Reasonable Expectation ?

Gunner46

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Ok, so I'm new at this 'Lope stuff, so bear with me. It's been whitetails, black bear, boars and Axis for my hunting career, but Zero in hunting goats.

For the guys who have hunted in the Newcastle, Wy area, what would be a reasonable expectation of what to look for ? I've got a general deer tag & no M. Deer experience as well. (has to be a 1st time, sometime, for everything though)

I've got 6 full days at the end of this season to roam, scout, mosey and hone my glassing/stalking/shooting skills, so I'm in no frenzied rush to squeeze the trigger.

If you decide to pitch in with guidance, please try to post a pic to show what X inches actually looks like. I'm sure it would help a lot more newbie 'Lopers than just me.
 
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Kiwi

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I'm in the same boat - first time 'Lope hunting in Sept. In fact I've never even seen one! Keen to see a few pic's too.
 

Kiwi

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Thanks Gunner46. I drew unit 84 and also have a Gen elk tag. Should be an amazing trip, I have 3 weeks of DIY hunting planned.
 

redwoood

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Based on what I saw last year if you see anything that breaks 70 inches I would pull the trigger. It may be better this year but there were a lot of young bucks roaming last year with very few bigger bucks. Just what I saw on the private land I was hunting west of New Castle. It was a lot different than it was just a few years ago when I was out there. As for a pic I can't help you there. Best of luck. It will be a blast that is guaranteed.
 

VAspeedgoat

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May not exactly be up to boone and crocket standards but on my first hunt I intended to shoot a herd buck. I figured he wasn't too far off if he had a few girl friends instead of hanging in a bachelor group. I cant get any pictures to load but look for the prongs to be above the tips of their ears with bases as wide as their eyes. That is where I would start but maybe your trophy goals are higher. I think a respectable buck on public land in that area would be in the 11 to 12 inch range. A really good buck would be 14. I think it would be unreasonable to hold out for anything bigger without a ton of scouting. Some may disagree, but that is my opinion. There are probably many on here more familiar with the area than me.
 

opslt79

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Be Patient!

Gunner, I've hunted the Newcastle area since 2001 and have taken several respectable deer and goats. Our approach has been to hunt hard for the deer, especially in the early and late hours and take the goats during the middle of the day. The biggest factor we usually have to deal with is the number of tags we have in our group compared to the amount of time we have to hunt. If you're not pressed for time, don't shoot the first 12 inch buck you see. Zones 6, 7, & 8 all have some 13-14 inch goats roaming on public land. If you can fight the urge to drop the hammer on a smaller one, day two or three can produce decent results. Region B deer are another story. If a 4x4 shows itself at first light on opening day, I wouldn't hesitate. Good Luck and enjoy the Pizza Barn!!
 
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Gonna second the suggestion of finding something with prongs that break above the ears. Also what you find is some pronghorns have really unique horns that might be swept forward or to one side that are really cool and worth shooting.

Lots of moisture this year as was last year so any buck will be producing quite well. I really think after 1/2-1 day of scouting you will get a handle on whats out there in the unit.

For an eastern hunter the easiest way to look at it is like a tom turkey vs a jake in that you ask yourself does it have horns (a beard) and are those horns tiny (is the beard more than 5")? If it has horns and they aren't tiny its a representative adult male and you have to start looking harder at the differences from there.

I don't think any first time pronghorn hunter thought their trip was ruined based on 1/2" of antler growth.

Something worth considering that I overlooked on my first trip out there was the stalk-ability of a given herd or buck. We were going after everything we saw without really planning out if we could get close or not end up shooting in a crosswind.
 

phutch30

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One more thing. Dont get hung up on a herd buck. Being the herd buck doesnt always translate into being the biggest buck....only the most aggressive. Many times you will see lone bucks that are larger than any of the herd bucks. One set of eyes is a lot easier to over come than a herds worth too
 

Randy11

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One more thing. Dont get hung up on a herd buck. Being the herd buck doesnt always translate into being the biggest buck....only the most aggressive. Many times you will see lone bucks that are larger than any of the herd bucks. One set of eyes is a lot easier to over come than a herds worth too

This is great advice. Big horns does not always equal tough in the antelope world. My biggest Montana buck was off licking his wounds by himself. On my Wyoming hunt last year, I got to look at literally hundreds of bucks, and the bucks with does were by no means bigger than the ones on their own or in bachelor herds. Sometimes they were, sometimes they weren't.
 

Topgun 30-06

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Same thing happened last Fall when I was with my buddy helping him on his Wyoming tag. We were on two bucks that were in the mid 70s that were still with does and rutting when we ran into the 84 4/8" one John shot that was all by himself.
 

VAspeedgoat

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To clarify myself better, I was not trying to say that a herd buck would be the biggest. I only meant for an eastern tenderfoot like mtself, it was a good way to prevent shooting a scrub when your judging experience is limited. My buck last year was only running with a few does and was bigger than anything we saw running with large harems. So no, don't get hung up on herd bucks, but don't let a lone buck fool you into thinking he is a shooter. That is what happened to my friend both years he has gone. But, thats what happens when you don't research or become a member of hunt talk.
 

Gunner46

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Thanks Guys, very much appreciated.

Note to Opslt79. Would you consider these shooters? I really have no clue, simply researching In-field experience. Whitetails are free game on this tag, and I will tag one if it gets late, but I already have about 40 under my belt, a Mulie is the goal.
 

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Revharvey9576

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I haven't been mulie hunting yet but have been building points, researching, studying photos, and have seen some in person while lope hunting....

I would pass on those bucks..but that's just me. I want a good trophy
 

VAspeedgoat

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I don't think the one in the back on the left is too bad. Honestly though it will be my first time too. I will be interested to read what others say. You guys may look down on this but as a first timer I may very well pull the trigger on any of these bucks. Any buck would be a trophy to me. My first whitetail was a doe and that doesn't make her any less special. If I am successful at all I will feel just like that kid again on this hunt.

Onto the question though, the buck in the back on the left appears to me to have forks on the top on both sides and I think he has forks out front on both sides as well. I would say he does not have much mass but may have descent width. To me I would be excited to see this buck as a first timer. But maybe I have buck fever and he's a dink. Can we get clarification from the experts.
 

BuzzH

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Those are all young deer in that photo. What any hunt boils down to is what you would be happy with and what your goals are.
 

putm2sleep

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Not shooters! With that many young ones....
There will be others - strong herd around I would assume
 

putm2sleep

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But - there is one very much like the one starring at you, on the Wall - in my sons bedroom. Nice hat rack for those dam flat bill caps kids wear these days.

Memorable hunt - was solo made a killer shot, and proud of my fine trophy.
One load was nice too!

It's whatever ya like
 

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