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Wyoming Resident Newbie

Watts307

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2022
Messages
257
Location
Wyoming
Hey Folks,

I have been living in Wyoming for over a year now and officially a resident in the eyes of Fish and Game.

This ending hunting season was not the best to say the least. Arriving to Wyoming I knew absolutely nothing but decided to role with the punches and buy tags or what was left over.

I didn't draw an elk or deer tag and I did not apply for antelope because honestly I didn't even know I had to. I though it was OTC. My fault.

Anyways, the deer tag was in area 33, whitetail doe. It was only $35 for NR so I said sure! Found mule deer but no whitetail and to my findings the entire area was pretty much private land.

Also got a left over NR elk cow tag for unit 7. Was excited because everyone said it was a good unit but to my findings it was mainly checkerboard land and private land. Saw one group of elk and that was all. I didn't have any time off work so not a lot of scouting, traveling, and boots on the ground research was done.

Needless to say it was a little disheartening. I am from WA and never stepped foot off National Forest land, never needed land ownership maps, never hunted random peoples property, no guides, walk in units, HMAs etc. I know the hunting in WA cannot compare to here in WY. However my experience and first hunting trips left me a little homesick.

Now that I am a resident and have more options and knowledge of how things work, below is my plans for my 2023 season and was hoping for anyone's advice or opinions. Whether you have more knowledge than me of Wyoming or have more hunting experience in this state. Any insight will be appreciated. It may look standard and basic to folks but I am just throwing it out there just in case someone has input or thinks I should go another route.

Plan:

My goal is mainly gaining knowledge, covering ground and learning more areas. Also to get an antelope because that's one animal I haven't hunted yet.

I feel like I should get general tags for Deer and Elk. Hopefully allowing me to go to units with more public access and room to spread out. Hunting pressure may be more but that's nothing new coming from WA. Muley's are probably my favorite to hunt but getting an elk may take precedent this year. In WA, most units central and east of the state is "True Spike or Spike Only" BS, so having the opportunity to hunt bulls would be epic for me but cows would make me smile ear to ear as well.

Also, I am planning on applying for antelope areas close to home, here in Casper. Seeing as there everywhere. Not looking for monsters and hoping to just get knowledge of how to hunt and be successful. I think an antelope hunt is the best way to introduce my fiancé into hunting as well. Since she has been a resident and wants to get into hunting. Since I do not know anything about most areas and just relying on Go Hunt planning and filtering, I am leaning on units with highest draw odds, just to get the tag and experience regardless.

Planning for future, I'll also be doing preference points for Moose.


Sorry for the long rant but if anyone thinks I'm crazy for leaving a certain species, hunt, or application out. Or has any advice on my 2023 plans or have any input, I am all ears.

Thank You!
 
Doesn't sound like a bad plan. Don't let your last season discourage you though, all new areas take a little time to figure out. Area 7 has plenty of accessible public land to hunt elk. The elk move around quite a bit and sooner or later you'll run into them. Nice thing about elk is you can get a few tags if you apply correctly. Lots of antelope around Casper. Shouldn't have an issue there. Finding a good deer can be tricky. Be sure to study the draw odds from previous years. Good luck.
 
Doesn't sound like a bad plan. Don't let your last season discourage you though, all new areas take a little time to figure out. Area 7 has plenty of accessible public land to hunt elk. The elk move around quite a bit and sooner or later you'll run into them. Nice thing about elk is you can get a few tags if you apply correctly. Lots of antelope around Casper. Shouldn't have an issue there. Finding a good deer can be tricky. Be sure to study the draw odds from previous years. Good luck.
I appreciate it. I was told lots of places to checkout in Unit 7 but had limited to time and couldn't check them all. So still keeping my hopes up, seems unit 7 is also deer units that are general. So maybe ill use that as an excuse to explore more of the unit. Multiple elk tags sound very intriguing, ill do some research. (y)
 
Im going to be a resident of the state next month but not in G&F eyes for another year as you mentioned. But when I get to your level, my goal is to apply for almost everything I can. If all else fails, general deer and elk are my plan Z. Which in Wyoming is a hell of a plan Z. I think the main thing is getting out into the mountains and going. A bad planned hunt is always better than a successful day at work….

