Guy’s Top 5 WY Picks – Deer and Antelope
Wyoming Mule Deer Picks
1) Area 102
2) Area 105
3) Region G
4) Area 101
5) Area 89
Best area with 3 points – Area 117
Best 0 point options – Areas 78, 79, 80/83, 81 and Region F
Wyoming’s mule deer herd has had a very rough and turbulent past few years. Since the bad winter of 2010 and the horrendous drought of 2012, the deer herds in the Cowboy State have struggled to rebound. If you are banking on max or one shy of max points I would highly consider holding back on the draw this year. I do think 2014 will show some marked improvement over the past few years, but the deer hunt quality will continue to lag behind historic averages.
That said, if you are determined to apply for Wyoming, these are the best five areas to apply for at this point and time. Although Area 89 (#5) has certainly not been what it once was, I think with the good moisture and a heavy tag quota reduction, this area should produce some good bucks this fall.
Coming in at #4, Area 101 is a very good chunk of deer country, and with a very skimpy 50-tag quota this unit should put some good bucks on the ground this year, if you can find them. This is a very big unit for only 50 tags.
The famous and ever-hyped Region G takes the #3 spot. With lots of hunters and some very rough country, this area always tends to produce the biggest bucks in the state. With good moisture, a decent winter and a good harvest last year, this general region is well worth three points if you are capable of hunting that type of country.
Area 105(#2) has been getting better and better each year. With a November rut season and only 50 tags, this hunt seems to be producing some very nice wilderness bucks as they drop out of the high country in search of does. The feed and habitat here should be as good as it gets this summer and I expect some very nice deer to hit the ground here next November, weather depending.
And of course there’s always Area 102, my #1 pick. This area has the potential to be the very best our state has to offer on a good year. Although I think the quota is way too high here (400 tags) this area has the deer herd to support a lot of hunting pressure. If the winter continues like it has and the spring and summer bring good moisture, this area should produce some very, very nice deer this October for those who get the tag and know how to hunt this very unique piece of country.
Wyoming Antelope Picks
1) Area 61
2) Area 60
3) Area 67
4) Area 96
5) Area 94
Best Area with 3 points – Area 75
Best 0 point options: Areas 25, 42 and 43
Wyoming’s antelope herds have also struggled to rebound from the crazy weather events the state endured during 2010 and 2012. This has made selecting this list harder than it ever has been before. The Red Desert has been very slow to rebound but the potential for a big buck or two is always still present there. A max point holder is going to have his work cut out for him selecting a hunt this year.
I have to say, if I where sitting on max points this year, I would surely be very cautious with my choice and more than likely would opt out for a point. I know what type of hunt Wyoming is capable of producing and these last few years are certainly nowhere near cost of seven or eight points. But, if you really need to hunt antelope this year, or you have faith in the weather and horn growth this year, here is where to apply.
Area 94 (#5) has begun to rebound nicely; in fact I passed through here last October and saw some very nice bucks chasing does in the deep sage. I think coming off a wet fall and good snowfall year, this area should become a decent producer again.
Area 96 (#4) is much the same scenario as 94. With a bit higher country to summer in, I think the antelope here are going to summer out very nicely and should have some good horn growth to prove it by August.
My #3 pick, Area 67, has had decent antelope numbers over the past few years but the trophy quality has suffered quite a bit. But, I think with the moisture and good winter here, the bucks will be in better shape this year and this area could produce some nice records book heads this year if everything continues according to plan weather-wise.
Area 60 (#2) is a bit of a gamble. These units have suffered a lot to bounce back, but I am giving the weather and moisture from last fall the benefit of the doubt here and letting the world-class genetics speak for themselves. The same goes for Area 61 (#1) which in my opinion has some of the best antelope genetics anywhere in the country. Add to that a nice improvement in the habitat, less competition for feed, and a reduced tag quota, and this area could be very solid hunt, even with a bit of a gamble involved. Keep in mind, some of Wyoming’s largest antelope are killed when the herd numbers are at their lowest point. The moral of the story here is, when in doubt go with the genetics every time. These two areas could just be the best bets Wyoming has for a big antelope next fall, which may not be saying much, particularly when looking back at the 2008 and 2009 season, but that’s just the world we are living in right now. I guess.
