October 8th – 14th
North of Buffalo, Wyoming
Weather… snowing 19 low 35 high
If you are planning to hunt mule deer, whitetail deer or antelope, my suggestion is to quit wasting all your valuable time and resources hunting California and go to Wyoming where they manage the game really well. They even have a doe season, which we all know and I have advocated for years to have, California is in great need of.
You apply for your license in January of the year you hunt, about $384, you are notified of your draw in May, and in June you receive your license in the mail, which includes your mule deer tag, for the area you applied for. While in the little town of Kaycee, just South of Buffalo (we have friends with a large ranch there) we stopped in and bought over the counter tags for doe antelope and doe whitetail, which came to $86, now we are good to go.
Note…this time of year the weather is volatile and you should pack accordingly for the cold and snow. You can always take it off. At the very least Bibs and a Jacket are a must, good warm boots, and your day pack, as you’ll need lots of water and snacks for the days hunt. Up Don’t forget your weapon and ammo of choice, don’t laugh it has happened in the past. We had a mix of weapons with the three of us, 7 mag, 30-06 and my .270. Make sure you have good scope optics, as well with your field glasses. In my opinion, optics are the number one tool, your ammo (my reloads) are second and your weapon is third
Though we go to a large 10,000 acre private ranch, with limited hunters, and limited time, as the season is only two weeks long, there is plenty of public land, with great access in this state. (Hint….. the Ram’s Horn area on the Wind River around DeBoise, Wyoming).
It’s a two day drive for us to Buffalo, Wyoming, tiring but fun, especially when with friends and a hunting partner of 48 years, and glassing for game as we drive breaks up the time in the truck.
Finally checked into the hotel on night #2, being the Hampton Inn, in Buffalo, got some sleep to wake up to it snowing and 20 degrees, the high was 35 each day. Going to be a good day Maynard! This would be the norm for the next three days of the hunt, then warmed up for a day, and a new snow storm came in as we left. Off to the ranch at 0500, after the landowner came and met us for breakfast. The Hampton serves an awesome breakfast that comes with your stay. 20 minutes later, with my thermos full of coffee, we are hunting.
If you haven’t been that far north in Wyoming, you’ll find it just the opposite of the DeBoise area. This area looks like central New Mexico with some mid range mountains, mostly all sagebrush anywhere from waist high to ankle deep with open ground. It’s not uncommon to shoot 500 to 700 yards, as open as it is.
I won’t bore you with all the laughs and details of the hunt, as it can get quite descriptive, but the three of us filled all three of our tags, muley, whitetail and antelope in under two days. We did well on the spot and stalk and all kill shots were under 300 yards and all were standing still, where most didn’t even know we were there. If you zero your rifle at 200 yards, you shouldn’t have a problem on dropping game, as most weapons only have a 6.5 inch drop at that 300 yard mark. It took us the third day to quarter up the animals (actually we cut them into 7ths, neck, shoulders, ribs and hind quarters, with the loin and straps taken out) to pack home.
I give a shout out to Grizzly Coolers. Their 165 qt cooler was awesome, packed all three of my game animals. This cooler held my ice from Friday night, not only through the two day trip home, but also the following 5 days of processing the game that following week on my ranch. My hunting partner had a Yeti, which did the same thing, but his was only a 160 quart and it was about $225 more expensive.
There was a small stream on the ranch, which we fished the last day there, catching dozens of Browns in the 18- 25 inch range, on spinners. Saw one at 4 lbs. Yes they came home to my freezer too.
To show you the difference in game spotting between California and Wyoming, we counted 102 shootable legal bucks, muley and whitetail, from the time we entered Kaycee to the time we left Wyoming. Many of those were large animals. We also lost track of antelope at the 2,500 mark.
I understand that out of state trips take a little more money to do, but it’s worth saving up for and when you consider how many times you go out to weekend hunt in California, coupled with the results you get, you are way ahead of the game taking your chances out of state, even on public land, which I did for decades!
Take time to enjoy the outdoors and go see this awesome country of ours! You won’t be disappointed!