Planning an out of stare Antelope hunt, seeking info

shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior MemberPosts: 5,425 Senior Member
Or, in other words, I have no idea what I'm doing!

Dad and I are setting our sights on a 2015 Antelope hunt. However, aside from what firearm to use we aren't too sure on where to start. All of my hunting experience is whitetail hunting from a blind on the property of friends and family. Spot n stalk for a speed goat on the open plains is a completely different beast and totally foreign to me.

Location wise anything is possible, but realistically NM is the best option with CO, WY, and MT all tied for second.

For those of you in the know, any info is greatly appreciated!

- Guided v unguided? Clearly guided is more costly, but when you consider scouting trips it may be a wash. What exactly is a semi-guided hunt?

- If we do decide to go unguided, what all do we need to do in order to scout and prepare?
- I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
"It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C

Replies

  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,601 Senior Member
    Colorado's kind of a crap shoot, as all goat hunting is by permit, which means you have to apply for and draw a tag. There are GMUs that sometimes only require 1 preference point for a buck tag, but that's the least I've ever seen. That means you'll need to apply and sit out for at least a year before making a hunt. Even then, there's no guarantee you will draw a tag.

    There's also landowner tags, but finding a landowner who has some and is willing to part with them is another matter. If you find one, he will almost certainly charge you a premium for the tag.

    For a non-guided hunt, I would arrive a few days early and do my scouting then. You can also call the closest DOW office and ask for names of ranchers who might allow hunting, and go from there. Most of the ranchers I've met in eastern Colorado are glad to have goat hunters, and will let you on their property if you just ask. It's often just a matter of knocking on enough doors. One technique you might try is to draw a tag that has a lot of public land, such as southeastern Colorado, get there a few days early, scout and talk to private property owners. That strategy worked out well for SixGun.

    I also have the names and phone numbers of a few landowners that I can share if you pm me. And, I know of a local guide who has exclusive access to about 24k acres near Colorado Springs. I think he charges less than $2k per hunter, and usually has a high success rate. But, you'll still have to have a tag, which was $364 for non-residents this year, and included a fishing license.

    What I've learned over the years is that the antelope population in a given area varies from year to year, mostly depending on the amount of rainfall it has received during the spring and summer. On the property Mike and I hunt, we've had opening days during which we had two down by 10 a.m. and saw 100 or more, and other days on which we were skunked. The bad part is that you have to apply for a tag by early April, before tag quotas have been set.

    If you decide to give Colorado a try, bring fishing gear and anything that will pass for a prairie dog rifle (and lots of ammo). Shooting prairie dogs on private land does not require a license of any sort. The only gotchas is getting permission, and you can't use a caliber larger then .224 during any big game season. You can also legally kill and tag a coyote with any big game tag.

    I have no idea what a semi-guided hunt is, so I can't help with that.

    PM me if you have questions, and good luck.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Ranch13Ranch13 Senior Member Posts: 820 Senior Member
    Take the cheap way out first. Wait until after the Wyoming draw, then go after the left over type 6 permits (doe/fawn) and scout and hunt an area on the cheap, just to see if it's one you want to try and draw a type one license for.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,641 Senior Member
    Antelope populations in SE Colorado are way down right now, I'm guessing due to the drought and the fact that the DOW has intentionally reduced the antelope population in this state by over 15%, judged against 2008 populations.

    As JerryBobCo said previously, what we consider "normal" here is having a couple in the back of the truck by 10 AM. We didn't even see an antelope this season until 9:30, and they were far, far off and really fast.

    I understand the NE part of the state (meaning NE of Colorado Springs, which is darn near dead center of the state north to south) is a bit better. But still, not what it's been in the recent past.

    The drought's been tough on the antegoats here.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • wildgenewildgene Senior Member Posts: 1,036 Senior Member
    ...poke around in here a little bit, you can find hunter success rates, number of permits/ unit, access, etc. Lot of units you can pick up additional doe/ fawn tags pretty cheap...

    http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/hunting-1001080.aspx
  • shootbrownelkshootbrownelk Senior Member Posts: 2,025 Senior Member
    Ranch13 wrote: »
    Take the cheap way out first. Wait until after the Wyoming draw, then go after the left over type 6 permits (doe/fawn) and scout and hunt an area on the cheap, just to see if it's one you want to try and draw a type one license for.
    I'll second that Ranch. Leftover tags first. There are some areas with leftover buck tags, but they are areas with difficult access.
    Shoot some does first, get your feet wet. But start buying points NOW.
  • shootbrownelkshootbrownelk Senior Member Posts: 2,025 Senior Member
    JerryBob, did I read your post right? Did you say $2,000.00 per hunter for antelope hunting? WOW!
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,601 Senior Member
    JerryBob, did I read your post right? Did you say $2,000.00 per hunter for antelope hunting? WOW!

    I think he charges a bit less than that, but that seems to be the going rate for GUIDED goat hunts. I think that such hunts in New Mexico are even more.

    Fortunately for Colorado hunters, most tags are allotted to individuals, so landowners and outfitters can't really control the hunting. And, most ranchers I've talked to are glad to have antelope removed from their property. I've never paid more than a bottle of Jack Daniels to hunt antelope, and haven't paid anything in close to the last 20 years.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,694 Senior Member
    SS3,

    Have you already eliminated the Texas Panhandle as a possibility?

    It's been forty plus years since I've lived there, but there used to be abundant antelope north of Amarillo, especially so, near the Canadian River. Seems like it might be a good option, even through an outfitter, compared to an out-of-state hunt.
  • shootbrownelkshootbrownelk Senior Member Posts: 2,025 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    I think he charges a bit less than that, but that seems to be the going rate for GUIDED goat hunts. I think that such hunts in New Mexico are even more.

    Fortunately for Colorado hunters, most tags are allotted to individuals, so landowners and outfitters can't really control the hunting. And, most ranchers I've talked to are glad to have antelope removed from their property. I've never paid more than a bottle of Jack Daniels to hunt antelope, and haven't paid anything in close to the last 20 years.

    I hear ya Jerry, I never paid anything to hunt goats. That kind of money is usually charged for deer in very good areas.
    An outfitter that leases a ranch close to where I hunt Elk, charges $7,500.00 for an elk hunt out of a ranch house and uses ATV's. If his clients only knew they were hunting and killing their elk on BLM and State land.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,509 Senior Member
    SS3,

    From the perspective of an out of stater who's done it a few times, I can tell you that your best chance of drawing a tag on the first try, is Wyoming.
    I'd look at GMU's in northeast part of the state, north of Casper. Put in for a draw next spring, and like the other guys said, plan on leftover tags as your backup.

    Otherwise, the sky's the limit. You can get a tag just about anywhere you want, through an outfitter, ya just gotta pay for it.
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