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  1. #1

    Default Tips for a Disabled Hunter in Wyoming, Please

    Hi All,

    Iím going to be taking my Dad to WY this fall for his first pronghorn hunt. He is disabled (multiple sclerosis) and will be limited to hunting from a vehicle and or a blind within a few feet of a road/two track. I am aware that we cannot shoot from a public road. Weíll be getting a Disabled Hunter and Disabled Hunter Companion Permits and a Shoot From a Vehicle Permit. Fortunately/unfortunately he is borderline for the Hunting Season Extension permit, so we will not be getting that permit.

    What Iím looking for is tips for getting somebody that is limited to hunting from a vehicle and/or a blind within about 300 yards of a nice looking buck. For instance, weíll have the ability to bring an ATV. Based on peopleís experience, is it easier to get close to them with an ATV or a truck? Will antelope even let you get that close in a vehicle after the season is open over a week? Weíll have at least 6 full days of hunting 9/29-10/4. Will hunting waterholes that time of year be effective? Is finding a fence crossing our best bet? Is it possible to nudge or push pronghorn like it is whitetail? If we spook a nice buck out of an area in the morning can we set up a blind and expect to see him again sometime later in the day, the next day? Anything you experienced lope hunters can think of would be appreciated.

    I tried searching the forum for posts like this and wasnít able to find anything. Hopefully other disabled hunters might be able to find some helpful info in this thread now and in the future.

    For those wanting a little more background . . . Weíll be hunting unit 66, 75, 74, or 69. Iím hoping to find something for my Dad in the high 60s and something for myself in the high 70s after my Dad tags out. Iíve hunted antelope once last year on a 2nd choice tag for 2.5 days and it was all on foot. I know thatís a lot of questions above, please donít feel obligated to respond to everything, Iíll take whatever advice/info I can get. With my Dadís health, he doesnít have a whole lot of hunts left, so Iím trying to give him the best experience possible. Thanks all for the help. I promise an epic write up after the hunt that makes this post seem short.

  2. #2

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    I've hunted with a couple guys that were somewhat disabled the past few years. Antelope are a species that such a hunt ought to work well...especially if you have a permit that allows your father to shoot from a vehicle off a 2 track road. You are somewhat at the mercy of the weather if you want to hunt from a waterhole. Antelope need water on a regular basis but if it rains or if there are many water sources they may not come to the waterhole. It always helps to set up waterhole blinds well before the season....especially if there are a number of water sources in the area you hunt. If there is only one water source for miles and miles a waterhole may work great.

    The rut is usually in full swing towards the 3rd or 4th week in Sept so you will likely have that going for you. It's a blast hunting rutty bucks...but they sometimes can be a challenge if you are limited in mobility because they often are constantly moving. Just like whitetails, antelope do stupid things when they are rutty so bucks often aren't as cautious when chasing does and other bucks.

    It doesn't sound like you'll be hunting opening weekend of the season. The units you mentioned are somewhat close to Casper so there is potentially more resident hunters on weekends. The season will be open for a while so I doubt you'll have much hunting pressure...however, depending upon the unit hunters earlier in the season may spook antelope off main roads. It may take a little hiking and glassing from high locations to find them in higher hunting pressured areas. There may also be more hunting pressure on public vs private land...depending upon the unit. Hopefully some of this helps?

  3. #3

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    I would sure talk with the GW or biologist in your area you draw, they may well know a landowner that might grant access for your Dad.
    Once the season gets going antelope learn trucks mean hunters, an atv just might get you close enough without exposing a large vehicle to a herd . I would also look for fence crossings as antelope know where they are and use them. Setting up near a fence crossing might result in a shot as they mill around trying to cross under.
    No harm in setting him up in a spot and doing a little push also, doesn't take much to get antelope moving in some direction, just hope the lead doe is cooperative, lol.

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    I think it is good advise above. Antelope do seem to stay close to same trails when pushed, so that could be a strategy. I haven't tried that one, but I would give them plenty of room to slow down. Sometimes they just go far enough to be out of sight, sometimes they go to the next county it seems like. 400-500 yards seems to be their comfort zone unless they have been harassed a lot. A lot of times bucks will come back to the same spots even after being jumped, especially close to the rut. They tend their scrapes pretty religiously. If you can scout a little for him and find some scrapes on the ground, that's another strategy if the water isn't working. They scrape right on the two track roads sometimes, so watch for them as you drive. My local antelope bucks seem to make a 1/2 mile circle around "their" little stock pond or some kind of water with a bedding area for their scrapes. Sometimes the neighboring bucks will come check out the scrapes. Their trails also seem to be pretty obvious in the flats, and they do stick to them pretty good going to and from water and their beds and stuff. I think being able to shoot from the vehicle is a pretty good advantage. They can be pretty tolerant of vehicles. Sometimes they will just stare you down until you stop and get out of the truck. Sometimes even after you get out they will tolerate you a little bit if you don't stare at them back. I could be completely off base with this stuff I pulled from my butt, but it seems like what I have seen from antelope.

