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Wyoming unit 7 success

Fishdart

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Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
18
I didn't want to muck up the other thread re: unit 7, so here we are.

This was the first and quite possibly last western big-game hunt I've ever taken with my father, so we went in fully prepared to fill our "Any antelope" tags with any legal antelope.
We'd also only ever seen less than a dozen antelope with our own eyes ever in our lives, so getting a sense of relative size and quality was a theoretical line item heretofore.

This was a public land hunt for us. We arrived in-country Thursday afternoon, and despite a 1.5 day stint in the truck, we scouted for a few hours and quickly spotted our 1st Wyoming antelopes.
Friday was another 100+ miles of seat and glassing time where we confirmed that many of the bucks would look just fine on our mantles back in PA, as well as the difficulty in really sussing things out with distances and heat-mirage when they were a good bit off.

We didn't see many folks scouting but knew the larger chunk of public that held the most antelope we'd seen would also attract the most hunters opening morning. We decided to try and use that to our advantage and be in a position over the next rise in the landscape that the animals would bail over once the trucks came down the road in the daylight. Despite my insistence, my dad told me not to pass an opportunity to shoot if he wasn't in a good position (knees and hips not young anymore) or didn't feel comfortable with a longer shot.

We set up the tent for the night, and went to sleep with a few herds within eyesight. That night we got what seemed like ALL the rain that ever fell in Wyoming and on opening morning we found out in earnest about that concrete-like mud we'd heard about; that stuff is NO JOKE.

On opening morning, things got moving quickly; we tried a pair of failed stalks and other hunters started getting some action. Eventually we got about a mile in and I spotted a buck with a small group of does/fawns. Range was under 250, so I felt very confident of a shot opportunity. Unfortunately a pair of fellas on a quad had worked down a 2-track and were in a position that didn't give me a safe shot. They took a shot at another buck nearby and the other group started running our way. The herd crossed the ridge above us at about 150 yds and I whiffed on an off-hand shot. Luckily they continued in a way that gave me a 100yd shot and I connected as he slowed to a trot. 1st buck down at 8am.
 

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Fishdart

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May 28, 2020
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18
Part 2…

With my buck quartered, packed-out and on ice, we broke camp and hit the road to look for my dad’s buck. We marked a few prospects either deep into public, or on private adjacent lands thinking it would give us a start for the following morning, but around 5 we came to a pair of bucks on public and decided to give it a go before dark when they fed out of sight over the ridge line.

As we approached the last spot we’d seen the buck, a pair of doe spooked out and headed off. I was convinced we were busted, but suddenly I spotted horns just over the hilltop. I’ll never know why, but the buck crested the hill coming directly towards us, and he quickly fell to a 50-yard frontal shot as soon as his chest came into view.

We never expected to be finished on opening day, but we were and with a pair of chip-shots to boot.

We took a day of rest on Sunday then headed east into the South Dakota Black Hills for 2 days of camping and trout fishing. This was some spectacular country and we found scads of hungry browns and a few eager Brookies as well. I love small-stream, ultralight fishing and this did not disappoint. We fished stretches of Spearfish, Boxelder, Rapid, and Castle creeks and never saw another fisherman.

We meandered a bit en route home and saw Rushmore, Custer, and the Badlands.

Overall, we had a fantastic experience all around and we start building points again next year. The old buck insists he’ll be ready to go again in a few years, even on the cusp of 80, and I hope we can get out one more time and bring my son along as well.
 

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Brittany Chukarman

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Joined
Dec 16, 2003
Messages
2,001
Location
E. Oregon
Great trip all the way around. I took my dad on his last antelope hunt at 87. That stream fishing would have been the icing on the cake for him, he loved that. Keep going.
 

Ghillieman

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Joined
Jan 26, 2022
Messages
168
Location
Florida
Part 2…

With my buck quartered, packed-out and on ice, we broke camp and hit the road to look for my dad’s buck. We marked a few prospects either deep into public, or on private adjacent lands thinking it would give us a start for the following morning, but around 5 we came to a pair of bucks on public and decided to give it a go before dark when they fed out of sight over the ridge line.

As we approached the last spot we’d seen the buck, a pair of doe spooked out and headed off. I was convinced we were busted, but suddenly I spotted horns just over the hilltop. I’ll never know why, but the buck crested the hill coming directly towards us, and he quickly fell to a 50-yard frontal shot as soon as his chest came into view.

We never expected to be finished on opening day, but we were and with a pair of chip-shots to boot.

We took a day of rest on Sunday then headed east into the South Dakota Black Hills for 2 days of camping and trout fishing. This was some spectacular country and we found scads of hungry browns and a few eager Brookies as well. I love small-stream, ultralight fishing and this did not disappoint. We fished stretches of Spearfish, Boxelder, Rapid, and Castle creeks and never saw another fisherman.

We meandered a bit en route home and saw Rushmore, Custer, and the Badlands.
Overall, we had a fantastic experience all around and we start building points again next year. The old buck insists he’ll be ready to go again in a few years, even on the cusp of 80, and I hope we can get out one more time and bring my son along as well.
Well done fellas...remember... Memories are life's currency. Make many and you'll be rich beyond belief..
ehs
 

hardwoods

Active member
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
277
Location
MN
Sounds like a Great hunt with your Dad!! Something you'll never forget I'm sure.
 

mrklean

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Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
123
Nice job, how are the numbers looking in 7, I was driving through earlier this year and they were looking pretty ugly. I know its been on a decline but hoped the reduced tags would help the numbers out.
 

Fishdart

Active member
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
18
Nice job, how are the numbers looking in 7, I was driving through earlier this year and they were looking pretty ugly. I know its been on a decline but hoped the reduced tags would help the numbers out.
Heck if I know....It was my 1st time ever in Wyoming and/or chasing antelope so I have no frame of reference. For our part, we saw enough targets to pursue, but both agreed that the decrease to 250 tags from 1000+ definitely helped keep the opportunity/pressure ratio at a comfortable level. Locals out there, including the local biologist, mostly all said #s way down from long-term. One fella blamed it on EHD moreso than habitat degradation.
 

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