Posts Tagged ‘Wyoming’

I’ve been obsessing over Steven Rinella’s Meat Eater series on NetFlix for a few months.  I don’t care for most of the hunting TV shows that are currently in production: the pacing, music, Overly Out There Product Placement, and to me, the fact that if you watch and listen closely, a lot of the shows are on private hunting properties that the average hunter could only afford to visit after winning the lottery.

Meat Eater is almost exactly the opposite.  I’ve only watched seasons five and six, those being the two on NetFlix, and I can’t purchase the series on DVD, because it’s not offered on DVD.  (Note to self – check the cost of adding a DVR to pick up other episodes from broadcasts.)  In the two seasons I’ve watched, I don’t think he ever says the word ‘Vortex,’ which is the spotting scope, binocular, and rifle scope brand he uses, but he doesn’t need to. Between the Vortex hats and seeing the equipment, you know that it’s his preferred (or sponsored) brand. The same with all of the products in the show, really.  Now I know on broadcasts, the channel adds ‘This segment of Meat Eater is brought to you by…’ but that’s not in the actual episode.  The music is RIGHT, the production value is excellent, and he brings a different kind of feel to the hunting and fishing he does, because he really is in it for the MEAT.  There are episodes where he is after an exceptional specimen, like the mule deer hunt with Callahan in central Idaho, but even then, he’s after the meat, and that’s what gets taken care of first.

One of the episodes is a pronghorn hunt on BLM land, ‘Lobster of the Prairie: Wyoming Antelope,’  and that made me start looking into hunting pronghorn on public land.

The first thing I noticed, repeated on a dozen forums and published articles on Pronghorn hunting, is to beware of ‘guided’ hunts, because they are typically going to be a lot of money for somebody to drive you around until you spot antelope.  Which you can do yourself, without adding $1,800 of cost to the experience.  But I just started researching this in the last few days, and as usual, from the outside it looks like it will take longer to decipher the regulations than it will to get to Wyoming, and that’s a 28 hour drive for me. (Atlanta to Casper, Wyoming)

We’ll see what happens – just starting to work a budget up for the trip, if I’m driving it, would start with roughly $800 in gasoline at today’s prices.  Around $350 for the license (including doe tags), plus food costs, and lodging.  My original thought was ‘camp, plenty of campgrounds near Casper’ but the wife wants to go, and I made the mistake of pointing out that several of the forums I read noted that there is a great public and private land area just half an hour outside of Casper, and that the person I was reading had stayed in a hotel, so add however many days in a hotel to the bill and it’s probably inching closer to $3,000.  Add boarding the dogs and having the cats looked after for the ten days, and now we’re getting closer to $4,000…. you get the idea.

So I’ll START looking into it now, we’ll see if I manage it before I retire.  (Which is years away yet.)

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One of my father’s pronghorn mounts from 40+ years ago.

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From Field & Stream

Article by Steven Hill. Uploaded on April 17, 2013

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Like lots of early season hunters, Shane Sanderson has often patterned trophy whitetails in the last weeks of summer, only to have them disappear come opening day. But he executed his opening gambit perfectly on the archery opener (Sept. 1), shooting a 170-inch typical, which earlier this month was unveiled as Wyoming’s state-record bowkill buck.

Sanderson, of Kinnear, Wyoming, had been watching a pair of shooters on the family ranch when an even bigger buck showed up Aug. 1.

“He just dwarfed the largest of the deer I’d been watching, which was in the high 150s,” Sanderson says. “I knew right away this was the buck I was going after.”

After tracking the deer through his spotting scope three or four nights a week, Sanderson decided to erect a ground blind near a field corner that bucks consistently used to enter a grass field. Because deer were using the field as a staging area before entering some adjacent alfalfa fields to feed, Sanderson was betting he could get a shot at the buck well before sunset.

He arrived at the blind around 5:30 p.m., spooking several deer that were already in the field. An hour later he spotted the original pair of shooters he’d been scouting all summer. Ten minutes later the big boy himself showed.

More…

This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.

Wyoming

Is the information easy to find?