The only thing I’m leaving out is mountain goat and sheep. I’m not mentally prepared for that yet. To honor the animal and the hunt, I’m holding off until 2025.

Pronghorn and turkey is a very good first hunt for your fiancé. I got my wife into hunting with stalking pronghorn. She wants to turkey hunt when we move out there. I’d recommend a bird hunt.

Maybe we can meet up and do a hunt or two when I get there.
 
Focus efforts on scouting general deer/elk units since you can hunt those no matter what ever year. Apply for everything your interested in, deer and elk swing for fences if you want. Moose apply, you get a point if you dont draw and you may never catch points so use every year as chance in random. Dont use gohunt as your primary tool, learn how to use information directly from g&f. Hardest part of antelope is drawing a tag and will likely see even further cuts this spring but tags are avaliable if your willing to travel. Good luck
 
Im going to be a resident of the state next month but not in G&F eyes for another year as you mentioned. But when I get to your level, my goal is to apply for almost everything I can. If all else fails, general deer and elk are my plan Z. Which in Wyoming is a hell of a plan Z. I think the main thing is getting out into the mountains and going. A bad planned hunt is always better than a successful day at work….

The only thing I’m leaving out is mountain goat and sheep. I’m not mentally prepared for that yet. To honor the animal and the hunt, I’m holding off until 2025.

Pronghorn and turkey is a very good first hunt for your fiancé. I got my wife into hunting with stalking pronghorn. She wants to turkey hunt when we move out there. I’d recommend a bird hunt.

Maybe we can meet up and do a hunt or two when I get there.
Yeah Turkey is on the list. I have a buddy that has some land on the mountain and maybe I can get lucky.

Won’t have much time I think to travel this year so keeping to somewhat local. If odds hold true I should draw antelope for sure.

Pheasant would be cool too. I’ve never done bird hunting.
 
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You should apply for the LE deer tags. If you don’t draw then buy a general tag. Plenty of great spots to hunt in WY
I did two LE entry for deer, one is along shot but epic trophy potential and one for extra access in the General Unit Ill be going. Both close to home. We'll see what happens.
 
Focus efforts on scouting general deer/elk units since you can hunt those no matter what ever year. Apply for everything your interested in, deer and elk swing for fences if you want. Moose apply, you get a point if you dont draw and you may never catch points so use every year as chance in random. Dont use gohunt as your primary tool, learn how to use information directly from g&f. Hardest part of antelope is drawing a tag and will likely see even further cuts this spring but tags are avaliable if your willing to travel. Good luck
I did two LE for Deer but one is for extra access in the general unit I will be going. I mainly applied and looked at hunts that have a longer season and good access, just because time off will most likely not be good this year. If GoHunt odds hold at 100% chance as of now I should draw the two antelope tags for sure. It isnt the best unit but its close to home and my brother and his friends will be there. So boots on the ground, a tag and good company is taking precedent this year for antelope. I got two apps in for good bull units and then third choice is a good cow tag. I did the reduced cow as well. Well see what happens. Looking forward to it regardless fo results. At least now I can just get General Elk and Deer.
 
I did two LE entry for deer, one is along shot but epic trophy potential and one for extra access in the General Unit Ill be going. Both close to home. We'll see what happens.
I use GoHunt to sort through options for tags based on my points and residency in a particular state (non-resident in all but one...as we all are). If there are several tags you have a decent chance to draw then can parse though based on reported success levels, antler size or other factors.

I use OnXMaps to e-scout and trade info with other hunters on tags that are basically "once per lifetime" where is minimal risk helping someone be successful on their lucky tag draw negatively impacts me or anyone I know trying to get that tag.

