I drew everything I put in for this year in Wyoming!
My brother-in-law and I drew Type 1 “any elk” permits on Laramie Peak (Area 7), which had a 24% draw odd this year. Last year the 1,500 “any elk” permits holders killed 832 bulls and 104 antlerless elk off the unit. Area 7, has a ton of elk, but they are very difficult to access on public lands and the hunting pressure is off the charts with 4,268 permits issued in 2016 (total harvest=2,118). I will hunt archery season (September 1-30), any elk rifle (October 15-November 20), and antlerless only rifle (November 21-December 31). Luckily, I can be hunting on Area 7 within 30 minutes or less from my house and I have all summer to scout. My goal is to harvest a bull (any size) with my bow, or if I can’t get that done, I would like to shoot a 5 or 6 point bull during rifle season. Yes, there are very big bulls on Area 7, but they are hard to find on public land.
I drew my second choice antelope permit for Area 103, which is right next to my house. I saw a few good bucks out-and-about last year on public land. I view my antelope hunt as my “kids hunt”. I hope they can go with me and have a good experience. They are 6, 4, 2, and a newborn right now. My daughter was 4 when I took her antelope hunting in Nevada and she loved every minute of the hunt. Harvest success for this Type 1 permit was 91.7% in 2016. The unit is close to 90% private lands, but I know I can find the antelope on public land if I put in a little time. My goal is to get a buck with 14″+ horns with a rifle, or a 12″+ buck with my bow. I will hunt archery (August 15-October 4) and rifle (October 5-October 31). I can’t actually hunt archery until after the August 21st because a total solar eclipse passes directly over the park where I work and we are expecting about 65,000 park visitors.
I knew that I would draw a Type 3 whitetail deer permit on Area 15 as my first choice. I know this will be a very hard permit to fill on a buck, but I should have no problem getting antlerless whitetail. Last year 168 bucks and 24 antlerless deer were taken on the 353 permits. I am good with a 54% harvest rate. The unit is right next to my house and there are several sections of state land and a few hunter management areas that I can explore. I can hunt archery (September 1-30), rifle any whitetail deer (October 1-November 30), and rifle antlerless only (December 1-December 31). I’ve never hunted whitetail so I will hold out for a buck until the end of November and then I will harvest a doe.
I will also get a general deer permit, but I don’t think I will have time to focus on it with all my other permits. I would love to shoot a 24″ muley buck or better with my bow. I will be hunting elk, antelope, and whitetail deer on general deer units, so I should be able to find a good mule deer buck in my adventures.
I am going to need a bigger freezer!