The antelope hunting last fall produced some of the poorest results in recent memory statewide. With a three-year drought as the main contributing factor the hunting was very tough for big bucks in the Cowboy State. As a result, the state has continued to cut and slash tag quotas in nearly every region of the state in a desperate effort to compensate for massive declines in antelope numbers. With nearly 10,000 fewer buck antelope tags up for grabs and a corresponding increase in nonresident applicants versus only three short years ago, the draw odds are going to be tougher than ever this year.
A slight ray of hope has emerged over the past 90 days however. A very mild winter has blessed the remaining antelope herds with good condition going into the spring and summer months. Add to that the fact that our spring has been somewhat mild, but cold with slightly above average moisture and we may be on track for not only a decent horn growth season but possibly even the beginning of a rebound in our antelope populations.
If prior history is any indication, Wyoming does tend to grow some very large bucks on the heels of a large die off like we have seen over the past three years. Given the current weather and improved habitat conditions, with a little help this summer could find us on the cusp of a decent year for good bucks for those who manage to draw a tag for the 2022 fall season.