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Jerry Barron's Corner

UPDATED: May 26, 2019 - - - Arizona added
The cougar I keep getting on the trail camera (if it is the same one) is irritating some folks here. Several of my neighbors have seen it, My closest neighbor lost one of her dwarf goats, and saw the cat when it came back for a bite. That was not over 10 yards from her house. About 3 miles from here, a cat killed 2 sheep. Some folks up here don't care whether it is cougar season or not. This cat (or cats) is way more habituated than we are comfortable with.
Big Game Draws
Wyoming for deer and antelope are due May 31st
Wyoming has "Regular" and "Special" tags for these species. No difference except you pay more for the special than the regular. The idea is that if you apply for the tag that costs more, fewer people will apply, so the odds will be better. That is not always the case.
Deer tag is $622.00 or $389.00. You must submit the entire amount plus a 2.5% credit card fee with the application.
Antelope is $629.00 or $341.00, plus the 2.5%
Wyoming has a preference point system. Cost is $41.00. Tag are issued to 75% of the applicants with the most points. So, anybody can draw, although the unit must have at least 4 nonresident tags available to be OK with the random draw.

I prefer the units South around Rock Springs for both of these species. The Red Desert has been on my bucket list for antelope for years.
Montana applications for antelope, and antlerless deer and elk are due June 1st.
For the $205.00 (plus some junk fees) antelope in Montana is a great hunt with long seasons. So long, that the horn may be gone or pull off easily toward the end of the season. The 700 series unit have a lot of permits and a ton of BLM land to hunt on. There are ranchers that will let you hunt and "block management" properties, although quite a few of those are walk in.
There is a bonus point system, and they square the points. For really hard to draw tags, the squared points works against you after a few years as the pool gets huge, but for the antelope, a tag not that hard to draw, you should draw every 3 or 4 years, maybe more often if you are lucky.
California applications are due June 2nd
I don't usually pay much attention to California, but they keep sending me the regulations because I buy a sheep raffle ticket or two, but there is a draw opportunity for a desert ram if you are willing to pay $175.00 for a license. The tag is about $1600.00 if you draw.
Idaho applications for antelope, elk, and deer are due June 5th
If you applied for sheep, moose, or goat, this is of no interest to you as you are not eligible to apply.
For those of you that did not apply earlier, you must purchase a license for 155.00 plus $14.75 per application plus some junk fees, plus 3% credit card fee. Tag fees are reasonable if you draw.
For deer and elk, unit 40 is my pick, although unit 11 produces a number of 4 point mule deer.
I like unit 37 just because I watched a monster antelope there. The thing was enjoying the thin air at nearly 9000 foot elevation. I was hunting bighorn!
Idaho does not have a point system, so outside of the nonresident limitation, everybody is on equal ground.
By the way, wolf tags are cheap in Idaho, and you buy up to ten of them depending on where you hunt.

Arizona applications for deer and sheep are due June 11th
Arizona requires purchase of a $160.00 license, and $15.00 application fee per species. They have preference points. Those cost another $15.00. If you draw, a deer tag is $300, a sheep tag is $1800. In times past, without maximum points, there was no hope to draw the best tags, and that is still the case with a few hunts. But, they have modified the system, so now 50% of most tags go to the maximum point holders, and the other 50% go to the random draw.
Deer---You can apply for Coues or mule deer. Trophy quality is good for either, but the big draw is the mule deer quality in the 12 and 13 series units. Nearly every nonresident with maximum points applies in 13B first. I think the average spread harvested there is 26 inches, with 200 inch deer taken every year.
Bighorn sheep. Desert and Rocky are both doing well, with many book animals every year. The only thing to watch is whether there is a random draw for the unit. Stats are available on the website. If I remember correctly, the unit manager sets tag numbers between 15 and 25% of the surveyed rams So, you have a selection in any unit.
Arizona looks at your first 2 choices before going to the next applicant, so a good strategy is to apply for a great unit first, and if you really want to go, apply for just a good unit second.

Jerry Barron

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