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Wyoming success with Markwondi

hunter0925

Active Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Messages
2,764
Location
TN, Rhea,
Anthony and I had been planning this trip for a while. We thought pronghorn would be a gimme and that we would strike out on mule deer. Neither of us had set foot in this unit before and had only done e-scouting through on-x and read up as much as we could trying to figure out where to go.
On the 29th of September Anthony showed up at my house ready to go. We loaded the truck and headed west driving through the night. Iowa was one stinky state for some reason and that was coming and going.
We arrived on the 30th, the day before the opener with an idea of where we would pack in and set up camp but short on sleep. As we hiked in we realized the terrain was completely different than expected and pronghorn may be difficult even though our drive-by of the walk in unit on the west side had proven to be barren of the prairie goats as well. Not 300 yards from the truck we jumped a decent 4x4 and a smaller buck that raised our mule deer hopes. With a lack of sleep setting in we set up camp short of our goal. Anthony decided to glass near camp while I made a 10 mile walk to see what I could turn up.
On my walk I found 1 small buck pronghorn on public and another group that was around 20 in number with another small buck but all on private. The real surprise was the number of mule deer I found with several very nice bucks mixed in. I returned to camp and we made a game plan for what we would do the next day.
Opener arrived and we hiked to our glassing spot about 600 yards from camp. After a few minutes I found some mule deer on the edge of private but feeding to public. We headed in their direction having to cross multiple breaks on the way there. These breaks were great for wildlife but horrible to cross. They may be nearly 100 feet deep with loose dirt on the sides and steep would be an understatement.
Upon reaching the last knob to where we could glass where the bucks had went I looked up and saw a pronghorn buck and doe bedded on public. There was no way to close the distance and keep a safe shot and they were literally on the public private line. I decided to take the shot when he turned broadside and at 711 yards I found the mark. He made a small circle and I put another round in him to ensure he didn't cross the line onto private. We made our way to him and while he wasn't a big buck he made me proud to have taken such an amazing creature. We cut, quartered and deboned him for the 4.6 mile pack out that lay ahead. Sadly, on that pack out Anthony fell while crossing a fence and hurt his back. This didn't stop him but definitely slowed him for the remainder of the hunt.
On day 2 we glassed from the same knob. I found a few deer but couldn't tell if they were bucks. Anthony stayed back to glass while I made my way to the deer. Upon reaching the area I realized they were doe but as luck would have it I saw a group of pronghorn doe near the 2 track road that would make for a relatively easy pack out. I cut the distance as much as I could and took the shot on a doe at 535 yards. She turned at the first shot and I hit her back so a follow up was required that was placed perfect behind the shoulder. Anthony made his way to me to help with the quartering and deboning and then we made our way out for the 3.5 mile pack out.
On day 3 we split up. We started the day around 3/4 miles apart glassing. I found a group of pronghorn and told Anthony I thought there was a small buck in there and they were heading to a small parcel of public. I made my way around to them to keep an eye on them while he came up from his glassing spot. I came to a small rise and peeked over and they were feeding 30 yards away with no idea I was there. I ducked back down and text him where I was at and to hurry. After a few minutes I looked back for them and they were gone. While glassing for them I turned up a group of mule deer bucks at 500 yards that were heading to private but not there yet. Since I lost the goats I decided to take the shot before they got to private, especially since the lead buck was a very nice 4x4. Sadly, I clean missed, twice! I have apologized over and over to Anthony because he told me afterwards that he was just lining up a shot on the pronghorn when I fired and they ran off. Sorry again man!
I finished out the night making another 10 mile loop walk, finding some pronghorn and turning up another 4x4 buck on private, some coyote, a badger and some fox along with a ground owl but nothing to punch my tag on. Oh, I did make sure my rifle was on when I found some prairie dogs. Lol
Day 4 started much the same, glassing from our separate knobs and seeing very little. The pressure was on and we both were feeling it. I made my way to where I missed the bucks the day before and saw nothing, Anthony picked me up off the interstate so we could fill up on ice for the animals that were already in the cooler. On the way back we discussed game plans and what would be our best route. He dropped me back off where he had picked me up and I made my way back towards some state land while he carried some water to camp. As I got to the back of the blm and nearing state land I jumped 2 mule deer bucks out of a shaded spot. The biggest buck ran straight away but the smaller one turned sideways and offered a running shot at 250 yards. He was running and I was shooting! Luckily at least one shot made an impact and he dropped in short order! Somehow, someway, I had just filled my final Wyoming tag!
Now the tough part began! I was 2.5 miles in, it was 82 degrees and I had an animal laying in the sun with no help since Anthony was 4 plus miles away. I cut and quartered as fast as I could and threw everything in my pack that I could handle and headed out! Anthony met me at the interstate with the trucking taking a 7 mile pack out down to 2.5. Coolers were full of meat and a celebratory beer was in order!
Anthony decided that his back was hurting to bad and it would be better to head back the next morning instead of wasting time glassing in 40 mph winds and 80 degree heat.
All in all it was a great trip and Wyoming has found another out of stater that will be back. I had a great time with a member that all started from talking about LR shooting ( and spending to much money on it). Thanks again man for getting me started down that Wyoming hole!
 

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