Wyoming will have some tags for certain species go to 2nd and 3rd choices or even as Leftovers in the follow-up draw. Only 1st Choice in the initial draw burns your accumulated points if you are drawn for that tag.

You can parse out what tags might go on 2nd Choice or later by looking at prior year draw results at the Wy F&G website. Last year's data does not perfectly overlay the upcoming draw though beats tossing a dead cat over your shoulder in a graveyard at midnight. Wyoming is putting the screws even harder to non-residents so you picked a good time to move from WA. WY also cares a heck of a lot more about big game than compared to WA which seems fish-centric.
 
I use GoHunt to sort through options for tags based on my points and residency in a particular state (non-resident in all but one...as we all are). If there are several tags you have a decent chance to draw then can parse though based on reported success levels, antler size or other factors.

I use OnXMaps to e-scout and trade info with other hunters on tags that are basically "once per lifetime" where is minimal risk helping someone be successful on their lucky tag draw negatively impacts me or anyone I know trying to get that tag.

Wyoming will have some tags for certain species go to 2nd and 3rd choices or even as Leftovers in the follow-up draw. Only 1st Choice in the initial draw burns your accumulated points if you are drawn for that tag.

You can parse out what tags might go on 2nd Choice or later by looking at prior year draw results at the Wy F&G website. Last year's data does not perfectly overlay the upcoming draw though beats tossing a dead cat over your shoulder in a graveyard at midnight. Wyoming is putting the screws even harder to non-residents so you picked a good time to move from WA. WY also cares a heck of a lot more about big game than compared to WA which seems fish-centric.
I've been really enjoying GoHunt and Onx has been a staple on my phone for last 6 years or so.

Ya unfortunately a lot of jobs have been given to anti hunters etc by the Governor. Who basically sits on his porch and watches what California does, then tries to duplicate it. I've never seen someone lose 27/39 counties and still get reelected. Their drooling over wolves, now they wanna reintroduce more Grizzlies. They truly want to create chaos with predators so then they can say we don't need hunters to help anymore. WA is more fish centric but also royally screwing them over too. Sad, breaks my heart but I'm not going down with the ship, I didn't vote or ask for it.
 
My first season as an official WY resident (2021) was much the same as yours. However, I hunted hard and learned a lot, even though I only filled one tag that year (Antelope). 2022 was a much better year for me, and I really feel like I'm starting to "catch on" to Western hunting. If I had a WY hunting buddy to learn from, it sure would have helped me out, but I didn't have that option, so I have been learning the hard way. Sounds like you might be in the same boat. I'm sure that you'll start experiencing some more success soon, just keep at it!
 
My first season as an official WY resident (2021) was much the same as yours. However, I hunted hard and learned a lot, even though I only filled one tag that year (Antelope). 2022 was a much better year for me, and I really feel like I'm starting to "catch on" to Western hunting. If I had a WY hunting buddy to learn from, it sure would have helped me out, but I didn't have that option, so I have been learning the hard way. Sounds like you might be in the same boat. I'm sure that you'll start experiencing some more success soon, just keep at it!
Ya hoping for more success this year. Definitely not new to western hunting but different states can be intimidating. Lot of new country to learn and think doing general tags will help over time. I got my draw apps inputted. And think I’m on the right track. 👍🏻
 
Ya hoping for more success this year. Definitely not new to western hunting but different states can be intimidating. Lot of new country to learn and think doing general tags will help over time. I got my draw apps inputted. And think I’m on the right track. 👍🏻
Fyi your deadlines are different than NRs
 
My take -

I can help you with turkey. I live in Newcastle.

Hunting pronghorn is fun, but not easy. Harvesting is super common. (go figure.) Also, I am a meat hunter, so I WAY prefer the idea of does over bucks. Just taste better, IMO.

Get to know locals regarding elk in your area. I go for a draw and get an OTC general every year. Mrs. Fan doesn't like mulie meat, so it is white tail or nothing here.

Water fowl kind of sucks here, but there is a pretty active fb group for it.

Good luck.
 

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