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Caribou Gear

South Dakota or Nebraska?

woodruff93

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Feb 7, 2020
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Looking for advice and any pointers on planning a trip out west. I have been hunting whitetails in WI for 15 years but am looking for my first out of state hunt. I have been doing research for a year now on forums, onX and state websites and think I’ve narrowed it down to antelope and/or mule deer in SD or NE. Planning on camping on BLM or other state land and would be going with 1 or 2 other guys.
We are planning on bow hunting public land and would like to go before the rifle season. Any suggestions as to going late August vs. mid September? Pros and cons of SD vs. NE? Not looking for any specific spots or anyone to give away their honey hole, just looking for some advice to get us pointed in the right direction.
Thanks in advance!
 
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Muleyewyo90

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Jan 17, 2020
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No experience in those states, but you could hunt WY antelope this year. Could also pick up some doe/fawn tags for a very reasonable price.
 

Bluffgruff

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Jun 23, 2019
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Antelope archery in August is a pretty hot and miserable proposition. I would advise a mid-September trip if that's an option. Later is better for the rut, which is good for spot and stalk. August could be better for water hole hunting, but that's probably miserable too.
 

Cheese Curd

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Jul 4, 2016
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Go to the SD website and look at the archery deer application for when non-residents can hunt deer on public land and that will help your decision given the dates/time frame you are wanting to go.
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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Welcome to the forum!

Can't tell you much about Nebraska, but in South Dakota all the blm land us west river, so it's going to mainly be spot and stalk, not sure if that's what you're looking for or not.
 

T Bone

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I've bow hunted pronghorn in SD. I concentrated in the SW and NW corners of the state. Plenty of animals. I'd go late September to get the rut.

Decoying can be pee-your-pants fun.
 

woodruff93

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Go to the SD website and look at the archery deer application for when non-residents can hunt deer on public land and that will help your decision given the dates/time frame you are wanting to go.
From what I’ve seen, it looks like SD would be out of the question if I decide to go for antelope and mule deer due to the fact that non residents can’t hunt public for mulies until October 1st. But I also may decide to just focus in on antelope being it’ll be our first time out there.
 

woodruff93

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Welcome to the forum!

Can't tell you much about Nebraska, but in South Dakota all the blm land us west river, so it's going to mainly be spot and stalk, not sure if that's what you're looking for or not.
Yes, spot and stalk is mostly what we’re after. Trying to do a fun “budget” hunt for our first time out west to learn the land and gain some experience. I figured if I wanted to hunt out of a blind I’d just stay in WI and hunt whitetails at that point.
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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From what I’ve seen, it looks like SD would be out of the question if I decide to go for antelope and mule deer due to the fact that non residents can’t hunt public for mulies until October 1st. But I also may decide to just focus in on antelope being it’ll be our first time out there.
Just my humble thoughts, but going after two species usually means you half ass both, instead of giving your all for one. I'd think Abbott just going after one. Pm me if you end up wanting to go to Sd and I'll do what I can to point you in the right direction!
 

woodruff93

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Just my humble thoughts, but going after two species usually means you half ass both, instead of giving your all for one. I'd think Abbott just going after one. Pm me if you end up wanting to go to Sd and I'll do what I can to point you in the right direction!
Yeah that’s kind of what I was thinking. We will probably decide to focus on one animal at least for our first go round. I have been doing a lot of research and looking at land in the NW corner north of Belle Fourche but have also heard that area gets pounded? How is the general overall pressure during archery season in SD?
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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Yeah that’s kind of what I was thinking. We will probably decide to focus on one animal at least for our first go round. I have been doing a lot of research and looking at land in the NW corner north of Belle Fourche but have also heard that area gets pounded? How is the general overall pressure during archery season in SD?
Depends who you ask haha. I've never thought it was crowded, but maybe I go to crappy spots... Rifle is a different beast, that does get busy, but there are not a lot of archery hunters so it's usually not too bad here, usually.
 

S.Dak Drifter

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Archery antelope season in SD closes during rifle antelope season, so late September- Early/Mid October is a no go for archery. Once rifle season is over archery reopens.
 

shb

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SD has more Speed goats, more deer, and more public land.


I'd take a walleye boat and troll for fishes while scanning the corp of engineers shores for stockable deers.



That's an adventure you can hang your hat on.


Plus lots of pheasant lodging for rent.
 

Dakota79

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From what I’ve seen, it looks like SD would be out of the question if I decide to go for antelope and mule deer due to the fact that non residents can’t hunt public for mulies until October 1st. But I also may decide to just focus in on antelope being it’ll be our first time out there.

So many people have got so carried away with this.Having some resident hunters out there for a month before you is not going to ruin everything. Archery mule deer and archery antelope the second half of October can be surprisingly good. Sure you can focus on one animal specifically but I would for sure have a license for the other in my pocket. Especially in the area you are considering. Sure as the sun shines the license you don't have is what you will see most of.
 
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Jan 28, 2020
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Been archery goat hunting twice around Buffalo plenty of walk in areas to hunt you will see very few hunters. Both times we went the week before rifle started rut was going wide open. Get yourself a walk in atlas there free you have to request one on there website not sure when the new one comes out.
 

woodruff93

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So many people have got so carried away with this.Having some resident hunters out there for a month before you is not going to ruin everything. Archery mule deer and archery antelope the second half of October can be surprisingly good. Sure you can focus on one animal specifically but I would for sure have a license for the other in my pocket. Especially in the area you are considering. Sure as the sun shines the license you don't have is what you will see most of.
I’m not as concerned about the hunt being ruined as much as lack of time. Unfortunately due to my work schedule, October gets pretty busy so I am looking to go August or September. But yes, that was my thought with multiple tags. Focus on antelope but I’m sure without a mule deer tag I’d come across one at 35 yards wishing I had a tag. Haha
Thanks for the info!
 

xXLoneBowmanXx

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Feb 5, 2020
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I did my first out west hunt last Fall in SD for archery antelope. I was also just trying to get my feet wet (I grew up hunting whitetail in Indiana and now live in FL). There are tons of antelope in the NW, but I went with a guide so I'm not sure about public land access. All along 85 you will see dozens of goats grazing in the fields, but mostly on private land. I do remember the guide mumbling about public land hunters driving around and scoping animals on his property, though. It's a really great place to get started, but I wont use a guide ever again. Not because it was a bad experience, it just wasn't the adventure I was looking for.
 

Wild Bill

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Pierre, SD
If I were a nonresident going somewhere to hunt antelope I'm not sure why you wouldn't just go the extra few miles and go to Wyoming. I'm from SD and there are plenty of pronghorn here, but honestly when you cross the border into WY it is like someone flipped a switch and there are just a lot more. And you're going to have roughly the same amount of public/private and hunting pressure for archery. Just my 2 cents
 

woodruff93

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If I were a nonresident going somewhere to hunt antelope I'm not sure why you wouldn't just go the extra few miles and go to Wyoming. I'm from SD and there are plenty of pronghorn here, but honestly when you cross the border into WY it is like someone flipped a switch and there are just a lot more. And you're going to have roughly the same amount of public/private and hunting pressure for archery. Just my 2 cents
How are draw odds for non residents with 0 points in zones with a decent chunk of public? I had done quite a bit of research on WY but what turned me away was probably not being able to buy anything but doe/fawn tags OTC as I’m not sure I can fully commit to a hunt 4 months in advance with putting in for the draw. We will be starting to put in for points as we would eventually like to hunt some of the better units in WY. Please let me know if I am missing anything, when it comes to the draw I am pretty clueless. Thanks for the info!
 
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