Save Points or Go For It

Mainer207

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
224
Location
New York
Hi all,

I’m an eastern guy who’s never done a western hunt. It’s been a dream of mine to start getting after it, but the buddy I thought would build points and plan with me bailed and moved to France.

I will have 4 points for Antelope, Deer, and Elk in Wyoming next season.

I’m debating applying for antelope next year and just going for it. I’m afraid if I wait too long and build up points I’ll be going into a Trophy unit with no experience and not be able to do the opportunity justice. Is this sound logic?

Is it worth considering a guide since I’ve never been out west, or is this a doable solo hunt even for someone who is inexperienced?

I’d prefer to drive out from PA, but if I go guided it may make more sense to fly. I own my own contracting business but it’d be difficult to be gone more than 10-14 days.

Any advice/encouragement for solo first timers is appreciated. I’m in my early thirties and I know if I keep waiting I’ll never get to build my western hunting chops the way I’ve imagined for the last 5 years or so.
 

Bullshot

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Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
744
Location
Two days into the rising sun
Absolutely go DIY for antelope, you will have a blast and learn alot and have a ton of fun. PM me before next season as you consider your application strategy, I’ll help you out if I can. I drive solo, farther than you, but its worth it. If you have time this Sept, take a week off, drive out there and look at a couple units, go fishing, check things out. It is a good excuse to go especially if you are starting out from square one.
 

oldbutnotdead

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2022
Messages
193
If you REALLY just want to get your feet wet, put a swing for the fences first choice and put units you know you should get for 2nd and third....then you keep your points, but still get to hunt :). Now with that said and who knows what is going to happen next year and 2nd and 3rd choices are more than likely mostly private land unit with little public, thats why they are easy to draw, that might not be what you want to do. Something to think about though....
 

Bluffgruff

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Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
876
Location
Colorado
If you REALLY just want to get your feet wet, put a swing for the fences first choice and put units you know you should get for 2nd and third....then you keep your points, but still get to hunt :). Now with that said and who knows what is going to happen next year and 2nd and 3rd choices are more than likely mostly private land unit with little public, thats why they are easy to draw, that might not be what you want to do. Something to think about though....
This is essentially a dead strategy. It was alive and well until just a couple years ago, but no longer an option except for those blessed with private land access or clairvoyance... or those willing to hunt just doe tags.
 

Mainer207

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
224
Location
New York
This is essentially a dead strategy. It was alive and well until just a couple years ago, but no longer an option except for those blessed with private land access or clairvoyance... or those willing to hunt just doe tags.
I’m not opposed to a doe hunt..especially in a unit with good fly fishing to make it a two for one trip
 

2rocky

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Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
3,727
With four points you have a 100% chance in many of the Units east of Casper. If you go through Go hunt, I think you can have an idea of what units to pursue. Many of them have a lot of Private land to deal with.

As far as hunting Pronghorn, it is a learn by doing kinda thing. You will figure it out after a few blown stalks. A lot of Pronghorn Hunting is "Pronghorn Watching".

Go do it...
 

brownbear932008

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Joined
Jul 15, 2011
Messages
2,525
Location
SWVA
I’m not opposed to a doe hunt..especially in a unit with good fly fishing to make it a two for one trip
Then in that case maybe select a unit you want to buck hunt in and attempt to draw doe tags first to get your feet wet and get some experience. Antelope is 100% an easy diy trip. Don't waste money on a guide with 4 points your getting into some decent units, access is the key.
 

Seamaster

Active member
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
192
Four points next year should be OK for a tag somewhere where you should have a good hunt, but it is not an ideal position for a new solo DIY guy. If you solo DIY hunt a four point area a couple of weeks after the opener I would think your chances of success are good for a buck. Hiring a guide with four points should get you onto good private land and almost guaranteed success with a fairly good buck. The areas with mostly private land are easy to draw, but tough hunting on the patches of the accessible public land. It is all a game of time and/or money.

Doe tags used to be a good hunt, but it is now tough to draw them now in most units that have a good bit of public land. I used to draw the doe tags easily but that is certainly not the case anymore.
 

