Eastern Wyoming

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by Tink-a-Link, Jul 16, 2022.

  1. Tink-a-Link

    Tink-a-Link Weekend Warrior

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    Who's got experience hunting south east, unit 15, Wyoming for deer? I've got an antlered deer w/ rifle tag this year (as well as a pronghorn tag for unit 19).
    This is going to be my first experience hunting big game outside of Minnesota so any advice will be helpful. I'm looking more for mule deer than whitetail but the tag is an either species type.
    What kinds of terrain should I be looking for. OnX shows a lot of flat terrain with gently rolling hills in the zone. Will it basically be take what I can find available, do lots of glassing and accept the results?
    I don't really know what questions to ask as I don't know what I don't know, but I'm trying to find as much data/knowledge as I can on the species.
    Thanks in advance for any tips and strategies!

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  2. wl704

    wl704 Legendary Woodsman

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  3. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    Dusto rarely if ever gets on the Forums anymore and is busy building a house before he starts guiding in a few weeks, so I will chime in as best as I can. I've been out to Wyoming half a dozen times or so, and poked holes in a few pronghorns and deer through the years.

    Let's start with pronghorns.

    Pronghorns are basically like the turkeys of the big game world. Their eyesight is impeccable and they run like hell so getting close to them is tough. Since they see so well during the day, they pretty much can't see at all at night. So unlike most of the animals we hunt, they usually stay in one spot all night and then move around during the day. In fact, they will move all day long which makes for some great hunting opportunities.

    If you're going during gun season I believe you will be after the rut is over so decoying may not work that well. Wyoming is dry as a popcorn fart, so I would imagine finding water is always a good idea, even when it starts to cool down during rifle season. We kill a lot of them over water during early archery season.

    In my experience, pronghorn are pretty much all over the place, so just drive around, hike around, glass a lot, and do your best to stay undetected on your stalk. Even if they are hundreds of yards away. By the time rifle season runs around the goats are bailing to the next county the minute they see a truck driving down the road - especially on public land.

    They don't seem to pay attention to the wind/human scent much, or at all, at least during archery season. Not sure if they get more wary once the season drags on a bit.

    Mulies and whitetails will both be pre-rutting during October, just like they will be back home. Decoys and rattling work well - just be careful if you're on public. Especially with a decoy. When it comes to rattlign and calling, we've had more luck with that in Wyoming than any other place we've hunted. If you hit it just right, it's pretty awesome. I was almost ran over several times by deer charging in to calls.

    If you're looking for whitetails, you want to find the low ground. River bottoms and irrigated ag fields. They stack up in those areas where there is food, water and possibly some cover. Since that's limited in Wyoming, when you find one whitetail, you're pretty likely to find 100 of them.

    Mulies tend to bed in cuts and washouts out of the sun, so they take some work to find. Lots of glassing is involved. They will be scattered all over the place, but will also congregate in ag fields if you happen to get permission to hunt one or find some public that is close to private with food on it.

    Both deer are sensitive to wind direction and human scent, so be careful just like you would back home. Play the wind and use the terrain to your advantage while stalking. It may look like rolling hills but trust me, there is a lot more there once you put boots on the ground.
     
  4. wl704

    wl704 Legendary Woodsman

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    Thanks @Justin.

    Only thing to add, for the OP, i don't recall a lot of public lands in SE WY...if that is the plan. Make sure you've got the tools or have done the sure diligence before making the drive...
     
  5. Tink-a-Link

    Tink-a-Link Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks JZ! A lot of great info in your reply. It confirms some of my prior assumptions and gives me more info about the terrain that I should be looking for while e-scouting.
    While I love the summer months to spend time at the lake and golf course, I'm REALLY looking forward to my first western hunt, and my first attempt to harvest big game with a rifle!

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  6. Tink-a-Link

    Tink-a-Link Weekend Warrior

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    I was on the phone yesterday with a game& fish agent from WY and she was mentioning that any BLM land is huntable, as well as all the chunks of WY state land (unless specifically restricted). Plus there is now a significant amount of walk-in access land that is available in zone 15. While there aren't many enormous chunks, in the 10k+ acreage, there certainly are areas that should be good.

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  7. ILbowhntr

    ILbowhntr Weekend Warrior

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    Not sure, but I’ll let you know.
    Be careful with corner jumping. It’s still up in the air if it can be done.
    I was out around Medicine Bow last year hunting pronghorn. Lots of public land in that area.
     

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