As always, I hope this helps you make a good application choice this year no matter where you decide to apply or if you decide to apply. Or this information could just be worth what you paid for it – predicting these hunts can be tougher than predicting the weather or the stock market. Good luck and keep hunting hard.
Those antelope sure are a roller coaster species
Numbers up and down at ever turn
To my go to source for info Thanks for the update
Looks like I will go points only this year
Thanks Guy for the info!. While I appreciate the information might I reccomend for the future that articles like this be emailed out earlier than 2 days before the deadline.
Good feedback Russ? Why do you even look then?
Thanks for info Guy. Mark Cattelona, Johnson, VT
Thanks for giving your best guess on an area – much appreciated !
Nobody now’s where they will be but ill trust more on somebody that’s sells magazines and a lot of them about hunting and has tons of professional hunters working for him then my wild guess, so thank u, p.s. I would love to see more blm etc. Hunts on tv etc, makes it more true
Is Guy starting to act like Garth? Suggesting crappy units to make the premo units easier draws for cronies and clients? That is why I stopped subscribing to huntin fool. We’re not idiots out here.
I bet you are the kind of guy who has all the answers…just ask you. Right? Eastman’s does things the right way. They dedicate hours of research to help hunters make good decisions. Their recommendations don’t guarantee you a trophy. They are merely suggestions backed up by facts. I’m sure Guy really wants to throw us a curve so that he can keep all the best areas for himself. That is absurd. By your post, I think we can all see who the idiot is here.
Great info Guy. Thanks for putting out this extra info on top of the MRS!
I live in the 78, 79 area and there are still big deer on the river bottom but that is all private. We started hunting up by lander because our area is so Hammered by winter kill. Deer statewide are hurting so bad. Its pretty sad. I think the state should have some predator tournaments to help them out in Carbon County because they need all the help they can get. One place I am still seeing big numbers of deer is in the Wheatland area and the eastern planes.
Hey Guy, thanks this information is a great place to start, I be banking my points at Max, for both but if I was not this info would be a great help. It appears some people want not only a good area but the location of a rock or tree they need to stand by or sit on to harvest a big one !
Thanks Guy, as usual this is very helpful information.
Russ, for your information…Gordon, Mike, Guy and Ike Eastman have killed more big deer than you have probably seen. And most were taken on PUBLIC land.
Sure, they hunt private land (that friends own) and who wouldn’t. But they hunt mostly public land that is available to all of us. I’d certainly trust Guy’s picks for deer over yours, That name calling just proved who the idiot is.
Im glad someone called Guy out on this one. The Eastman family has a agenda. Guy points NR in some very strange places!!!!
Please elaborate. What is the agenda you refer to? Guy said, sometime ago, that unit 7 elk was over rated. I applied anyway and found out he was correct. i HUNTED PRIVATE GROUND, burned max points and saw very few elk. I should have trusted Guy.
Thanks for the information it is very helpful and appreciated
thanks for the information is very helpful and appreciated
Hunted 105 last year for deer. Lots of deer. You can shoot a 4 point really easy but very disappointed in the quality. I know they killed that giant there a couple of years ago but I wish I wouldn’t have burned max points there. Lots of grizzlies though. Good luck.
I had the same experience on 105, 106 and 109 last year….burned max points too. Should be better this year with another year for all of the small 4 pointers to grow up. I saw a couple 180 bucks but couldn’t get on them….killed a 170 on the last day. Just tons of deer….lots of small bucks.
Russ lets see the pics of your deer? 🙂
You are all right…I shouldn’t have gone off on Guy…Never met him. But I still do not agree with his top pick. #2 #3 and #5 are good picks, but I think even #5 is dropped in years past.
Do I have all of the answers? No, I do not. The entire state of WY is looking pretty poor for mule deer.
If I could post a picture of my Public Land Non-Guided hunt buck on this forum I would. Shot him in 2003 and grossed 203 and is only 26″ wide with a 193″ Mainframe.
Go ahead a put in for 102. I’ve personally seen what the numbers of deer and size of deer have done down there in the last 10 years. Gives me a better chance of drawing the tag I put in for.
Hi. Can you recommend the best guided elk hunt?