Mainer207

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Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
224
Location
New York
Staying to the eastern side of the state saves some driving hours, but any way I slice it it’ll be about 3 days of driving each way.

I’ve been eyeballing unit 7 and unit 18 but some research through the forums has me skeptical, especially of 7. I also had unit 31 on my list but I think that’s a stretch to draw.

In a perfect world, I’d be in a unit with some decent public and a little bit of trout water to fish while I’m out there. I know I’m not in a great position to be picky but might as well try.
 

ccc23454

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
2,416
Location
Wyoming
Hi all,

I’m an eastern guy who’s never done a western hunt. It’s been a dream of mine to start getting after it, but the buddy I thought would build points and plan with me bailed and moved to France.

I will have 4 points for Antelope, Deer, and Elk in Wyoming next season.

I’m debating applying for antelope next year and just going for it. I’m afraid if I wait too long and build up points I’ll be going into a Trophy unit with no experience and not be able to do the opportunity justice. Is this sound logic?

Is it worth considering a guide since I’ve never been out west, or is this a doable solo hunt even for someone who is inexperienced?

I’d prefer to drive out from PA, but if I go guided it may make more sense to fly. I own my own contracting business but it’d be difficult to be gone more than 10-14 days.

Any advice/encouragement for solo first timers is appreciated. I’m in my early thirties and I know if I keep waiting I’ll never get to build my western hunting chops the way I’ve imagined for the last 5 years or so.
Your backwards in your strategy in my opinion. You should target elk or deer first and continue to build lope points. Your likey right on the edge of getting a good deer or elk tag with 4 points. Antelope take the most points to draw "good" hunts of the three and four points doesnt get you anything close to a "trophy unit" now a days. FYI "Trophy Unit" is internet talk for access and population, all of wyoming has trophys just some areas have a lot more animals and places to hunt them. There are also a great many reduced cow tags to cut your western teeth on. I think a deer tag and cow tag in same region would be cool 2 week hunt...
 

ElkFever2

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Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
3,979
Location
Iowa
Something like 98% of WY residents hunt antelope without a guide. The animals are active during the day and stand right out there in the open. I’d suggest applying for a unit and go hunt it. Anything you can draw with 4 points is basically 100% success with some rudimentary hunting skills.

Trophy units/ high point units you have easy pick of dozens of bucks. Lower point units have less access, require a bit more work, but the mature bucks are there. Zero point units you run into severe access issues.
 

Seamaster

Active member
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
192
With four points it just might be a good idea to enter the Special draw for a better chance for a less crowded area. I don't think the units that you have initially chosen are a very good use of your points on public land. Good luck!
 

Mainer207

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
224
Location
New York
Your backwards in your strategy in my opinion. You should target elk or deer first and continue to build lope points. Your likey right on the edge of getting a good deer or elk tag with 4 points. Antelope take the most points to draw "good" hunts of the three and four points doesnt get you anything close to a "trophy unit" now a days. FYI "Trophy Unit" is internet talk for access and population, all of wyoming has trophys just some areas have a lot more animals and places to hunt them. There are also a great many reduced cow tags to cut your western teeth on. I think a deer tag and cow tag in same region would be cool 2 week hunt...

Interesting. I’d do a solo deer hunt, but I think elk I’d want to go guided or with a friend.

I’d be happy hunting whitetail or mule deer out there. I kind of imagined saving the deer points to do a horseback guided camp some day, but maybe I should re-consider that
 

Mainer207

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
224
Location
New York
With four points it just might be a good idea to enter the Special draw for a better chance for a less crowded area. I don't think the units that you have initially chosen are a very good use of your points on public land. Good luck!
Im early in the research stage, but those were two I keyed in on for access reasons. Mainly I just want to see some pretty country and hopefully some animals. Big bucks are nice but I’d be happy with anything, so larger numbers is more important to me than trophy class bucks.
 

oldbutnotdead

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2022
Messages
193
This is essentially a dead strategy. It was alive and well until just a couple years ago, but no longer an option except for those blessed with private land access or clairvoyance... or those willing to hunt just doe tags.
What about doing this with a trespass fee? I paid $100 bucks to hunt like 50,000 acres once a few years ago.
 
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