Not long now! If you have not signed up for the June 4th meeting, you are going to miss a very enjoyable event. Remember, it is limited to 150 attendees.
Big Game Draws - Wyoming applications for deer and antelope are due May 31st. Either a deer or an antelope tag in Wyoming will set you back less than $400.00. They have a point system, and while 75% of the tags go to the applicants with the most points, the other 25% is up for grabs for all. I prefer the areas around Rock Springs, away from the grizzly bears, and the wolves. The easier to draw areas have limited access due to private land. Wyoming has quite a bit of wilderness, and the guides are pretty good politicians. Wilderness hunting requires a guide. As I say, the Wyoming guides are good politicians. They doze the road closed and suddenly, it is a wilderness. There are more antelope in Wyoming than anywhere, and the deer seasons are long and good units all over the state.
Montana applications for antelope are due June 1st. You can’t beat the price. A fun hunt for $205.00! You don’t need to get up early, or hunt till dark. And the people I know that take care of the meat rank antelope at the top of their game menu. There is plenty of private land, but there is enough public land to have an excellent hunt. Some of the private land has enrolled in the block management system that allows access. Montana does have a bonus point system, and they square the points, but antelope tags are relatively easy to draw, so zillions of points do not accumulate, and the system works well. I normally draw with from 1 to 5 points. If you don’t have access to private ground or don’t know where to go, apply for the 700 units. It is a way over there, but with a GPS, you will find enough public land to fill your tag. California applications are due June 2nd. A license is a little under $200.00, and applications are less than $10.00 each. Plenty of “left coast” rules and tough odds. California is not my favorite. But they do offer deer, antelope, desert sheep and three kinds of elk. Idaho applications for deer, elk and antelope are due June 5th. If you do not have a hunting license, the nonresident cost for that is $185.00. If you applied for sheep, moose, or mountain goat earlier, you are not eligible to apply for antelope, deer, or elk. Idaho only allows application for one species. That is good and bad. The good part is the fact that odds go way up for the individual application compared to states where one can apply for everything. And there is no point system, so everybody has an equal chance. I apply for sheep, but if I could apply, unit 40 would be my choice for elk or deer. Although Idaho does not have the reputation as being a trophy state for antelope, I did see a pronghorn in unit 37 or 50 that was at least 17 inches. The elevation there was over 9000 feet. Arizona applications for deer, and sheep are due June 8th. Arizona requires a $160.00 hunting license and $15.00 per application. They have a preference point system and 20 % of the tags go to the applicants with the most points. The rest of the applications are on the bonus point system. Deer—Giant mule deer are the big draw, but the mountains down South have Coues deer that attracts many hunters. The areas North of the Colorado River are managed for older mule deer, with units 13A and 13B being the most sought after. The average spread in 13B is rumored to be 28 inches. A few years ago, they changed the rules so now half of the 10% nonresident allocation is in the maximum point draw, but the other half is in the random draw. So, anybody can draw the tag of a lifetime. Sheep--- Arizona has great desert, but also big Rocky Mountain rams. A sheep point is sheep point. You could apply for a desert and a rocky. Your first 2 choices are considered before they move to the next applicant. The trick here is to avoid applying in the best areas where the tags will probably go to applicants with the maximum points I look forward to seeing you June 4th. Don’t forget to register. Jerry Barron