I shot all the bucks I guess I need. Well maybe if there is a leftover in
an area I know.
 

mixedbag

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Nov 22, 2009
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If your worried about shooting a dink, go out a day or 2 before season and look a bunch over.This way you have an idea of antelope size in your unit and cant shoot the first one you see.Plus you'll get a good feel for the land
 

Southern Elk

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Montana
Thanks guys. I don't have a problem with shooting a small one, just wouldn't want to, if I used my points.
 

Flatrock

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Dec 1, 2010
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Bismarck, ND
If you go and want a good one, be damn sure to look at a lot of pictures of them and know what makes for a good buck. Antelope can be very tough to judge.
 

Chucknduck

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Jan 30, 2015
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Montana
If you just want to shoot one you can pick up some cheap doe tags and shoot a couple of them while saving points. They are my favorite game to eat so I never really hold out for a big one
 
M

MN Public Hunter

Guest
Look at it this way, points buy you more land to hunt, not a bigger lope all the time. Make sure the units public land is not land locked as well, that makes for a very un-fun hunt no matter which unit. Look at the hunting odds PDF on the WY dnr site and look for 100% with 3 or less points, then go to the maps and see how much yellow and blue land there is to hunt in that unit....be careful though as it does not show if it's land locked. :)

I have done 2 lope hunts, one on leftovers and one with a draw....both great hunts.
 

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