  5. #5

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    Something for you to look into. Probably be in hunt area 29, tho 26 is right along Highway 59.

    https://accessiblehunter.blogspot.co...luva-hunt.html

    http://www.nonprofitfacts.com/WY/The...-Hunt-Inc.html
    Last edited by antelopedundee; 02-11-2019 at 03:41 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by wytex View Post
    I would sure talk with the GW or biologist in your area you draw, they may well know a landowner that might grant access for your Dad.
    Once the season gets going antelope learn trucks mean hunters, an atv just might get you close enough without exposing a large vehicle to a herd . I would also look for fence crossings as antelope know where they are and use them. Setting up near a fence crossing might result in a shot as they mill around trying to cross under.
    No harm in setting him up in a spot and doing a little push also, doesn't take much to get antelope moving in some direction, just hope the lead doe is cooperative, lol.
    I've been told that they will run for miles to find a place to crawl under tho they can jump fences with ease.

  7. #7

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    Thanks to everyone for the helpful info. This is the kind of stuff I was hoping for. I’m sure most of the folks frequenting here aren’t likely to be road hunting antelope, but can speak to how they’ve seen antelope react to trucks and ATVs during hunting season, etc. Some of the observations are also backing up behavior I saw in my limited experience hunting them.

    I spoke with a biologist and warden and that’s kind of how I settled on the dates - waiting for opening week pressure to tail off but before the rut is over.

    If I get desperate enough to try and push antelope I’ll be sure and let you all know how that goes. Do they tend to want to move in to the wind like whitetails if they get a little spooked?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Laramie, WY
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    10,391

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEWHunter View Post
    Thanks to everyone for the helpful info. This is the kind of stuff I was hoping for. I’m sure most of the folks frequenting here aren’t likely to be road hunting antelope, but can speak to how they’ve seen antelope react to trucks and ATVs during hunting season, etc. Some of the observations are also backing up behavior I saw in my limited experience hunting them.

    I spoke with a biologist and warden and that’s kind of how I settled on the dates - waiting for opening week pressure to tail off but before the rut is over.

    If I get desperate enough to try and push antelope I’ll be sure and let you all know how that goes. Do they tend to want to move in to the wind like whitetails if they get a little spooked?
    I think I can answer some of your questions.

    I would seriously consider making phone calls aplenty to the various biologists and wardens about your fathers mobility limitations. Most know of a ranch or two that allow some hunting under conditions like yours.

    Keep in mind that the ranch doesn't have to be 600,000 acres, it can be a pretty small ranch in the right place to accommodate your situation. I would also rethink going after opening day as well, depending on the level of pressure the area receives. Plus, sometimes, with opening day pressure the pronghorn get moved around quite a lot. IME, they seem to use certain areas and ways to get into country where they feel safe. Sometimes, there are some pinch points that a savvy, patient hunter can use to their advantage. Could be a certain spot on the landscape, maybe a fence crossing, etc. etc.

    As far as pushing pronghorn a certain way...man, my experience has been that they don't act anything like a mule deer, elk, or whitetail when you try to nudge them. They will run right at you, to the left, right, away, back again...really no rhyme or reason to how they move when pushed. At least that's been my experience.

    Some other things that may work into your advantage is that in particular during the rut, some bucks are very reluctant to leave a relatively small area...they seem to always come home even after being chased off. I've also found that early in the mornings and later in the evenings, they are a much calmer animal than mid-day. I've gotten away with some pretty blatant things stalking pronghorn in the evening, that there is no way you could pull off in the middle of the day. Wind is another factor, the windier it is, the more on edge and wound up they tend to be.

    Honestly, if it were me, I would try to get yourself and Father on a place with the recommendation of a warden/biologist first. IF that doesn't work, I would try to get out a couple days before the season, and watch what the pronghorn are doing in the area to give yourself the advantage...very few people actually scout seriously for pronghorn. Try to get your Dad set up right away on opening day and make it happen...my 2 cents.

    Also, if you have a portable blind, I wouldn't leave it at home, certainly not necessary and you may not even use it. But, at a fence crossing or a waterhole, they can be really effective.