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Hunting Regulations page is at the top of the search results.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

The Wyoming GFD’s web site has an amazing amount of information, finding the usual questions, ‘how much will a license cost, when to hunt, and where to hunt‘ isn’t difficult, however finding explanations and requirements for licenses is not at all easy, nor is interpreting the hunting season data.

Grade: B

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

This is somewhat uncertain: the state does use a quota system for quite a lot of units, however there is a general season listed in the Nonresident TENTATIVE Full Price Deer Hunting Season Information PDF (emphasis mine) file from the Deer Hunting page.  This is being written on September 1st, 2012, and the PDF file is still marked tentative, which is not good, as plans should NEVER be formulated from any ‘tentative’ document.  Also, looking at page 2 of the PDF requires quite a bit of zoom, I was unaware that a font that small exists.

Grade: C

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Resident deer licenses in Wyoming cost $38.00, nonresident deer licenses are priced at $312.00, but be aware that there are quite a few deer permits listed.  This is a partial list of the prices on the Deer License drop down menu page:

Category License Type Price Comment
DEER Nonresident $312.00 If applying for license through drawing, application fee must also be remitted. Nonresident Application Fee $14.00.
DEER Nonresident Doe/Fawn $34.00 If applying for license through drawing, application fee must also be remitted. Nonresident Application Fee $14.00.
DEER Nonresident Landowner $312.00 If applying for license through drawing, application fee must also be remitted. Nonresident Application Fee $14.00.
DEER Nonresident Special $552.00 If applying for license through drawing, application fee must also be remitted. Nonresident Application Fee $14.00.
DEER Nonresident Youth $110.00 If applying for license through drawing, application fee must also be remitted. Nonresident Application Fee $14.00.
DEER Nonresident Youth Doe/Fawn $19.00 If applying for license through drawing, application fee must also be remitted. Nonresident Application Fee $14.00.
DEER Nonresident Youth Landowner $110.00 If applying for license through drawing, application fee must also be remitted. Nonresident Application Fee $14.00.
DEER Pioneer $2.00 If applying for license through drawing, application fee must also be remitted. Resident Application Fee $5.00.

Other than the fees listed in “Comments,” there isn’t any explanation of other potential fees, such as Wildlife Management Areas, general hunting licenses, bag limits or conservation fees.

Grade: C

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

Three separate pages list hunting seasons, two in a ‘tentative’ manner, which as noted above, is very worrying on September 1st of the year listed on the document.  The Nonresident Full Price 2012-2013 PDF lists opening dates, and there is a Deer Hunting Seasons Emergency Rule PDF  available as well as page 2 of the 2012 Deer Hunt Areas document.  This is a LARGE PDF file with seasons by unit and unit geographic location descriptions, 32 pages long.  The issue with this document is at the start of the document it states that ‘Emergency rules are no longer in effect 120 days after filing with the Secretary of State,’  while at the end, the document is dated July 10th, 2012, meaning that the contents of the document would expire October 12th.

Regardless of which document used, deer seasons are micromanaged heavily in Wyoming: simplifying the seasons by using a broader ‘sectional’ approach to the state, dividing it into 4-8 areas, would be easier on both the state and users.

Grade: D

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

Public hunting information is distributed in a statewide map titled 2012 Deer Hunt Areas, along with the third location for hunting dates by unit.  Using the top menu, users can find the Public Access Areas page, which provides links to various public access areas. Clicking on a link, such as Red Horse, brings up a map, with a link to a printable PDF file and easy to interpret ‘use’ icons at the top, in this case hunting, hiking and possibly birdwatching.

Placing a link to the Public Access Areas in the main body of the hunting page would aid first time users greatly.

Grade: B

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

Chronic Wasting Disease is present in Wyoming, with incidents coded by color displayed on this map:

No other issues are known at this time.

Grade: B

Summary: Final Grade B-

As with many hunting regulations web sites, this one would greatly benefit from a simple “Start here: Licenses and Requirements, Seasons by Species and Public Hunting by Species” page.  The other major issue is the incredibly micromanaged hunting seasons by unit, and scattered information in the web site.

States CompletedAlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware,

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland

MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Hampshire

New JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvania,

Rhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest Virginia,

Wisconsin