The New Year is here. We are past that short day. Most hunts are over. Resolutions are made. I hope everybody had a good year. We did put antelope and bighorn meat in the freezer. Although, our hunts were not as successful as other years. The deer in Colorado seemed to prefer property we did not have permission to hunt, and the elk in Washington were not as plentiful as before. Had something to do with the die off last spring, and there were nine wolves in and around our area. I suppose that the wolves chewing on 4 or 500 ungulates did not help. But, we do not have to harvest to enjoy being in the field. If you had a tag in Washington, It is time to report whether you were successful or not. if you do this by the 10th, you are entered in a drawing for a tag. Big Game Draws - Wyoming elk applications are due January 31st Wyoming has a draw system with some points I like. First, it is a preference point system, so if you buy points, and wait long enough, you will draw. Second, if you don't have maximum points, many units have 25% of the tags available in the random draw. On the dark side, you do have to front the entire tag fee. Wyoming offers a regular tag and a "special" tag. Same tag, same area, same everything except the special tag costs more to apply for. Supposedly, less people apply for the special because of the cost, so you pay more for better odds. That is not always the case. Wyoming guides are good politicians. You can fish. You can hike. But you can't hunt in a wilderness area without a guide. And, believe me, some of the wildernesses are artificial. Doze the road closed and you get a wilderness. The first of several draws is for elk. We like the areas around Rock Springs. Country is a bit less rugged than some up North and they don't let wolves hang around down there. I killed a 6 point bull in both units 31 and 32. Figuring that other units were as good in the Southern side, I burned my elk points a little East of there in unit 111. e I wanted to scout bighorns there also. Well, some rancher bought the area that had a lot of elk and that did not work out. This year, we have our eyes on unit 100. Hard to draw, but lots of elk on BLM land. Cathy has 13 points, so she has about a 1 in 8 chance, and without points, I have about a 1 in 250 chance
Arizona elk and antelope applications are due February 11th Past years, to draw a quality tag in Arizona, the only chance was to save points. Now, they allot some tags to the random draw, so you can draw great tag without being too old to use it. It is hard to draw, but at least there is a chance I think any of the early hunts are great. We have hunted in unit 1, 5b and unit 9. Not hard to kill a bull in any of these units. The early hunts in unit 1, next to the Fort Apache, and the unit 9 hunt with bulls jumping the low fence out of the Grand Canyon Park are extremely exciting, that is, if hearing bugling elk and seeing big bulls excites you. In Washington, we close roads so we don't disturb elk. Unit 9 has bus tours available to look at the elk. They think a little different down there. We have experience antelope hunting in 18B, 5B, 10, and 13B. There are not a lot of antelope in 13B. The 13B choice was so we could scout deer there, although, we did see one book goat. I think one of the 5 series units might be a good choice for a big goat.
I look forward to seeing all of you at our Fundraiser, February 8th