    Good luck in the draw and on the hunt...those areas you listed are all pretty good.
    "...the world outside, which my brother and I soon discovered, was full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the farther one gets from Missoula, Montana." -Norman Maclean

    "They were still so young they hadn't learned to count the odds and to sense they might owe the universe a tragedy"
    -Norman Maclean

  9. #9

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    You have to figure that they know the area and where to go if/when they get chased/spooked. I think they rely on sight a lot more than smell. Sometimes they run a long ways and other times not so far. A couple years ago I had one follow me back to my truck. Watched him bedded down and if his vision was good he should have seen me stand up. When I walked back to my vehicle he followed along about 100 yards behind.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for all the info in your post Buzz. I spoke with he warden for unit 69. Right now it’s the unit I would prefer due to proximity to Casper, but portions of the HMA and the WIAs are a bit limiting for our situation. I’m going to be writing some letters to some landowners over there in hopes of getting some access before the application deadline.

    We’ll certainly be bringing the Double Bull. Likely be trying to set up about 200 yards (wind permitting) from the target waterhole, fence crossing, or other promising area. I’m hoping the added distance will improve our chances.

  11. #11

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    You have given yourself enough time. Keep up your research and it should be a great hunt. Take your atv just in case you need it. Have fun and good luck enjoy the time afield with your dad.
    " You know what Jim Bridger said about the Indians. Just when your not seeing any is about the time they are fixing to get the thickest!"

  12. #12

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    I'd at least look into the Douglas Helluva Hunt since it's not THAT far from your other areas and if it's in area 29 you're pretty much guaranteed a license since type 2 tags seem to take a long time to sell out. Also since he'd be shooting from a vehicle it may not matter where he hunts. Antelope get to know vehicles and it wouldn't surprise me that the folks around Douglas drive their property enough so that the presence of their vehicle doesn't spook them into the next section.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by antelopedundee View Post
    I'd at least look into the Douglas Helluva Hunt since it's not THAT far from your other areas and if it's in area 29 you're pretty much guaranteed a license since type 2 tags seem to take a long time to sell out. Also since he'd be shooting from a vehicle it may not matter where he hunts. Antelope get to know vehicles and it wouldn't surprise me that the folks around Douglas drive their property enough so that the presence of their vehicle doesn't spook them into the next section.
    To second antelopedundee, I would think you could get a shot from a two track in 26 also.

  14. #14

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    I worked with disabled hunters hear in Wyoming for a few years. We took hunters on deer and antelope hunts in Converse and Fremont Country's. All of the hunts were developed with land owners and they set aside places for our hunts. So first you have to have a license then you need to reach out to land owners to see if they will allow you to develop a hunting plan. Apply to Wyoming Game And Fish for a permit to shoot from a vehicle. Scouting the area for an ambush plan. Good luck

  15. #15

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    I'm in a similar situation, have a buddy that's a quadriplegic, and trying to get him out west. He has some other health issues that need figured out first. But I was planning on spotting from road and trying to move closer with a more all terrain chair. Or locating antelope in an area, and trying to get him on a high vantage point and try and flag one in.

  16. #16

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    When we did the disabled hunts, they were rifle hunts but we treated them like archery hunts. Every hunt was scouted and we would setup before day light or be on water holes midday. We had a trailer that was covered in camo tarp or they would fire from the truck. We did practice what was the best angle, positions and rest for each individual. Some times I would have to build or modify the rest to meat an individuals needs. I use large paper archery antelope targets for practice so they had a feel how and were to place the shot. We used low recoil rifles like 243, 257 Roberts, 25-06 and old 250-3000. We kept shots under 150 yards and practiced as much as possible.

    Adaptive equipment
    http://adaptiveoutdoorsman.com/handicaphunting.html
    https://www.buckmasters.com/resource...tive-equipment
    www.afarcry.info/AdaptHuntingFiles/AdaptHunt.htm
    Last edited by oleefish2; Yesterday at 11:33 AM.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by oleefish2 View Post
    I worked with disabled hunters hear in Wyoming for a few years. We took hunters on deer and antelope hunts in Converse and Fremont Country's. All of the hunts were developed with land owners and they set aside places for our hunts. So first you have to have a license then you need to reach out to land owners to see if they will allow you to develop a hunting plan. Apply to Wyoming Game And Fish for a permit to shoot from a vehicle. Scouting the area for an ambush plan. Good luck
    I was under the impression that the Helluva Hunt folks lined up everything for you including a place to hunt. That's why that would be my first contact or also the Douglas Chamber of Commerce.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by antelopedundee View Post
    I was under the impression that the Helluva Hunt folks lined up everything for you including a place to hunt. That's why that would be my first contact or also the Douglas Chamber of Commerce.
    I use to be a rehabilitation councilor and met folks that wanted to return to hunting or just give it a try for the first time. I was also on a council that was dedicated to offer recreational opportunities to disabled, the Wyoming game and fish ethics council, and a self imposed advocate. The hell of a hunt dose offer hunts but for a small group, that is required by each person to apply for a place on the hunt. They do a great job and should be thanked for what they do. There are other groups that help to provide access for disabled vets, seniors, and induvial with brain injury's. What can I say Wyoming folks pretty nice people.

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