Wyoming preparation

stephenk22

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Nov 16, 2015
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Without knowing any guys in Wyoming and having never been out there myself. I have a couple of basic questions.

1. Snakes. Are they an issue during antelope season? I am planning on hunting the eastern part of the state during the second weekend of the season. If they are, whats the best boots or boot height I should be wearing? (Im also on a tight budget.)

2. Campers. I have access to a small camper I could utilize for the trip. I was planning on camping out on public land. Are you allowed to use campers on public land or just tent camping? I've also read that the mud is crazy when it rains and makes the roads really difficult (which would make pulling a camper hard). I plan on walking around on a lot of the bigger public land units as it seems most guys just road hunt. If I bring a camper it also frees up a ton of space to bring coolers and gear.

Thanks guy, sorry for the really basic questions. I haven't seen much on these topics during my research.
 

Topgun 30-06

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1---I've hunted out there for many years and have only seen two small rattlers in all that time. After having hunted in south Texas for many years and seeing Diamondbacks that were 5'-6' long those little prairie rattlers looked like worms, LOL! Decent boots like you probably already hunt in are fine, but if you are squeamish about snakes you could buy a set of snake proof gaiters to go over your boots up to your knees. The biggest thing is to be very aware if you're making a stalk and are down on your hands and knees and I don't think that needs an explanation why.

2---You are allowed to use a tent or camper/trailer on BLM land unless posted otherwise, but you cannot camp at all on state lands. Watch closely and if the forecast is for moisture, you'll want to be camped very close to or on a gravel or blacktop road. We always carry two set of chains so we can put them on all 4 wheels of our 4x4 PU just in case it gets greasy and they will other than gravel or blacktop. We've been lucky and only needed them once in many years out there. You are correct in that a lot of antelope road hunting goes on and the further you get from a road or two track by foot the better it gets and IMHO the more fun it is.
 

VAspeedgoat

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Top gun told you right. I don't think I would waste money on boots or gaiters. I think the only real potential danger is during a stalk. If you are on your hands and knees you need to look out for little cactus anyway so just be careful. I have never seen one but have only done a few hunts. The chance mostly depends on weather, so if its cold there is less concern. Also, I second the thought of chains and also recommend a tow strap incase you need help. Camping is a great way to go and you are right on with putting in some miles to get away from roads. Good luck, planning is half the fun.
 

Walkathon

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Can't comment on the camper but I'm with TG and VAspeedgoat. I've been out to WY to hunt antelope 4 times and I've seen a total of 2 rattlesnakes. They were both by Alcova reservoir and I've heard they are common in that area.
 

Gut Shot

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I've been hunting in Wyoming five times and this was the first year we've seen snakes. One bull snake and a half dozen or so rattlers, the kids also found a few snake skins. This year we were hunting in 80+ degree weather and I'm sure that had something to do with it. I wouldn't worry about special boots, snakes really aren't that big of a deal.

If I remember correctly you aren't allowed to camp on state land but BLM and NF are good to go. There are some restrictions on how far off of the road you can camp.
 

Rooster52

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No body hates Snakes more than me.Several years ago I saw several rattlers on a deer hunt in southern part of the state. It was T shirt weather that year.The last few years I havenever seen any kind of snake.
I am going to do more antelope and deer hunting now days ,elk hunting is just getting to tough on me.Antelope hunting is a blast ,you will love it !
 

ShootsManyBullets

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1 - snakes aren't a big concern. Saw one by Alcova this year too. First one in 4 years or so. Cactus on the other hand... Cactus always appear about the time you find a good buck and need to belly crawl or you get all excited and sit in it when you get down to shoot.

2 - ALL travel including by foot sucks when it rains out there or when snow melts. If you hunt the HMAs they don't want you driving on their roads when it's wet and even the county roads are a PITA so bring beer and playing cards as you guys could probably get a game of uker going until it dries out. Good news is that the wind always blows there and dries it out quickly.
 

Walkathon

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Yes- forgot about the cactus! Watch where you sit and how you crawl. I always end up with cactus in my knees and usually some stuck in my hind quarters as well. Tweezers are a good idea. You may want to get a GPS with the ownership chip or download to make sure you're not on private land.
 
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Rooster52

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I have found lots of antelope on public land. Camped for free. That is the plan next year to.maybe a deer tag to ,have not decided. Buck antelope and a couple of does maybe enough.
 

stephenk22

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Thanks for all the info guys. I will be sure to look at BLM land and not the state land to camp on then. It sounds like I will add chains and a pair of knee pads to the shopping list. Glad to hear snakes aren't a big problem.

"Wapitibob" those cactus don't look like much fun to mess around in!

"Walkathon" I am planning to pick up a GPS and an onxmaps chip. I can't believe all the landlocked public land out there, it is really frustrating to see how much land is not available to hunt on because there is no access. From a midwesterners standpoint it seems incomprehensible to have so much hunting land but no access to it.
 

MinnesotaHunter

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Thanks for all the info guys. I will be sure to look at BLM land and not the state land to camp on then. It sounds like I will add chains and a pair of knee pads to the shopping list. Glad to hear snakes aren't a big problem.

"Wapitibob" those cactus don't look like much fun to mess around in!

"Walkathon" I am planning to pick up a GPS and an onxmaps chip. I can't believe all the landlocked public land out there, it is really frustrating to see how much land is not available to hunt on because there is no access. From a midwesterners standpoint it seems incomprehensible to have so much hunting land but no access to it.

IME, rattlers tend to be in clusters. We hunted an area a few years in a row that seemed to have a concentration of them, but most areas have not. We usually hear them before there is a run-in. At this point I could have probably made a couple of pairs of boots from that one spot though. ;)
 

Walkathon

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"Walkathon" I am planning to pick up a GPS and an onxmaps chip. I can't believe all the landlocked public land out there, it is really frustrating to see how much land is not available to hunt on because there is no access. From a midwesterners standpoint it seems incomprehensible to have so much hunting land but no access to it.

Yes, it is a bummer for sure. Some of the antelope units have a pile of land locked sections
 
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Snakes- over the last 2 years I've probably hiked 40 miles while antelope hunting and have seen 1 rattle snake and it was staking out a prairie dog hole. I was definitely very wary of them while stalking up washes. I definitely saw many more snake shed skins than snakes in October telling me most were pretty in active that time of year.

The mud is pretty spectacular and the fact that they mine bentonite clay for EP grease in a lot of antelope areas should tell you enough. I haven't had much issue out there getting around but they guys I've seen get stuck usually have bigger trucks towing trailers down blm roads. Towing a trailer becomes a huge off road liability even for a very capable 4x4. Watch the weather, last year we broke camp at 9 pm because we were 6 miles of BLM roads off the county gravel and had a high percentage of rain that night, be smart and proactive. They guys getting stuck were the ones pushing it with conditions/load/vehicle capability.

As horrible as it is, walking around the larger sections of BLM usually means you are constantly going to be buzzed by ATVs/UTVs and guys hunting out of trucks. You have the advantage of hunting the pockets and off the roads, but if a section is legally drivable it will be overrun and even if it isn't there is an unfortunate likelihood people will still be there especially if its jumping between legally huntable pieces that are 400 yards apart but take 6 miles of backtracking to legally access.
 

wytex

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Snakes are here . The largest prairie rattler we have ever caught was 58 inches long. We still have this skin, so they are not all small. Prairie rattlers are not aggressive per see but they will strike if threatened. They should not be of worry just respect that you may see one. Don't forget about early season snow storms also. We could have road closures that affect your travel to and from the area. Cactus causes more injuries than rattle snakes every year. Be prepared to crawl.
 

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