Congrats to you allTo update our trip, we had a wonderful time. This was my brother's first trip hunting Wyoming or anywhere out west. I don't think he realized how big and vast the landscape is. We were muzzleloader hunting antelope and it turned out to be more of a challenge then I expected. Finding antelope was not difficult, but getting within range was the biggest hurdle to overcome. Although there are areas that the terrain is conducive for stalking and getting in close, finding an antelope in those locations wasn't easy. Most of the antelope hung out in the open flats that were impossible to get close at all. But, in the end, we got it done.
Anyway, we arrived around 6:30 am on Saturday morning. We had permission slips for an HMA and were going to concentrate around there. There was some BLM ground were we could camp close by so we headed down the road to that location. On the drive in, we saw plenty of antelope and a group of 7 bulls crossing the road. View attachment 113796
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We got camp set up and spent the rest of the day driving around checking out the area. We saw plenty of antelope, mule deer, and elk. The numbers of elk we saw was surprising. However, most were on private land. We didn't really find any bucks that were outstanding. Most were good respectable bucks. Had a little cloud cover with sprinkles late in the day to bring the rainbow and then watched a tremendous sunset from camp while eating supper.
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Opening day my dad and brother went to the south were we had found one of the better bucks. I stayed close by camp hiking up a big hill to get on top of a long ridge. About an hour after light, I spotted 2 buck together moving away from me on the side hill of the ridge. One was small and the other was very respectable buck. I slipped of the opposite side and hiked out the end of the ridge to intercept them. When I got there and peaked over, the better buck was bedded below me to my left. I ranged him at 212 yards. So I slipped back around and came up over the ridge above him. Although I had moved closer, when I ranged him again, he was still 190. I felt comfortable with this and set up to wait him out. After about 30 minutes, he stood up standing broadside facing the right. I steadied and fired, but missed just right. I didn't account for the wind, but think this was the cause of the miss at it was blowing left to right. The photo below is where the buck was bedded below me in the bare spot.
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My dad and brother didn't fair well either, both missing shots early that day. Dad stayed out sitting along a fence hoping the road hunters would push something his way. They did, but he missed again. My brother and I began driving around trying to find something to stalk. We saw one off the road about 1/2 mile in a good position. We were able to come in from behind him up a steep ridge. Located him and then moved in closer but could find exactly where he was cause he was down in a depression. I advised my brother to just wait him out. He got impatient trying to relocate him and stood up. The buck saw him and took off. Needless to say, I was disappointed. Later we found some undisturbed antelope on a section of state ground and that is where my brother would start day 2.
On day 2, my brother and dad headed to the state section. My brother got it done, but dad missed a couple more easy shots. I returned to the high ridge and located the buck from day 1. He was way below me 1/4 mile or more along the drainage. I watched him and he bedded. I eased down the back side working my way to hump above him. He was still 250 yards away and I was patient and let him make the next move hoping he would work towards me. He finally got up and began slowing working his way towards me. When he got to 150, he dropped down below where I couldn't see him. I raised up slowly and steadied for the shot. Hit him perfect and he ran down the hill 100 yards.
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After the antelope were taken care of later in the morning, we decided to head into town to find a shower. We were hot and tired and needed a break. We hunted on the way trying to find an antelope for my dad. We came across 2 bucks on a section of BLM. The stalk was on, but we made dad use one of our guns because we didn't think his was sighted in properly. So after a careful stalk, dad has his down with a 100 yard shot. So, yes, it was his gun.
I would definitely do that hunt again. It is fun and challenging, but lots of opportunity if it doesn't work out right away. View attachment 113807