Antelope hunt on the cheap

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by kkyyoottee, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. kkyyoottee

    kkyyoottee New Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Iowa
    Couple years ago wife and I decided we wanted to hunt a prairie goat. We hit the internet and sadly discovered a hunt costs from 1500-3500 dollars. We were totally dismayed. So off in the truck we headed to Wyoming!! No we didnt shell out 3 grand we were on a mission to find out where the biggest concentration of antelope were and game laws. A stop in Cheyenne give us the info on game laws and the draw system and over the counter tags. But they warned us most of the over the counter tags were for areas of private land and most were leased to outfitters. Well not to be dismayed we headed north and started knocking on doors and only got 1 rude reply. Most said what we dreaded about the leasing. We finally found a rancher who would let us hunt for a "tresspass" fee of $300 but found out no tags were available. But not being quitters we drove on north towards Gillette and seen a guy mowing his lawn. I thought one more chance!! Well the guy turned out to be a hired hand and said his boss let "some" people hunt and gave us a phone number to call in a week. That was the slowest week we ever spent! Finally the night came and I made the call. Getting permission to hunt is never easy but I think calling ahead of time , giving personal information about yourself always helps. Well I couldnt believe the words the rancher said to me , "if you dont mind coming the last week of October you can have the hole ranch to yourself!! Now I thought for how much? He told me the kids can shoot for free and your wife and you can shoot for $350 total!! We were both in shock and thanked the rancher for taking a chance on a family from Iowa. We got to the ranch a day ahead of time to scope out the game. To our amazement there was a heard in the ranchers driveway to his house!!! When we finally got to his door we found him gone to town!! A hour later when dust was seen coming up driveway we were excited. We introduced ourselves and he exclaimed what we had seen and he said well why didnt you shoot it? We all started laughing. He took us down to where we could park our camper and set up camp. He had installed us a electrical outlet for camper and said we could tap on to water hydrant. As we rushed setting up camp we could not believe our good fortune!! A hour later we were given the boundries of ranch and thought we would get lost for sure because to our amazement it covered 17,000 acres!!! Well our son had brought his .17 cal and asked if he could shoot prairie dogs. The rancher's smile was from ear to ear, he hated prairie dogs and what they did to his fields!! My wife and I figured out in two days time the antelope hit the water holes at 2-3 pm each day. She suggested to set up at one an see what would happen. Well next day we set up at a waterhole in our blind and right on time here they came. My wife and I both hunt with CVA .50 cal muzzy's and people we had talked to said we were nuts or looked at us like we were nuts wanting to shoot antelope with a muzzy. Well as our luck would have it a antelope walked within 85 yards and my wife dropped it!!! We did a dance and went to look at her trophy!! Next day we did the same thing for me. Our son shot a prairie dog at 387 yards and was in heaven and up to his butt in empty .17 casings (he picked them all up and put in baggie). We spent the next 5 days just exploring the ranch and watching the antelope. This trip gas, tags, and tresspass fee cost less than 1500 dollars. But the memories and knowing we did it all on our own was worth a million dollars to us. We also found a rancher down the road who hates turkeys an invited back to hunt them!! It still can be done but it takes leg work and patience!!!:big_smile:
     

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  2. cat tamer

    cat tamer New Member

    Messages:
    694
    State:
    MO
    Will, thanks for a great story, it's nice to hear about a family sharing quality time together.
     

  3. bootshowl

    bootshowl New Member

    Messages:
    2,288
    State:
    Indiana, J
    Wow, what a great share Will. Thanks.
     
  4. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    wow ,Thats a great deal .Private land owner permits here used to be easy to get for us locals but not any more the land owners sell them to big city type out of staters for upwards of 1000.00 so I quit hunting my favorite game years ago. Glad you had the money to go for it.
     
  5. porboy

    porboy New Member

    Messages:
    629
    State:
    TX Panhand
    A good story about hunting on the cheap and doing it as a family.
    Bill
     
  6. catgetter1

    catgetter1 New Member

    Messages:
    1,162
    State:
    louisiana
    Most excellent, I gonna try that fer Mulie's as well with a buddie of mine from North Dakota.....
     
  7. CatfishJohn.612

    CatfishJohn.612 New Member

    Messages:
    54
    State:
    Texas
    Great story, Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. Mi11er

    Mi11er New Member

    Messages:
    5,117
    State:
    Independence, M
    Well that is what a little hard work will do for ya. Asking around paid off big for you. Love the story
     
  9. Mike81

    Mike81 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,259
    State:
    Alabama
    Great story!, glad your persistance paid off for you. :big_smile: There are some good folks still left in this world, you just gotta find em. I got a buddy in Cheyenne, hope to get up that way and try some praire goat hunting myself.

    Good Huntiing
    mike
     
  10. BassCat

    BassCat New Member

    Messages:
    165
    State:
    NC
    Great Story!!! thanks for sharing