WY antelope /deer conundrum….your thoughts?

Toofdoc

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My buddy and I anticipated getting a supposedly “easier” antelope unit and with that we would both get 2 doe mule tags in same said unit. Both species in that particular unit are open at the same time (October 1st).

However, we were super lucky and drew a “trophy” antelope unit with very little points. This unit is nowhere near the unit where we have the doe tags. This trophy antelope unit opens mid September but the mule deer season opens, again, October 1st.

Ideally, I would want to drive out once and hunt both units with obvious emphasis on the antelope on the front side of the hunt.

My question is this… would it be foolish to wait a couple weeks after the opener to hunt the antelope in the trophy unit so can also use the 2 mule doe tags? Said differently, do you think we diminish our chances significantly to harvest a decent trophy antelope by not hunting the opener?

The antelope unit has such a limited amount of tags I’m not sure being there right on opener means anything.

IDK what the best way is to look at this. I guess the upside is that we would have 2 antelope tags, 4 mule deer doe tags between us and could really fill the freezer up.

Thoughts?
 

.270Rem

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We've seen strong rut behavior in late Sep and that first week of Oct for antelope so I suggest giving the last few days a shot on your buck tag and then head to doe country come Oct.
 

Flatrock

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For starters, I would get a nice bonfire going and burn the deer tags. No need for a distraction like that when you have a primo antelope tag.

If you don't do that, I don't know that it is a huge deal to skip the antelope opener. I am in the same boat with a primo antelope tag and from what I've gathered, it isn't crucial to be there for the opener. Hopefully a few guys who have more experience with that though will chime in.
 

rwc101

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But, yeah, make the pronghorn 100% your priority and treat the does as a bonus if you fill your buck tag early. The world won't end if a few muley does survive another year (and you'll never remember those lost tags if you bag buck antelope anyway).
 

ashersdad

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I've had a couple "trophy" antelope unit tags in Wyoming over the years. On those units I hunted later in the hunt and had almost no other pressure from hunters and antelope literally were everywhere. There's a reason they are "trophy" units. I don't think you'll have a problem later in the season.
 

50bowhunter

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I'll start by saying Iv'e only hunted antelope once, but I just finished reading Mike Eastman's book on antelope for the second time, and he constantly talks about waiting to hunt the end of the season for big antelope.
 

Khunter

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When I draw good WY pronghorn tags, I like to bow hunt. My favorite time to bowhunt is last day or so of Sept and first couple days of October. Major rutting and NO other hunters. Had it to ourselves to spot and stalk with a bow and even decoy, which sounds ill advised but again NOBODY was hunting in what equated to 3rd week of WY rifle antelope season.

I would say go closer to end of Sept with no worries. Could be better rut anyway.
 
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Seamaster

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I think that if you want the better bucks it is usually best to go early and try to tag out on the opener. That does not always hold true, but most of the big ones that I have seen taken on public land were scouted before the season began and shot within the first couple of days. If you do not care about score and just want a nice buck, hunting after the opener should be more relaxing and maybe a better experience.

Doe deer are so easy to take that you should be able to fill your tags well after the pronghorn is in the ice.
 

220yotekiller

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For me I would look at how much public land there is, if it is limited I would get there early before all the antelope get pushed onto private. If there is a lot of public I would go later.
 

NEWHunter

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Kinda depends on the antelope unit and what you consider a trophy. A couple weeks in last year my brother had chances at two different upper 70s bucks. Next time my brother will be happy to go later and I’ll want to go earlier - kinda depends.
 

3855WIN

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We went in October to coincide with my sons college fall break. The antelope were skittish, but there were also very few hunters.
Trade the doe tags for a fishing license.
 
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